Thursday, October 21, 2010

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Holy Hannah! I don't think I have ever heard my husband mmmm and ahhh over food like he did when he ate these. He absolutely loved them and also thought the caramel frosting was the best frosting ever. I have to say that I thought they were great too and that it was a fun way to change up regular old cinnamon rolls. I really loved how the dough turned out once it was cooked. It was very light and airy, not heavy and dense, and had a great flavor.

Seriously, you should add these to your fall menu sometime soon. Even if you have to give some away, like I did, so you don't eat them all yourself. I like to bake my rolls in round cake or pie pans and drizzle on the frosting while they are still a little warm so it seeps down into every crack and crevice. You could also bake these in 1 or 2 large baking pans as well.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: About 18-20 rolls

For the cinnamon rolls:
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
6 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
5 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

brown sugar

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup caramel sauce
2 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, add the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pulse a few seconds to incorporate. Add the butter, egg and warm buttermilk. Mix on low speed for about 5 minutes; the dough should be silky and supple but not sticky.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling. To make the caramelized apples, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple slices, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix until the apples are evenly coated. Cook about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool.

Mist a work surface with spray oil. Divide dough in half and set one half aside. Roll the other half out into a rectangle with a rolling pin; if the rolling pin gets sticky, spray with cooking spray, do not dust with flour.

Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the surface of the dough, smoothing it out with your hand. Quantities here will vary as I like more than just a dusting of cinnamon and sugar but others like it a little more sparse. Evenly distribute the caramelized apples over the top of the dough.

Starting with the wide edge, roll up the dough into a log. Pinch the seam shut. With the seam side down, slice about 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces off with a piece of dental floss and transfer them to either a round baking dish, cake pan or baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Place the rolls about 1/2-1 inch apart. Repeat with remaining ball of dough. (I filled 2 round cake pans and 1 pie tin). (For a step by step visual aid, see my orange roll recipe.)

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature, until the rolls have grown into each other and have nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool in the baking about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.

To make the glaze, combine the cream cheese and butter in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 15-20 second intervals until it is warm enough to whisk together. Whisk in the caramel sauce, milk and vanilla extract until smooth. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Swirl the glaze over the top of the cinnamon rolls. Let cool before serving.

SOURCE:Adapted from Annie's Eats

This post is linked to Recipe Swap Thursday @ Prarie Story.


  1. Yum, this would be like eating apple pie wrapped in a cinnamon roll. Sounds great. I think that caramel icing would be wonderful spread on anything.

  2. My mom will be in town soon, I think these would be perfect.

  3. I was just stopping by to say hello and the smell of those wonderful rolls brought me in. Your recipe looks great, thank you so much for sharing it with me.

  4. WOW do these ever sound good! I just made the zucchini basil lasagna from your blog as well and loved it. I hope you don't mind, I loved it so much I shared it on my blog as well, and provided a link back to yours :)

  5. Oh, that's fabulous! I'm all about sharing good food. Glad you liked it.

  6. Wow, what more could you want, these look great.


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