For us, cinnamon rolls are a wintery treat that we just love for so many reasons — mostly because they please both children and adults alike. They also pair quite well with many traditional holiday dishes, since cinnamon and sugar are the main ingredients celebrated in these little babies. With this cinnamon rolls with apples recipe, you can easily transform a traditional favorite into a more satisfying and detectable treat!
A New Take on a Traditional Treat
We decided to add an extra dimension of flavor to our cinnamon rolls by including apples. Finely diced and added to the filling, the apples become sweeter and softened when cooked. Not only do they add a bit of texture to the traditional treat, but they also add a pop of fresh sweetness to balance out the sugar filling and the icing. The flavor becomes reminiscent of an apple pie, but with a cinnamon roll twist.
For this recipe we started out with a deliciously buttery homemade dough that is then lined with butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples. The dough is then rolled and sliced to form the buns, which plump up when baked. Once cooled slightly, a vanilla frosting is drizzled over the top. The final result is a tray of flakey buns with scrumptiously gooey centers that burst with holiday flavor and a delectable icing that brings it all together.
Serving Your Apple Cinnamon Rolls
While these are considered a dessert, we love this cinnamon rolls with apples recipe for a casual tea party offering or a brunch. Of course, we won’t blame you for serving them as breakfast, either (we have done it a time or two ourselves).
Try pairing them with our Apple Cinnamon Warmth black tea to really bring out the apple-y flavor. If you’re having them in the evening and looking for a caffeine free tea, we definitely suggest our Orange Spice decaf tea. For a night-time tea service, we might also suggest pairing these cinnamon rolls with our lovely dark chocolate avocado cookies or hot cocoa.
Cinnamon Rolls with Apples Recipe
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup + 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 cups chopped and peeled apples (about 2 medium apples)
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the sugar and yeast.
Heat the milk to just above room temperature in the microwave (use 15 second increments). Carefully stir the warm milk into the sugar and yeast mixture.
Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes; the yeast should dissolve and become foamy (if not, start over).
Cream together the milk mixture with 1/2 cup butter.
Add the eggs and salt and continue to mix well.
Gradually mix in the flour and beat until a dough forms. Knead at a lower speed for an additional 5-6 minutes once dough has formed.
Transfer the dough to a lightly-greased bowl. Cover the dough loosely and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Once risen, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch it down. Roll into a large rectangle, about 12 x 18 inches.
Cover the whole surface of the dough with the 6 tablespoons of softened butter. In a small bowl, sift together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Spread the sugar mixture evenly over the buttered dough. Top evenly with the apples.
Tightly roll the shorter end of the dough to form a long log. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and arrange them in a greased baking pan with the edges just barely touching.
Cover and let rest for 30 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Once risen, bake cinnamon rolls for about 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk until an icing forms. Drizzle the icing over the top of the warm rolls as desired.