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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Forgive me for being so quite on twitter and here. I’ve been enjoying all the comments on the brownie post, thank you for taking the time to respond.

On Tuesday I leave for DC for a week, for Leigh’s final graduation ceremony and a Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Richmond, and I’ve managed to convince him to go to Colonial Williamsburg because I’m a giant history nerd and he loves me. Originally it wasn’t going to be that big of a difficult to leave school that long since I only had one midterm that week. That professor was completely ok with me taking the exam early. Then a week ago one of my accounting professors moved our midterm from the 28th of October to November 2nd. The day I’m traveling. I still don’t have a date one when I’m making up that exam, but at least I won’t be penalized for not taking it on the 2nd. But still stress. And projects, and yikes. Life. Ugh. Someone wake me up when the semester is over.

Luckily I have a small backlog of things I’ve really wanted to share, like these apple cinnamon rolls. They were supposed to have a caramel cream cheese glaze over them, but I got lazy. And I didn’t have the caramel sauce. So I told myself  that clearly, I was making them healthier by not using the glaze.

yes one is GIGANTIC and one is lilliputian, but that’s because I can’t judge how to cut things. Don’t even ask me to cut cheese. It isn’t pretty.

I got this recipe from Annie at Annie’s Eats her rolls look much flakier, probably because I got lazy before finishing these guys and just put the dough in the fridge and let it sit there overnight.

But really, they still turned out deliciously. More like cinnamon bread with apples in it than cinnamon rolls, but I suspect that is mostly because I didn’t make the glaze because I didn’t have the caramel sauce. Yes, yes, I could have gone to the store to get it I suppose but I’m lazy.

Without the glaze, they reminded me of gooey cinnamon raisin bread but with apples instead of raisins.

Were I to make these again, I’d make the cinnamon rolls in one go and then refrigerate them after rolling and cutting the rolls. Also, I found that I didn’t have enough of the apple filling. At least not as much as I thought I should have, so I made a second batch of filling. I was using the last of my apples from Apple Hill so they were much smaller than the apples you get a your local supermarket, so that may have also been part of the problem.

Anyway, I really liked these and only feel mildly sheepish that I didn’t make the glaze. Maybe next time :).

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

From Annie’s Eats

Yield: 8-12 large cinnamon rolls or 12-16 smaller rolls
For the cinnamon rolls:
6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
5½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon zest
3½ cups bread flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 cup plus 2-4 tbsp. whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon

For the glaze:
4 oz. cream cheese
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. caramel sauce
1 tbsp. milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar


Cream together, with the paddle attachment: sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth. Mix in the egg and lemon zest until incorporated. Slowly mix in yeast, flour, and milk. Once the dough has formed, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for about 8 minutes on low speed until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. If the dough is still sticky you can add a little bit more water or flour to the mixture. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 2 hours or until it was doubled in size.


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar, corn starch, 1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and apples to the pan.

Mix until the apples are evenly coated. Cook for 18-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add in the vanilla and then allow to cool.

In a small bowl mix together the remaining sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

Making the rolls:

After the dough has finished doubling in size, spray a working with cooking oil. Roll out the dough to 9 x 18 inch rectangle.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the rectangle. Evenly distribute the cooled caramel apple mixture over the dough.

Starting at the long side of the dough, roll the dough to form a log. Pinch the seam closed.

Move roll to a cutting board and place seam side down. Cut log into how many rolls you’d like.

Place rolls onto a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat, about .5 – 1 inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 75-90 minutes.

If you don’t plan on baking them now, you can cover them and place in the fridge for up to 2 days. Allow the dough to proof for 3-4 hours before baking.

Preheat oven to 350F and bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire  wrack.


Combine cream cheese and butter in a heatproof bowl. Microwave in 15-20 second intervals mixing in between until it is warm enough to whisk together. Mix in caramel sauce, milk and vanilla until smooth. Add in confectioners’ sugar until smooth then swirl glaze over the top of the rolls. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving.

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