For the dough:
Combine lukewarm water, 1/4 cup sugar and yeast in a small bowl and set aside for for 8-10 minutes or the mixture begins to bubble and the yeast has begun to active.
In a large bowl whisk the melted butter, egg, warm milk, and salt. Add the yeast 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 the dough has risen, remove the 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 1/2 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!