These apple cider cinnamon rolls have an apple cider dough and cinnamon filling. The rolls are baked in heavy cream, brushed with butter apple cider, topped with cinnamon sugar and apple cider glaze.
These apple cider cinnamon rolls are the perfect way to start your day during apple season. They taste like apple cider donuts fresh from a farm, but in cinnamon roll form. These cinnamon buns are soft and delicious and this might just be the BEST homemade cinnamon roll recipe.
- Why This Apple Cider Cinnamon Roll Recipe Works
- Ingredient Notes for Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Ingredient Substitutions
- Step By Step Instructions - Apple Cider Dough and Cinnamon Filling
- Step By Step Instructions - Baking Apple Cider Rolls and Glaze
- Expert Baking Tips
- Recipe Variations
- Special Tools
- Storing and Freezing
- 📖 Recipe
Why This Apple Cider Cinnamon Roll Recipe Works
- Apple cider flavor- The lovely apple flavor is perfect for when the apple orchards are making fresh apple cider.
- Cinnamon sugar coating- The cinnamon sugar coating adds a great texture and flavor like apple cider donuts.
- Prep ahead- You can start these homemade cinnamon rolls the night before you want to eat them and finish the bake the next day! Just follow the overnight instructions for the dough rise.
Ingredient Notes for Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- Pull the butter out 2 hours before using so it is softened butter.
- Milk- Use any milk and warm it to 110F. If too hot, it will kill the yeast, if too cool then it will dramatically slow the yeast down.
- Active dry yeast- I used 1 packet of yeast. This is the same thing as instant yeast. Do not use fast rise yeast.
- Eggs- Pull the eggs out 2 hours before baking. They also need to be lightly beaten before adding to the flour.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar, but dark is fine.
- Powdered sugar- Sift this before use to avoid gritty icing.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
Step By Step Instructions - Apple Cider Dough and Cinnamon Filling
Here is how to make the dough and filling for these apple cider cinnamon rolls.
STEP 1: Reduce apple cider. Heat the apple cider in a small saucepan on a stove over medium-high heat until ½ cup remains. Pour it into a bowl to cool.
STEP 2: Activate yeast. Heat the milk in the microwave for about 40 seconds until it is 110°F. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 10 minutes.
STEP 3: Knead butter. Sift the all purpose flour into a large bowl and add the sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and knead it with a pastry kneader or your hands until the butter lumps are the size of a pea.
STEP 4: Form dough. Add the apple cider, yeast and milk mixture, and lightly beaten eggs to the flour mixture. Use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment to mix on low speed until a dough forms. If kneading by hand see the recipe notes instead.
STEP 5: Knead dough. Turn the mixer up to medium speed to knead for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray a mixing bowl with nonstick spray. When it is done kneading, place dough in the bowl.
STEP 6: First rise. If you want to make the rolls right away, preheat the oven to 200°F and place a kitchen towel over the bowl. Turn off the oven and place the bowl inside with the oven door cracked open for 1 hour.
Otherwise, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it in the fridge overnight.
STEP 7: Cinnamon filling. Beat the butter using a small bowl and a hand mixer on high speed. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Continue beating it until the filling is soft.
Step By Step Instructions - Baking Apple Cider Rolls and Glaze
Here is how to make and bake the apple cider rolls and glaze.
STEP 1: Roll dough. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Roll it into a large rectangle ¼ inch thick.
STEP 2: Spread filling. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling over the dough all the way to the edges.
STEP 3: Roll log. Roll the dough into a log starting on the short side of the rectangle. Slice any uneven ends off with a serrated sharp knife, then cut the log into 9 equal pieces.
STEP 4: Second rise. Spray a 9X13 pan with baking spray and place the rolls inside. Cover the pan with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 20 minutes.
STEP 5: Prep rolls. Preheat the oven to 375°F. When the rolls are done rising, pour heavy cream into the pan with them. Don't pour it around the rolls, but it is okay if some gets on top of them.
STEP 6: Bake. Bake the rolls for 23-27 minutes. They are done when the tops are golden brown.
Let the rolls sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes before topping them.
STEP 7: Cinnamon sugar topping. Melt the butter and apple cider together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the cinnamon and sugar together. Brush the melted butter on top of the rolls with a pastry brush. Then, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top in a thick coat.
STEP 8: Apple cider glaze. Sift the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add the apple cider and whisk until smooth. Drizzle this glaze on top of the rolls.
Expert Baking Tips
- Properly measure your flour- Make sure the flour is spooned and leveled. If you stick the measuring cup directly into the flour, it will compact the flour giving you too much flour.
