What’s better than freshly baked cinnamon rolls? Apple pie-filled cinnamon rolls are what, and these Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling are so good, you just may not want them any other way again! Fun to make and baking up soft, fluffy, and bursting with apple pie flavor, these cinnamon rolls are too good not to try!

a Cinnamon Roll with Apple Filling

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I love cinnamon rolls. They’re so delicious when you make them from scratch, and they fill the house with an amazing aroma while baking. The recipe is not hard to make, but they do take some time because the rolls are made with yeast, which takes time to rise.

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

These apple pie cinnamon rolls are a great weekend baking project, or get the kids involved and make something delicious any time!

You can also prepare them the day before and pop them into the fridge overnight. They’ll need a couple of hours on the counter to do their final rise, but then they can go right into the oven so that they are fresh and fabulous when you want to devour them.

taking a bite of raisin and apple cinnamon roll

This apple dessert also reminds me of my childhood, as my mom (Millie) made these during the holidays. It’s true, her recipe used Bisquick for the dough, but we make our own dough in this recipe. Oh, the sweet memories, and sorry Mom, I think ours are a little bit better. :)

a frosted pastry

Bursting with apple flavor, the filling is made with Granny Smith apples, raisins, and plenty of butter so it’s delicious and not too sweet. Topped with maple syrup-infused icing, these cinnamon rolls are just about as good as they can get!

hot baked rolls with cinnamon

Why I love this recipe

  • These homemade cinnamon rolls are better than Cinnabon or any store-bought rolls!
  • Start on the rolls the night before so they’re ready to pop into the oven for freshly baked treats.
  • Pie filling (with apples) and cinnamon rolls are a perfect flavor combination, and they taste delicious!
  • Oh, this recipe reminds me of my childhood!

ingredients to make apple cinnamon rolls

Gather these ingredients

  • Granulated white sugar
  • Yeast – Make sure your yeast is not expired.
  • Whole milk
  • Salted butter – Divided.
  • Eggs – Large eggs.
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Granny Smith apples – You’ll need about 5 large apples.
  • Raisins
  • Dark brown sugar
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cardamom
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract – Pure or artificial vanilla is fine.
  • Maple syrup

how to make a pan of Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

How to make the best Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

Start preparing your cinnamon rolls at least 4 hours before you want to eat them.

To make the dough

  1. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray or grease it with butter and set it aside. Coat the bottom and sides.
  2. Whisk together the sugar and the yeast in a small bowl.
  3. Heat the milk until it is warm – not hot – and pour it into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the whisked sugar and yeast mixture with a wooden spoon, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let it sit until the yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  4. Beat 8 tablespoons of softened salted butter into the milk-yeast mixture and then beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the salt.
  5. Gradually add the flour and beat with the dough hook until the dough is combined and soft, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, knead it by hand.
  6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 1 minute.
  7. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and place it in a warm spot in your kitchen for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  8. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and punch the dough down. Roll it into a 16×24 rectangle.

unbaked pan of cinnamon rolls with Granny Smith apples

To make the filling

For this recipe, make the apple pie filling while the dough is rising.

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the sugar, apples, and raisins. Saute the apple mixture for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat or until the apples are slightly caramelized. Turn off the heat and set the apples aside.
  2. Combine the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl and set aside.

how to make frosting to add to fresh cinnamon rolls

To assemble the apple pie cinnamon rolls

  1. Spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of softened butter over the top of the rolled out dough, spreading the butter almost all the way to the edges.
  2. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top of the butter.
  3. Transfer the apple mixture to the dough, spreading it out as evenly as you can.
  4. Roll the dough into a log like a jelly roll. Roll up the long side of the dough, ending with a log that’s 24 inches long.
  5. Cut the log into 2-inch rounds. Use a sawing motion so you don’t squish or pinch the dough. You should end up with 12 cinnamon rolls.
  6. Transfer the rolls to the prepared baking pan so the cut sides are facing up.
  7. Cover the baking dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil and let the rolls rise for 45-60 minutes or until they’ve doubled in size.

baked pan of apple cinnamon rolls

To bake the rolls

  1. Preheat your oven to 375-F. 
  2. Remove the foil or plastic wrap from the baking dish and bake the risen rolls for 22-25 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  3. Cover the rolls loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking time to prevent them from becoming too brown.
  4. Remove the baking dish from the oven and cool it on a rack for 5 minutes.

