Completely Outrageous Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Maple Glaze! A perfect Autumn breakfast or brunch, and awesome for the Holidays!
I’ve never been one to leave “well enough” alone. I heard it repeatedly as a child, like when I felt the need to “smooth things over” after a disagreement with my sister right at the point when feelings were at their peak of hurt. Naturally, these incidents would often incite another argument. Mom: “Can’t you JUST leave well enough alone?” Apparently, I couldn’t. I didn’t fully realize that we all have our own idea of what is best, that my position wasn’t the only and obvious correct one.
But, as usual, Mom was right. I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I was the kid who always needed to do just one better, get one more cookie, have a grade better than the others, win the contest. In the words of the incomparable Freddie Mercury, “I want it all, and I want it NOW!” And then sulk when it didn’t happen my way. And, it wasn’t because I was competitive with others so much as I knew there was better I could do. At least that’s what I tell myself.
But here’s the thing: No one knew. (Well, TBH, they probably did, I just like to think they didn’t) I was the shy kid, the one who rarely even spoke in public. It was all an internal struggle.
That’s kind of what happened with these Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Maple Glaze. Some time back I posted these glorious Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting. And they are definitely awesome. A tribute to my Mom’s crazy-good freezer full of Cinnamon Rolls. A lovely soft roll, filled with gooey cinnamon filling and topped with smooth, but not-too-sweet fluffy cream cheese frosting. But, this year, I really felt the need to one-up those rolls. I wanted to add some apple flavor, and change up the frosting to a glaze, so the flavors of the apple would shine. And true to my inner child, my internal struggle took awhile to solve this conundrum.
So, I came up with this glaze. This Salted Maple Glaze. So good, you might be tempted to drink it. And I’m not kidding. There will likely be a little extra, you know….
Inspired and adapted from the glaze on Sally’s Baking Addiction, I punched up the maple flavor a bit, adding some extra maple syrup and some salt and then I used buttermilk to mix it all together. Also I love the Buttermilk-based Apple-Cinnamon rolls from the brilliant Jennifer at Foodess so I adapted that to the dough used in my Cinnamon rolls.
I’m so glad I didn’t leave well enough alone! But really, can anyone leave “well enough” alone, when there is more just around the corner? And with a little salted maple glaze? And you will be glad, too, once you try these outrageous Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Maple Glaze!
If you’re looking for other brunch dishes, please try these fantastic Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting, White Chocolate Cranberry Cake, or these scrumptious Rhubarb Chevre Scones, or these super Easy Cheddar Onion Scones
These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are easy as any other to make. Don’t be afraid of yeast-bread baking. Just think of the yeast as another ingredient. One that is “active”, so at the beginning it needs to prove it’s still ready to go.
The trickiest part of this recipe is rolling up the filled dough into a tight cylinder. With those apples inserted, it’s a bit more difficult than with a flat, soft cinnamon filling. You can see mine are not as tight as one might like, but the flavor doesn’t care! They’re still phenomenal!
When cutting the rolls, it’s easier to get 16 even-thickness rolls than it is to get 15, which is how many most recipes make. So just go with how you feel, 15 or 16. All good.
The important things are to be sure your yeast is active, the dough gets kneaded and every roll gets a nice gooey filling.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Maple Glaze
These Apple Cinnamon Rolls are the BOMB! And when topped with the salty maple glaze, you may as well jut put 2 on your plate to begin with.
I adapted the glaze from Sally’s Baking Addiction, and followed Foodess’ lead on the buttermilk rolls.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, it’s ok to use a hand mixer or mix by hand. You’ll just need to allow 10-15 minutes to hand-knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
- Prep Time: 60min + 150min inactive
- Cook Time: 25 min
- Total Time: 1 hr active, 3 hr inactive
- Yield: 15–16 rolls 1x
- Category: Brunch
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
For the Dough:
- 1 1/4 cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Instant Yeast (2–0.25 oz. packages)
- 1/3 cup Butter, very soft
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 Large eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4–4 1/2 cups (540g) AP flour, plus a bit more for rolling out (See Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp Cardmom
For the Filling:
- 1/2 cup Butter, softened enough to easily spread
- 1/2 cup (100g) Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) Granulated Sugar
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 T Cornstarch
- 2 Medium-large Honeycrisp, Granny Smith or Braeburn apples (or your favorite!)
