Apple Cinnamon Rolls – A Cozy Kitchen

Georgann Dolfay

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. 

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. Whenever my friends are in town, I find myself turning to these rolls as the best way to welcome them. Warm and ooey-gooey, they are a great way to start any day. 

For the last few years, I’ve chosen to partner with Fleischmann’s® Yeast because it’s so reliable and always yields quality, delicious results for me. For these Apple Cinnamon Rolls, I am using their Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Instant Yeast. What I love about it is that while most yeasts require an extra step to activate, RapidRise® Yeast is actually mixed into the dry ingredients, cutting down the number of bowls and things to do. It also means you gain back five to ten minutes that would have been necessary to activate that yeast, giving you a few extra minutes to scroll or water your plants!

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. 

ULTIMATE CINNAMON FILLING

When you think of a cinnamon roll, this is the filling you are picturing. Creamy, deeply cinnamon-y, this filling is so simple to throw together. Simply mix softened butter with cinnamon, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and some salt and you’ve got the perfect cinnamon filling to couple with your quick apple pie filling. This duo makes for the best apple cinnamon roll. And the paste-like filling is the perfect consistency to spread evenly across your dough.

PERFECT FLUFFY DOUGH

This is my go-to enriched dough for all my favorite sweet rolls. It comes together quickly and is perfectly buttery with a hint of sweetness that makes for the perfect vehicle for any filling your heart desires. It is the dreamiest, most pillow dough, and using RapidRise® makes it easy work. I love from scratch because I feel like people can taste the love you put into it. There’s nothing better than an Apple Cinnamon Roll hot out of the oven. I have so many fond memories of chilly mornings and fresh from the oven rolls.

HOW TO APPLE CINNAMON ROLLS

  1. Make the dough: mix the flour, sugar, Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® 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, mixing in between incorporations, and then knead until smooth. Form into a ball and put in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least to allow the dough to 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!

Looking for more recipes? Here are a few more of my favorites:

If you make these Apple Cinnamon Rolls, let me know on Instagram!

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.