These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are super gooey and delicious. They are filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling, a cooked apple pie filling, and toasted pecans. They are then finished off with a smooth cream cheese frosting. The components for these Cinnamon Rolls can be made ahead of time, meaning the rolls just need to be assembled in the morning for the perfect Holiday breakfast!
Table of contents
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Hi hi! I am so excited to share this apple cinnamon roll recipe with you! These homemade Cinnamon Rolls are super easy to make, and the components can be prepared ahead of time, so that come the morning, all you have to do is assemble them and pop them in the oven.
Components of Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Brioche Dough - This is my go-to brioche dough. It comes together really easily and is super versatile. I like to make mine ahead of time and give it a cold rise in the fridge. The cold rise not only makes the dough really easy to work with, but the cold temperature of the fridge slows down the rise of the yeast, which means that the dough can work on your schedule. This makes these Cinnamon Rolls the perfect breakfast!
- Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling - This cinnamon filling has the usual suspects - brown sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. They are all mixed together to form a paste, which is spread over the rolled-out dough to form the base of the filling.
- Cooked Apple Pie Filling - This apple pie filling is super easy to make - diced apples are cooked with a little sugar and butter, then corn starch is added to help thicken up the filling. The whole lot then goes into the fridge, ready for assembly.
- Toasted Pecans - These are optional - leave them out if you don't like nuts or if you have an allergy in the house but I love the crunch that they give. I always toast my nuts in the oven just for 10 minutes. You can do these in a big batch and keep them in an airtight container in the pantry or freezer so you always have toasted nuts on hand!
- Cream Cheese Frosting - This is a super simple cream cheese frosting - butter and cream cheese get whipped together, powdered sugar and a wee bit of salt get added and whipped until thick. Finally a little heavy cream is added to help make the icing smooth and spreadable. The cream cheese frosting goes on while the Cinnamon Rolls are still a little warm, so it melts down and adds to the gooeyness.
The Perfect Make Ahead Holiday Breakfast
I developed this Apple Cinnamon Roll recipe with breakfast in mind, so you can prepare all the components the night before, making assembly the next morning super easy.
Here's all the steps you can do the day before:
- Make the brioche dough and pop in the fridge for an overnight rise.
- Make the apple filling and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Toast the Pecans and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Measure out your brown sugar, cinnamon and salt for the filling and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Bring out your butter and cream cheese the night before so that it is at room temperature for assembling the filling and the frosting.
Steps to finish off the Apple Cinnamon Rolls the next day for breakfast:
- Mix together your brown sugar and cinnamon and the softened butter to make your filling.
- Roll out the brioche dough, spread with the filling, then top with the apple filling and toasted pecans.
- Roll up and cut into rolls, then give a quick second rise.
- Bake the Cinnamon Rolls off and prepare the cream cheese frosting while they are in the oven.
- Finish them with the cream cheese frosting for the perfect breakfast!
A few wee tips for Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- These are pretty gooey cinnamon rolls, so make sure that the pan you use will help keep them contained. I used a quarter sheet pan and it was only just enough to hold them in - a 9"x13" baking pan would work great.
- If you find that the log of dough is getting hard to work with once you have rolled it up, chop it in half, and put both halves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with plastic wrap and either chill for about 20 minutes or pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes. This firms up the filling and the dough and makes it a little easier to cut. Then cut each piece of dough into 6 rolls and proceed as usual! You may need to give it 10 minutes or so extra on the second rise to account for the time chilling.
FAQ for Apple Cinnamon Rolls
You sure can! I like to give the brioche a cold rise still, so a minimum of 2 hours in the fridge works great. This makes the dough super easy to work with and gives you flexibility in your timing too. Make the apple filling while the dough is mixing so that it has enough time to chill down before assembly, and make sure to pull your butter and cream cheese out in time for them to come to room temperature for assembly and frosting.
Nope! If you don't want to you can just leave them out.
It can be a little tricky to tell when enriched bread is baked, especially when it has a filling. I like to double check the doneness by taking the internal temperature of the bread using an instant read thermometer - 190°f / 90°c is a good number to shoot for. Make sure you're poking the thermometer into the bread and not the filling.
For more cinnamon roll recipes, check out:
Made this recipe and love it?
If you made this recipe then I would LOVE for you to leave me a review below to let me know how you liked it! Also, please make sure to tag me on Instagram if you make it!
A note on salt and oven temperature
It is important to note the type of salt that is called for in a recipe. I use Diamond Crystal salt throughout my recipes - if you use a different sort of kosher salt or regular table salt you will need to adjust accordingly as some salt is 'saltier' than others. Morton's salt is twice as salty, so you will need half the quantity. Same goes for a regular table salt. I am working to get gram measurements throughout my recipes for salt but still getting there.
All oven temperatures are conventional unless otherwise stated. If you are baking on fan / convection, you will need to adjust the temperature. An oven thermometer is a great investment to ensure that your oven is the correct temperature.
