This Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Recipe is an ooey-gooey taste of fall if ever there was one. Tender dough is swirled with a caramel apple cinnamon mixture and then topped with more caramel to create a deliciously sticky cinnamon roll recipe that will bring everyone back for more.
It’s fall y’all, and we all know what that means – tons of pumpkin and apple recipes! We’ve made our fair share of both, and we have lots of favorites. These cinnamon rolls are definitely in our top five, though. They make a great afternoon snack or quick morning meal. They’re so good and just packed with all the flavors we love about fall, making them the perfect sweet recipe to make this time of year.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Recipe
This caramel apple cinnamon roll recipe is the perfect fall treat for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon snack. It takes the soft, delicious bread that we love in our cinnamon rolls and combines it with a rich caramel apple filling – complete with real diced apples, by the way. It’s all rolled together and cut into the classic cinnamon roll swirl shape and then baked to perfection. To finish it off, we top it with more caramel to create the ooiest-gooiest, most decadent cinnamon rolls you’ve ever had.
We make these cinnamon rolls on a regular basis when the weather begins to cool off. We love enjoying them for breakfast or a snack when the weather is cold, gray, and dreary outside. They also make the perfect holiday treat on a wintery morning or as a delicious dessert for holiday get-togethers.
Although this recipe is completely from scratch, it doesn’t take that many ingredients to make it. They’re all very simple, and most of them are kitchen staples. In fact, we’d be willing to bet you have the majority of these ingredients in your kitchen already. Here’s what you’ll need.
For the Cinnamon Rolls
- Unsalted butter, cubed
- All-purpose flour
- White sugar
- Powdered milk
- Dry active yeast
For the Caramel Apple Filling
- Salted butter, softened
- Light brown sugar, packed
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Granny Smith apples, diced
- Caramel sauce, divided
**See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities and cooking times.
This recipe is much easier than you might think it is. It’s mostly a matter of making dough and rolling it up around a filling. It actually comes together quite quickly to produce a finished product that looks like it took forever, even though you were in and out of the kitchen in a relatively short amount of time.
Step 1: Mix the Wet Dough Ingredients
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, milk, and water and microwave until warm and the butter is melted.
Step 2: Mix the Dry Dough Ingredients
In a large stand mixer bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, dry milk, yeast, and salt together until well-combined.
Step 3: Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients
Attach a dough hook to the mixer and pour the warm liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Using the dough hook, knead the ingredients until they form a soft dough ball. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Combine the Cinnamon Roll Mixture
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg, mixing until well-combined.
Step 5: Prep the Apples
Peel, core, and dice the Granny Smith apples into 1/4″ pieces.
Step 6: Prepare the Cinnamon Rolls
On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 10×14 rectangle. Then spread softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture in an even layer over the butter.
Then, top the mixture with diced apples and drizzle it all with caramel sauce.
Step 7: Roll Up the Cinnamon Rolls
Starting with one of the long sides, roll up the cinnamon roll dough into a tube and slice into 12 individual cinnamon rolls.
Step 8: Bake
Place the caramel apple cinnamon rolls onto a prepared baking dish and bake. Drizzle the baked cinnamon rolls with caramel sauce, let cool for about 10 minutes, and enjoy!
Hint: We highly recommend you use a stand mixer or at least a hand mixer. Mixing this dough by hand will wear you out.
If you want to personalize this caramel apple cinnamon roll recipe, we have some ideas that you might like.
Dark Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar adds an extra depth of flavor to the recipe that’s really nice.
Pecans – For even more flavor and a nice bit of crunch, add pecans to the filling mixture before rolling up the cinnamon rolls. You can also top the finished cinnamon rolls with toasted pecans.
Buttercream Frosting – Go whole hog on the sweetness and make up a batch of buttercream frosting. Don’t frost the cinnamon rolls, however. Use the frosting as a dip!
These cinnamon rolls will keep well in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. For longer storage, you can freeze these cinnamon rolls for up to a month.
This is a fairly simple recipe, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier on yourself and make the final product even more delicious. These are simple tips, so be sure to give them a look.
Use a Mixer – Use a stand mixer if you have one. This dough requires a lot of mixing, and doing it by hand will be more of a workout than you’re probably interested in having.
Warm Water – It’s important that you warm up your liquid mixture as stated in the recipe. The heat of the liquid is what will wake up the yeast so it can make the dough rise.
Quality Caramel Sauce – Use a high-quality caramel sauce for this recipe. Look for brands that are real caramel sauce and not simply flavored sauces. Caramel plays a big part in this recipe, so you want it to be really good.
More Cinnamon Roll Recipes
If you love cinnamon rolls, we have some fun recipes that we think you’ll love.
How long will these cinnamon rolls last?
These will keep in the refrigerator for about a week and in the freezer for about a month.
How do I freeze these cinnamon rolls?
To freeze these cinnamon rolls, let them chill completely in the refrigerator. Then, wrap them in two layers of cling wrap and place them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or heavy-duty freezer bags.
Why isn’t my dough rising?
This dough isn’t meant to rise all that much, but if your dough isn’t rising at all, it could be two things. First, your yeast could be too old. Old yeast is dead yeast, and dead yeast won’t work. Secondly, you might not have warmed up your water enough to activate the yeast.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Recipe
Ready to get started? Then get out your ingredients and get going! This is an easy recipe, and it’s always a winner. Have it as a sweet breakfast or an afternoon snack, but just have it!
Remember, you can print this recipe for future use if you like.
MORE APPLE RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Recipe
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 3/4 cup all purpose white flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons powdered milk
- 1 (0.25oz.) packet dry active yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
Caramel Apple Filling:
- 5 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and diced into 1/4" pieces
- 2/3 cup caramel sauce, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and generously spray a 13 x 9" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- Combine butter, milk, and water in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time, or until warm and butter is melted.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, whisk 3 cups of the flour, sugar, dry milk, yeast, and salt until well combined.
- Attach a dough hook to the mixer and pour in the warm wet mixture and egg. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, adding the remaining 3/4 cup of flour as needed until the dough is soft and forms a ball. Cover bowl and rest for 15 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 10×14" rectangle. Spread softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough.
- Combine light brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg in a small bowl until well combined. Sprinkle in an even layer on top of the butter. Top with the diced apples and drizzle with 1/3 cup of caramel sauce.
- Starting at one of the long sides, roll up to the opposite end and slice into 12 individual rolls.
- Place rolls into prepared baking dish and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Drizzle baked rolls with the remaining 1/3 cup of caramel sauce. Allow rolls to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving warm.