These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are soft, fluffy, buttery yeasted pastries filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and tart green apples and topped with a nutmeg scented glaze. Apple Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect accompaniment to a warm cup of coffee on a crisp autumn day.
I love autumn. The leaves are beautiful, and there’s nothing like cozying up in front of a warm fire. But the real reason I love autumn is that it’s my favorite season for running. It’s cool enough outside to just throw on a pair of running tights, a long sleeved shirt, and I can head out the door – no gloves, not layers, nothing fancy. Plus, it’s so conducive to long runs. All of a sudden running 13 miles doesn’t feel as tortuous as it did in the summer in 95% humidity.
You know what else autumn means? APPLES!! Apple picking and a tons of apple eating. That includes these Apple Cinnamon Rolls.
The dough for these Apple Cinnamon Rolls is hands down one of my favorites. With the help of a stand mixer and a kneading hook attachment, it comes together in about 15 minutes. And it’s one of those doughs you know is going to make the lightest, fluffiest rolls because it’s just so tender and gorgeous even before it’s baked.
The most complicated part of preparing these Apple Cinnamon Rolls is kneading the dough 10 times using an envelope kneading technique. Before making this recipe I’d never even heard of “envelope kneading”. Here’s how you do it:
Start with your kneaded dough in a ball.
Fold the left and right sides over.
Then flatten a bit, and fold the top and bottoms over. There you have one complete envelope knead. Repeat the steps above 9 more times, and you’re done!
The rest of the process is very straight forward. After allowing the dough to rise and double in volume, pat it out into a large rectangle. Spread the surface with softened butter. Then generously sprinkle the brown sugar filling and lay on the thinly sliced apples.
Once rolled and sliced, these Apple Cinnamon Rolls are ready for another rise. Then they’re off to the oven.
Finally the Apple Cinnamon Rolls are drowned in a nutmeg scented glaze.
These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are seriously killer in the very best way. If you are a fan of apples or of cinnamon rolls (or both, like me) these Apple Cinnamon Rolls are a keeper!
- ½ cup warm water (about 105 degrees F) mixed with 1 tsp honey
- 4½ tsp active, dry yeast
- 5 or 6 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting the work surface when rolling the dough out
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cup whole milk, warm (about 105 degrees F)
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks at room temperature
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 tbs melted butter
- 3 medium Granny Smith green apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin wedges
- 4 tbs unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbs ground cinnamon
- 4 tbs heavy cream
- ¾ cup confectioners' sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- pinch ground nutmeg
- In a small bowl, combine the water and honey mixture with the yeast. Mix, and allow to stand until foamy. (about 5 min)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 5½ cups of flour, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Add the milk, butter, egg yolks, and egg.
- Add the yeast mixture.
- Using the mixer's dough hook, mix on low until combined. Once combined, increase the speed of the mixer to medium. Knead until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough isn't pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add up to ¼ cup flour 1 tbs at a time. (It's better to err on the side of too little flour than too much. Too much flour will result in a tough, dry roll.)
- Knead for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface. Complete 10 envelope kneads (see the post above for more specific instructions).
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel. Place in a warm location and allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 1½ to 2 hours).
- While the dough rises, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon.
- Slice the apples and set aside.
- Once the dough has doubled in volume, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin, pat out and roll about a 20"x16" rectangle.
- Using an offset spatula, spread a thin layer of butter over the dough.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.
- Lay the apples over the top of the dough.
- Start rolling the dough by folding the dough over the first layer of apples. Then roll the dough.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into about 12 pieces.
- Place the rolls on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and then a clean kitchen towel. Allow the rolls to rise for about 45 min.
- While the rolls rise for a second time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- While the rolls bake, mix the glaze ingredients.
- Right before the rolls are baked, have your melted butter and a pastry brush ready.
- As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, brush with butter.
- Drizzle glaze over the rolls.
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