During colder days, nothing beats these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling - fluffy, warm and drizzled with a heavenly cream cheese glaze!
As days start to get colder, cinnamon rolls and apple pies are two of my favourite go-to's, be it as breakfast, dessert, or tea-time treats. I especially love the aromas with which their ingredients fill up the kitchen, leaving a room full of true cozy fall and winter feelings. These Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling combine two of my favourites; cinnamon rolls and apple pie!
These cinnamon rolls are filled with spiced apple pie filling made with finely diced Granny Smith apples and walnuts/pecans, and are then baked, and drizzled with a simple cream cheese glaze. These bakery-style rolls are soft and fluffy, with a juicy filling and make a perfect warm treat, especially when they're fresh out of the oven!
Ingredients and Variations
This cinnamon roll-apple pie filling recipe is split into three parts: the dough, the filling, and the glaze.
Ingredients for Cinnamon Roll Dough
Flour - Ideally, use bread flour. You'll need a bit more than 4 cups here, but make sure you'll have some extra flour at hand too. Ideally, weigh the flour using digital kitchen scales for accuracy.
Yeast - For this recipe, I used instant dry yeast, which does not need to be proofed. You can also use active dry yeast, but make sure to proof this in warm milk for 5-10 minutes before adding to the rest of ingredients.
Milk - You can use semi-skimmed or whole milk for these cinnamon rolls. You'll need to warm the milk before using.
Butter - Unsalted melted butter works perfectly here.
Eggs - For binding the dough. You will need 2 medium-sized eggs.
Sugar - For the dough, you will need regular granulated sugar.
Salt - Just a pinch for flavor.
Ingredients for Base Filling
For the base cinnamon roll filling (which is what is used in regular cinnamon rolls), you will need melted unsalted butter to brush the dough.
You will also need brown sugar and ground cinnamon, which will be sprinkled over the brushed dough.
Ingredients for Apple Pie Filling
Apples - You will need 4-5 Granny Smith apples, but other baking apples, such as green apples, Gala, Honeycrisp or Pink Lady apples. You will need to peel, core, and thinly dice the apples.
Spices - For this apple pie filling, I used ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Of course, except for the cinnamon, you can adjust these spices or eliminate them according to your liking.
Walnuts/Pecans - These are optional, but you can add a handful of crushed walnuts or pecans for an added crunch. Other options include raisins or sultanas.
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Glaze
For the optional cream cheese glaze, you will need good quality cream cheese, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and semi-skimmed or whole milk.
How to Make Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling
- Make and Proof the Dough
To make the dough, mix warm milk, yeast, eggs, melted butter and salt until well combined.
Add sifted flour and salt and mix using a spatula until a dough is formed.
Knead the dough using the bread hook attachment of a stand mixer. The dough should be slightly sticky but should not stick to the bowl. (You may need to add more flour as needed).
Proof dough in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.
- Prepare the Fillings
To make the base filling, melt the butter and set aside. Combine brown sugar with cinnamon.
To make the apple pie filling, peel, core, and thinly dice the apples. Simmer apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves, and walnuts/pecans in a medium saucepan until softened.
Drain liquid from apple pie filling and cool in a glass bowl before using.
- Roll out and Add Filling
Once doubled in size, roll out the dough into a rectangle (24x12") on a lightly floured surface.
Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-brown sugar mixture.
Spread apple pie filling evenly over the surface of the dough.
Roll the dough (from short side to short side) tightly. Slice out 12 rolls (approx. 1" in thickness).
- Proof the Rolls
Transfer rolls onto a baking sheet (9x13") lined with parchment paper.
Cover and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes and preheat oven to 175°C (350F).
Bake for 14-18 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
Bring out of oven and allow to cool slightly.
To make the glaze, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream and milk in a medium sized bowl until a desired consistency is reached.
If you prefer a thicker glaze, add more cream cheese. If you want a thinner glaze, add more milk. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls and serve!
The best way to make these ahead is to allow the roll dough to rise overnight in a refrigerator (not at room temperature). You can also prepare the filling and refrigerate overnight. You can then roll out, fill, and rest (second rise) the rolls on the day of serving.
These Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling are best served fresh and slightly warm.
You can store unglazed baked cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature and warm them for 10-20 seconds in the microwave before glazing and serving.
You Might Also Like
Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling
Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 530 g bread flour (4¼ cups) + extra as needed
- 250 mL milk (1 cup) semi skimmed or whole, warmed
- 70 g granulated sugar (⅓ cup)
- 2½ tsp. instant dry yeast
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 medium-sized eggs
- 75 g unsalted butter (⅓ cup), melted
Cinnamon Roll Base Filling
- 2-3 tbsp. unsalted butter melted
- 70 g brown sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Apple Pie Filling
- 4-5 medium Granny Smith apples peeled, cored, and thinly diced
- 100 g brown sugar (½ cup)
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp. allspice
- 3 tbsp. walnuts or pecan nuts, crushed
Cream Cheese Glaze (Optional)
- 2 tbsp. cream cheese
- 3-4 tbsp. powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp. heavy cream
- 4-5 tbsp. milk
- Sift and mix flour and salt. Set aside.
- Place milk in microwave-safe bowl and warm for 20-40 seconds on high heat. Make sure milk is warm but not hot. Stir in yeast.Note: If using active dry yeast, sprinkle over warm milk and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes before using.
- Place milk-yeast mixture, sugar, melted butter, and eggs in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix until well combined.
- Add flour and mix using a spatula until dough is formed.
- Switch to bread hook attachment and knead dough on medium speed for 7 to 8 minutes. Dough should be very slightly sticky but should not stick to the side of the bowl. If dough is too sticky, mix in 2-4 tbsp. of flour gradually.
- Transfer dough ball into a large bowl lightly greased with oil or butter. Cover with cling film and place in a warm area. Allow to proof for 1 to 1½ hours until doubled in size. You can prepare the base filling and the apple pie filling at this time.
- Line a 9x13" baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Once dough has doubled in size, transfer to a lightly floured working surface, and roll out into a rectangle (approximately 60x30cm or 24x12").
- Brush dough with melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and ground cinnamon mixture.
- Top with cooled and drained apple pie filling (make sure it does not contain much liquid), spreading it evenly along the surface of the dough.
- Roll the dough tightly from the short side to the other short side (such that the final rolled dough is 12 inches in length). Slice the roll into 12 equal-sized pieces.
- Transfer each roll onto the baking sheet. Cover, and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 175°C (350F).
- After resting, bake for 14-18 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
- Allow to cool in baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack and drizzle with cream cheese glaze.
- Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. In a separate bowl, mix ground cinnamon and brown sugar.
Apple Pie Filling
- Peel, core, and thinly dice the apples.
- Place diced apples, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, allspice, and walnuts/pecans in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer for 7-10 minutes until apples have softened.
- Drain apple pie filling mixture through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a glass bowl to cool completely before using.
Cream Cheese Glaze
- Mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, heavy cream and milk in a medium sized bowl until a desired consistency is reached. If you would like a thicker glaze, add more cream cheese. If you want a thinner glaze, add more milk. Drizzle over cinnamon rolls and serve.