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close up of apple cinnamon roll cut in half on plate
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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Gooey cinnamon rolls filled with apples and topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting!
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 23 minutes
Servings 12 rolls
Calories 606kcal
Author Tara

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar + 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast about 2 1/4 tsp
  • 1 cup warm milk about 100-110 degrees
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter very soft and cubed

Filling

  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups apples about 2 large apples

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 5 oz cream cheese room temperature
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Dough

  • Warm milk in the microwave for about 45 seconds or until a thermometer reads 100 to 110 degrees. Add milk and 1 tsp sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir to combine. Let stand for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to foam. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  • Add eggs, vanilla and then the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until combined and then increase speed to medium and mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Add butter and mix on medium speed, about 4 minutes, until butter is incorporated and dough comes together but is sticky. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the dough is about doubled in size. Punch down the dough and scrape out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll dough out into a 12 x 21 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter onto the dough all the way to the edges except one long edge leaving about a 1 inch border.
  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the butter evenly and press it into the butter using your fingers or a spatula. Scatter the chopped apples over the brown sugar evenly.
  • Starting from the long edge without the border, roll into a tight log, pressing the seam together at the end. Cut into 12 slices about 1 ½ inches thick each.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 pan with baking spray and arrange the rolls in the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until puffy and mostly touching in the pan.
  • Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown, about 23 minutes. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes prior to frosting the rolls so the frosting doesn't completely melt.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat together butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth.

Notes

  • The butter for the dough should be soft enough that you can press your finger through it with ease. 
  • See the post above for make-ahead instructions.
  • These can also be made as regular cinnamon rolls by just omitting the apples if you don't have any.
  • The frosting makes a generous amount. If you don't like your cinnamon rolls frosted heavily, then you can reduce the ingredients to make less frosting or just save the extra frosting for another dessert (or eat it by the spoonful :-)).