At this point in Fall, I feel as though I’m slowly turning into a caramelized apple. But hey, why not introduce another recipe for using caramelized apples? And while we are at it, why not smother it in some homemade caramel icing? Sounds like a plan to me. Behold, the Apple Cinnamon Roll with Caramel Icing.
How do ya’ like them apples? …I picked them myself!
I’m a real natural at this apple picking thing don’t ya’ think?
This is how I very easily legitimize eating an entire batch of cinnamon rolls in one go. They are just too hard to resist y’all! So bad, but soooooo good. These guys are the real deal. The kind of baked goods that make your home smell like a bakery first thing in the morning.
Let’s get real here. Fresh picked apples from a farm are on another level of sweet and tangy am I right? The ones I picked up here are mutsu/crispin and creston from Chudleigh’s Farm
Mutsu is a greenish yellow apple and has both a sweet and sharp tangy flavor. Creston is a reddish color and is more on the sweet side.It’s always great to have a mixture of different apples when you’re baking. It gives a much more well-rounded flavor as opposed to using just one. These two Ontario favorites definitely hit the spot in these cinnamon rolls so I highly recommend but feel free to choose which ever apples float your boat.
Caramelize them really well with some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. I definitely channeled my Gramma, the ultimate Southern belle in this recipe. I could hear her in my head saying “well Kelly, I just don’t know how you can possibly make anything taste good without butter”. Me neither Gramma, me neither.
Obviously the ultimate goal is to make rolls that are both moist and airy. To get the texture right you will need a standing mixer. Hand mixers blend the dough too much and it is also difficult to get the dough right by hand only.
The question then becomes: do you like your cinnamon rolls crispy or ooey-gooey? Almost mush on the inside or cooked throughout?
It’s the difference between about 5 minutes worth of time in the oven. You decide. (LOL how intense did that sound?)
Ps – this is the table cloth that my Gramma used at our holiday family dinners for as long as I can remember. She handed it down to me a few years back and this was my first time using it! Very exciting. Shout out to grammas everywhere. You’re the BEST.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing
Yield: 12 Rolls Total time: 3 Hours
Cinnamon Roll Ingredients:
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 pkg Fleischmann’s active dry yeast (dissolve in 1/2 cup warm water)
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter (for the dough)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter (for the apples)
- 2-3 apples of your choice, diced
- 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Cinnamon Roll Directions:
- In the standing mixer bowl, add white sugar, dissolved yeast, apple juice, egg, salt, vanilla, 2 tbsp butter and 1.5 cups of flour. Beat on low for about 2 minutes. Using a rubber spoon, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn mixer on low again and slowly add remaining 1.5 cups of flour until incorporated (about 3-4 more minutes).
- Knead dough by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 4 minutes and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with saran wrap and leave at room temperature for about 1.5 hours. The dough will expand in this time.
- While the dough is beginning to rise, prepare the apples. Melt remaining 2 tbsp of butter in a small pan. Add apples, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and .5-1 tbsp cinnamon. Stir to evenly cover the apples with the cinnamon and sugar. Allow them to cook on medium-low for about 5 minutes or until fully caramelized. Remove from heat and allow to cool fully.
- Take out a dish to bake the cinnamon rolls in. I use a glass dish, 14 inches in length and 11 inches wide. Line the inside of the dish with parchment paper.
- Once dough has risen to about twice the size, remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out using a rolling pin until the dough is evenly flattened, about 12 inches in length and 10 inches wide.
- Evenly spread the cooled apples on top of the flattened dough. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon and remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar on top of the apples. Tightly roll the dough and cut into 12 even pieces.
- Place each roll on the parchment paper with the cut sides facing upward. Cover dish with saran wrap and allow the rolls to sit and rise for 45 minutes.
- Turn the oven on 375°F. Remove the saran wrap and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Cook cinnamon rolls for about 25 minutes or until desired crispiness. Remove from the oven and let rolls cool.
Caramel Icing Ingredients:
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup softened, unsalted butter
Caramel Icing Directions:
- Melt 1/4 cup of butter on low in a small saucepan and add the brown sugar. Bring heat to medium. Let the sugar bubble while stirring every few seconds.
- Once the sugar bubbles for about 1 minute, add in cream until it begins to boil and stir until fully incorporated. Allow the mixture to boil for about 3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining butter. Beat on low with a hand mixer until butter is light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and brown sugar and beat for 30 seconds on low. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time and continue to beat.
- Warm cinnamon buns and drizzle the icing on top.