Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

September 25, 2013 by Ali

This Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls recipe can be made in 1 hour, and will send you into caramel apple heaven.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls copy

Oh friends. I have literally been waiting for months to make these. Months and months and months.

But finally, fall and caramel apple season have officially arrived. And so have these Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.

As Uncle Jesse would say (running fingers through that perfectly swoopy black hair)…

…”have mercy.” 

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking on this recipe. But here are 4 quick things you need to know:

1) They are a version of my 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls recipe. So in addition to being fabulously decadent and delicious, they can also be on the table in literally a single hour from start to finish. And trust me — they are truly simple and taste just as good as overnight cinnamon rolls!

2) You can use store-bought caramel sauce or homemade. I’m a little partial to my microwave caramel sauce recipe, which I think beats anything that comes in a jar. But literally any caramel sauce will work for this. If you go store-bought, I would recommend using the jarred caramel sauce that can be found near the ice cream toppings (instead of the dipping sauce), but either will work.

3) You can use any kind of apples. I went with Granny Smith for extra tartness, but soft apples or crispy apples or whatever you’d like will work. I decided to just finely chop my apples with the skin on, but you can also peel them. And if you want a different twist than the little chunks, you can use a vegetable peeler to thinly peel them and lay them out on the butter-cinnamon-sugar surface. Whatever works!

4) Folks, these are rich.  Yep, this recipe falls in the “treat” category, especially if you go with more than less caramel sauce. I am typically a pretty healthy eater, but I’m a big believer of all things (especially decadent desserts) in moderation. So these fall into the special occasion category for me. And let me assure you, I savor every single bite! :)


Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls


    Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 envelope instant or ‘rapid rise’ yeast (approx. 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 egg
  • Caramel-Apple-Cinnamon-Sugar Filing Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. butter, (completely) softened
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • Topping:
  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • (optional) 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, pecans or peanuts


To Make The Dough & Filling:

Combine milk and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high for 1 minute, then remove and stir. Continue heating in 20 second intervals, pausing after each to stir, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm to the touch but not hot. If needed, let the milk mixture sit for a few minutes until it is warm but not hot.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (*see note below for an alternative method of making this by hand*) fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir by hand to combine. Add the egg and milk mixture, and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When the dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, you have added enough flour. Continue beating for 5 minutes on medium-low speed. Remove the dough hook and cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, begin making your filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.

When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface. Then use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14 x 9 inches in size. (If you want all edges to be even, you can use a pizza slicer to cut the dough into a perfect rectangle. Don't worry about cutting away extra dough -- this recipe makes plenty.) Use a knife or pastry spatula to spread the softened butter out evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Then sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Then sprinkle on the finely chopped apples, and drizzle with 1/2 cup caramel sauce.

Beginning at the 14-inch edge, tightly roll up the dough. And then give the final seam a little pinch so that it seals. Use a piece of dental floss* to "cut" off the two ends of the roll (just a centimeter or so) so that they are even. Then cut the remaining dough into 11 or 12 equal pieces. (11 rolls seem to fit in a pie plate, while 12 rolls fit in a rectangular pan.)

(*To cut dough with dental floss, simply break off a piece of floss about 12 inches long. Then very carefully slide the middle of the floss under the dough to the place where you want to "cut". Then pull the ends of the floss up and cross over the top of the dough. Then give a quick tug to literally cut all the way through the dough. This is the best method for not squishing your dough while cutting it -- although the standard knife method still works too.)

Place each of the cut cinnamon rolls into a greased pie plate or 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Then cover again with a damp towel, and leave the dish in a warm place to rise for 25 minutes. (I typically turn on my oven to 200 degrees, then turn it off and place the dish in the oven with the door cracked open. It's a great option if you don't have a vent or a warm window nearby.)

When the rolls have risen, uncover the dish. Then place on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden and cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce and serve.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls |

 Also check out the original 1 Hour Cinnamon Rolls recipe!

1-Hour Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe |

And my favorite Microwave Caramel Sauce recipe. YUM.

Microwave Caramel Sauce |

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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83 thoughts on “Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

  1. I can see why you wanted to make these so badly. I’m not looking forward to fall, but these might make me okay with it.