- Make sure your yeast is fresh. If you use expired yeast or if you put it in too hot or too cold milk it will not activate properly preventing a proper rise.
- If you choose to roll your rolls immediately you can still chill them overnight. You then bake them in the morning the next morning.
The rolls rise fastest in a warm place. If your oven is busy, you can let the dough rise at room temperature as long as you don't have a cold house. Try to find a warmer area for best results. The preheated oven is simply a safe and consistent choice. Of course, rising overnight in the fridge also works best if possible.
If you are eating just one, then reheat the roll on a plate in the microwave for 15-25 seconds until warm (the amount of time will vary with your microwave). If you are reheating a whole tray, then preheat the oven to 350, and let the baking dish of rolls sit in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot. Then, enjoy your warm rolls!
Yes you can! Follow the instructions, but bake for only 10 minutes and chill. Then, you can continue the rest of the bake time (13-17 minutes) in the morning.
- Cream cheese glaze- Instead of the apple cider glaze you can substitute in a classic cream cheese frosting. See this Mini Cinnamon Rolls recipe for cream cheese glaze instructions.
- No cinnamon sugar- You can skip the apple cider butter and cinnamon sugar glaze and simply use the apple cider glaze on top if you prefer.
- Baking spray: I use the nonstick spray that has flour in it.
- Offset spatula: I use this to easily spread the frosting or fillings.
- 9X13 pan- I love using a casserole pan instead of a normal baking pan.
- Rolling pin- You can use any rolling pin you have!
Storing and Freezing
Store these apple cider cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge. Store up to 5 days. They are best when heated in the microwave until warm.
These apple cider cinnamon rolls can be frozen in 2 ways.
- Freeze the rolled rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Let them thaw before baking. They won't rise as much, but will still work.
- Freeze the already baked rolls. Freeze these up to 30 days. Thaw for 1 hour before eating.
Other Apple Recipes To Try
Try these fall recipes too!
- Reese's Cup Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pumpkin Caramel Cookies
- Sticky Buns
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Cherry Pie Bars
Apple Cider Cinnamon Rolls
Apple Cider Dough
- 1 cup Apple cider reduced down to ½ cup
- ½ cup Milk warmed to 110℉
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast 1 packet
- 2 Large eggs lightly beaten room temperature
- 4 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter cubed and room temperature
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Apple cider
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
Apple Cider Glaze
- 1 cup Powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider
Apple Cider Dough
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the apple cider until it reduces down to ½ cup. Pour into a bowl and cool completely.1 cup Apple cider
- Heat the milk in the microwave for 40 seconds until it is warmed to 110℉. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.½ cup Milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast
- In a large bowl, sift the flour. Add the sugar and salt. Add in the cubed butter. Use a pastry kneader or your hands to knead the butter into the flour. Do this until the butter is the size of a pea.4 ½ cups All-purpose flour, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon Salt, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Add in the apple cider, milk/yeast, and lightly beaten eggs. Use a stand mixer with a dough hook and mix on low speed until a dough starts to form. *For making by hand instructions see notes.2 Large eggs
- Turn the mixer to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. Spray a large mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl.
- For making right away: Preheat the oven to 200℉. Cover bowl with kitchen towel. Turn off the oven, place the bowl in the oven, and crack open the door. Let rise for 1 hour.For overnight: Cover bowl with foil or plastic wrap. Place in the fridge to rise overnight.
- In a small bowl, beat the butter on high speed using a hand mixer. Add in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Beat until the filling is soft.½ cup Unsalted butter, ¾ cup Brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg, 1 tablespoon Ground cinnamon
- Roll the dough out using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle about ¼ inch thick.
- Spread the filling using an offset spatula over the dough. Spread to the edges.
- Roll into a log starting on the short side. Use a serrated knife to cut off the uneven ends. Cut the roll into 9 equal pieces.
- Spray a 9X13-inch pan with baking nonstick spray. Place the rolls into the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉. Once the rolls are done rising, pour the heavy cream into the pan. Pour it around the rolls, it is okay if heavy gets on top of the roll.½ cup Heavy cream
- Bake for 23-27 minutes. Bake until the top of the rolls are golden brown.
- Let the rolls sit in the hot pan for 10 minutes.
Roll Topping and Glaze
- Melt the butter and apple cider together. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Use a pastry brush to brush the butter on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top. Make sure they are very covered. We want more is more approach.1 tablespoon Unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon Apple cider, ½ cup White granulated sugar, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, sift the powdered sugar. Add in the apple cider and whisk until smooth. Drizzle the glaze on top of the rolls.1 cup Powdered sugar, 2 tablespoon Apple cider