Apple Cinnamon Rolls

5

5

PrintJump to Recipe

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase.

These Apple Cinnamon Rolls, filled with chunks of apple and loads of cinnamon flavor, are the ultimate expression of fall. Perfect to make the night before a special day, these rolls are so fluffy and flavorful, you’ll find yourself turning to them at all times of the year. 

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with frosting on top.

The minute fall hits, all I want to do is bake for my friends, family, and yes, of course, myself. There’s something about the cozy chill in the air that makes for the best baking experience. And I love apple desserts. See: my easy apple cobbler and homemade apple pie.

And those two are my all-time favorites but I was craving the flavors of apple pie in a cinnamon roll. So, here we are with these Apple Cinnamon Rolls!

Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients on a baking sheet for apple cinnamon rolls.
  1. Butter – This adds the richness and softness that we know and love in a cinnamon rolls.
  2. Eggs – By adding eggs, we’re enriching the dough and making it soft and rich. It adds a lot of body to the dough.
  3. Flour – all-purpose is best here. You could probably get away with adding bread flour but they might be too tough.
  4. Apples – I used honey crisp; they’re my go-to because they’re so delicious and easy to find at most grocery stores.
  5. Spices – apples and spices go hand in hand. In this case, we’re keeping it simple and just using cinnamon.
  6. Brown sugar – the hints of molasses in brown sugar complement apples and spices. If you’re in need for a How to Soften Brown sugar guide, look no further!

For the rest of the ingredients, please refer to the recipe card below!

Dough that is rising in a bowl.

Quick Apple Pie Filling

The secret to the intense apple flavor in my Apple Cinnamon Rolls is a quick apple pie filling. It starts with finely diced fresh apple heated with bright lemon juice, a touch of vanilla some cinnamon, sugar, a pinch of salt, and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it all. What you’re left with is an apple pie-worthy filling that’s sturdy enough to easily roll up into your roll. 

Appled that are diced in a pot with spices.

Perfect Fluffy Dough

This is my go-to enriched dough for all my favorite sweet rolls. These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are very similar to my Overnight Cinnamon Roll, Mocha Morning Buns and Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.

The dough comes together quickly and is perfectly buttery with a hint of sweetness that makes for the perfect vehicle for any filling your heart desires.

Dough is rolled with apple cinnamon filling.

How to Make Apple Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Make the dough by mixing the flour, sugar, instant yeast, and kosher salt together, then add in the warm milk and mix to incorporate. Next, add in the eggs, beaten with the vanilla extract, and mix until incorporated. Add in the butter, a few cubes at a time and knead until smooth. Let the dough rise.
  2. Make the cinnamon filling by mixing butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and kosher salt together until smooth.
  3. Make the apple filling by cooking the apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt together in a small saucepan on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the juices have thickened.
  4. Assemble the rolls by rolling out the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a ⅛-inch thick rectangle measuring 15-inches by 22-inches. Spread the cinnamon filling evenly and then spread the apple filling evenly over that. Roll the dough into a tight log, horizontally. Slice into 12 even pieces and place them in a greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes then back for 28 to 30 minutes in a 350 degree F oven. 
  5. Make the cream cheese glaze by mixing the butter with cream cheese then adding in the powdered sugar, vanilla, kosher salt, and heavy cream and mix until smooth. Spread the icing all over the rolls and serve warm!
Apple cinnamon pre-baked in a pan.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use something other than apples?

Yes, I think pears would do great in this recipe. I would stick to good baking pears like d’anjou, bartlett and bosc.

Can I put heavy cream at the bottom of the pan?

Yes! You can definitely do that. It’ll result in a richer roll. This has gotten really popular on TikTok; feel free to do that if you like.

How do I rewarm these rolls?

I would wrap them in foil and stick them in a 300F preheated oven for about 5-7 minutes. This will warm them up without drying them out or toasting them.

Apple cinnamon rolls in a pan.

Tips and Tricks

  • Slicing the rolls – If you’ve had trouble slicing your rolls in the past, try using waxed, unflavored floss to cut the dough. It helps you get those picture-perfect clean cuts. 
  • Room temperature butter is your best friend when it comes to incorporating it into your dough as well as making the cinnamon filling and cream cheese glaze.
  • Make ahead – You can make the apple pie filling in advance to break up some of the steps. You can also make the dough up to 24 hours ahead of shaping.
Apple cinnamon roll with frosting on top.

What to Serve with These Apple Cinnamon Rolls

If you tried this Apple Cinnamon Rolls or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below. Thanks for visiting!

