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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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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 |

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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls 1x


These caramel apple cinnamon rolls are filled with delicious sweet caramel and tart apples — the perfect combination!



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


  • 1/2 cup caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • (optional) 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts, pecans or peanuts


To Make The Dough & Filling:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Meanwhile, begin making your filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl until combined.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. (*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.)
  7. 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.)
  8. 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 |

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110 comments on “Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls”

  1. Could you make these ahead of time?

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

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

  4. These are the cutest breakfast ever!!

  5. 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. :)

  6. 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.

  7. 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 :)

  8. 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.

    • 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.”

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

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

  13. 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!!!

  14. 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.

  15. Hey Thank you so much for this easy recipe! I made them couple of days ago and they turned out yummyyy! :) extremely delicious, tasty and super easy….Apple is a real twist

  16. I absolutely love this recipe! So much so I added it to my ultimate apple recipe roundup…I hope you will come by and take a look! Have a great week xo

    • Thank you Jess, and thanks for sharing the recipe in your (delicious) roundup! We want to eat ALL of the apple things! ;)

  17. I used this recipe as a base to make quick raspberry rolls and it worked nicely. Instead of the caramel apple mixture I added about 11 oz frozen raspberries mixed with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp cornstarch. I then rolled up and sliced and baked as instructed, though cooked for a bit longer (about 25 minutes). I topped it with a cream cheese frosting. Yummy! Thanks for the recipe!

    • That’s so cool Rachel, those raspberry rolls sound delicious! We’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe! :)

  18. I made this using young coconut meat and nuts…it sure didn’t last long…thank you for sharing the recipe! 

  19. I found your post from Pinterest! I’m also gonna pin this post on my Pinterest board my followers will love it. This caramel apple cinnamon rolls recipe absolutely something new for me! Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing Ali!

  20. Definitely, your caramel apple cinnamon rolls are awesomeness! This is a great recipe Ali, as you know I made it a short while ago and it was lovely, in fact, have made it again since. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Excellent, I love this recipe. It is now my go to caramel roll recipe. Everyone I have made these for is delightedly surprised to find there are apples in them.

  22. Where are the notes for making this by hand?

  23. I don’t see notes for making it by hand either but I’m going to wing it

  24. This was my first attempt at making cinnamon rolls and they turned out perfect! Your recipe was so easy to follow. Since I was making these the night before, I covered them in plastic wrap and let them rise in the cold oven (did not turn the oven on while wrapped in plastic), and then put them in the fridge overnight. I let the rolls get to room temp the next morning before putting them in the oven and they turned out delicious. I will definitely be making these again