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Easy Fluffy Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing. Just the autumn breakfast we’re all looking for. Buttery, soft, and fluffy dough swirled with cinnamon sugar and sweet Honeycrisp apples. Each roll is frosted generously with a warming brown butter and maple icing that melts into every nook and cranny. There’s nothing not to love, every bite is melt in your mouth delicious.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Cinnamon rolls hold a special place in my kitchen, and by that, I really just mean that we love them to pieces. Growing up, my mom would occasionally buy the cinnamon rolls that come from the can around the holidays. My brothers and I LOVED them. We looked forward to these cinnamon roll breakfasts every single year.

These days we all know I choose to make my own, but still, we love a good cinnamon roll. And you know? Homemade really is best, and they’re really not that difficult to make.

These apple cinnamon rolls are no exception. Everything from the rolls to the icing is pretty close to perfect. They might take a little time to make, because of the rising. But besides that, they really are quite easy.

And the smells coming from the kitchen as they bake? Mmm, too good.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Let’s jump into the details

The dough is the simplest to make. Simply mix the yeast with warm milk and a small touch of brown sugar. It’s important to let that mix sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to “activate”.

Next, add the butter, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix until smooth and let the dough rest until doubled in size. Then it’s time to shape the rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

While the dough rests, mix the filling

It’s super simple. I love to use a mix of brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon for the best consistency. The brown sugar adds a nice depth of flavor. And I go heavy on the cinnamon for sweet cinnamon swirls throughout.

And of course, the apples. I like to use Honeycrisp apples, and yes, I do leave the skin on! If you prefer no skin, be sure to peel the apples first.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Assemble and bake

Spread the dough with butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar, and apples. Roll the dough up into a log, slice, and bake.

The smells coming from the oven will be perfect. Think…fall candle and Christmas morning combined.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Finally, the icing

Brown the butter and mix it with the cream cheese, maple syrup, sugar, and a touch of vanilla. The maple is key. It pairs so well with the apples and cinnamon.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, frost, serve, and enjoy every last sweet and delicious bite. They’re soft, fluffy, heavy in the cinnamon swirl, and perfectly spiced with warm autumn flavors.

And gooey, SO gooey. These rolls are beyond good. Great for all the crisp fall weekends to come!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other cinnamon recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Cinnamon Apple Puffed Pancake

Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

Lastly, if you make these Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories Per Serving: 348 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Watch the How-To Reel

Ingredients

Apple Filling

Brown Butter Maple Icing

Instructions

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and brown sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add the butter, eggs, 3 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add the additional 1/2 cup flour, adding more as needed until the dough is smooth to touch.
    2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    3. Meanwhile, mix the filling. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    4. Punch the dough down and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, creating a large rectangle about 12 x 18 inches. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle on the apples and cinnamon sugar. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, keeping it tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12-15 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    6. Meanwhile, make the icing. Add the butter to a pot set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. To a bowl with the cream cheese in it, whisk in the maple syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 4. Do not let the rolls rise at room temp. Cover the rolls and place them in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 4. Then cover the pan and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Once thawed, bake as directed. 
To Bake and Freeze: bake the rolls as directed and let cool completely. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm, then frost before serving. 
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Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these for my family and they were so delicious! The rolls are light and fluffy and the addition of apples is such an excellent idea. The frosting is amazing. Thanks for such a delicious recipe!

    1. Hi Caitlin,
      Awesome!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, I love to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  2. 4 stars
    Have made these twice.
    First time I made them and baked immediately after the second rise and they turned out great!
    The second time, I made them and left them in the fridge to chill overnight. A lot of the filling melted out of the rolls and became liquid and they did not turn out well.

    I think this is a great recipe for making all the way through, but may need some testing/tweaking for making ahead.

    1. Hey Erika,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try, sorry to hear about your second time. I’ve tested it both ways and not had this issue so not sure what went wrong for you. xTieghan

  3. Can we do this by hand because we don’t have a mixer? Also can we use 1:1 gluten free flour to substitute?

    1. Hey Jenny,
      Yes, you can use an equal amount of GF flour and mix with a wooden spoon and then knead by hand. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    omg i made these and they are actually the best thing i have ever tasted. the texture was so fluffy and my family loved them.

  5. I put these in the fridge a few hours ago to bake in the morning. I just looked in the fridge and noticed a watery substance starting to pool in the pan. I assume this may be from the apples? The rolls look fine. I’m excited for the morning even though I turn 40 at the stroke of midnight. 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Hi!
    First time making these (first time making any dough with yeast actually)– my dough doesn’t appear to have risen after 1 hour in step 2. What do you think I need to fix next time? I measured all ingredients correctly, and even added ~1 cup extra of flour (i’m going to blame the humidity here) to get it smooth, not sticky. Will this just cause the cinnnamon rolls to be less fluffy?

    Thanks! Love all your recipes!

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Thanks for giving the recipe a try. 1 cup extra flour sounds like a lot:) Maybe try not adding as much next time! xTieghan

      1. I had this same issue! It was too cold in my kitchen for the dough to rise, so I ended up placing the dough on the stove while the oven was on to keep it warmer and it started to rise more!

  7. 5 stars
    So delicious! I split the batch in two and froze half to bake later. Worked really well. I cut the roll into 12 pieces. This made for really deep buns. If you do same be sure to use a deeper baking dish (or cut into 15 pieces).
    Also, this recipe takes time- so make sure you plan 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Hands down best I’ve ever made abs I’ve been baking cinnamon rolls for over a decade on Christmas morning! The dough is perfection the glaze is on point! Yummy!

  9. 5 stars
    My first ever homemade cinnamon buns, everyone loved them at our Christmas brunch!! 🎄
    Freezing before baking worked super well, thanks for the tip 🙂

  10. Hey Tieghan! Happy Merry 🙂 Making these with my mom right now, and have a question about the wording of the make ahead steps. Should we let the dough rise in the fridge overnight, and then roll it out/add the filling in the morning? Or should we create them and then put the rolls in over night, only to bake in the morning?
    So excited to taste these!

    1. Hi Corinne,
      You can fully make them and then pull them out to bake in the morning. Please let me know how they turn out! xTieghan

  11. Based on the names I’m seeing, disappointed not to see any comments/questions from men here. They either have none or are just the consumers. 🙂

    Clarification on use of instant yeast that others have asked. Same amount of instant as active dry? Also, you indicate in a response below to just add it to the flour. So is the only difference not letting the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes? Otherwise use the instant as you would the active dry? thanks.

    1. Hi Gordon,
      Yes, same amount of instant or active yeast. Yes, that is correct, so the instant yeast can just be mixed with the flour, you do not need to let it proof in the milk and honey. Please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

        1. Brooke – I was wondering the same thing. I jus bought an extra pack of 3 yeats just to be sure. Nowhere on the packaging does it provide a teaspoon measure equivalent.

        2. Hi Brooke,
          Yes, that will be one packet. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hi Michelle,
      Thank you so very much for giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Happy Holidays!🎄🎁

  12. This was my first time making cinnamon roles from scratch! Recipe was easy to follow and rhey came nourishment absolutely delicious!

    1. Hi Desiree,
      Awesome! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for making it. Happy Holidays!❄️ xT