Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Updated: Mar 31, 2022
Like biting into a caramel apple, these cinnamon rolls are sweet, sticky, ooey, and gooey. A spiced bread dough is loaded with sweet cinnamon sugar, crunchy apples, and drizzled with a rich caramel sauce for a bakery-style cinnamon roll that’s nothing short of amazing. These soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls are best when served warm for the perfect fall comfort food.
Makes 12 large rolls
Cinnamon Roll Dough
1 cup whole milk
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp active dry yeast
½ cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup salted butter
⅔ cup sweetened condensed milk
Cinnamon Apple Filling
⅔ cup light brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
⅓ cup salted butter, softened
3 cups apples, peeled and finely chopped
Cinnamon Roll Dough
Using a microwave or a stove, heat the milk to about 95°F. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Using a hand whisk, whisk the sugar and yeast into the warm milk. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it sit until the yeast if foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
Once the yeast is foamy, add the softened butter to the bowl and beat until the butter broken up. Add the eggs one at a time, and then add the vanilla and salt. (The butter will likely be chunky.)
With the mixer on low speed, add the cinnamon and gradually add the flour. Once all of the flour has been added, turn the speed up to medium and beat until the dough comes together. Then increase the speed to medium-high and beat for another 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and smooth
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and use your hands to manually knead the dough for 1-2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place it into a bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. (I use the bread proof setting on my oven, which sets the oven to 100°F.)
While the dough is rising, make the caramel sauce and cinnamon apple filling.
Spray the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. (I used one 10-inch and one 8-inch round cake pan.)
Use your fist to punch down the bread, and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pan to roll the dough out into a 12x18-inch rectangle of even thickness.
Evenly spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough to the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top of the butter. Then evenly distribute the chopped apples on top of the cinnamon sugar layer. Lastly, drizzle ½ cup of the caramel sauce on top of the apples.
Tightly roll up the dough along the long end, and use a sharp knife to cut off the ends. Then cut the log into 12 even pieces and arrange the rolls in the prepared baking dish. Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the rolls are doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then smother the rolls with the remaining caramel sauce, and serve warm.
In a medium saucepan, heat the brown sugar, butter, and condensed milk over medium-low heat. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved, and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the caramel thickens slightly. Remove the caramel sauce from the heat.
Cinnamon Apple Filling
In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.
Fall's favorite fruit isn't only meant for pie! Check out these other delicious apple recipes:
Rustic Apple Cider Cake with Cider Glaze
Apple Cinnamon Pop Tarts with Brown Sugar Icing
Apfelstrudel (German Apple Strudel)
Hosting an Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other special family or holiday brunch? Check out these other fabulous menu ideas to accompany your bacon and eggs:
Churro Belgian Waffles with Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Strawberry and Cream Coffee Cake
Pluot (Plum Apricot) Almond Cardamom Turnovers
Blueberries and Cream French Toast Casserole
Raspberry and Cream Coffee Cake