    - Laura Dembowski

  2. Heavens to Betsy! Ali, you just easily won me both Wife- and Mother-of-the-Year! My hubby worships cinnamon rolls and, while our kiddos enjoy them, the three of them go absolutely gaga for anything with apples. This morning I served these and some “traditional” cinnamon rolls for breakfast which was soon followed with us all eating more for a completely unnecessary brunch. These are sooooo good we began adding superfluous meals into our day to have more time with your ambrosial rolls! I had to put my foot down when everyone wanted still more for lunch!!! I scrambled some eggs and cooked up some thick-cut maple bacon in an effort to keep our bodies from going into the most marvelous transcendent diabetic comas ever! ;-) We are in carb heaven and have taken the most wonderful route to get here! You are a-maz-ing!!! Think I’ll just print your georgeous pics of these lovelies for everyone’s dinner. Clearly, you are a culinary goddess!!! Thank you for sharing!!! YUM!!!

    - Megan

  3. Evil goodness!!
    Ty for your beautiful images!

    - Kristin

  4. Had never baked with yeast before, but figured it was just as good as any time to start. Made these for my church’s cinnamon roll bake off. Won the dang thing. I now have a gold spray-painted spatula displayed in my kitchen pronouncing me an awesome chef. No one knows they only took 90 minutes to make (let’s be real, I couldn’t do these in an hour). Thanks much!

    - Kiley

  5. A-MAZ-ING! I made these today and they turned out so well. I love the fall twist with the apples and they were quick and easy too. Thanks!

    - Barbara

  6. These Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls look awesome!
    An unrelated question–What kind of stand mixer do you prefer?
    I’m in the market for one and am wondering which is best for me. I am not the everyday baker but I do a LOT at holidays and only have a hand mixer. I’m gonna try these when I get one!! Thanks!

    - Melba

  7. I don’t know if I’m missing something, but I don’t see the note to make these by hand. I was just getting my ingredients together to start, but I don’t have a stand mixer. I see the note about the floss but not the alternative to make by hand.

    - Bianca

    • It’s on the 1 Hour Cinnamon Roll recipe “**If you do not have an electric stand mixer with a dough attachment, you can simply stir the ingredients together, and then knead by hand for 5-7 minutes.”

      - lacy

  8. Woman, your pictures are INSANE, I am HOOKED!! I want to be you when I grow up!! These rolls look amazing, and delicious, and drop-dead gorgeous. I’m pinning this one AND the original 1 hour cinnamon roll recipe, you have a fan for life and a new Facebook follower!!
    ~April :)

    - April

  9. Honestly I felt like I was looking at dirty pictures and I didn’t want my husband to know why I was starting to breath heavy. These look sinfully good. Those are some fantastic photos.

    - Robin

  10. Well cinnamon rolls are pretty much my FAVORITE thing, so I can not wait to try these babies! THANK YOU!
    I’m following you on google+, love ur stuff. :)

    - Pam

  11. These are the cutest breakfast ever!!

    - Shelly (Cookies and Cups)

  12. I haven’t even tasted these and I’m already in caramel apple heaven!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  13. Yum!! This is the definition of heavenly :) I love caramel apple!

    - Nutmeg Nanny

  14. Could you make these ahead of time?

    - Anna

  15. LOVE. These look so decadent and delicious – I need to make these!

    - sara

  16. Oh, these look perfectly decadent!

    - Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

  17. Oh my. I need to have these now!

    - Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

  18. Mmmmm…my stomach is growling at me! This looks SO delicious!

    - Mary Brady

  19. oh my gosh the caramel on top of these cinnamon rolls looks like serious heaven. Plus, I usually only like apple desserts when they have caramel with them so I think I would love these!

    - aimee @ like mother like daughter

  20. I don’t own a microwave, can your caramel sauce be made on the stove top?

    - Stacey Ray

  21. Stunning. And now I’m hungry! LOL

    - Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer

  22. So happy to find your blog,
    your recipes are delicious with beautiful pics!

    - petiscos e miminhos

  23. I am totally dying – I need these in my life!!

    - Deborah

  24. Oh my goodness Ali, these look amazing!! I am going to have to find some time soon to make these. I just decided I needed to start eating healthier but these just might have to throw that “diet” plan out the window.

    - Laura @ The Rookie Cook

  25. I’m going to need these and I mean soon!!

    - Gaby

  26. Oh my gosh, Ali, these look wildly amazing! I literally have scrolled back up to stare at your gorgeous photos 5 times!!! I have to make these.

