Filled with cinnamon apple butter, these soft cinnamon rolls are only improved when glazed with a bourbon caramel sauce.
By Renee Sitavich
Bursting with warm flavors, these apple cinnamon rolls are the perfect start to any cold day.
Dripping with caramel sauce and crammed full of apple cinnamon goodness, these cinnamon rolls will quickly become your go-to recipe for a sweet cinnamon roll treat. The dough is soft and slightly sweet. The filling is rich and buttery. The topping guarantees you will get your fingers sticky. All in all, they satisfy all of my requirements for a perfect cinnamon roll.
These cinnamon rolls come together fairly quickly and easily. The key to getting them just right is allowing the dough enough time to rest and to rise. If you try to rush it, you will get dense, tough rolls that can be difficult to chew. Pay attention to the temperature in your kitchen and remember that yeast will work only on it’s own time.
After baking, the tops will turn a beautiful golden brown color and your house will smell like a bakery. Don’t those look yummy?! Let them cool in the pan while you make the glaze. You can use a simple icing glaze of powdered sugar and water, or even a cream cheese icing like those famous rolls from the mall. I, however, decided to go with my bourbon caramel sauce, the one I shared with you for the Apple Crumble last month. See the recipe here.
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅓ cup butter
- 3½ - 4 cups flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup water
- 1 cup apple butter
- See the link above for the recipe
- Cut butter into 1 tablespoon sized chunks.
- Place butter and milk in a small sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until butter is almost melted.
- Remove from heat and continue stirring until butter is fully incorporated.
- Pour butter and milk mixture into a 2 cup or larger liquid measuring cup and allow to cool until it feels neither hot nor cool to the touch.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer measure out 3 cups of flour, 2 tsp of instant yeast, ¼ cup of sugar, and ½ tsp of salt. Mix to combine.
- Once the butter and milk has cooled (around 95 - 105 degrees) add the water and egg. Whisk to combine.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture in the stand mixer.
- Using the dough hook, turn the mixer to low.
- After about 3 minutes the mixture should be sticky and slightly wet.
- Add in the next ½ cup of flour gradually until you have a shaggy dough.
- Turn it out onto a clean, well floured work surface. Knead for 7 - 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, not sticky, and bounces back to the touch.
- Shape it into a ball and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a large rectangle that is approximately 14" x 20" and ¼" thick.
- Evenly spread 1 cup of apple butter on top of the dough's surface.
- Starting with the long side of the rectangle, gently roll the dough towards you. Be careful not to tear the dough, or roll too tightly and push out the apple butter.
- Place the seam side of the roll down and slice into 12 equal pieces. Start by slicing the roll in half, then half again, then dividing the quarters into thirds.
- Place each individual roll into a buttered 9" x 13" pan, keeping the smaller rolls towards the center to prevent burning.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel, place in a warm spot, and allow to rise for 30 - 90 minutes or until the rolls have doubled in size.
- Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.