Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Cream Cheese Icing

It’s fall, and I’ve got apples on my mind: apple pie, apple cider, cider doughnuts, basically anything apple. I was really in the mood to make apple something, but I was also in the mood to make bread or something yeasty. I thought about chop chop bread, but quickly thought of good old fashioned cinnamon rolls, and began to taste them as soon as the thought entered my mind. I was going to make apple cinnamon rolls with caramel cream cheese icing.  You can’t go wrong with apples and caramel.  They go together like peanut butter and jelly.

I knew I didn’t want to make a fritter-like roll with chunks of apple (I may or may not have food texture issues), so I used my handy mandolin and sliced the apples as thin as I could, layered them, and rolled them with the dough.  I will fully admit that it was a bit of a mess, and there was a bit of swearing happening as I put the rolls in the pan, but they turned out beautifully!  I saved time buy using salted caramel sauce from Trader Joe’s, and lightly drizzled the icing on the rolls.  I set extra icing aside in a small bowl for dipping. 

The rolls were great.  The dough was soft and fluffy, and the apples were soft without being mushy and full of cinnamon and brown sugar.  It reminded me of an apple brown betty.  My somewhat fruit adverse son gobbled them up, and so did I.


apple cinnamon rolls with caramel cream cheese icing

for the rolls

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (110°F)
  • ½ cup milk (scalded (heated to 180°F))
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg

for the filling

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 granny smith apples (sliced thin)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)

for the icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • Milk (as needed to thin icing)

make the rolls:

  1. Combine yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let sit until the yeast has become frothy. Combine milk, sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Using a dough hook, add 1 ½ cup of flour to milk mixture, and combine on medium speed until well combined. Add yeast and egg, beating well. Slowly add remaining flour forming a soft dough and beat well. Dough will be tacky. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double (about 1 ½ hours).
  3. Heat the apples in a microwave safe bowl for approximately one minute. You want to the apples to be limp, but not mushy.
  4. While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll about to 9 by 13 inch rectangle with the longer side facing you. Spread the 4 tablespoons of butter on top of the rectangle leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Layer the apple slices on top of sugar mixture. Carefully roll the dough, starting with the longest side facing you and pinch the edges to seal. Cut the roll into 1-inch slices and place sliced side down into the baking pan. Cover and let rise for an hour. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

make the icing:

  1. Combine cream cheese and caramel. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If the icing is too thick, you gradually add milk until desired consistency is reached.


28 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks like a perfect weekend breakfast – I have yet to make my own cinnamon rolls from scratch, but this has me itchin’ to try it out!

  2. Amanda Mason says:

    These look so delish and look so perfect for the fall season! I can see myself eating on of these on my Thanksgiving holiday break I have coming up!!

  3. Your rolls look so good I thought I’d lick my computer screen. Apples and caramel oh my that is so tempting. I’ll be sure to stop at Trader Joe and get the sauce.

  4. Fall is the perfect time for apples and cinnamon. These would be great for breakfast!

  5. Apple and Cinnamon – perfect combination. I Love the smell in the house when you bake cinnamon rolls this sounds so perfect. Saving for later. YUM!

  6. YESSSS! These look amazing and I love the apple in them!!!

  7. A Forks Tale says:

    OMG! This looks like the ultimate cinnamon rolls. Adding apples is brilliant. I can’t wait to make these.

  8. Monica says:

    I am so wishing I had these for breakfast .. no, for an afternoon snack .. wait, both! Aaah! Let’s be honest, you had me at caramel cream cheese frosting, and I never looked back. 🙂

  9. Amanda Mason says:

    We are in the season to make anything with apples so I’m all over this recipe! I LOVE cinnamon rolls!! And the add of apple – oh yummy! What a great addition!

  10. sugarlovespices says:

    We still have 3 bags of apples from our friends’ acreage to dispose of, so recipes like this are perfect! I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for quite some time and never found the right recipe. Thank you!

  11. Laineey says:

    I have apples on my mind too. Like big time! These apple cinnamon rolls look so yummy! I can’t wait to make these!!

  12. Anne Murphy says:

    I like the way the apples are rolled right into the rolls! Lovely.

  13. Jenni says:

    These look fluffy and delicious! I wish there was a batch on my desk right now!

  14. It did! I wanted to add just a little tartness to the sweet rolls.

  15. Everything is better with bacon!

  16. cheddarben says:

    That glaze looks ridiculously good.

  17. I’ve never made cinnamon rolls before, but the hubs sure does love them! These sound amazing- I love that you added apple!!! And I bet the granny smith cut the sweet a little- yum!

  18. I’d love these for breakfast! I think I would add a little chopped bacon into the icing too for a little salty sweet combo!

  19. OMG my mouth is watering looking at this pics. This would be the perfect weekend brunch idea. I have lots of fresh apples…and just might have to whip up a batch (or two) of these tasty buns.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s