    - ashley - baker by nature

  27. Haven’t tried these yet, but they look like a sweet poutine!

    - Tara

  28. Um what??? These look insane! I can’t wait to look at the recipe for the microwave caramel sauce too!

    - Mercedes

  29. Ali, I can’t even handle this right now. Stunning. Just Stunning.

    - Des

  30. your photography is mindblowing Ali! And the recipe, the caramel, the whole thing – stunning! Wow. Pinned!

    - Averie @ Averie Cooks

  31. Too good to be true!

    - E

  32. These look seriously incredible, I’d have a hard time limiting myself to just a bit…

    - Lauren at Keep It Sweet

  33. Oh, my heavens!! These are the most perfect cinnamon rolls ever! Makes me so hungry! :)

    - Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective

  34. Have mercy indeed, these rolls look divine!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  35. These are the most beautiful rolls I’ve ever seen and the caramel…Ohmygosh. I have GOT to try these!

    - Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps

  36. So many pictures of that ooey gooey caramel!!!! I love it. This recipe is dangerous, in the best kind of way though!

    - Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

  37. This is one of those post where I wish I could stick my finger right through the screen and dip it in the caramel for a taste test.

    - Emily @ Life on Food

  38. Oh my gosh I want to dive right into this right now! Apples and caramel are perfect together but in a cinnamon roll…?!? Just wow! xo

    - Kammie @ Sensual Appeal

  39. Cinnamon Rolls are my fav! But I think I enjoyed the Uncle Jesse comment even more! I thought I was the only one that repeated Full House quotes, ha!

    - Stacy

  40. Perfection! I’m with Dalila on this – no sharing on this one!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  41. Question ~ I do NOT have to share….right?!

    - Dalila G.

  42. Yummmeeeeee

    - Ali's Mom

  43. I adore these. I’m all about some caramel apples!

    - cassie

  44. Pinning! And totally making these this weekend!

    - Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain

  45. 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls?! With caramel and apples… my heavens.. have mercy is right! I WILL be making these this weekend!

    - Angie | Big Bears Wife

  46. There are not enough words to describe how amazing these look!

    - Mimi @ Culinary Couture

  47. Looks INSANELY good!!

    - Marie @ Little Kitchie

  48. Beautiful photographs and a lovely recipe!

    - Marly

  49. Oh my gosh – look at how PURDY these are!! And one hour? You’re speaking right to my carb-loving heart Ali!

    - Megan {Country Cleaver}

  50. These are just gorgeous Ali! I’ve actually been dying to make a version of Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls too- the flavor combo is just too perfect!

    - Audra | The Baker Chick

  51. Ali!! These are the most gorgeous rolls ever! Must have them in my life :) xoxo

    - Jenny Flake

  52. I absolutely need these in my life!

    - Rachel @ Baked by Rachel

  53. Oh heavens………………………..I want to roll around in a pool of these.

    Ok that sounds gross but I definitely see the need in inviting several people over when making these so I dont eat every last one!!

    Ok, Fall,….you and me. These are happening. SOON.

    Good call, Ali…good call.

    - brittany

  54. I never thought I’d say this, but these look even better than cinnamon buns! Must make these when I get the chance!

    - Samantha

  55. Can you make these for me next week? Pretty please?

    - Maria

  56. These look over-the-top delicious! I’ve had caramel apples on the brain lately.

    - Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

  57. I definitely have an hour…guess I know now what to do with it!

    - steph@stephsbitebybite

  58. They look absolutely divine! Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls? I am drooling over these.

    - Melanie @

  59. You get the prize for most droolworthy recipe of the week. YUM.

    - Lori @ RecipeGirl

  60. Holy bonkers mother of pearl these look amazing. All of that caramel and apple goodness in one roll. Drool!

    - Jennie @themessybakerblog

  61. Oh com on!! These rolls are just dripping with goodness!! Must make them this weekend!

    - Tieghan

  62. Gorgeous caramel apple cinnamon rolls, Ali! Have mercy, indeed! Love all that caramel and yeasty cinnamon goodness. Beautiful photography, too Thanks for sharing. Pinning!

    - Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen

  63. One of my favorite treats growing up was a green apple covered in sticky, sweet caramel. Sweet memories :) These look delicious!

    - Mary-Clay @ Cooking with the King

  64. All the caramel in these is awesome! Yum!!

    - Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar