These easy apple cinnamon rolls are a perfect breakfast or brunch to feed a crowd. Even though they are made from scratch, they are simple to make and perfectly light and fluffy.

Homemade apple cinnamon rolls are better than the ones you buy at your bakery! Plus, the fragrance and flavors of the apples speaks of everything we love about autumn.

It’s like a combination of your favorite cinnamon rolls and apple pie – what’s better than that?

Cinnamon rolls with apples baked in a dish.
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This time of year, I like to incorporate apples into a lot of my cooking and baking – apple bread, apple soup, apple pizza, apple ravioli and guess what now… apple cinnamon rolls.

With a fresh, fabulous new spin, this recipe is a reboot of some childhood favorite fall sweet rolls. Rather than using frozen dinner rolls, I now make it from scratch – in almost the same amount of time and without having to think ahead the night before.

This apple cinnamon roll recipe is a little twist on my better than the bakery cinnamon rolls. We’ve added a touch more cinnamon, a basic glaze and of course, diced apples!

Don’t skip our incredible pumpkin cinnamon rolls or cookie butter cinnamon rolls if you’re in the mood for a different taste of fall.

Apple cinnamon rolls baked in a dish.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

It’s so easy to make these, and they really feel special. Whether you have them for breakfast, dessert or deliver them to friends, they’re sure to bring a lot of smiles!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Easy to Make – I promise! Once you get the hang of yeast, it’s smooth sailing.
  • Filled with Fall Flavor – Perfect for all your fall entertaining. I love apples so much year round, but especially in the fall.
  • Great for Gifting -These make a wonderful treat for friends and neighbors in the fall and winter months.
Apple cinnamon rolls baked in a white dish.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • Milk – Full fat is always best for decadent rolls, but whatever you have on hand will work.
  • Butter – Unsalted. If using salted butter, eliminate the added salt in the dough. Learn how to soften butter quickly.
  • All-purpose flour – No sifting required.
  • White Granulated Sugar – To sweeten the dough.
  • Salt
  • Active Quick Rise Yeast – If you need tips for learning about yeast, be sure to read my complete guide to baking with yeast! It’s full of can’t-miss tips and tricks!
  • Egg – Unless otherwise indicated, always use large eggs for baking.
  • Brown Sugar – Light brown, packed. You can sub with dark brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand!
  • Cinnamon – Choose a high quality ground cinnamon here.
  • Apples – Any kind of apples, chopped fine.
  • Powdered Sugar – Learn how to make powdered sugar if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Heavy cream – You can substitute milk in a pinch, but heavy whipping cream is best.
A white plate with apple cinnamon rolls and icing on it.

Variations

If you want to take a no yeast shortcut, you can make my cinnamon rolls made with crescent rolls and use this filling and glaze – along with a touch of heavy cream, of course! If a touch of heavy cream is ever wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Delicious apple cinnamon rolls baked to perfection in a white baking dish.

How to Make

An overview, visit the printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and butter. Stir until melted and remove from heat. A pan filled with butter and sugar on a stove top.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add warm milk mixture and egg. Sprinkle yeast over the top of this mixture. A bowl full of flour on a white surface, perfect for making apple cinnamon rolls. A close up of flour in a bowl, ready to be used for making apple cinnamon rolls.
  3. Knead while gradually adding more flour until the dough forms. A bowl of apple cinnamon dough in a white bowl.
  4. While the dough is resting (we like to cover with a clean dish cloth), preheat oven as directed and prepare baking dish. An image of a white cloth on a table with apple cinnamon rolls.
  5. Roll out dough into a rectangle. A person preparing apple cinnamon rolls, rolling out dough on a marble countertop. An apple cinnamon roll sitting on a white surface.
  6. Spread melted butter on top. Sprinkle cinnamon, sugars and apples on top. Cut strips. Roll and place in a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Making apple cinnamon rolls, a person delicately pours a spoonful of flour onto the dough. A close up of a pizza with nuts on top. An apple cinnamon roll is sitting on top of a marble table. An apple cinnamon rolls dish.
  7. OPTIONAL: allow rolls to rise again. Apple cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish. A pizza is sitting in an apple cinnamon rolls.
  8. Cover rolls in heavy cream. Bake as directed, until slightly golden. Apple cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish. Apple cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.
  9. Combine all ingredients for frosting until smooth. Pour over the warm apple cinnamon rolls to serve. Apple cinnamon rolls baked with fresh apples.
Apple cinnamon rolls in a white baking dish.

