These apple cinnamon rolls are super gooey and soft rolls. They are full of cinnamon filling, diced apples that are coated in spices. The rolls are topped with cream cheese brown butter icing.
These apple cinnamon rolls are the perfect breakfast to start your morning with the combination of apples and cinnamon. This time of year I want apple flavored everything. What goes better with apple than homemade cinnamon rolls?
I used Cuisinart's Precision Master™ 5.5- Quart Stand Mixer to make the dough for these rolls. I used the dough hook to knead it into a super soft dough.
Why This Recipe Works
- Gooey cinnamon rolls- I love cinnamon rolls that are soft and gooey. These homemade apple cinnamon rolls are the perfect fall treat that seem to melt in your mouth.
- Apples and cinnamon- Nothing goes together better than apples and cinnamon!
- Easy to make- I walk through each step to make this so even a novice baker can enjoy these!
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.
- Brown butter- The brown butter adds nuttiness and is worth it! You can also melt the butter instead of browning it if you prefer.
- 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.
- Eggs- Pull the large 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.
- Powdered sugar- Make sure this is sifted to get a smooth icing.
- Cream cheese- Pull this out 2 hours before baking to get to room temperature.
- Fresh Apples- I uses Gala apples and recommend them, but you can use another kind of apple. If you use Honeycrisp apples you will have more juice and your filling will be wetter. Granny Smith apples have a similar amount of juice, but will be more sour than I prefer.
The Best Equipment To Use
When I make cinnamon rolls, I love using a stand mixer with a dough hook. It makes the process so much easier! I used Cuisinart's Precision Master™ 5.5- Quart Stand Mixer to make the dough.
Their mixer has a 500 watt motor with 12 speeds! They have a section for the dough hook, paddle attachment, and the whisk attachment right by the speed dial.
This made it very handy to figure out the best speed to set the mixer to when kneading the dough.
It also comes in so many colors! I got the coral pink one.
Step By Step Instructions: Dough and Filling
Here is how to make and bake this apple cinnamon roll dough.
The dough is made with a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. If you don't have an electric mixer with dough hook see the making by hand instruction in the recipe notes.
STEP 1: Mix the milk and yeast. First, warm the milk in the microwave to 110F. Use a kitchen thermometer. Then, sprinkle yeast over the warm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
It will be foamy at the end of the 10 minutes.
STEP 2: Mix the dry ingredients and the butter. In a large mixing bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, white sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Then, pour in the cubed butter. Use either a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour mixture.
The butter should be the size of a pea.
STEP 3: Mix eggs and yeast. In a separate bowl, lightly beat your eggs. Add the eggs and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until a dough starts to form and some flour is incorporated.
STEP 4: Knead the dough. Turn to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes. It should be slightly tacky, but not stick to your hands too much.
STEP 5: Rise. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover with a dish towel and let it rise in a warm place.
Rise for 1 hour. It will be double in size.
STEP 6: Beat the filling. In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the unsalted butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon until smooth.
STEP 7: Prep the apples: Cut the apples into small pieces. Larger pieces will not roll in correctly. Pour the apples into a separate bowl and mix them with the cinnamon, ground ginger, and nutmeg.
Assembling the Rolls
STEP 1: First, punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. It should be a large rectangle and ¼ inch thick.
STEP 2: Spread cinnamon filling on top of the dough. I used an offset spatula to spread it on. Then, sprinkle the apples on top.
STEP 3: Roll the dough into a log. Start with the short side, not the long side, so you get as many swirls as possible. It should be tightly rolled, but not too tight.
STEP 4: Cut the rolls using a serrated knife or unflavored dental floss. I use a serrated knife to cut rolls, make sure to use light sawing motions to get a clean cut. Also, wash the knife after each cut, because it will be very messy!
STEP 5: Place rolls in a 9X13-inch baking pan and let rise for 25 minutes.
STEP 6: Bake for 22-28 minutes until top of the rolls are light golden brown.
Icing the Rolls
I have tried both icing the rolls when they are piping hot or when they cooled slightly. I found that when the rolls are hot, it melts the icing into the cracks of the roll. Which also helps with the gooeyness!
Start by browning the butter. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Then stir until milk deposits separate and it turns amber in color. Pour the butter in a bowl and let it cool for 15 minutes.
After it is cooled, beat the cream cheese and brown butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add in the sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and mix on low until smooth and pourable.
Immediately after pulling the rolls out of the oven, spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cinnamon buns with a spoon.
Once you are done kneading the dough. Place in a large bowl sprayed with nonstick spray. Then, cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge overnight. It needs to chill for a max of 16 hours.
Then in the next morning, you can pull it out and roll up the cinnamon rolls. Then, let it rise for 1 hour instead of the 20 minutes.
The rolls rise best in a warm area. If your oven is busy, you can let the dough rise at room temperature as long as you don't have a cold house.
If you are eating just one, then reheat the rolls on a plate in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until warm. If you are reheating a whole tray, then preheat the oven to 350, and let it sit in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot.
Yes you can! Follow the instructions, but bake for only 10 minutes and chill. Then, you can bake the rest of the way (10-18 minutes) in the morning until hot.
Storing and Freezing
Store these apple 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 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 Cinnamon Roll Recipes To Try
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup Milk warmed to 110°F
- 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast or 1 packet
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- 4 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup White granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter room temperature and cubed
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup Brown sugar packed light or dark
- 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- 2 Gala apples diced very finely
- 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
Cream Cheese Brown Butter Icing
- 4 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted butter browned
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup Powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Milk
- In a microwave safe bowl, warm the milk to 110°F. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs together. Set aside.1 cup Milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon Active dry yeast, 2 Large eggs
- While the yeast is resting, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and use a pastry blender or your hands, to blend the butter into the size of a pea. Then, add in the milk and eggs.4 ½ cups All-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon Salt, ¼ cup White granulated sugar, 10 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Use a stand mixer with a dough hook. (For mix by hand instructions see notes.) Start on low speed until a dough starts to form and some of the flour is incorporated. Then, turn to medium speed and knead for 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large bowl that is sprayed with nonstick spray. Cover with a kitchen towel. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place the bowl in the oven, turn off the oven, and crack open the door. Let it rise for 1 hour.
- In a small bowl using a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Cut the apples into small pieces. If they are too large, it won't roll correctly. Pour the apples into a separate bowl, and mix in the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.½ cup Unsalted butter, ½ cup Brown sugar, 2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, 2 Gala apples, 1 teaspoon Ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon Ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
- Punch the dough down and roll using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle until it is ¼ inch thick.
- Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough using an icing spatula. Then. sprinkle the apples on top. Roll starting from the short side into a log.
- Use a serrated knife to cut off the uneven ends. Then, cut in 12 rolls. Use a measuring tape for accuracy. Spray a 9X13 pan with baking nonstick spray. Place the rolls in the pan.
- Cover the pan for a kitchen towel and let rise for 25 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Bake for 22-28 minutes until the tops of the rolls are light golden brown.
- Start the icing while the rolls are baking. In a frying pan, melt the butter. Then, stir until the milk deposits separate and it turns amber in color. Let it cool until room temperature.4 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and brown butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk and mix until it is pourable consistency.4 oz Cream cheese, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, 1 cup Powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon Milk
- Pour the icing immediately on top of the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.