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11 Easy Kitchen Hacks

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

on March 8, 2022
last updated April 19, 2022
5 from 1 vote

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These Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling are made up of fluffy dough filled with cinnamon-coated fresh apples and smothered with smooth and creamy icing for the ultimate breakfast treat.
oval baking dish with 6 cinnamon rolls in it, half with icing half without

Looking to up-level your cinnamon rolls? These Cinnamon Roll with Apple Pie filling add that fresh element to take your cinnamon rolls from delicious to outrageously delicious!

The only thing that can elevate ooey-gooey, fluffy cinnamon rolls is adding crisp and fresh cinnamon-coated apples for some extra flavor and crunch.

baking dish with all cinnamon rolls and one red apple

Arguably the best thing about cinnamon rolls is it’s a sweet treat worthy of dessert disguised as breakfast. And fusing delicious apple pie with classic cinnamon rolls only brings MORE deliciousness to your morning.

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling Ingredients



Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Warm water. To jumpstart the activation of your yeast. It doesn’t have to be piping hot, warm from the tap will do!
  • Brown sugar. To work with the yeast.
  • Instant yeast. This will give you more fluffiness than active-dry yeast in a shorter amount of time.
  • All-purpose flour. For the base of your dough.
  • Granulated sugar. For some sweetness.
  • Salt. To amp up the flavor in your dough.
  • Unsalted butter. For moisture. It’s best for the dough if your butter is melted.
  • Milk. For more moisture.
  • Egg. To act as a binder and help with leavening.
powdered sugar, egg, brown sugar, butter, instant yeast, milk, salt, granulated sugar, and warm water
All-purpose flour, egg, brown sugar, unsalted butter, instant yeast, milk, salt, granulated sugar, and warm water

Apple Pie Filling Ingredients

Here’s what you need:

  • Apples. To add some crunch and freshness to your rolls.
  • Unsalted butter. For that ooey-gooey center. It’s easiest to work with in this filling when it’s softened.
  • Brown sugar. To add flavor and sweetness to your apples.
  • Cinnamon. What are cinnamon rolls without it?
brown sugar, apples, butter, and cinnamon
Brown sugar, apples, butter, and cinnamon

Simple Icing Ingredients

Here is everything you’ll need to pull off that perfect finishing touch:

  • Powdered sugar. aka confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.
  • Vanilla extract. For flavor.
  • Milk. To get that perfect consistency.
powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract
Powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling Tips and Tricks



Start With Your Yeast

The first step to a fluffy cinnamon roll dough is activating your yeast. This is as simple as mixing it with warm water and sugar and covering it.

After about 5 minutes, you should see bubbles on the surface of the mixture, which will indicate to you that your yeast is activated.

Add your warm water, sugar, and yeast to a bowl and cover it first, then set it aside to activate while you mix the rest of your ingredients.

Adding a packet of instant yeast to a large mixing bowl with hot water and brown sugar

Use a Separate Bowl

While your yeast is activating, use a second, larger mixing bowl to bring the rest of your ingredients together.

Add the flour, granulated sugar, salt, melted butter, milk, and egg to the bowl. It’s best to make sure the butter isn’t too hot when you add it to the mixture. This can risk you curdling the milk or scrambling the egg.

Melt your butter first and then allow it to cool for a couple of minutes before adding it to your dough mixture.

You can melt the butter in the microwave starting with 20 seconds, stirring, and then heating in ten-second intervals, stirring in between until completely melted.

Otherwise, you can melt it in a small pot on the stove over low heat.

adding sugar to a large mixing bowl to make cinnamon rolls

Add in the Yeast Mixture

Once the yeast is activated, add it to the rest of your ingredients and use a whisk or wooden spoon to stir. Your dough will be thick and sticky, so you may even need to use your hands to bring it together.

adding activated yeast mixture to mixing bowl with other cinnamon roll ingredients

Generously Flour Your Surface

Next, generously flour a clean, flat surface, and add some flour to your hands to avoid too much dough sticking to them when you knead. I like to use a large cutting board for easier clean-up.

adding flour to the surface of a cutting board to knead dough out on

Time Yourself

The dough should be kneaded for about 3 minutes. I know 3 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but kneading is a workout!

