Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls are a quick and easy cinnamon roll stuffed with real apples and drizzled with caramel. Ready within an hour!
There is really no possible way that you can make these and not fall in love. If you love cinnamon rolls like we do try this Quick and Easy Cinnamon Roll, Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze or Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
We are heading into my favorite time of the year! I can feel it coming with the cooler weather and the leaves are starting to change.
I love fall baking and I especially love anything that has to do with apples. And caramel. And cinnamon rolls.
When these three things are combined…. you have one amazing treat!
This is my favorite dough recipe. It is perfect for beginners and so easy to make.
You can have the cinnamon rolls in the oven and done within an hour and ready to devour.
Just look at these beauties fresh out of the oven. They filled my house with an amazing cinnamon apple smell. I couldn’t wait to gobble them up!
I couldn’t believe the delicious caramel on top and I absolutely loved every ooey gooey bite! Give them a try. You will not be disappointed!
What you need to make caramel apple cinnamon rolls
I couldn’t decide if I wanted to make a cream cheese caramel frosting or go for the real caramel glaze on top.
I chose the real caramel. And I was so glad I did!
It tasted just like biting into a caramel apple. The soft caramel on top of these ooey gooey cinnamon rolls was divine!
And the fresh baked apples right inside the cinnamon roll. OMG
Take your time on the dough. You will not want to skip raising the dough.
This will ensure a soft, fluffy cinnamon roll every time.
- Flour: this helps raise the cinnamon rolls. You can either use a bread flour for a higher raise or all-purpose flour.
- Instant yeast: one hour rapid instant yeast is best.
- White sugar: adds sweetness to the dough.
- Salt: added seasoning.
- Egg: forms and sticks the dough together.
- Water: Luke warm water helps keep the dough softened.
- Milk: 1% or 2% is best to help make a creamy flavorful way to soften the dough.
- Butter: soften
This filling comes together simply and aids in the sweetness and flavor for the cinnamon rolls.
I love to use a crisp apple like Granny Smith apples but there are several other apples that can be used instead.
Even mixing green and red apples together to have a more sweet and savory crunch.
The tart from the Granny Smith apples become subtle when mixed with the spices.
- Granny Smith Apples: a crisp sweet and a little tart apple.
- Brown sugar: adds the extra sweetness in the filling.
- Cinnamon: a classic spice that adds comfort and smell to the apples.
- Nutmeg: is an incredibly intense spice that is both sweet and savory.
- Butter: softened
For best results cooking the glaze slowly will help from separating or clumping.
You can’t go wrong with this homemade caramel glaze.
- Butter: melted
- Brown sugar: brings out the caramel and toffee flavor for the glaze.
- Sweetened condensed milk: thickens and creates a creamy caramel glaze.
How to make caramel apple cinnamon rolls recipe
This recipe is so simple to make but it does need some time to make it perfect!
These are mouthwatering cinnamon rolls to say the least. I made one pan and they were gone in minutes!
Just imagine biting into a fluffy, soft caramel apple. These caramel apple cinnamon rolls are heavenly!
You will be making these all season long!
- To make the dough: In a small saucepan over medium low heat add the milk and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from heat. Let stand until luke warm temperature.
- Whisk together dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add to the stand mixer with dough hook attached. (You can also make this by hand, just knead until smooth once all of the ingredients are added.) Add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and become smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll out the dough: On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About ¼-½ inch thick.
- To make the filling: In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about a ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the softened butter. Sprinkle with chopped apples.
- To make the cinnamon roll: Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 inch pan or 9 inch pie pan. and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until just golden brown on the tops.
- To make the caramel glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls.
Why are your rolls not fluffy?
Too much flour and not enough water can cause crumbly bread.
This often does this if the dough is too sticky and you add more flour rather than kneading through it.
Other culprits can be over-proving or not kneading enough.
Tips for making cinnamon rolls
There are several ways to make cinnamon rolls and I just love variations.
You never know what you can make until you try!
Don’t be scared to make these homemade caramel apple cinnamon rolls.
They can be made from scratch or store bought and still have great taste and flavor!
- If you are short on time, store bought caramel sauce will work great too. .
- You can use any kind of apples that you prefer. Even mixing red and green apples together works well and has a sweet and savory taste.
- I kept the skin on my apples but you can peel the skin off if you prefer. It does hold the shape of an apple better leaving it on.
- Substituting bread flour for all purpose flour will help your rolls raise even more beautifully. It holds their shape better too!
