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Glazed Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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Enjoy this easy recipe for Glazed Apple Cinnamon Rolls. Each roll is stuffed with brown sugar and apples and topped with vanilla glaze.

side view of Glazed Apple Cinnamon Rolls on a white plate

Today I’m sharing my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls. I’ve gotten fairly good a working with yeast dough. They no longer intimidate me.

I’ll walk you through the steps that I took to achieve the best homemade apple cinnamon rolls. That’s right. These are the best!

These rolls are perfect for the fall and since we are fast approaching cooler nights and changing leaves, I figured it was time to start baking fall treats.

This dough is soft and sweet. The rolls bake up nice and puffy. The center is filled with diced apples, butter, and cinnamon brown sugar. As the rolls bake the brown sugar melts and become all gooey and sticky.

I topped these beauties with a homemade glaze that can be applied while the rolls are still warm so the glaze will melt and run down into the coiled cracks.

Tips on achieving great apple cinnamon rolls:

Start with 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry active yeast, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and ¾ cup of apple cider that you have warmed on the stove to 110F degrees. Allow the yeast to dissolve in the sugary cider for about 5 minutes. Stir it and then combine it with butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and egg.

Once these ingredients are well combined, add in only 1 cup of the flour and mix until thoroughly combined. If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for all of the steps I just mentioned. Otherwise, a handheld mixer will work just fine.

Switch to the dough hook on your stand mixer or use a wooden spoon to stir for the following steps. Add only enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. (My dough took all of the remaining 2 cups.) Do this by adding ¼ cup flour at a time while the mixer is set to low.

Once the dough is soft and springy, no longer sticky, it has enough flour and is ready to knead. You can check to be sure the dough is ready by poking it with two fingers. If it bounces back, it is ready.

Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out. Knead it about 5 times. Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest for 5 minutes. Resting is important so that the glutens can relax, making it easier to roll out.

If you have one of those guided rolling mats, use that to roll the dough out. Roll it into an 18×6 inch rectangle. I don’t have a nifty rolling mat so I just used a ruler.

Spread melted butter all over the dough. Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon to spread over the butter. I used my hands to smear it all over and press it into the dough as I went along.

Peel and dice one large apple. That should come to about ½ cup. Be sure to dice the apple small. This just makes it easier to roll the dough up without fighting large chunks of apple.

Now comes the most difficult part for me. Rolling the dough up. It needs to be tight and all the air pockets squeezed out as you roll. I had a hard time with this. I ended up having to rewrap each individual roll after it was cut, just to tighten it.

Go slow and get it as tight as you can before cutting it. Don’t forget to pinch the seam, so they don’t unravel on you. Using a sharp knife or flavorless wax floss cut the rolled dough into 1-½ inch slices. Place the slices in a greased 12 cup muffin pan.

Cover the pan and store it in a warm place for 1 hour until the rolls double in size. These rolls, in particular, are only meant to rise once.

Now you may slide these bad boys into the oven to bake for 13-15 minutes. They smell amazing!

As the rolls bake, prepare the glaze. Combine all the ingredients and whisk. It’s too easy!

The whole recipe is super easy. Anyone can make these apple cinnamon rolls.

side view of glazed apple cinnamon rolls on plate

Glazed Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

The rolls are sweet, buttery, tender, and one of the best fall treats. The recipe is easy and anyone can achieve success with these rolls. There’s apple cider in the dough for intense apple flavor along with loads of chopped apples in the center. Enjoy the rolls with your morning coffee!


For the dough

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast, 1 packet
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature – lightly beaten
  • 3 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (105 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup (85 g) finely chopped apple, about 1 medium apple – any variety

For the glaze

  • ¼ cup (56 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar


Make the rolls

  1. In a small saucepan, heat cider and sugar over medium heat to 110ºF degrees.
  2. Add yeast to warm cider mixture, stir to dissolve; let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons butter, vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and yeast mixture. Add egg; blend well.
  4. Add 1 cup flour; mix on low speed until well blended. Slowly add in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly 5 times. Cover with a damp towel or cloth and let rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into an 18×6-inch rectangle. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon butter all over the top of the dough.
  6. Mix together brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over dough. Sprinkle chopped apples over top of the brown sugar.
  7. Starting at the short side, roll the dough up; pinch seam to seal. Slice roll into 1 and ½-inch slices.
  8. Place slices in a greased muffin pan. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned. Remove from pan immediately and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Make the glaze

  1. Combine cream cheese, vanilla extract, and milk in a small bowl. Whisk to blend together. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar until the mixture is smooth. Drizzle over rolls.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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