Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

I love my cinnamon roll recipe so much, that it seems like I can’t help but find as many opportunities to change it up so I can share it over and over. First was the original Brown Butter Cinnamon Roll recipe, then Salted Caramel Sticky Buns, Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls, and a savory version: Garlic Cheddar Swirl Buns. I’ve been thinking that a luscious Lemon Roll would be great in the citrus months, and I’ve been dreaming of Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls for as long as I can think of. (Any other swirly bun flavors you’d like to see?) I wanted to incorporate lots of little apple chunks, my favorite Caramel Sauce, and a special Caramel Cream Cheese glaze. Our first house guests in our new apartment seemed like the perfect opportunity to make a special, decadent dessert-esque breakfast treat.

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This time of year I really  jump for any opportunity to combine caramel and apples, which in my book is one of the best flavor pairings of all time. The bursts of apple chunks are so perfect mixed with the tender dough, cinnamon-sugar swirl, and gooey caramel glaze. (Did I mention I’m still trying to win over my new neighbors with deliveries of treats??)

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This time around I experimented with preparing the rolls ahead of time, and then chilling in the fridge until the next morning when I was ready to bake them bright and early. The whole process of these takes less than 2 hours normally, but I loved this option for those mornings when you want to be eating these 3o minutes after waking up! Making ahead would be perfect for special occasion breakfasts when you want as much prepared in advance as possible!

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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 .25 ounce package instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 2 small tart apples, peeled, and diced into small pieces (about 1 cup of chopped apple total)
  • caramel sauce for drizzling, about 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup as needed for icing below

Icing:

  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk and butter in a class measuring cup in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes until warm with the butter melted.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; whisk together. Add water, egg and the milk mixture; beat well with an electric mixer OR use a rubber spatula to fold the dough together, scraping from the outside in. Mix until well- combined.
  3. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. (dough will be too thick and sticky to use the mixers at this point.)
  4. When the dough has just pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. (dough will spring back when lightly pressed.)
  5. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your filling ingredients. When the dough is ready, lightly flour your surface and roll out dough into a 12x9 inch rectangle. (use your 9x13 baking dish as a guide.) Using a pastry brush- slather the dough with the butter. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar mixture and press in lightly so it doesn't fall out when you roll it. Add the chopped apples and press them into the dough a bit as well. Drizzle apples with 2 tablespoons of caramel sauce.
  7. Starting on one of the shorter ends, carefully roll up dough and pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 equal size rolls and place in a 9x13 baking dish. Rolls will be gooey, so transfer them carefully.
  8. Cover and let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375F.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool for about 10 minutes before icing.

For the Icing

  1. Soften cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Whisk together with caramel sauce until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whisk until smooth and lump-free. Drizzle over rolls and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


19 Comments

  1. I love all of your cinnamon rolls! Making the dough the night before seems like the perfect solution for an early breakfast or brunch treat.

  2. I literally gained 5lbs reading this. Wow! SO GOOD!! <3 cannot wait to try! :)

  3. *wiping the drool off of my keyboard*

  4. Your new neighbours will not only be won over, but you’ll not get them to leave if you offer them these. I love the apple caramel combination and can’t wait to try them. I think some spicy pumpkin latte cinnamon rolls would be good to try too. Thanks for these!

  5. These look awesome! Every Christmas Eve I make cinnamon rolls and let them rise in the fridge overnight so they’re perfect for going straight into the oven in the morning. I’ll have to try this variety…looks so so good :)

  6. For no reason i picture this made with goat cheese.. i dont know why.. sound like a weird experiment dont you think?

  7. We’re caramel apple twins today! :) It’s one of my fall favorites for sure, and I am in love with this idea. I wish I had the ingredients on hand to throw a batch together tonight to enjoy tomorrow morning!

  8. OMG Weekend breakfast mystery SOLVED!

    PS- I made an Autumny wreath to give away. Please see if you want to enter to win it. (www.cocointhekitchen.com)

    Rub that beautiful belly, lovely Audra!

  9. The morning you posted these on Instagram, I honestly leaned over to my husband in bed with my phone and we said in unison, “OH MY GOD.” In other words, these are happening this weekend. Thank you for that funny experience, Audra! These rolls look to die for!

    1. That is so funny Georgia! Thanks for sharing that sweet little story :)

  10. I would love to try these, but I eat gluten free. i will look for a recipe on one of those sites to make these. If i can’t find one, maybe I will compare a recipe to yours and come up with my own recipe.

    Bev

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