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Easy Fluffy Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing. Just the autumn breakfast we’re all looking for. Buttery, soft, and fluffy dough swirled with cinnamon sugar and sweet Honeycrisp apples. Each roll is frosted generously with a warming brown butter and maple icing that melts into every nook and cranny. There’s nothing not to love, every bite is melt in your mouth delicious.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Cinnamon rolls hold a special place in my kitchen, and by that, I really just mean that we love them to pieces. Growing up, my mom would occasionally buy the cinnamon rolls that come from the can around the holidays. My brothers and I LOVED them. We looked forward to these cinnamon roll breakfasts every single year.

These days we all know I choose to make my own, but still, we love a good cinnamon roll. And you know? Homemade really is best, and they’re really not that difficult to make.

These apple cinnamon rolls are no exception. Everything from the rolls to the icing is pretty close to perfect. They might take a little time to make, because of the rising. But besides that, they really are quite easy.

And the smells coming from the kitchen as they bake? Mmm, too good.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Let’s jump into the details

The dough is the simplest to make. Simply mix the yeast with warm milk and a small touch of brown sugar. It’s important to let that mix sit for a few minutes to allow the yeast to “activate”.

Next, add the butter, eggs, flour, and salt. Mix until smooth and let the dough rest until doubled in size. Then it’s time to shape the rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

While the dough rests, mix the filling

It’s super simple. I love to use a mix of brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon for the best consistency. The brown sugar adds a nice depth of flavor. And I go heavy on the cinnamon for sweet cinnamon swirls throughout.

And of course, the apples. I like to use Honeycrisp apples, and yes, I do leave the skin on! If you prefer no skin, be sure to peel the apples first.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Assemble and bake

Spread the dough with butter, then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar, and apples. Roll the dough up into a log, slice, and bake.

The smells coming from the oven will be perfect. Think…fall candle and Christmas morning combined.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Finally, the icing

Brown the butter and mix it with the cream cheese, maple syrup, sugar, and a touch of vanilla. The maple is key. It pairs so well with the apples and cinnamon.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, frost, serve, and enjoy every last sweet and delicious bite. They’re soft, fluffy, heavy in the cinnamon swirl, and perfectly spiced with warm autumn flavors.

And gooey, SO gooey. These rolls are beyond good. Great for all the crisp fall weekends to come!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other cinnamon recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Cinnamon Apple Puffed Pancake

Easy Fluffy Eggnog Cinnamon Rolls

Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts with Cinnamon Maple Glaze

Vanilla Chai Pumpkin Latte Cupcakes with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Frosting

Lastly, if you make these Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 rolls
Calories Per Serving: 348 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Apple Filling

Brown Butter Maple Icing

Instructions

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the milk, yeast, and brown sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes, until bubbly on top. Add the butter, eggs, 3 1/2 cups flour, and salt. Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4-5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, add the additional 1/2 cup flour, adding more as needed until the dough is smooth to touch.
    2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    3. Meanwhile, mix the filling. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.
    4. Punch the dough down and roll out onto a lightly floured surface, creating a large rectangle about 12 x 18 inches. Spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle on the apples and cinnamon sugar. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, keeping it tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12-15 rolls. Place the rolls into the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 20-30 minutes.
    5. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    6. Meanwhile, make the icing. Add the butter to a pot set over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it smells toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. To a bowl with the cream cheese in it, whisk in the maple syrup, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

To Make Ahead: prepare the rolls through step 4. Do not let the rolls rise at room temp. Cover the rolls and place them in the fridge (up to overnight). When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge 30 minutes prior to baking, then bake as directed. 
To Prepare and Freeze: assemble the rolls through step 4. Then cover the pan and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the rolls overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours. Once thawed, bake as directed. 
To Bake and Freeze: bake the rolls as directed and let cool completely. Cover well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and warm, then frost before serving. 
Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Incredible recipe. It takes a long time to prepare, so unless you make it the night before or wake up super early it’s a time consuming breakfast.

    This said, I substituted half of the flour with airhead flour and done off the cream cheese with yogurt for the icing. Still worked beautifully.

    Thanks Thiegan and HBH team

  2. 5 stars
    Made these last week and took on a weekend camping trip. They were absolutely wonderful and delicious even a day or two after the trip. I will be making them again soon! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  3. Just made out first batch, but we’re confused as to what to do with the butter after browning it in the pot. Nothing more is said about it.

    1. I read it as “remove from the heat to a bowl with the cream cheese in it”. I think there may need to be a comma instead of a period after “remove from the heat”.

  4. Hi Teighan! Have you ever tried making egg-free cinnamon buns? I’ve seen them available (I think the Immaculate Baking Co. makes them??) at Whole Foods. I’d love to bake these with my kids next week, but they’re both allergic to eggs. Wondering if you’ve found a good substitute for a recipe such as this? Thanks a ton!

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