These gooey apple cinnamon rolls with caramel frosting are a fun dessert. Made from scratch, these sweet sticky buns are filled with fresh apples and then slathered in a homemade caramel frosting.
This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated for content.
These apple stuffed cinnamon rolls are a twist on our family favorite, overnight cinnamon rolls. They are the best treat for a cool Fall night or holiday brunch. I highly recommend eating them warm out of the oven with the freshly made caramel frosting slathered on top!
🍎 Ingredient notes
- Apples - There are a TON of varieties of apples to choose from when cooking or baking. My go to's are typically gala, fuji or pink lady apples. They all have a fairly sweet flavor that is good for baking.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Nuts - Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on top of the other filling ingredients before rolling up and cutting the cinnamon rolls.
- Frosting - Instead of caramel frosting, a more standard cinnamon roll frosting can be used or your favorite store bought frosting may also be used.
🥣 Step by step instructions
First, heat the milk in a small pot on the stove until bubbles just start to form on the top. Mix the warm milk with the warm water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl and let it set for 5 minutes till foamy.
Mix in the egg and 2 cups of the flour and then while the mixer is still running, add in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides and forms a ball. Knead the dough by hand or in a mixer for 5-10 minutes until it's smooth and elastic.
Grease a clean bowl with butter or baking spray and place the dough inside. Cover and let it sit for about an hour, until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and shape into a large rectangle.
Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough and then sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and apples. Starting on the long side, roll up the dough as tightly as possible with the filling inside.
Cut the roll into 12 equal pieces and place them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
Cover the rolls and let them rise for another hour until doubled in size. Bake the apple cinnamon rolls in a 350˚ oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown
While the rolls are cooling, combine the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream in a pot on the stovetop until it starts to boil. Allow the mixture to boil for about 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches 220˚ when checked with candy or kitchen thermometer.
Remove the pot off of the heat and whisk in the powdered sugar. Continue to whisk until the frosting is smooth and no lumps of sugar remain.
Pour the fresh caramel frosting over the cinnamon rolls and use an offset spatula to spread the frosting completely over the top of them.
⭐ Expert tips
- Make sure to warm the milk up until it just barely shows bubbles on the surface. If you heat it too much, it will burn and possibly kill the yeast. The temperature of the warm water and milk should be around 110˚ when checked with a kitchen thermometer.
- The amount of flour required for the cinnamon roll dough will vary based on temperature, humidity and method of measuring. All of the flour may need to be used or you may need more or less. The dough has enough flour when it pulls away from the bowl and is no longer sticky, but tacky when touched.
- Rising times may be less or more depending on the temperature and humidity. Try to place the dough in a warm spot to help them rise properly.
- Allow the baked cinnamon rolls about 10-15 minutes to cool while you make the frosting. This will make sure that the frosting will coat and cover the cinnamon rolls, but not completely melt off of them.
⏲️ Make ahead instructions
The cinnamon rolls can be prepped the night before to make for easy baking the next morning.
- Follow the instructions for making the cinnamon rolls all the way up to just before the second rising time.
- After placing the cut rolls on a sheet pan, cover it tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator to rise slowly overnight.
- In the morning, remove them from the refrigerator 1 hour before baking time to allow them time to come to room temperature.
- Frosting can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Heat in a pot on low on the stovetop, stirring frequently until just warm enough to pour on the cinnamon rolls.
🥡 Storage suggestions
The baked and frosted apple cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. They can be heated up in the microwave for 15-30 seconds to make them warm again.
🍪 More dessert recipes
If you loved this recipe for apple cinnamon rolls with caramel frosting, check out these other dessert recipes that I know you will love too!
Don't forget! If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and give it a rating. I love to hear from each and every one of you! Tag me on Facebook and Instagram as well! It makes my day to see all of your photos of the food you have made.Print