There is nothing like a homemade cinnamon roll. This is what I USED to believe. Until I started making these homemade Apple Cinnamon Rolls. Then I realized what true love was…
I used to be very intimidated about making Cinnamon Rolls. (I mean who wouldn’t be…it involves making dough!). But then I made them a few times, and although they take some time, it’s mostly hands off time. And SO, SO much better than anything store bought.
I brought homemade Cinnamon Rolls to work on Christmas Eve and they disappeared so fast my head spun. I make homemade Cinnamon Rolls for every Easter morning that I’m not working. I make homemade Cinnamon Rolls when we go to stay with my in laws in Arizona. I make homemade Cinnamon Rolls for every Christmas morning I’m not at work. I LOVE homemade Cinnamon Rolls.
So, not one to leave well enough alone, last summer I started experimenting with adding apples to the filling. JACKPOT. This was exactly what I was looking for. And can I call them healthy now that they contain fruit? (well, I probably can’t go that far…but I can call them DELICIOUS!)
This recipe seems like a lot of steps and I guess, technically it is. But there is a ton of hands off down time . I think of it in 5 parts-making the dough, making the filling while letting the dough rise, forming the rolls, a second rise, and then baking and glazing. If you want fresh rolls in the morning, I stop after forming the rise and place the dough in the refrigerator. In the morning you can pull out the rolls, allow them to warm to room temperature and rise, and then back.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Glaze
These are the perfect elevated cinnamon rolls, brimming with apples and a cinnamon glaze.
- 1/4 ounce package yeast (2 1/4 teaspoon yeast)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter divided (you will need 6 Tablespoons for the dough and the additional 2 for greasing the bowl and the pan)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 large apples, diced (approximately 2 Cups)
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ cup water
In a glass measuring cup mix warm water and yeast, stir with a spoon and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, heat milk to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat. Add butter, sugar, and salt and stir until dissolved, allowing the mixture to cool slightly.
Slowly add egg, stirring in little by little so that the egg does not scramble.
Transfer milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1 cup of flour and mix until well combined. Add yeast mixture and additional flour, cup by cup, mixing until it comes together to form a soft dough (3 ½ – 4 cups of flour total). The dough should be slightly tacky, but hold together in a ball.
Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for approximately 2 hours, or until dough has doubled. (Best to put your dough in a warmish, non-drafty place-I use my oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on)
While dough is rising, prepare filling. In a small saucepan, melt butter for filling. Add apples, brown sugar,cinnamon, and nutmeg. Allow to simmer over medium heat until apples are soft but still retain their shape approximately 15 minutes (??)
When dough is doubled, remove to a clean, lightly floured surface. Punch down a few times. Roll dough out into a large rectangle approximately 9 x 15. Spread the filling onto the dough, sparing a ½ rim around the rectangle. Roll up along the long side of the dough (this forms a long snake of dough filled with apple cinnamon filling). Cut the dough into 12 slices (each a little more than 1 inch wide). Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter. Lie the slices down in the pan tucking them close together.
If you are planning on baking these today, cover with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. If you are going to bake these rolls the following day, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator.
While rolls are rising, make glaze by placing powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of hot water into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix adding water tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached (this can be done in the morning if you are leaving rolls in the refrigerator overnight).
When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 350°F. (If the rolls have been in the refrigerator overnight, allow apple cinnamon rolls to come to room temperature and rise for 1 hour before baking)
After rolls have risen, place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until starting to turn golden on top. Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly and add glaze to top as desired. Serve and enjoy!
When you transfer the milk mixture to the stand mixer you want it to be warm to the touch, but not hot. Too hot and you will kill your yeast-then your dough won’t rise. If you have a thermometer, 105°F is what you are aiming for. Otherwise if you are going by feel, “warm” is what you want.
What I used to make these Apple Cinnamon Rolls:
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Stand Mixer. I got this as a gift about 10 years ago, and it gets a ton of use if not from me then from my daughter who loves to bake.
Small saucepan. I bought my All Clad set as a gift for myself at a time when I really needed a pick me up. I still smile every time I use them, almost every day.
Le Creuset baking dish. Let me honest here, I actually bought this one at HomeGoods on deep discount. But this baking dish has seen penne, baked goods, macaroni and cheese, vegetables, casseroles, you name it.
Wooden Spoons. I use these for everything. EVERYTHING. They don’t scratch my pots and pans, they are gentle when I am mixing, and they clean up well in the dishwasher. And have I mentioned that they are inexpensive? WIN.
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