Getting out of bed is easy when Apple Cinnamon Rolls are waiting for you! These sweet rolls are filled with cinnamon spiced apples and topped with an apple cider glaze. The perfect fall breakfast treat!
Why this Recipe Works
- Gooey apple filling makes a homemade cinnamon roll even better.
- Yeast dough bakes up soft and extra fluffy.
- Brings together all the best flavors of fall!
I don’t need to tell you how amazing these smell as they’re baking!
Freshly baked rolls + cinnamon sugar + apples? Heavenly.
Active dry yeast – Yeast makes the dough rise, creating fluffy soft cinnamon rolls. You will need one packet for this recipe. Make sure it is not expired!
Apples – Peel, core and dice the apples into very small pieces first.
Egg – A beaten egg helps bind the dough together and gives the dough some color as it bakes. Use a room temperature egg for best results.
Unsalted butter – You’ll use butter in the dough and glaze and melted butter for the filling. No cinnamon roll is complete without it!
Prepare the dough:
Start by warming the milk and butter on the stove. Once the butter is melted, let the mixture cool slightly.
While it’s cooling, dissolve the yeast in water with teaspoon of sugar.
Combine the dry ingredients (except 1 cup of flour) in a mixing bowl.. Add the liquid ingredients and a beaten egg and mix well.
Gradually incorporate the remaining flour until a workable dough forms.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. It should be soft, smooth and stretchy! Now, let it rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
While the dough is resting, you can get your apple cinnamon roll filling ingredients ready.
Assemble and bake the rolls:
Roll the dough into a large rectangle. Spread melted butter all over the dough, then cover with cinnamon sugar and diced apples.
Roll the dough into a log and pinch together the ends. Cut the roll into 12 pieces and let them rise until doubled in size.
Bake the rolls until golden brown.
For the frosting:
Beat together cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar followed by cider, vanilla extract, and nutmeg and mix until smooth.
Spread frosting over warm cinnamon rolls before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t skip the kneading! This step activates the gluten to give the rolls shape and make them fluffy.
- Resist the urge to add extra flour. More flour means tougher rolls. The dough may be sticky at first, but as you work the dough with lightly floured hands, it’ll become smoother and a bit tacky.
- Dice apples into 1/4 inch pieces or smaller. If the apple pieces are too big they won’t fully cook during baking and your filling will be crunchy instead of buttery soft!
- For an extra gooey cinnamon roll, brush the rolls with heavy cream before baking.
- Store baked rolls at room temperature covered with plastic wrap. Enjoy within 3 days.
I used a mixture of 3 gala apples and 1 granny smith. The ratio of sweet to tart was perfect.
While I love the dental floss method for my regular cinnamon rolls, that technique won’t work as well here. Due to the apple filling, a sharp serrated knife is best for these rolls.
Unlike my other cinnamon rolls, I don’t recommend prepping apple cinnamon rolls way ahead of time. The apples start to release juices as they sit which would make the dough soggy after a few hours.
If you don’t have any cider handy, you can make the frosting with the same amount of milk instead. It won’t taste quite the same but will still be delicious!
The most common reason cinnamon rolls end up tough and hard is adding too much flour. The rolls will also be harder if you don’t knead the dough long enough (or at all). Finally, make sure to let the dough rise twice. It needs to rise once before rolling out the dough and then again once the rolls are assembled and sliced.
More Fall Recipes
- Overnight French Toast Casserole– perfect holiday breakfast!
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- Fried Apples
- Apple Slab Pie
- Apple Crumble
Nothing beats the aroma–or taste– of a homemade cinnamon roll fresh from the oven. These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are a perfect start to any fall day!