These are the best soft, gooey, full of apple cinnamon rolls you will ever eat! They are just bursting with fresh apple flavor. These rolls are a tradition, I make them every year after a trip to the apple orchard. That trip happened last week and I couldn’t wait to make them.
They take time to make but it’s more rising time than work time. The flavor is worth the wait. I have made them in the evening and then placed them in the refrigerator to bake the next day. I do that right after I put the cut rolls into the pan. They will rise slightly over night and then it takes about 1 1/2 hours to warm up and finish rising before baking.
I hope it helps to see all the apples I use, I chop them up to make room for them! Rolling can get a little messy but who cares? I know I don’t! See all the appley goodness? See the juice? Don’t worry, the juice all bakes into the rolls. They could ooze a bit but that is just plain wonderful!
Pinterest Photos ~ the perfect size for boards
Apple Orchard Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
1/2 Cup milk
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant or rapid rise yeast
1/4 Cup sugar
1 large egg and 2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 Cups (20 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour, may need up to 1/4 Cup additional
For the filling:
3 Cups chopped apples (I chop them in my food processor)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 Cup soft butter
For the icing:
2 Cups confectioners sugar
1/4 Cup soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbsp milk or cream
Grease or spray a 9×13 baking pan.
Later, you will need to preheat your oven to 350°.
Heat the milk and butter until the butter is melted, set aside to cool.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, eggs and yolks at low speed until well mixed. Add the salt, warm milk mixture and 2 cups of the flour. Mix at medium speed for about 1 minute.
Switch to the dough hook and add another 2 cups of flour. I watch the bottom of the bowl, under the dough hook, to see if I need to add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time. You want the dough to clean the sides of the bowl but there should be about a 2 inch wide layer of dough still at the bottom. Knead for about 10 minutes. This should be a soft dough, smooth and elastic.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Form into a smooth ball and place into a greased bowl, turning it so there is grease on the top and bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise. The dough should double in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
About 15 minutes before the end of the first rise, prepare the apple filling.
Peel and core your apples, cut into quarters and put in a food processor bowl with the lemon juice. Pulse 2-3 times and check to see the size. You want them evenly chopped, not turned into applesauce!! If your food processor bowl is small, you may want to do this in batches or even chop by hand. Using the lemon juice will help keep your apple from turning brown.
In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. Add the chopped apples and toss together.
When the dough has doubled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle that is 16×12 inches. Spread with the soft butter, keeping one 16 inch end border empty. Evenly sprinkle the chopped apple mixture on top of the butter.
Starting on the opposite 16 inch end, roll up your dough, as tightly as possible. I pinch the ends as I roll, to keep the filling inside. Moisten the top clean edge with water. As you near the top, stop and lift the edge up to your roll and pinch to seal here also. Check for size, you want the roll to be 16 inches long. Push in the ends if it has grown on you.
Cut into 8 2-inch slices and place cut side up in a greased 9×13 pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise.
Before rolls are finished rising, preheat the oven to 350°. Bake rolls about 30 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted in the center reads 185-188°.
While the rolls are baking, make the icing. Beat the butter and sugar together, add vanilla and milk (or cream). Continue beating, adding more milk if necessary to have icing spread easy. You can add 2 Tbsp soft cream cheese with butter if desired.
After you remove the rolls from the oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then spread about half of the frosting over them. It will melt in and create a fabulous flavor. Let the rolls continue to cool another 5 minutes and then spread with the remaining frosting. Serve warm and enjoy.