There’s only one word to describe these homemade Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls and that word is irresistible. They are the most prefect way to celebrate a holiday breakfast, brunch or even an afternoon treat. Because they use a rapid rise yeast they are also perfect for the hurried season.
These cinnamon rolls are made with a homemade apple butter made in the slow cooker. If you’re short on time, you can certainly grab a jar of store-bought while you’re at Sprouts but I highly recommend carving out some time to make your own. There’s so many delicious ways to use the apple butter and now is the perfect time to have an extra jar on hand as we head into the holiday season. It makes a most delicious gift!
I knew I wanted I to include the apple butter into the filling for these homemade cinnamon rolls. It gives the cinnamon rolls a beautiful rich, golden coloring while adding an extra burst of apple flavor. Combined with an easy recipe similar to these Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls that uses a rapid rise yeast, you save yourself some time waiting on the dough to rise.
While grabbing flour during my routine Sprouts grocery shopping, I spotted the Bob’s Red Mill Organic White flour. Made from organic, hard red wheat it’s a higher quality wheat flour product, unbleached and unenriched, with no potassium bromate added. I love using Bob’s Red Mill products for any gluten-free baking I do (their 1:1 gluten free flour contains the xanthum gum keeping you from having to add it) and I find that Sprouts has the best selection of the Bob’s Red Mill products.
HELPFUL BAKING TIP: Did you know you can use the Bob’s Red Mill Flour anytime a recipe calls for self-rising flour? To do so, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt per 1 cup flour.
- For the Dough:
- 4 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill organic flour (divided)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2-( ¾ oz packets) quick rising yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 egg, room temperature
- For the Filling:
- 3 medium apples, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ cup apple butter (homemade or store bought)
- For the Cream Cheese Icing:
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 packages rapid rise yeast and 1 tsp salt together.
2. Place the 1 ½ cups water and 6 Tablespoons butter together in a microwave-safe measuring cup, and microwave in 10 second increments until very warm, but not boiling. *It will take about 4 intervals.
3. Add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Add the egg and continue mixing for about 2 minutes on medium speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl.
Add an additional 1 cup of flour and mix another 2 minutes. Continue adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough begins to form a dough.
4. Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured workspace and knead the dough for about 5-7 minutes- when it begins to spring back on its own it's ready. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes.
5. Make the Filling: Melt the 4 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples (about 2 cups). In a small bowl, combine the ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon nutmeg. Add to the skillet, stirring to cover and cooking until the apples are lightly caramelized and begin to soften. Remove from heat and set aside.
6. With a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16x24 inch rectangle. Spread the ¼ cup apple butter evenly over the dough keeping a ½ inch perimeter along the edges. Use a slotted spoon and top the apple butter with the apples.
7. Start on the end of the rectangle closest to you and roll the dough. Pinch the seams to seal once the end is reached. Cut into 9 equal sized rolls.
Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and place the rolls, cut side down, into the baking pan.
Cover the rolls again to allow them to rise once again- about another 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
9. Bake the rolls for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden on top and cooked through in the centers. Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes before icing.
10. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the icing. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or a stand mixer on medium speed, blend together the 4 ounces cream cheese, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 2 Tablespoons butter, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 Tablespoons maple syrup. Add additional powdered sugar as needed to reach desired consistency.
11. Using an offset spatula, spread the icing over the rolls. Serve.
These homemade cinnamon rolls make the most delicious breakfast and a special offering for any overnight guests you may have during the holidays. Make them the day before and enjoy Thanksgiving morning while sipping your coffee as you begin your dinner prep, or for Christmas while the kiddos plow through their gifts and wrapping paper is sent soaring.
They pack all the seasonal flavors of cinnamon and apple and maple; the perfect holiday treat.
Do you make ahead a special recipe to have on hand for the holiday mornings? I’d love to hear how your family celebrates!
This recipe for Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls has been a sponsored conversation with Sprouts. All opinions are my own.