Are you ready for the ultimate fall treat? You should try making these delicious apple cinnamon rolls! Made with homemade cinnamon roll dough and filled with a brown sugar apple pie filling, these sweet treats are sure to be a hit for breakfast or dessert.
Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling
Are you in the mood for some warm, gooey cinnamon rolls? Imagine biting into a soft homemade dough, filled with brown sugar and cinnamon goodness, and then topped with warm cream cheese frosting… All made from scratch.
Sure, you could easily grab a tube of pre-made cinnamon rolls from the grocery store, but where’s the fun in that? Plus, making from scratch means you can brag to your friends and family about how talented of a baker you are.
So, not only am I going to share how to make the best cinnamon rolls at home, but I am going to show you how I give them a fall twist!
Since apple pie is one of my favorites, I thought about combining those flavors into a cinnamon roll… and it was better than I could have ever imagined.
Forget about traditional cinnamon rolls because these ones take it to the next level! The combo of warm cinnamon and sweet apple pie filling will make your taste buds dance with joy.
And guess what? They’re topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting that adds a perfect tangy balance to the sweetness.
It’s like having two amazing desserts in one!
Making cinnamon rolls from scratch can seem intimidating, but trust me, it’s worth it!
Here’s a bit more about what I used…
Cinnamon roll dough
- Almond Milk: I prefer using almond milk as a dairy-free option, but feel free to use regular milk if you prefer. I used 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
- Instant Yeast: To make the dough rise quickly, you’ll need a 0.25 oz package of instant yeast.
- Butter: Add in a 1/4 cup of unsalted butter to make the dough soft and rich. You can also use margarine as a substitute. Make sure it is melted before adding it in.
- White Sugar: Not only does sugar add some sweetness to the dough, but it also helps activate the yeast.
- Eggs: Keep your dough moist and fluffy by adding in 2 eggs.
- Bread Flour: This type of flour is ideal for making cinnamon rolls because it contains a higher protein content, which helps the dough rise better. But all-purpose flour can also be used!
- Salt: Just a pinch of salt helps balance the sweetness and enhances the flavors in the dough.
Apple pie filling
- Apples: For this recipe, I used 3 large-sized apples. You can use any type of apple, but I prefer a combination of tart and sweet apples for the perfect balance of flavors. I used peeled and diced Honeycrisp apples.
- Brown Sugar: This is where the sweetness in the filling comes from. You’ll need 1/2 cup of brown sugar to make it just right.
- Cinnamon: To give the filling that delicious apple pie flavor, add 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
- Butter: Just like in the dough, you’ll also need some melted butter to add richness and moisture to the filling.
Cinnamon sugar mixture
To give the cinnamon rolls some extra sweetness, make a blend of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter to spread onto the dough before adding the apple pie filling.
Cream cheese frosting
- Cream Cheese: To make the frosting creamy and tangy, you’ll need one 8 oz block of softened cream cheese.
- Powdered Sugar: Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar to thicken and sweeten the frosting.
- Butter: To make the frosting rich and smooth, add 1/4 cup of softened butter.
- Milk: Add in a splash of almond milk to give the frosting a thinner consistency.
- Vanilla: Use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to add some flavor to the frosting. I like to use pure vanilla extract for the best taste.
- Salt: Just a pinch of salt is needed to balance the sweetness in the frosting.
Kitchen tools required
Here’s a bit more information about what I used to make these apple cinnamon rolls.
- Large Bowl
- Food-Safe Plastic Wrap
- Slotted Spoon
- Cooking Floss/ Sharp Knife
- Hand Mixer
For measuring, you will need 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/4 cup, 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon.
How to make apple cinnamon rolls
In a large bowl, warm the milk and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for a minute. Whisk in the melted butter, sugar, and eggs until well combined. In another bowl, mix the bread flour and salt.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and stir until mostly combined. Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes on a floured surface.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for about 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a saucepan for the filling. Melt the butter and add the apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix the remaining butter, sugar, and cinnamon for the inside of the dough. Once the dough has risen, roll it out into a large rectangle. Spread the cinnamon/butter/sugar mixture on the dough, leaving a 1-inch gap around the edges.
