Apple Cinnamon Rolls Brown Butter Frosting

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

By Maria Lichty

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting-These light and fluffy cinnamon rolls will remind you of apple pie, but in cinnamon roll form! They are the perfect breakfast treat for fall!

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Perfect Fall Cinnamon Rolls

My dad's cinnamon rolls are the BEST! If you've mad them, you know. And if you haven't read the hundreds of comments!

I created a new cinnamon roll recipe for fall (with my dad) and you are going to LOVE them! Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.…YES! They are the perfect cinnamon rolls for fall.

Think of apple pie and cinnamon rolls in ONE recipe. Oh yeah, you are excited now! You will love the juicy apple filling that is surrounded by lots of brown sugar and cinnamon…and don't forget about that brown butter cream cheese frosting. They are DREAMY!

Serve these decadent sweet rolls for a special breakfast, brunch, or even dessert!

Cinnamon Roll Dough

My dad's classic cinnamon roll dough is PERFECTION! He used his same dough for the apple cinnamon rolls because why change a recipe when it is perfect in every way? The dough is soft, satiny, and makes the BEST cinnamon rolls.

It is a yeast dough, but don't be scared. The dough is actually easy to make and the more you make cinnamon rolls, the more confident you will get. You too can master cinnamon rolls! My dad's recipe is the best cinnamon roll recipe, so you are in good hands:) Read the original recipe for tips, most apply for this recipe too.

Apple Filling

The apple filling makes these cinnamon rolls extra special. The cinnamon rolls are filled with a sweet, sugary, apple filling that will remind you of your favorite apple pie. We like to use Honeycrisp apples or Granny Smith apples.

We don't peel the apples, but if the peels bother you, you can certainly peel them before chopping them up. Sauté the apples in butter, brown sugar, and a little bit of nutmeg. The nutmeg isn't overpowering, but will give the apples that extra fall flavor.

The apples get rolled up into that perfect cinnamon roll dough with lots of butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon! Bake until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown and your house smells better than any fall candle:)

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you know I LOVE all things brown butter so I suggested to my dad that we make a brown butter cream cheese frosting to finish the apple cinnamon rolls. He loved the idea so we whipped up some frosting and slathered it all over the fluffy cinnamon rolls.

The brown butter cream cheese frosting was the perfect ending to the cinnamon rolls. The nutty, caramel flavor from the brown butter complimented the apple cinnamon rolls SO nicely.

If you aren't a brown butter fan, you can make our regular vanilla frosting or a plain cream cheese frosting.

Make in Advance

If you want to make the cinnamon rolls in advance, you can refrigerate them overnight and bake in the morning. After you put the rolls in the pans, cover with plastic wrap and put the pans in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, pull the rolls out and let them come to room temperature while you preheat the oven. You want them to rise a little before baking. Bake and enjoy!

You can also make the frosting in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. When ready to use, let it come to room temperature and stir again until smooth.

How to Store

Cover the cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container on the counter for up to four days. I recommend reheating in the microwave for 15 seconds. You can't beat a warm cinnamon roll!

You can also freeze the baked cinnamon rolls, frosted or unfrosted. Place cooled cinnamon rolls in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to two months. Defrost before serving. Frost if you froze them unfrosted.

You can freeze unbaked, unrisen, rolls in the pan. Cover them tightly with plastic wrap AND aluminum foil. Remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw and rise. Bake, frost, and enjoy!

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Apple Cinnamon Rolls

The perfect cinnamon roll recipe for fall. They will remind you of apple pie and that is a VERY good thing!
4.60 from 10 votes



  • 2 packages active dry yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (to proof the yeast)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you might need more if the dough is sticky, up to 9-10 cups)
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon salt


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 large apples chopped (we like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith, you can peel them if you want)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Softened unsalted butter, about ½ cup total
  • Brown sugar, about 1 ½ cups total
  • Cinnamon, about 2 tablespoons total



  • For the Cinnamon Rolls: Add yeast to 1 cup of lukewarm water. Stir with a spoon and set aside for about five minutes.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter or shortening, sugar, and salt to hot water and beat for 30 seconds. Let cool to lukewarm temperature. Stir in 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined. Mix in the beaten eggs.
  • Gradually stir in the remaining flour and mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Knead by hand, add a little flour if the dough is still sticky. Knead until dough feels satiny and smooth.
  • Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.
  • For the Apple Filling: While the dough is rising, make the apple filling. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped apples, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Stir so the apples are coated in the butter and brown sugar. Cook until slightly soft, but not mushy, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Divide dough in half. With a rolling pin, roll one half of the dough into a rectangular shape, about 22 X 13 inches. Spread dough evenly with 4 tablespoons of softened butter. Top with half of the brown sugar. Place half of the chopped apples on top of the brown sugar dough and sprinkle with half of the cinnamon.
  • Gently roll up dough into one long roll. Cut rolls, using a piece of dental floss or thread, about two inches thick. Place rolls into a greased 9X13 baking pan, leaving a little space in between each roll so they have room to rise.
  • Now follow the exact same steps with the other half of the dough, using the remaining ingredients.
  • Place rolls in a warm spot and cover with a towel. Let rolls rise until double in bulk, about an hour. Bake rolls at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. The insides should be soft, but not doughy. Remove pans from oven and let cool until slightly warm on a wire rack.
  • For the Frosting: While the cinnamon rolls are cooling, make the frosting. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, turn up the heat to medium high. Continue stirring and look for small golden bits that will start to settle on the bottom of the pan, this should take around 3 to 5 minutes and the butter will have a nutty aroma. Once this happens, take it off the heat and pour into a medium, heat-safe bowl to cool to room temperature. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat together the brown butter and cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the confectioners' sugar and mix until combined. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. If you need to add a little more milk, you can.
  • Spread the frosting over the apple cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!


If you want to make the cinnamon rolls in advance, you can refrigerate them overnight and bake in the morning. After you put the rolls in the pans, cover with plastic wrap and put the pans in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, pull the rolls out and let them come to room temperature and rise a little. Bake and enjoy!


Calories: 296kcal, Carbohydrates: 53g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 257mg, Potassium: 81mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 26g, Vitamin A: 180IU, Vitamin C: 1.4mg, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1.7mg
Keywords apple cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls

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