Apple Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

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It’s hard to improve upon one of the best breakfast comfort foods ever invented: the cinnamon roll. But when fall rolls around, I have a tendency to add apples to everything—hence, these apple cinnamon rolls. This autumn variation on the bakery classic is a great way to use up apples from fall apple picking.

Apple cinnamon rolls consist of pillowy brioche dough, cinnamon apple filling, and maple cream cheese frosting. Their sweet, warming flavors make them the perfect comfort food for chilly fall weather.

The process of making cinnamon rolls takes a few hours (most of it hands-off), so it is a nice activity for a relaxing weekend at home. Serve apple cinnamon rolls for dessert or as an indulgent breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea.

Simply Recipe / Hannah Zimmerman


The Best Apples For This Recipe

Use firm, crispy apples that will hold their structure when they are baked. Some varieties that work well are Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Cortland, and Golden Delicious. Steer clear of softer varieties, like McIntosh and Macoun, as they will become mushy while baking.

Proofing the Dough Overnight

This recipe is even more delicious if you make the dough ahead of time and proof it overnight. An extended proof time allows the flavors to meld together and splits up the prep work.

To proof the dough overnight, make it the day before you plan to bake. Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Transfer to the fridge to let it slowly rise for 12 hours, or until it has doubled in size, and then proceed with the recipe.

Simply Recipe / Hannah Zimmerman


Baking Tips and Tricks

  • Check your yeast. Is it fresh and active? If not, you won’t get good results from this recipe.
  • Don’t overheat the milk. If it is too hot, it will kill the yeast. When you touch the milk, it should resemble the temperature of warm bath water, about 110°F.
  • Use very soft (but not melted) butter. I recommend taking the butter out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you start baking for pillowy, light dough.

How to Store Leftovers

You can store leftover cinnamon rolls at room temperature for up to 2 days. You can individually wrap each cinnamon roll with plastic wrap or just place a layer of plastic wrap over the whole baking dish. Store the frosting separately in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Leftover cinnamon rolls taste best if you reheat them. Put a leftover cinnamon roll on a microwave-safe plate and add a dollop of cold frosting on top. Microwave the cinnamon roll and frosting together for 20 to 30 seconds. Your cinnamon roll will come out melty, warm, and sooo delicious!

Simply Recipe / Hannah Zimmerman


Sweet Rolls For Every Occasion

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