Time yourself to ensure you are giving the dough the full 3 minutes it requires. As you are kneading, you may find that your surface needs more flour.

Continue to add flour at your discretion, to avoid the dough sticking to your surface.

kneading cinnamon roll dough on a floured surface

Allow it to Rise

Next, it’s time to place your kneaded dough back into the bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel.

With instant yeast, you’ll get a rise pretty quickly! You will allow the dough to rise more later, once the cinnamon rolls are formed, but for now, we are just looking for some height.

Set the dough aside to rise, covered, for just about 10 minutes while you prepare your filling.

covering the cinnamon roll dough for a second time to allow it to rise

Cream Together the Butter, Sugar, and Cinnamon

The first step to making your filling is to add your softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a mixing bowl.

Use a hand mixer or whisk to combine. At this point, the filling will be thick, almost resembling a paste.

Prep Your Apples

Peel your apples and cut them around the core. Then, dice them into small pieces.

Truly, any apples will work in this recipe, but I find any apple that has some tartness is preferred. It adds some contrast to the otherwise very sweet treat.

Avoid super-sweet apples like Fuji if you can. I usually make these with green apples or Pink Ladies.

Add Your Apple

Once your apples are peeled and diced, add them to the butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Use a spatula to fold the diced apple into the butter spread, coating each piece.

adding chopped apple to butter and sugar and cinnamon mixture

Roll Out Your Dough

Once your dough has had some time to rise, add more flour to your surface. Turn the dough out onto your floured surface and add some flour to your rolling pin.

Use your rolling pin to roll out your dough into a rectangle shape, roughly 9″ by 12″. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s best to keep the dough as even in thickness as possible for the best filling distribution in your rolls.

Using a rolling pin to roll out cinnamon roll dough

Add Your Apple Pie Filling

Once your dough is rolled flat, pour your filling on top.

Use a spatula to spread out the coated apples, leaving about a 1/2-inch margin on all sides. Again, try your best to get the layer of filling as even as possible on the dough.

Adding apple pie filling to cinnamon roll dough

Roll it Up!

Face the rectangle so that the short side is closest to you. Then, carefully roll the dough away from you, as tight as you can, until you are left with a cylinder, about 12″ long.

Slice ‘Em Up

Slice your cylinder into 6 even pieces, about 2″ wide. You should now be left with 6 individual cinnamon rolls.

Slicing into rolled dough into individual cinnamon rolls

Add To Your Dish and Cover

For these rolls, I used a 13.5″ long oval baking dish, but you can also use an 11.5″ x 11.5″ square or 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

Add your rolls to your baking dish, with the prettiest swirl side up. Leave at least an inch of space in between each roll, to allow them space to spread.

Cover your rolls with a clean kitchen towel and allow them to rise for an hour and a half before baking.

using a clean kitchen towel to cover cinnamon rolls so they can rise

The Rolls Will Rise To Fill In Any Extra Space

Once covered, the rolls will continue to rise to fill the extra space in the baking dish.

If after 90 minutes you don’t feel the cinnamon rolls have enlarged enough, preheat your oven and set the rolls on top.

The heat from the oven should speed up the rising process.

Once your rolls are nice and fluffy, bake them until the top starts to turn golden brown. At 375°F, this should only take 25-30 minutes.

Please note that you may notice some liquid at the bottom of your baking pan—leave it. This is just moisture from the apples. They will bake into your rolls in the oven and actually add moisture.

Make Your Icing

While your cinnamon rolls are baking, whip up your icing!

Start by adding the powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl. Use your hand mixer on high or a whisk to combine.

While continually mixing, start to slowly add your milk. Please note you may not need all three tablespoons to get the consistency you want.

Ideally, you want a smooth icing that is still thick but easily runs off of your whisk.

Using a hand mixer to whisk while adding milk to the icing

Add the Icing

Once your cinnamon rolls are golden brown, remove them from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Allow them to cool for about ten minutes before adding your icing.

Ideally, you will add the icing when the rolls are still warm, so some of that delicious, sticky icing is soaked up by the roll.

However, you don’t want to add the icing when the rolls are piping hot because it will completely melt into the rolls.