- Remember not to roll them too tight. Cinnamon rolls need room to grow, raise and expand.
- One hour highly active yeast is best. They will not turn out with traditional yeast.
- If your cinnamon roll dough is too sticky just add more flour in small increments.
Variations of caramel apple cinnamon rolls
- Add in extras like chocolate chips or nuts.
- After baking you can top them with caramel, melted chocolate or powdered sugar.
Can you make cinnamon rolls ahead?
Yes, these are great to make ahead if you do not have time to finish.
They only take 1 hour from start to finish. They are simple to make and ready to eat sooner than you think!
Make the dough according to directions, fill it with apple filling, roll them up and slice them.
Place each slice on a greased pan to let rise. Cover and refrigerate the roll until you are ready to bake them.
They will last 24 hours in the refrigerator.
You can also freeze the rolls until you are ready to bake them too. Before baking them, they need to be fully thawed and bake according to directions.
Storing cinnamon rolls
- Storing: place in an airtight container or zip top bag and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. You do not need to store in the refrigerator.
- Freezing: Wrap each cinnamon roll individually in foil, then place in a freezer bag. Store in freezer for 1 to 2 months.
- Reheating: Reheat in the oven at 350°F until warm for best results or microwave for 1 to 2 minutes.
Love cinnamon rolls? Try these recipes!
- Quick 45 Minute Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake
- Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes
- Skillet Maple Bacon Cinnamon Roll
- Strawberry Cinnamon Roll Muffins with a Cream Cheese Glaze
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- 3¼ cups flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup milk
- ⅓ cup butter softened
- 2 Granny Smith Apples chopped
- ¾ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 5 Tablespoons butter softened
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
To make the dough:
- In a small saucepan over medium low heat add the milk and butter. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from heat. Let stand until luke warm temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together 2¼ cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add to the stand mixer with dough hook attached. (You can also make this by hand, just knead until smooth once all of the ingredients are added.) Add the egg and water and mix until just starting to combine. Slowly add in the milk mixture and 1 cup of flour until the dough starts to form and become smooth. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large 9×15 square. About ¼-½ inch thick.
To make the filling:
- In a small bowl combine the cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar for the filling. Spread the softened butter onto the dough keeping it about a ½ inch away from the edge. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top of the softened butter. Sprinkle with chopped apples.
- Roll up the 15 inch side into a log and pinch the seams. Cut into 9-12 slices depending on how thick you want your cinnamon rolls. Place in a greased 9×13 inch pan or 9 inch pie pan. and cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until just golden brown on the tops.
To make the caramel glaze:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the sweetened condensed milk and bring to a boil over medium high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Can the flour be substituted with something gluten free?
I haven’t tried making these gluten free. You could try using a gluten-free baking flour. Let me know how they turn out!
Do the apples get done or are they still crunchy?
The apples should be warm, soft with a slight hint of crunchy texture in the rolls.
I made these last night for the boys in my family they going out hunting. I had to try one and WOW they are amazing. I was scared of making them but once I started just so easy. Thanks so much for sharing.
What a perfectly Autumnal recipe! I can taste the caramel sauce already!
can you make the night before store in the fridge and bake the next morning
Yes, that is a great idea!
Do you have recipes for someone that has ulcers can’t eat anything spicy or things with cheese or tomatoes. But would like it to taste good.
You are welcome to browse my recipes at therecipecritic.com and see what recipes are best for you and your health. There are several recipes that will taste great for you. XOXO
Hey there! Wanting to make these but want cream cheese in the icing. How would you recommend I do that? I like the sound of this icing too.. maybe both? Drizzle the caramel first and frost with a thicker cream cheese frosting? Thanks!
Trying this for the first time, super excited to sample them! One question…if I were to freeze them, would I freeze them in baked or partially baked?
I am not sure on this one because I haven’t tried to freeze them.
I would love to know how they stood up to freezing!
I made this today. This recipe is soo good!! Made a different caramel sauce using skim milk instead of sweetened condensed milk. Turned out amazing!!
Just curious. The picture is showing skins on the apples…am I not supposed to peel them? I’ve just never baked an unpeeled Apple before!
You can peel them! Anyway will work. 🙂
I made these last night! Didn’t quite LOOK as good as the picture but they tasted AMAZING! Definitely better than Cinnabon lol.
That caramel sauce!! I need it now. And these apple cinnamon rolls. Fall baking is the best.