Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls are the best way to start any morning! These sweet, gooey, soft rolls filled with apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and caramel are perfect for Fall. Whip up a batch and enjoy for breakfast, brunch, dessert, or a snack with an afternoon cup of coffee.
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Wow… these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls are amazing! Such a fun twist between a caramel apple and a freshly baked cinnamon roll. You’ll be making these more than once, for sure!
Here’s what you’ll need to make the Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls (the exact measurements and full recipe instructions are below in the printable recipe card):
- Butter – I used regular salted butter.
- Milk – Whole milk is best because of its higher fat content, but 2% would also work.
- Dry ingredients: Flour (you will need bread flour), sugar, brown sugar, salt.
- Yeast – I used dry active yeast, but rapid-rise yeast would also work well.
- Egg – If you can, leave the egg out at room temperature for 30 minutes before you make the cinnamon rolls.
- Flavoring – Cinnamon
- Apples – We think that granny smith apples are best for this recipe. I used two large sized apples.
- Caramel sauce – our homemade caramel sauce and so easy to make and absolutely heavenly!
How to Make Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Make the dough: Whisk the warm milk, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and melted butter to the bowl. Turn the stand mixer on at its lowest speed and gradually add in flour.
- Place the dough into the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size.
- Make the ﬁlling: Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to a small and mix together. Chop the apples.
Pro Tip: Having a Peeler/Corer/Slicer tool is a life saver when making any recipe that uses apples.
Assemble the rolls: Remove the dough from the bowl and turn out onto a lightly ﬂoured surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle of roughly 8×15 inches. Spread the top with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and chopped apples. Drizzle over 1/4 cup of caramel sauce. With long end, roll the dough up. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Arrange the rolls in the dish and let rise for 30 mins.
Baking: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bake the rolls for 35-40 mins or until the rolls are lightly brown.
Once baked, remove from the oven and drizzle over 3/4 cup caramel sauce.
Serve while still warm. Enjoy!
Can I Use a Hand-Held Mixer?
Yes, if you do not have a stand mixer, you can use a hand-held mixer to blend the dough together. Mix the roll ingredients to form a shaggy dough then turn the dough out onto a ﬂoured surface and knead it for 10 minutes until you have a slightly tacky yet soft and pliable dough. You may need to add extra ﬂour as directed above.
Variations for Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Apples – You can use any tart, firm apples you like. Granny Smith are the most common baking apple variety, but you can use your favorite in this recipe.
- No Caramel – Not a caramel fan? No problem! Just leave the caramel out of this recipe and you’ll still have wonderful apple cinnamon rolls.
- Frosting – Although the rolls are sweet enough as is, you can absolutely add homemade cream cheese frosting or a simple drizzle of frosting to the top of the rolls.
- Pecans – Add 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans to the cinnamon rolls along with the diced apples for extra crunch and flavor.
How to Store Leftovers
The leftovers will keep well covered and either in the refrigerator or on the counter for up to three days. However, they really do taste best the first day they’re made. You can freeze the rolls for up to one month.
Tips and Tricks
- We used instant yeast for this recipe. If you use another type of yeast check the packet instructions as timings may vary.
- Scoop and level the ﬂour to measure it. Bread ﬂour is preferred as it has a higher percentage of protein which leads to a softer dough. If you can’t get hold of bread ﬂour this recipe has been tested with all purpose ﬂour and it will still work.
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls can be reheated in the oven or microwave.
More Recipes You Will Enjoy
- Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Crescent Rolls
- 10-Minute Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
- Cinnamon Rolls with Heavy Cream
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- 3/4 cup caramel sauce
- Make the dough: Fit a stand mixer with the dough hook and large mixing bowl. Add the warm milk, yeast, egg, sugar, salt and melted butter to the bowl. Whisk thoroughly by hand.
- Tip in the ﬂour. Turn the stand mixer on at its lowest speed and mix for 6 minutes. You may need to scrape the bowl down once or twice.
- After 6 minutes test the dough by touching it with a clean and dry ﬁnger. If the dough sticks to your ﬁnger add extra ﬂour a tablespoon at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your ﬁnger. It should feel slightly tacky but shouldn’t stick.
- When the dough is ready, add a small drizzle of olive oil to a bowl and turn the dough into the bowl. Flip the dough over a few times so that it’s coated in oil. Cover the bowl with clingﬁlm and leave to rise in a warm place. This will take approx 1 hour but might take longer depending how warm your kitchen is. You are looking for the dough to double in size.
- Make the ﬁlling: Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix together. Chop the apples into small bite-sized pieces.
- Assemble the rolls: When the dough has risen to twice its size remove it from the bowl and turn out onto a lightly ﬂoured surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle of roughly 8×15 inches.
- Spread the 4 tbsp of very soft butter on to the surface of the dough then sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar and chopped apples. Drizzle over 1/4 cup of caramel sauce.
- With the longest side facing you, roll the dough up into a tight sausage shape. Pinch the seam of the dough together with your ﬁngers.
- Cut the dough sausage in half and then cut each half into 6 equal pieces. Ours were about 5cm each.
- Grease a rectangular baking dish (ours was 12 inches) with 1 tbsp butter. Arrange the rolls in the dish leaving a bit of space in-between. Put the dish somewhere warm for 30 mins, during this time the rolls will puﬀ up and join together.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Bake the rolls in the center of the preheated oven for 35-40 mins or until the rolls are lightly brown. Check on them after 20 minutes or so and if they are browning too quickly, cover them with foil.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and drizzle over 3/4 cup caramel sauce.
- Serve while still warm. Enjoy!
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- This recipe uses warm milk and it’s important that it isn’t too hot or it will kill the yeast. Heat the milk in 30 second intervals in the microwave. This usually only takes just over a minute. Check the milk by inserting your ﬁnger, if you can hold it in there and it’s not too hot the milk is at the correct temperature.
- When you touch the dough with a clean and dry ﬁnger it will feel tacky but it should not stick to your ﬁnger. You may need to add up to 1/2 a cup of extra ﬂour a tablespoon if the dough is too sticky.
- If you ﬁnd the rolls don’t rise to double in size it’s likely they weren’t warm enough. Wait longer than the time stated so that the yeast has a chance to get to work.
- Another reason for dough not rising is inactive yeast so double check the expiry date. It could also be the milk was too hot so err on the side of caution before you add the yeast to the milk.
- Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls have a slightly longer bake time than regular cinnamon rolls. This is because they have a wetter ﬁlling due to the apples and caramel sauce. You may need to bake them for longer than 40 minutes if you ﬁnd they are still doughy in the middle. In that case, cover the dish with foil to avoid the tops browning too much.