To make the icing

  1. Combine the powdered sugar, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup in a small bowl. 
  2. Drizzle the frosting over the tops of the warm rolls and enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

Tips & substitutions

  • You can use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook to make short work of the dough, or use a sturdy wooden spoon and your hands to knead it.
  • Only frost the rolls you’re going to eat – they’re best stored unfrosted.
  • Most of the work is the day before. Prepare the rolls up to the final rising stage and then pop them into the fridge up to overnight. Let the rolls rise for 1-2 hours on the counter, instead of the 45-60 minutes, for them to double in size for the final time. Then bake them.

Serving suggestions

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling are perfect on a brunch board along with all your favorite brunch items, but they also make an amazing dessert. I love making these apple cinnamon rolls in the fall when the local apples are in season, and they’re a great dessert after a slow cooker roast beef dinner or our family’s favorite meatloaf.

bite of cinnamon roll

Storage

These apple pie cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed fresh, but they will keep unfrosted and tightly wrapped for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze the baked rolls for up to 3 months. Thaw them overnight in the fridge before enjoying them.

Check out these awesome apple recipes while you’re here

a Cinnamon Roll with Apple Filling
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Get the Recipe:

Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling

Makes 12 rolls
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 12
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Ingredients
 

Make the dough:

  • cup granulated sugar
  • 4 ½ teaspoons yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup salted butter, 8 TBSP (softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting/rolling

Make the apple pie filling:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, divided
  • 3 cups chopped Granny Smith apples, about 5 large apples, un-peeled, cored and diced
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sugar

For sprinkling:

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom

Make the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, plus more if you like thicker frosting
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions
 

To make the dough:

  • Prepare a 9×13 inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray (bottom and sides) and set aside.
  • Whisk together the sugar and the yeast.
  • Heat the milk until warm (not hot), and pour into a bowl (either a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer, or the bowl of a stand mixer). Add in the whisked sugar and yeast mixture and whisk by hand, the sugar and yeast into the milk. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. The yeast should dissolve and foam.
  • Next, on low speed, beat in the softened butter (8 TBSP),, and next the eggs, one at a time, and then add the salt. Gradually add the flour and beat on medium speed until the dough is soft, about 5 minutes. Or, knead by hand.
  • On a lightly floured board or surface, lay down the dough and knead it with your hands for 1 minute.
  • With your hands, make a ball with the dough and transfer to a bowl that has been lightly greased. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and set it in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Next, place the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface, punch it down and roll into a 16×24 inch even rectangle.

Make the apple pie filling:

  • While the dough is rising, make the apple pie filling. Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter and the ½ cup granulated sugar in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the chopped apples and raisins. Sauté apple mixture on medium-high heat until slightly caramelized (about 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a separate small bowl, mix the dark brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom and set aside.

Assemble the cinnamon rolls:

  • On top of the rolled out dough, spread the remaining 2 Tbsp of softened butter almost out to the edges.
  • Sprinkle the dark brown sugar mixture evenly over the butter. Next spread the apple mixture over the brown sugar as evenly as you can.
  • Roll into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches.
  • Using a sharp knife, gently cut 2 inch slices with a sawing motion (don’t squish or pinch the dough to flatten), to create 12 cinnamon rolls.
  • Place each roll in the prepared 9x13 baking pan. Cover the baking dish very tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Allow rolls to rise in a warm place again for about 45-60 minutes to rise, or until the rolls are doubled in size.

Bake the rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake rolls for about 22-25 minutes until they are golden brown. The last 15 minutes, cover the rolls loosely with foil to prevent the tops from browning too much. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.

Make the icing:

  • In a small bowl, whisk the frosting ingredients and drizzle over the warm rolls. Serve warm.
  • Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Notes

Make Ahead Instructions
Overnight: To prepare the night before serving, prepare the rolls through step 4. Cover the rolls tightly and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter for 1-2 hours before continuing with step 6.
Freezing: Baked rolls can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Calories: 507kcal, Carbohydrates: 97g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 138mg, Potassium: 229mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 44g, Vitamin A: 506IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 70mg, Iron: 3mg
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Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Pie Filling