Apple cinnamon rolls on plates.
5 from 4 votes

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 12
These Apple Cinnamon Rolls, filled with chunks of apple and loads of cinnamon flavor, are the ultimate expression of fall.

Ingredients 

Dough:

  • 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (also known as Baker's yeast)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed

Apple Filling:

  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Cinnamon Filling:

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Instructions 

To Make the Dough:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook (alternatively, you can do this in a large bowl by hand), mix the flour, sugar, instant yeast, and kosher salt. Add the warm milk and mix on low for 20 to 30 seconds. While that’s mixing, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix until most of the flour has been incorporated and the dough becomes cohesive. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the cubes of butter, a few at a time.
  • Knead on medium speed for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the dough looks smooth and supple, and mostly pulls away from the bowl. Alternatively, if you’re doing this by hand, you’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will go from crumbly and separate to completely cohesive and smooth. The dough shouldn’t be sticky—if it is, add flour, a couple of tablespoons at a time, until it’s no longer sticky. Be careful not to add too much flour, as that will result in a dry roll. Remove the dough from the hook and the bowl and form it into a ball.
  • Transfer the ball of dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl (I used the flour bowl and just wiped it clean with a kitchen towel and then greased it). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To Make the Cinnamon Filling:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using a medium bowl and a fork, add the butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and kosher salt. Mix and mash until the filling is completely smooth.
  • *If you’re looking to save yourself a step in the morning, you can make this filling and let it sit on the counter overnight so it stays softened.

To Make the Apple Pie Filling:

  • To a saucepan set over medium-low heat, mix the apples, granulated sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt with a spatula and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the released juices start to thicken. Set aside to cool to room temperature and then transfer to an airtight container to chill until ready to use.

To Assemble the Rolls:

  • The following morning (or after the 2-hour mark), remove the dough from the fridge. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough into the center. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle that measures 15-inches by 22-inches. If it’s not a perfect rectangle, that’s totally ok.
  • Spread the cinnamon filling in an even, thin layer, using a butter knife or offset spatula. I smeared the filling pretty close to the edges. Next, spread the apple filling in an even, thin layer, giving a little more of a border, as the apples will spread as you roll. Starting from the edge furthest from you, roll the dough towards you, horizontally, into a tight, firm log.
  • Using a bread knife (or any serrated knife), slice the dough into two and carefully transfer them to a cutting board. Place them in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. I find that slicing cold dough is WAY easier.
  • Remove from the freezer and trim off the edges. Slice the rolls into 6 pieces each roll for a total of 12 pieces, about 1 ½-inches thick. Alternatively, you can use a piece of waxed, unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls. I find this is the easiest way to make clean cuts without smashing the dough.
  • Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 baking sheet (or something comparable). Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • *If your house is particularly cold, it may take longer for the rolls to rise. I like to place my cinnamon rolls near the oven because it’s usually warmer in that part of my house.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown.

To Make the Cream Cheese Icing:

  • To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl) with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, kosher salt, and heavy cream. Beat for about 20 seconds.

To Serve:

  • When the cinnamon rolls come out of the oven, in an even layer, spread the icing all over the cinnamon rolls, essentially smothering them with icing.

Notes

Tips and Tricks: 
  • If you’ve had trouble slicing your rolls in the past, try using waxed, unflavored floss to cut the dough. It helps you get those picture-perfect clean cuts. 
  • Alternatively, you could also cut the log in half and transfer them to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. This will help with getting clean slices. It will take some additional time for the rolls to rise since they’ll be super cold.
  • Room temperature butter is your best friend when it comes to incorporating it into your dough as well as making the cinnamon filling and cream cheese glaze.
  • You can make the apple pie filling in advance to break up some of the steps. You can also make the dough up to 24 hours ahead of shaping. 

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 423mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 563IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Like this Recipe? Please Rate & comment below!

Cozy Latin-Inspired Comfort Food Recipes

Hi! I'm Adrianna and this is my cozy space on the internet that is super-charged by butter, flour and copious amounts of pasta. Stay awhile, will you!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a rating!




5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I would give these 10 stars if I could! The brioche dough for these rolls produces the softest most beautifully tender rolls I have ever made. The Apple Cinnamon filling is incredible as well. I noticed the icing recipe is missing the vanilla amount to add, so I guessed. I can’t wait to try other roll variations. Your recipes never dissapoint!

  2. 5 stars
    These are amazing! Made them this week and I’m obsessed! The dough is absolutely perfect, super soft and light. I thought the dough looked too buttery adding in the butter but trust the process it’s perfect!