Tips

  • You can knead the dough by hand or in a stand mixer. Kneading by hand will take about 10 to 12 minutes and in a mixer it will take around 8 to 10 minutes.
  • If you prefer to make your glaze thinner, just add a little more cream.
  • If you are making larger rolls (as pictured here), allow the extra 25 minutes for the dough to rise in the warm oven.
Delicious apple cinnamon rolls baked with fresh apples.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my cinnamon rolls chewy?

This generally means that you’ve added too much flour to your dough mixture. Just be sure to keep the amounts correct and you’ll be fine!

How do you know if the dough is kneaded enough?

When kneading the dough, it will gradually start to become smooth. The finished dough should be smooth and slightly tacky to the touch and form a ball. Poke the ball with your finger, if it comes quickly back to shape the dough is ready, if the indentation stays deep, knead the dough for a little longer.

How do you keep cinnamon rolls moist when baking?

In these fabulous apple cinnamon rolls, the key is lots of butter and then pouring heavy whipping cream over them just before baking. Incredibly moist results!

Apple cinnamon rolls featuring a delightful combination of apples and warm spices baked to perfection in a dish.

Make Ahead

  • These rolls are perfect for making ahead. You make the rolls the day before, but don’t add the cream. You can then cover the rolls tightly, unbaked, and keep them in the fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, just pour the cream over, pop them in a pre heated oven and finish with the glaze.
  • Or, to reheat after they’ve been baked and iced, place them individually in the microwave for 20 seconds or in the casserole dish in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for five minutes.
A person delicately scooping apple cinnamon rolls out of a baking dish.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Store at room temperature in an airtight container up to two days.
  • Refrigerate – Store in an airtight container up to five days.
  • Freeze – You can also freeze cinnamon rolls, storing in an airtight container covered in plastic wrap to avoid any freezer odor up to three months.
An apple cinnamon roll with icing on it is on a plate.

Dietary Considerations

  • Vegetarian
  • Nut Free
  • To make Gluten Free, simply use a 1 to 1 gluten free flour in this recipe.
A white plate with a gold fork next to a plate of apple cinnamon rolls.

More Apple Inspiration

Apple cinnamon rolls in a baking dish.
5 from 3 votes

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

These easy apple cinnamon rolls are a perfect breakfast or brunch to feed a crowd. Even though they are made from scratch, they are simple to make and perfectly light and fluffy.
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

Dough Ingredients

  • ¾ cup milk (Full fat is best, but 2% works)
  • cup butter unsalted
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet active quick rise yeast (one package is approximately 2½ teaspoons)
  • 1 egg size large

Filling Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • ¾ cup brown sugar light brown, packed
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon ground
  • 1 cup apples chopped fine

Add Just Before Baking

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Icing Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened (one stick)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream can substitute milk

Instructions 

For Dough

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and butter. Stir until melted and remove from heat.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine 2 ¼ c flour, sugar, salt. Add lukewarm milk mixture and egg. Sprinkle yeast over the top and combine.
  • Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, knead while gradually adding in 1 cup flour until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. You can also knead by hand.
  • Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350℉.

Make Filling and Create Rolls

  • On a floured surface, roll out dough into a rectangle. Spread melted butter on top and then add diced apples. Combine cinnamon, apple pie spice and brown sugar and sprinkle on top.
  • Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut 10 strips. Roll and place in a baking dish or cast iron skillet.

Let Rise Again

  • Turn oven off. Cover rolls with a damp towel and allow to rise 25 minutes. Remove from oven, preheat again to 350℉.

Just Before Baking

  • Cover rolls in ¼ cup heavy cream. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden.

For Icing

  • Mix icing ingredients until smooth and drizzle over rolls.

Julie’s Tips

  • You can knead the dough by hand or in a stand mixer. Kneading by hand will take about 10 to 12 minutes and in a mixer it will take around 8 to 10 minutes.
  • If you prefer to make your glaze thinner, just add a little more cream.
  • If you are making larger rolls (as pictured here), allow the extra 25 minutes for the dough to rise in the warm oven.
  • Take a little seasoning shortcut and make my apple pie spice ahead of time to store in your pantry!
Calories: 498kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 227mg | Potassium: 131mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 807IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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11 Comments

  1. These look and sound amazing! Apples make so much sense for cinnamon rolls! Thanks for sharing – can’t wait to try!

  2. Apple season is my favorite! These rolls look absolutely divine! And your pictures are straight gorgeous!

  3. Apple season hasn’t arrived in Southern California…yet, but I’m super excited! These apple cinnamon rolls look absolutely heavenly!