These Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls have a cinnamon-sugar apple filling and a caramel apple topping! These are the perfect decadent fall breakfast treat.
Apples are arguably the best fall ingredient, held in stiff competition next to pumpkin. I, personally, don’t like to pick favorites. I give an equal shot to both pumpkin and apples and let them in each shine in their way the way only the season of fall let’s them do.
Each of them benefits from a good dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, and falls perfectly into the cocoon of freshly made pie dough. Yum.
Break me off a piece of that.
Erm, a slice of that?
Semantics. Anyways, in the spirit of fairness, I decided apples needed their own cinnamon roll variation, considering last year pumpkin got Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.
So, the apple cinnamon rolls idea started to brew. You know what’s awesome with apples? Caramel. Lots of it.
You know what’s also awesome? Caramel with apples cooked into it. It’s like apple-flavored caramel. And trust me – it is so good.
These cinnamon rolls are made with a soft, fluffy, lightly-spiced, buttery dough, filled with cinnamon, sugar, and sauteed apples, and topped with a luscious apple caramel. If that doesn’t spell out F-A-L-L in neon, flashing lights, I’m not quite sure what does.
(Unless it’s those darn Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls).
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough
For the filling
For caramel apple sauce
- 2 medium apples peeled, cored, and diced small
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
For the rolls
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the warm milk, active dry yeast, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow to proof for about 10 minutes. The mixture should get bubbly and foamy on top.
- In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and whisk together. Once the yeast is activated, add in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar, eggs and butter. With the paddle attachment, mix until just combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 3-5 minutes on low speed or until the dough is completely smooth.
- Lightly grease a large mixing bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, make the filling. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan. Add the apples and stir, cooking over low heat for about 5 minutes or until apples are tender. Allow to cool completely while you roll out the dough. In a small bowl, combine the softened 1/3 cup butter, brown sugar, and spices. Mix until completely combined.
- After the dough is finished rising, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.
- After the dough has rested, roll it out into a large rectangle. Spread the dough with the butter-sugar mixture. Spread the sauteed apples evenly over the butter mixture, pressing slightly into the dough. Roll the dough tightly at the wide end and seal well.
- Grease a 9"x13" cooking pan. Cut the dough log into 12 equal pieces (discarding the ends if you don't like the look of them) and place them in the pan, separated slightly from each other. Cover the pan and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size, or place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Bake the rolls at 400°F until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Drizzle with caramel apple sauce (recipe below) and serve!
For caramel apple sauce
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir together. Cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the apples have cooked down and the sauce has thickened. It should be a dark amber color. Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days until needed.