Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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Dietary: Kosher, Peanut-Free, Soy-Free, Tree-Nut Free, Vegetarian

Everyone's favorite cinnamon rolls are extra sweet with the addition of caramel apples. There's something about having a freshly baked cinnamon roll for breakfast that can make the coldest morning feel warmer and more promising.

Prep: 15 min
Total Time: 4 h 50 min
Yield: 14 rolls


  • 7 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 1/2 Tbsp butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 2 cups Hodgson Mill Best for Bread Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 packet Hodgson Mill Fast Rise Yeast
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 3 large apples
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Hodgson Mill Corn Starch
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp butter, unsalted, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp caramel sauce, salted, or unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together; cream mixture into butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and lemon zest until well incorporated. Scoop this mixture into the pan of a bread machine. Add the flours, yeast and buttermilk and start the dough cycle. Keep an eye on the dough as it’s being kneaded to make sure that it’s not too sticky. The dough will be soft, but shouldn’t stick to the sides of the pan or to your fingers when pressed. Add additional flour or buttermilk if necessary to achieve the right texture. If you don’t have a bread machine, add the flours, yeast and buttermilk to the bowl of butter mixture and either mix by hand with a spoon or use a dough hook to knead the dough until it comes together into a soft dough. Complete the dough cycle for the machine or cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until it’s doubled in size – about 2 hours.
  • While the dough is rising, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sauté the mixture until the apples are caramelized – about 15 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  • When the dough is ready, roll it out into an 18x14 inch rectangle on a work surface that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the dough. Then scatter the caramelized apples over the cinnamon sugar on top of the dough. Starting from the far, wide end of the dough, roll up the dough toward you and into a log. Pinch the seam shut and place the log seam side down. Slice the log into approximately 14 rolls. Transfer the sliced rolls onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, placing them about 1 ½ inches apart. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Let the rolls rise at room temperature for two hours or until nearly doubled in size. Or put the covered rolls in the refrigerator to rise over night or up to two days in advance. Allow covered refrigerated rolls to come to room temperature and continue rising for about 3 hours until they have risen enough – placing them, still covered, in a warm oven (turn on to 350o F for two minutes and then turn off) is helpful. Remove plastic wrap and bake in a 350o F oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for five minutes and then frost with salted-caramel glaze. Allow rolls to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • To make glaze, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, caramel sauce, milk, vanilla and powdered sugar in a small bowl.