I am living my best life over here indulging in these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling…and you should too.
These warm, fluffy, soft rolls is loaded with juicy apple slices, cinnamon brown sugar filling, topped with sticky sweet glaze. It is lovely, delightful, and life is just much much better with it.
I’m convinced heaven is filled with these Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls. Just one after another dropping from the sky freely and endlessly…
You can eat them every moment every day and never gain an extra pound.
When Cinnamon Roll Meets Apple Pie…
I love Cinnamon Rolls. Always have. Always will.
I didn’t think it’s possible, but I think I love these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling even more.
The gooey, sticky apple filling taste exactly like what it says it is. The fillings in an apple pie. Except that instead of being sandwiched between two pie crusts, it is now rolls into these soft, fluffy sweet bread rolls.
Recipe testing this babies were fun, but it took a whole lot of trails. The trickiest part for me was to perfect the consistency of the apple pie filling. We want the filling to be just thick enough yet not too watery. It should be rolled along with dough fairly easily, yet we do not want it too dry.
These rolls are made with my tried and true sweet rolls recipe with a slight tweak, very similar to the rolls from my Cinnamon Raisin Rolls recipe.
The bottom line is this. This is my favorite cinnamon rolls to date.
Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling is indeed true gift to mankind…and beyond.
How to Make It
Let’s start with the dough. This is a sweet yeast bread roll that uses instant yeast.
Yeast sounds intimidating, but let me assure you, it really isn’t! I used to be afraid of any recipe that calls for yeast and avoided them, but I quickly realize that with a little guidance and instructions, there’s nothing to it!
Heat milk and butter to around 90-100℉ but stay below 100℉ to avoid killing the yeast (yeast will be added to this liquid later). Mix together milk and butter then beat up an egg and add it to the mixture.
Ideally, let egg sit out from the refrigerator for a little while before using it. Eggs shouldn’t be too cold because when cold eggs meets the warm liquid it may turned into scrambled instead of being incorporated into the warm liquid.
Once the wet mixture is combined, add in dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast) and knead the dough using the stand mixer or hands.
Then let it rise for an hour and it should be almost double in size!
Punch the dough with fist to release air inside it.
Then remove dough from bowl and roll it out on a floured surface using a rolling pin into a ~15″x12″ rectangle.
Apple Pie Filling
I typically start cooking the apple pie filling once I let the dough rise. I like to get started as soon as possible because the apple pie filling needs time to cool.
To make the apple pie filling, simply bring together these ingredients to a pot and boil until it thickens. Whisk/stir continuously.
- Apples – make sure they are in thinly sliced, smaller pieces so that they cook and soften easily.
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
- All purpose flour – what gets the filling to be nice and thick.
- A pinch of salt – to open up the flavors!
Transfer the apple pie filling into a bowl and let it cool until the dough is risen and ready.
Then spread apple pie filling onto the rolled out dough.
I like to leave a 1-inch frame around the dough without filing so that it won’t spill out when rolling the dough.
And here’s probably the trickiest and slightly messy part, but I say just embrace the mess!
Gently roll the dough into a tube from the long side.
The dough is soft (that is why the rolls are moist and soft), the center will be slightly pudgier than the side, and that is okay!
When rolling it might be slightly jiggly and some filling will ooze out, and that is okay too!
I like to cut both ends because the ends have less apple pie filling and are much smaller in size.
After cutting both ends, I slice the large tube into 12 individual rolls.
Next, transfer these rolls into a greased 9′ x 13′ rectangular baking dish.
The transferring process can be a messy one too but that is (also) totally okay!
(See a theme here: embrace the mess!)
Once all the rolls are transferred over, let the rolls rise for 30 minutes.
Once the rolls rise and bake, it will look all nice and much more like actual cinnamon rolls 🙂
Bake for 22-25 minutes and then drizzle with my easy and delicious sweet glaze or icing!
Tips and Tricks
I know the process is a tad long but I promise you it is so worth it!
Highlighting a few tricks to make this process easier and more seamless:
- When making the dough, keep temperature of the wet ingredients (milk, butter and egg mixture) below 100℉ to preserve the effectiveness of the yeast. At the same time, if the wet ingredients are too cold, yeast will not activate. That is why we recommend heating milk and butter to 90-100℉ . A meat thermometer will be helpful to get the right temperature.
- Eggs used for the dough should not be too cold when incorporated into the warm milk and butter mixture because it may produced scrambled egg pieces.
