Sweet n tangy caramelized apples wrapped in a fluffy pastry and topped with cream cheese icing.
Watch out cinnabon there’s a new kid in town! If you love apple pie or cinnamon rolls your going to fall in love with these apple pie cinnamon rolls – These rolls are the best of both worlds. I really can not even explain how good these apple pie cinnamon rolls are! they are super moist and filled with a delicious caramelized cinnamon spice apple filling that just melts in your mouth.
I love making cinnamon rolls because they can be made in big batches and stored in the fridge or freezer. I’m going to admit I’ve had days where I wake up 7 am and attempt to bake cinnamon rolls before the kids wake up but never finish in time! They usually end up taking a few hours and we end up eating something else instead while they rise. Now I bake them the night before and store them in the fridge and then pop them in the oven or microwave in the morning.
One of the secrets to making perfect cinnamon rolls is to use warm water and milk. Not hot, just a little hotter than lukewarm. It helps them rise and makes the dough very easy to spread.
This recipe calls for 4 and 1/4 cups flour so the dough might seem a bit on the hard side at first but once you knead it it will soften up. Be sure to use all the flour or the dough will become loose and get very messy when trying to roll.
I used a cream cheese icing for these rolls but they can also be eaten without frosting at all although I highly recommend the icing!
Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
- For the dough:
- 1 package yeast (about 2 & ¼ teaspoons)
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ cup warm milk
- ⅓ cup melted butter
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 4¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Apple pie filling:
- 5 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon apple spice (optional)
- Cream Cheese Icing:
- 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the dough: Combine lukewarm water, ¼ cup sugar and yeast in a small bowl for 8-10 minutes or the mixture begins to bubble and the yeast has begun to active, set aside. In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, egg, warm milk, and salt. Add the yest mixture and then slowly whisk in 1 cup of flour then another cup. The mixture will begin to thicken, switch from the whisk to a wooden spoon, gradually add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until the flour is fully combined. The turn the dough onto turn dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap, place in the microwave or oven ( turned off) for 90 minutes. Begin working on apple filling.
When dough has risen, remove cover and punch it down then remove from the bowl. Roll out on a floured surface into a 16x24 inch rectangle. Spread the 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature evenly over the dough keeping ½ inch from the edges. Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly across the butter. Spread the apple mixture over the brown sugar as evenly as you can. Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Cut 2 inch slices, this will give you 12 cinnamon rolls or 3 inch slices for 8 big cinnamon rolls. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and place the rolls on the paper about 1 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour. About 20 minutes before the rolls are done rising heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes or until the edges are golden in color. Allow the rolls to cool for at least 15 minutes then top with cream cheese frosting and serve warm!
- Apple pie Filling:
- While the dough is rising begin working on the apple filling. Heat a large skillet to medium/high heat and add 5 tablespoons of butter and stir until melted. Add the apples and sugar and saute until the apples are lightly caramelized. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside until you are ready to use.
- Cream Cheese Frosting: Mix cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt together with an electric or stand mixer on medium speed until the icing is light and fluffy.
Recipe adapted from: The hopeless housewife