Storing Your Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

These Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling will stay fresh at room temperature covered for two days.

In an airtight container in the refrigerator, they will last up to a week. If you want to extend their life even further, you can freeze them for up to two months!

From the freezer, thaw overnight before you dig in. If you want to enjoy one warm from room temperature or out of the fridge, you can microwave them on high for 25-35 seconds.

one cinnamon roll on a cooling rack with icing dripping off the side

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling Frequently Asked Questions



Should you cook apple pie filling before baking?

Many apple pie recipes require you to cook the filling before baking it in a crust. This is a great way to cook off excess moisture to keep your pie crust nice and crispy.

In this case, you do not need to cook the apple pie filling before adding it to your cinnamon rolls. The liquid will mostly be evaporated by your dough, adding some moisture.

Any excess liquid will evaporate in the oven.

Do you put eggs in cinnamon rolls?

Most cinnamon roll recipes, including this one, use an egg to bind the dough and to help with leavening.

Why You Should Make these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling



  • The texture. Light and fluffy dough with an ooey-gooey cinnamon center and sticky and sweet, smooth icing.
  • The extra element. The addition of apples to the traditional cinnamon roll makes these something special!
  • The aroma! These are such a delight to ALL of your senses. This recipe makes your kitchen smell absolutely heavenly!

If you’re loving these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling and want more delicious brunch ideas incorporating apples, check out this Sweet & Savory Apple and Cheddar Quiche and these Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties with Apple and Sage.

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Marley Goldin Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

6

rolls
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Resting Time

1

hour 

30

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

15

minutes

These Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling are made up of fluffy dough filled with cinnamon-coated fresh apples and smothered with smooth and creamy icing for the ultimate breakfast treat.

Ingredients


  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1/4 cup warm water

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour + more for flouring the surface to knead

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1/2 cup milk (cows or unsweetened non-dairy)

  • 1 large egg


  • Apple Pie Filling
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • 2 large apples, peeled and diced


  • Icing
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons milk (cows or unsweetened non-dairy)

Directions


  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together warm water, brown sugar, and yeast. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to activate. You will know your yeast is activated when little bubbles appear on the surface of the mixture.
  • In a separate large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, butter, milk, and egg.
  • Once your yeast is activated, add it to the large mixing bowl with the other ingredients and stir until it comes together.
  • Cover a clean, flat surface with flour, and knead your dough for 3 minutes. Your dough will be sticky, continue to add flour to your hands and the surface as needed.
  • Place your dough back in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel to rise for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, make your apple pie filling.

  • Apple Pie Filling
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a whisk or hand mixer to cream together butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Peel and cut your apples around the core, then dice them into small pieces. Fold the apple bits into your butter/sugar/cinnamon mixture, and stir until evenly coated.
  • Once your dough has doubled in size, add more flour to your surface and use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a rectangular shape, roughly 9 x 12 inches.
  • Pour your apple pie filling onto your dough and use a spatula to spread it out evenly over the surface, leaving about 1/2 inch margin on all sides.
  • Working from the shorter side, use two hands to start to tightly roll your dough away from you, until you’re left with a cylinder, about 12 inches long.
  • Slice your cylinder into 6 equal parts, about 2 inches wide to create 6 individual cinnamon rolls.
  • Add your cinnamon rolls to a baking dish (I used a 13.5-inch oval, but you can also use an 11.5-inch square or 13 x 9-inch rectangular dish), leaving about an inch in between each roll.
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow the rolls to rest for about 90 minutes or until they double in size.

    Note: You will notice some liquid in your pan from the juice in the apples, but that’s okay! It will add moisture to your cinnamon rolls.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F and bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops of your rolls are golden brown.

  • Icing
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add your powdered sugar and vanilla extract and use a whisk or hand mixer to combine.
  • While you are mixing, slowly start to add in your milk until your form a thick glaze. You want it to easily run off of your whisk without being too liquidy.

    Note: you may not need all 3 tablespoons of milk.
  • Allow your cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling to cool for about 10 minutes before adding your icing. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Any type of apple will work in this recipe, but my favorites are more tart apples, like Granny Smith or Pink Lady.

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