Gooey Apple Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are ooey-gooey, filled with apples and cinnamon sugar, doused in browned butter, and topped with a butter-y, maple-y frosting.  To say these are an indulgence would be an understatement.

When I found the recipe, I thought I was going to be able to veganize them…. but I figured out that you can’t brown Earth Balance and used decided to use regular butter instead.  This was definitely a mistake on my part (because I’m lactose intolerant), but they turned out so great that I ate a couple of helpings anyway.  If my mom is reading this right now I’m sure her eyes are practically rolling out of her head but… it was totally worth the headache I got afterward.  Seriously, these are heavenly.

So, here is my advice for all of you lactose tolerant people out there… invite your friends over for brunch and feed them these.  You will become veeerrrryyyy popular.

Gooey Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Makes about 12 rolls

4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (separated)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 packet of active yeast (1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 t)

2 medium apples, chopped into small cubes (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1 cup of butter, melted (2 sticks)

1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1 1/3 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure maple extract (or pure vanilla extract)
1/4 cup milk

To prepare the dough, heat milk, oil and cane sugar for 5-8 minutes (do not boil). Pour milk into a large mixing bowl and let it reach lukewarm temperatures (to the touch) for about 10 minutes.

Once milk is lukewarm to the touch, sprinkle packet of yeast on top and let it set for one minute. After a minute has passed, pour in four cups of flour and mix until incorporated nicely. Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise for one hour in a relatively warm area.

After one hour, mix in last 1/2 cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

For the filling, heat up 1 cup of butter and brown it. Be watchful not to burn the butter by looking out for the center of the boiling butter.  When the center forms a caramel color quickly remove it from the stove-top and set aside.  Then in a small bowl mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and have chopped apples in a separate bowl.

Place dough onto a well floured surface and begin to roll it into a thin, long rectangle.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once filling components are ready, spoon 1/2 of melted browned butter onto rolled out dough and spread evenly with spoon. Then evenly sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon mixture, followed by chopped apples. Take long end, closest to you, and start to tightly roll dough with filling (try to keep the roll as tight as possible). Once dough and filling has been rolled into a log, pinch the seams shut. Using a sharp knife, slice 1 1/2 inch slices and place into a greased baking pan. Do NOT overcrowd the rolls, separate them into two pans if you need (I crammed mine into the pan and the middle wasn’t fully cooked). Drizzle remaining 1/2 cup of melted browned butter evenly over the cinnamon rolls.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly golden.

For the frosting, melt 1/2 cup of butter and pour into a medium bowl. Mix in powdered sugar, salt, milk and maple extract until smooth.

Pour frosting evenly over cinnamon rolls.

Serve warm.

Recipe from Eliza Domestica

Pictures by Emily- check out her portfolio!

14 thoughts on “Gooey Apple Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Baking this one up right now for my Mom! Instead of milk I’ve substituted Silk’s Organic Vanilla soy milk, it makes it smell even more heavenly! My plan (as it’s rising right now) is to drizzle maple syrup over it instead of icing because we have an intolerance to corn – there’s corn starch in icing sugar. I’m so excited!

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  3. Came across your blog via Foodgawker and knew I had to try this. I’m currently in the process of making this as I write and I can’t wait to see and taste the outcome. Thanks a bunch…btw, awesome photography.

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  5. hi missy, next time i see you,(which will obviously be soon)can you make me these. they’reso good!!!!!!!!!!! Love you.

  6. These look incredible! My husband has had me looking for a whole wheat version of this recipe. Thanks for sharing this one; definitely going to make some this weekend.
    -Shannon, The Crumb Cake Queen

  7. A great recipe, I got everything right however my buns / the dough itself was a tad bit dry….do you have any recomendations on how I could keep the buns super moist. Thank you

    • Instead of the butter (or possibly in addition to), you can pour a little (like 1/4 cup) of heavy cream over the rolls before putting them into the oven. It keeps them super soft and squishy.

  8. I made them! they were delicious! I couldn’t find maple extract so I made the vanilla frosting and mixed it with Cajeta (Mexican caramel) and they were AMAZING! I used a 9×12 pan, there was half a finger of space between them and they didn’t cook all the way on the bottom so I do recommend using two pans and spreading them out more like an inch apart. Still delicious!

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