Using the double / triple function in the recipe card
You will notice that there is a '1X' '2X' '3X' button in my recipe card. This can be used for doubling or tripling a recipe. However, please note that this only doubles the ingredient quantities in the ingredients list and NOT in the method. If there are quantities or pan sizes in the method of the recipe (for example weigh out 150g brown butter), you will need to scale this number manually. It will also not change the baking time in the recipe so you will need to adjust this yourself too. It is always a good idea to read through a recipe fully before doubling it just to check this. If you would like to scale this recipe or convert for another pan size, use my calculator!
Tools and equipment
For a list of my go-to tools and equipment, I have a post you can refer to here.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I post my recipes in grams as it is the most accurate way to bake. Cups are not only inaccurate but they vary in volume worldwide. There is no way for me to provide one cup measure that works for everyone. However, posting in weight fixes this issue. If you would like the recipe in cups you are welcome to convert it yourself via google, but please do not ask me to do it for you as I am not comfortable providing a recipe using a method that I have not tested. Baking with a scale is easy, accurate, and also makes cleanup super simple. Here is the scale that I use if you would like a recommendation! Here's to accurate baking!Print
Soft-Baked Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes plus rising time
- Yield: 12 cinnamon buns 1x
- Category: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls are super gooey and delicious. They are filled with a cinnamon brown sugar filling, a cooked apple pie filling, and toasted pecans. They are then finished off with a smooth cream cheese frosting. The components for these Cinnamon Rolls can be made ahead of time, meaning the rolls just need to be assembled in the morning for the perfect Thanksgiving breakfast!
- 250g whole milk, lukewarm
- 50g Granulated Sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp active dried yeast
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 565g All-Purpose Flour
- 100g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
Apple Pie Filling
- 850g - about four medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
- 30g Unsalted Butter
- 80g Granulated Sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp Corn starch
- 125g Pecan Halves
Brown Sugar Cinnamon Filling
- 190g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 280g Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp Kosher salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 115g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 225g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
- 250g Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1-2 Tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Make the Brioche Dough. Place the lukewarm milk, 25g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the flour, salt, and remaining sugar, and mix briefly to combine.
- Add the milk mixture and egg to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight, until doubled in size. Alternatively you can place it in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 minutes to an hour.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the corn starch and mix well to incorporate, then continue to cook until the mixture has thickened and the apples are coated.
- Transfer to an airtight container and chill until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Line a small sheet pan with parchment paper and place the pecans on it.
- Toast the pecans for about 10 minutes, shaking occasionally, until lightly browned and toasted throughout (snap one open to check).
- Transfer to an airtight container until ready to use and store at room temperature.
BROWN SUGAR CINNAMON FILLING
- Make the cinnamon filling. Place the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Assemble the cinnamon rolls. Grease a baking dish (9”x13” or 23cm x 33cm) or line with parchment paper.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a rectangle that is 24” x 16” (60cm x 40cm), squaring off the edges often as you roll. Spread with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture, ensuring the filling is spread evenly over the surface.
- Top with the prepared apple pie filling. Spread the apple pie filling out evenly. Roughly chop the toasted pecans, and spread over the apple filling.
- Roll up the cinnamon rolls. Starting with a long side, roll up into a tight spiral. Cut the log into two pieces and place them side by side on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly cover the dough logs with plastic wrap, and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes in order to firm up slightly (this step is optional but helps give a neater cut).
- Cut the cinnamon rolls. Once the dough logs have chilled, remove from the fridge. Using a sharp knife, slice each log into 6 equal pieces (I like to use a ruler), and arrange on the prepared baking sheet or baking dish, evenly spacing between.
- Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 45 minutes to an hour, or until puffy, and a small indentation is left when poked gently with your finger.
- While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
- Bake the rolls for 35 to 40 minutes, or until deeply golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes or so before icing with the Cream Cheese Frosting.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Make the cream cheese frosting. Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until well combined. Add in the powdered sugar, heavy cream, and salt, and whip until light and fluffy.
- Spread onto the cinnamon rolls while they are still slightly warm.
- Store leftover cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature. Rewarm in the microwave before serving.
Keywords: Cinnamon Bun, Cinnamon Roll, Apple Cinnamon Roll, Apple Pie Cinnamon Roll, Apple Pecan Cinnamon Roll
It looks totally delicious.. your recipe is great.. but u suggest eggless version.. what can i use instead of eggs..thank you 😊
Hi! I don't think I mention an eggless version here sorry! I do have a different dough that should work but you will need to scale it to get the correct amount of dough - it is this one here 🙂 I hope that helps!
Is it possible to fully assemble and leave in fridge overnight to bake the next morning?
Can I make this without the apple filling? This recipe makes more than your overnight cinnamon rolls (12 as opposed to 8) and would like to use this recipe to make rather than doubling the other one.
Thanks, absolutely adore your blog:)
Hi hi! Yep you absolutely can! I developed this base brioche recipe after the overnight ones, so prefer to use this one! You can just leave them out 🙂
These were a wee bit out of my comfort zone in terms of number of steps & they did take a while (would be more of a weebake than the midweek night I tried them) but they may just be the best thing I've made. Seriously sticky & delicious. Next time I'd make the apple mix drier and I'd measure my cuts as I made them too small & had too many - they were happily received by whānau though!