Add the apple mixture and spread it evenly. Roll tightly from one side to the other. Cut into 9 rolls and place them in a greased baking dish.
Let them rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and bake the rolls for about 25-30 minutes until slightly golden. While baking, blend the frosting ingredients using a hand mixer.
Frost the rolls while warm, or let them cool before frosting. Enjoy!
Below are some common cinnamon roll questions. Don’t see the answer you’re looking for? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
Do I have to use a cream cheese frosting?
No, you can also use a simple icing made with powdered sugar and almond milk. Just mix together 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of almond milk until smooth, then drizzle over the warm rolls.
What else can I add to the apple pie filling?
Feel free to get creative and add in some chopped pecans or raisins for extra texture and flavor.
You can also go the salted caramel route and drizzle some caramel sauce over the rolls instead of the frosting.
Can I make these ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dough and filling ahead of time and store them separately in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Just make sure to let the dough come to room temperature before rolling it out.
Can I freeze these cinnamon rolls?
Yes, you can also freeze them after baking and frosting. Just thaw and reheat in the microwave or oven when ready to enjoy!
If there are any leftovers (which is unlikely!), store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat, place the rolls on a baking sheet and heat in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5-10 minutes or until warm.
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
Here are some of my favorite apple recipes you should make next. Enjoy!
- Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Apple Crumble Cheesecake
- Fall Apple Turkey Burgers
- Pecan Crusted Pork With Apple Chutney
- Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal
Recipe by Erin Morrissey and Photos by The Mindful Hapa
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- .25oz package instant yeast
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3.5 cups bread flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 large honeycrisp apples, peeled + diced
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 1 8oz block cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp almond milk
Alternate simple icing:
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- In a large bowl, warm milk until 110F. I do this by microwaving for 45 seconds. Sprinkle yeast on top of milk and let sit for a minute.
- Whisk melted butter, sugar, and eggs into milk mixture and whisk well.
- In a separate bowl, mix together bread flour and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to milk mixture and stir with wooden spoon until mostly combined. Dough can be a little shaggy.
- Knead dough by hand for 5 minutes on a floured surface, you want the dough to be slightly sticky but not enough to stick to your hands so add more flour as needed.
- Form into ball and place in bottom of greased large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm spot for 90 minutes. I used the ‘Keep Warm’ feature on my oven at 145F with the door cracked. Another alternative would be on top of a stove that is turned on, or an oven that was turned out to 250F and turned off for five minutes, then the dough placed inside with the door cracked (oven no longer on but warm). Dough should double in size.
- Meanwhile, heat a saucepan for the filling. Add the butter, and once the butter has melted, add the apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Let this mixture simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat after 10 minutes and set aside.
- Mix together remaining butter, sugar, and cinnamon mixture for the inside of the dough. Set aside.
- Once risen, roll dough out onto floured surface into a large rectangle shape, about 9×14 or slightly larger. Spread cinnamon/butter/sugar mixture all over the dough leaving a 1-inch gap around all edges.
- Add apple mixture inside the sugar mixture and spread evenly. Use a slotted spoon and leave behind majority of the liquid, with some being okay.
- Roll tightly from one side to the other, keeping it nice and tight the whole time.
- Once in a long roll, cut into 9 rolls using floss or a sharp knife (I prefer using floss to cut it). Place rolls into greased baking dish. You can use a 9×11 dish, a 9×13 dish, or a large round cake pan.
- Let rolls rise once more for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
- Turn oven to 350F and bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden.
- While baking, prepare frosting by blending all of the ingredients together with a hand mixer.
- Frost cinnamon rolls when still warm, or once cooled if preferred.
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