Sweet Tooth Friday: Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

by Allison @ Alli 'n Son on October 6, 2011

Normally at this time of the year I have a cinnamon candle burning on the stove at all hours of the day. I just can’t get enough of that sweet, cinnamon scent once the weather turns cool. There’s just something so warming and comforting about cinnamon.

It’s enough to make me forget about the coming months of freezing weather heading our way.


But this year there have been no candles. I’ve been filling our house with the heavenly cinnamon aroma by baking apple dumplings and apple muffins.

Can you practically smell it?

I’m still working my way through the giant bag of apples my mom dropped on my door step a few weeks ago. I love baking with apples, but it takes a little more work with the peeling, coring and slicing or grating. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth it. But these days I don’t always have the extra time, between feeding the little man, running to preschool, visiting with friends and attempting (but failing) to keep the house clean, I’m lucky that I have enough time to sleep.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

But this recipe is one that I’m willing to lose a little sleep over. I had to make it twice, because it just wasn’t up to my baking standards the first try. I wasn’t about to give up though. I knew that if I kept at it, I would prefect it.

And I did.

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

It’s an apple pie rolled into a cinnamon roll. With a sweet but not-too-sweet glaze, these are the perfect way to begin any chilly day. Or for lunch. Or perhaps even as dessert. Or all three, who am I to judge?

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls


  • 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • Filling
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup peeled, cored, grated apple (1 to 2 large apples, 3-4 small apples)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons half and half, milk or water


  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter, vanilla, egg and milk, then mix with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook on low speed until a shaggy dough forms, 2-3 minutes. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  2. With the dough hook mix the dough on low speed for about 10 minutes. It will feel slightly sticky and soft. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if the dough feels firm or dry. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it's almost doubled, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Filling
  4. Stir together the sugars, flour and spices.
  5. Mix the grated apples with the lemon juice, then add to the flour and sugar mixture. Mix well, and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Make the Rolls
  7. Spray a 9x12 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  8. Gently deflate the dough and place it onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold it over once or twice to remove any excess gas. Roll into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. If the dough resists, let it rest for 15 minutes, then try again. Spread the filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1/2-inch board along all sides.
  9. Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge by pinching it closed. Using a sharp knife cut the log into 12 even slices. Place the slices cut side up in the prepared 9x12 baking dish, placing them close together, but not touching. Allow the rolls to rise till they’re puffy, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350º.
  11. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool for about 1 hour before glazing and serving.
  12. Glaze
  13. Mix together all of the glaze ingredients and drizzle it over the rolls. Serve the rolls at room temperature or warm.
  14. Makes 12 giant rolls
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Inspired by King Arthur Flour.

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