- 1/3 cup Whipping or heavy cream
- 1 egg, whisked with 1 Tbsp water
For the Glaze:
- 1 1/3 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbsp Heavy Cream or Buttermilk
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 4 oz. Cream Cheese, softened, or defrosted 2 mins in microwave
Make the Dough:
- Place the buttermilk and softened butter, and 1 Tbsp of the sugar into a microwave-safe bowl, and, using 20-second intervals, heat to the temperature it advises on your yeast packet. You can test this with a thermometer, or insert your finger, and since this is close to body temperature, 105F should feel ever-so-slightly warm, and 120 should feel definitely warm. Place the warm buttermilk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk in the yeast. Cover and let sit for 5-10 minutes. After this time, there should be some bubbling and foaming. That lets you know you can proceed to the next steps.
- Using the paddle attachment, at Medium-Low speed, add in the rest of the sugar, the salt, eggs, vanilla, flour, and cardamom. Mix until the flour is incorporated, then remove the paddle attachment, replacing it with the dough hook. (See Note 2) Knead 7-9 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and a bit sticky. It should be pulled away from the bowl, leaving the sides of the bowl pretty clean, and should also stick to the bottom of the bowl. It should feel “tacky” but not stick to your finger so that it doesn’t come off cleanly when pulled. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour – maybe 1/4-1/2 cup, and knead another minute or two.
- Place a teaspoon or two of neutral oil in a large bowl, form the bowl into a ball, and place it in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm spot to rise. If your oven has a low setting (150F or lower), you could preheat it to that temperature, then turn the oven off and place the covered dough inside. Leave the dough in the warm spot until it doubles in size, 1-2 hours. While the dough rises, make the filling.
Make the Filling:
- In a Medium bowl, whisk together the sugars, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
- Cut the apples (peel if you like – I didn’t) into very small, thin sections. No more than 1/4” thick, and 1/2”x1/2”. This will enable them to fully cook during the short bake time.
- On a large, flour-covered surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18-20 inches wide and 14-15 inches deep. Spread the softened butter over the entire surface.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture over the butter.
- Scatter the apple pieces over the cinnamon mixture.
- Starting at the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough as tightly as you can, into a log, being careful not to stretch the dough. Take your time, this can be difficult but is worth the patience! Brush a little egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp water) over the far edge to seal the cylinder of dough.
- Using a sharp knife, mark the halfway point of the dough with a small, shallow slice. Then divide each half, using similar shallow slices, into halves, then halves again, then one more time, so you have 16 roughly equal slices. Then complete the slices so you have 16 discs of even thickness.
- Place 12 of the round slices into a parchment lined, or buttered 9×13 pan, and 4 into an 8×8 pan. Alternatively, you could use 2-9×9 pans or 2 round pie or cake pans. Cover the pans with a damp cloth and place them in a warm spot for 20-40 minutes, until they have doubled in size. During this time, preheat the oven to 350F (or 330F for Convection). Brush tops of rolls with the 1/3 cup cream. Place risen rolls into the oven and bake until golden brown. If you don’t want them too brown, cover lightly with foil after 12-15 minutes. Bake 20-25 minutes. Mine took 20 minutes to be done to my liking. Remove from oven to cool.
Make the Maple topping:
- Mix all of the topping ingredients together until smooth.
- Spread over rolls that are cooled completely, or, if you are serving immediately, wait at least 15 minutes to glaze and serve.
- Different flours have different weights per cup. I use King Arthur Flour for this recipe, which weighs 120g/cup. I used a total of 540g or 4 1/2 cups. If your flour weighs a bit more, as it might, you might want to use a bit less than 4 1/2 cups. You can always add a bit more when kneading, if necessary.
- If you don’t have a dough hook, you can knead by hand, on a heavily floured surface, for 10-15 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Rolls keep at room temperature for 2-3 days, when covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap, or wrap tightly and freeze up to 2 months, defrosting in the refrigerator.
Keywords: Apples, Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze, cinnamon roll frosting
Absolutely worth of sharing with the world, Laura ! Thank you and enjoy your day 🙂
Thanks so much, Davorka! I appreciate your visit and hope you’re having a great week!