- Dough should be sticky to the fingers but avoid adding too much flour because that will dry our the dough and cinnamon rolls will be less soft and moist. Flour needed will vary – my recommendation is to start with 3 3/4 cups and then add 1 tbsp more if the dough is still super sticky (big clumps sticking to fingers).
- Make sure dough is rising in a fairly warm spot. During the winter when our house tends to be cooler, I place it on a spot where there is sunlight, close to a heater or in a warmer room.
- Apples should be cut into smaller, thinly sliced pieces so that they can be cooked/baked quickly, this way they will be soft and juicy and no longer crunchy.
- When spreading apple pie filling onto flattened dough, leave a 1-inch frame around the dough where there is no apple pie filling. Doing this will prevent less filling from spilling out of the dough when rolling the dough into a tube.
- A serrated knife is what I find works best to cut the tube of dough into small cinnamon roll pieces.
- When making the glaze/icing, adjust the consistency accordingly by adding more powdered sugar to thicken glaze and more milk to thin out glaze.
This is one of my longer recipes, but I know you can make this happen.
Focus on that delightful end product: warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven homemade Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls. Your kitchen smelling like cinnamon, apples and all things Fall. SO DREAMY.
Serve this for brunch on weekend, holidays, potlucks, family get-togethers. It’s always a hit at our household!
I have so much faith in you! ❤️
More Sweet Breakfast Recipe
- Berry French Toast Casserole
- Cinnamon Bundt Cake
- Apple Cinnamon Bread
- Pumpkin Banana Muffin
- Sourdough Banana Bread (by Savor the Best)
If you make this recipe, comment below and let me know what you think! Also, don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram, because I WANNA SEE!!
Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 3 3/4 cup all purpose flour more if needed
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- butter for greasing the bowl
Apple Pie Filling
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 cups apples thinly sliced, ~3-4 apples
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp 2% milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
To Make Dough
- Warm milk to 90-100 degree F. Melt butter to 90-100 degree F. Crack and beat up a room temperature egg. Combine milk, butter and egg into a bowl or a standing mixer.
- Add dry ingredients to mixture: flour, sugar, salt, yeast and raisins. Use a dough hook to mix the dough if using a standing mixer. Or knead the dough with hand.
- Dough should not be sticky, but it shouldn't be very dry either. When touch with fingers, a large clump of dough should not stick to fingers. Start with 3 3/4 cup flour and add more if dough is sticky. A lot of factors (humidity, temperature, size of egg etc) can make the dough more or less wet, so the amount of flour needed may differ slightly.
- Lightly butter large bowl (bowl must be twice or three times larger than dough) and bring dough to bowl. Cover with cloth, and let it rise for an hour, preferably in a warm spot.
- Dough should rise to twice its original size.
- When dough has risen, punch the ball with your fist to release the air. Flour a clean surface, then use a rolling pin to flatten out dough into a 15″x12″ rectangle.
To make apple pie filling
- Melt butter in a medium pot under medium heat. Once butter is melted, add apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, flour and a pinch of salt. Bring heat to medium high and stir continuously. Use a whisk to whisk and remove clumps from the mixture if needed.
- Once mixture comes to a boil and has thickened, remove from heat promptly by transferring to a separate bowl (so that mixture does not continue cooking) and set aside.
- Cool mixture so that it is not boiling hot (slightly warm or room temperature is fine) when added to the dough. (See Note 1)
To make Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls
- Spread apple pie filling evenly onto the flattened dough. Leave a 1-inch frame around the dough where there is no apple pie filling. Doing this will prevent less filling from spilling out of the dough when rolling the dough.
- Gently roll dough from the long side into a long tube.
- Using a serrated knife, cut off the ends and then cut tube into 12 cinnamon rolls. Each roll will be about an inch thick.
- Place rolls onto a 9″x13″ casserole dish lined with parchment paper, or greased with butter. Rolls may be soft and apple pie filling may ooze out while transferring the rolls. A little messy is ok and expected! 🙂
- Cover casserole dish with a towel and let rolls rise again for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove towel. Cinnamon raisin rolls should be slightly bigger in size. Bake in oven for 22-25 minutes.
- While rolls are baking, make the glaze by combining all the ingredients under “Icing/glaze” using a hand mixture or a whisk. Add more powdered sugar to make thicken the glaze and add more milk to thin out the glaze based on your preference.
- When rolls are done, let it cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle glaze onto the rolls.
- Serve and enjoy!