Love, love, love that you provide the weight of each item. I used to only bake by cup and about a year ago switched to using a scale. What a game changer for my baking, and the consistency of repeating each recipe. My husband and I are looking forward to trying this recipe - thank you!!
Hi! Ahhhh yay! Weight is the BEST!! xx
Hi! Could I use caster sugar instead of granulated sugar in the brioche dough?
Yep it should be fine 🙂 Just do 50g total and you'll be all good
BY FAR THE BEST RECIPE IVE EVER COME ACROSS !!!
Sounds so yummy! Definitely going to give it a go. Do you think I could freeze the dough? Or the whole buns before baking them? It's only me and my partner and I don't think we would manage to eat whole 12. Thank you for all your amazing recipes 😋
Hi! Yayyyy! I haven't tried it but I know some others have and it's worked ok. They defrosted overnight then sat them on the counter to rise. Others have frozen once they have been baked. Let me know how you get on! The other thing you could do is make half into cinnamon rolls and the other half you could shape into buns or something if you wanted to have some variation! 🙂
I made this recipe and it is soooo good. So soft, I left out the pecans and the icing and just enjoyed the cinnamon apples, as they are my favourite filling.
I actually put them in the tray, freezed the tray, then left it in a cold spot to defrost and proof overnight and baked them 35 min. They were perfection. Thank you for all your hard work and recipes. I will def try making more.
Hi! Ahhhh thank you so much for the review! I appreciate it so much x
This is such a clever recipe and perfect for the holidays. I made this for the fam and they were a huge hit! It was my first time making rolls in a sheet pan and I was nervous at first, but they came out perfectly. So delicious!
Eeee so happy you loved them! Thank you so much for the review!
I made this for brunch for friends and it was such a huge hit! My friend said it was better than any pastry she has ever eaten before. Quite the compliment so thank you so much for sharing the recipe ☺️
Hi! Ahhh I love to hear this! So happy they passed the friend test x
Hi Erin! Can I use bread dough from my freezer instead of making homemade dough? Thank you! 🙂
I'm not sure sorry! I have only made it as written
Hey do you think i could knead this dough by hand or is a stand mixer necessary?
I haven't tried sorry but you could give it a go!
Made this for family over Christmas but left out the pecans because I couldn't find any in my rush for last minute grocery shopping. This recipe was so much easier to make than I expected as it was my first
time making any type of cinnamon rolls and I managed to have everything ready before the dough finished rising. I left the icing on the side so people could put as much or as little as they want. I used green apples in this recipe and it went really well with everything. Planning to make this again in the future since everyone loved it!
Instead of for Thanksgiving, I made these for Easter brunch, and they were delicious! I don't have a stand mixer so I used a hand mixer with dough hooks to mix the dough, and it worked just fine. I loved the brioche in this recipe, and the apples and cinnamon went great together. Also, the toasted pecans were a yummy touch!
Do you know the nutritional value of these? Or calorie per bun?
I don't sorry! I don't provide nutritional information as I keep my blog as a safe space from diet culture. You're welcome to work it out but I don't have the information available / calculated. Thanks!
I made this for Mother's Day and it was a huge hit! Really appreciate the detailed instructions you had for the brioche dough. It turned out super soft and tender and just chef's kiss. Thanks so much for this!
Just made these, and my goodness they are delicious! Thanks for a lovely recipe!
These are so delicous - perfect for a breakfast treat!
These might be the best thing I’ve ever made. The dough was so fluffy and light. A bit messy to work with compared to standard cinnamon rolls with the added apples, but so so worth it! Trust the process, trust Erin!
Hi! This recipe sounds & looks delicious! My neighbor gifted me a giant bag of pears yesterday and I was curious if I could sub pears for the apples in this recipe. I'm thinking that if they're close to the same consistency, then it should work? I read through the blog to see if there was anything about apple substitutions, but figured I'd leave a comment here to see if you had any insight! Thanks.
Hi! yes I think that should work ok!
Have just made this recipe and it is completely delicious. I do have a query, once it was rolled up I put it in the freezer to firm up for half an hour and that worked great for slicing. But after baking, a lot of the apples and cinnamon butter had moved to the bottom of the bun so they were clumped on the bottom. Maybe I didn't roll it firm enough?
Hi hi! It sounds like that could be it if they sunk down - you need to roll them quite tight!
Make these! You won’t regret it. The recipe is not as complicated as it looks on paper. They come together quickly for the most divine cinnamon rolls ever. I came here looking for something to do with an abundance of apples, and this was the winner.
Excellent recipe, thank you Erin!
Thank you! So happy you love!
Has anyone tried making it all the night before (except baking) and putting it in the fridge and then baking it the following morning? I need it early in the morning so I won't have time to do all the assembly....but I'm worried it might mess with the texture/rising if I do it all the night before? Ideas? Advice?
Hi! I do find that the filling does tend to fall out / leak a little if you leave them assembled overnight!
Sooooo good, time consuming but so worth the wait. The cream cheese frosting was so devine, the apples really toned down the sweetness for me which I liked & the bread was phenomenal. Whole family enjoyed it! Thanks for the recipe!!