I’ve been looking for a variation on the cinnamon roll recipe and these look like a great twist. Thanks for posting this.
Thanks so much, Jon! Hope you love these as much as we do! Thanks for visiting!
mary anderson says
i love these kind of recipes because its easy for me to make and my kids actually loved it every time. i wonder if i can subsitute some of the ingredients because mostly i can’t find them at the grocery stores. thanks 🙂
Hi, Mary! I imagine there are some substitutions that could be made; however, not knowing what specific substitutions you are considering, I couldn’t say for sure. You could very likely substitute other sweet syrups for the maple syrup, for instance. If you don’t have buttermilk, you could add a Tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it set for 10 minutes, as this makes a reasonable substitute for buttermilk. Beyond that, if you could let me know what items you’re considering, it’s possible I could let you know if it’s a reasonable substitute. Hope you all like this recipe!
Kim Lange says
What a beautiful cinnamon roll recipe. I can almost taste them and love all the flavors going on here Laura! Pinned!
Thanks, Kim! They are pretty flavorful indeed! Thanks for visiting and pinning!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
How cozy and delicious do these look Laura?! That salted maple glaze sounds totally irresistible! Pinned and excited to give these a go!
Thanks, Mary Ann! I hope you love them like we do. I have a second batch I made in my freezer and it calls my name every morning. Don’t think I can hold out more than another day. Or maybe another 10 minutes. Thanks for the pin!
Well done Laura! You know we like our kanelbullar (cinnamon rolls) over this way so I know these will be a hit. I love the idea of the salty maple glaze.
Thanks so much, Ron! I agree, a kanelbullar is wonderful! Glad you’re a salty/sweet person, too! And salty maple! I can’t get enough! Thanks for visiting!
Katherine | Love In My Oven says
I love your photos for this, Laura! These sound amazing. That salted maple glaze is the perfect finishing touch!! Salty and sweet! 🙂
Thank you, Katherine! I appreciate your kind words. For me, nothing is better than salty+sweet! Love it so much! Thanks for visiting!
Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen says
I 100 percent would drink that glaze. OMG maple is the best! I can’t leave well enough alone either–I’m constantly tweaking my recipes, to the point that sometimes I wonder how I actually get recipes published :). These look incredible, Laura!
Kindred spirits, Kelsie! I’m constantly tweaking, too! Sometimes for the better, there’s, well, not so much! But it all leads to better recipes, doesn’t it? Thanks for visiting, my friend!
Kelly | Foodtasia says
I admire your outlook, Laura! It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for! And thank you for not leaving well enough alone, or we’d be without these amazing apple cinnamon rolls. They’re brilliant! And that salted maple glaze – heavenly!
Haha, Kelly! That was said to me often, too! Glad you’re also a fan of a salted maple glaze, and thanks so much for visiting!
David @ Spiced says
I can totally identify with the ‘well enough alone’ thoughts here, Laura. I’ve always been a super competitive guy…and most of that is competitive with myself. I’m glad you stuck with it here as this recipe sounds delicious…and it’s perfect for the season! Also, I love the bit of cardamom in there…that’s one of my favorite additions to cinnamon rolls, too!
Thanks so much, David! Glad you are there with me on the competitive train! And the cardamom caboose, too! Thanks for visiting!
The apple baking season at its best, Laura! Soft, pilowy buns loaded with juicy apples and hearty cinnamon. And the best part is this cream cheese maple drizzle. This recipe screams “fall” to me.
Thanks, Ben! Totally what I was going for. I love your description – “soft pillow is bus loaded with juicy apples and hearty cinnamon.” Perfect. Hope you get the chance to try these out!
My first words said out loud on seeing these photographs were “oh these look amazing”. Which then brought Lynne into the same room who also agreed! But they are Laura, quite simply stunning. And that glaze……mmmmmm
Thank you so so much, Neil! I appreciate your and Lynne’s agreement on these Apple Cinnamon Rolls! And you’re so right, that glaze….addictive. ☺️
Yes, these are most definitely amazing! Shows your passion of doings things the best.
Well, you certainly outdid yourself, so congrats ! These look incredible, and the recipe sounds wonderful.