I’ve made quite a few different homemade cinnamon rolls over the years but there’s only one recipe that comes out perfect every single time. I first ran across the cinnamon roll recipe (designed for bread machines) at A Cowboy’s Wife blog and have been using it ever since.
While it’s delicious as it is, it’s also fun to tweak with different flavors. Right now, I’m in the fall and baked apple pie mindset so it only seemed right to make caramel apple (pie) cinnamon rolls.
To get started, you toss all of the dough ingredients in your bread maker. If you don’t have one, you really should. They’re not horribly expensive and bread making becomes such an easy process. My personal favorite is the Breadman Convection Bread Maker.
After the dough cycle is finished it’s time to roll the dough. For recipes that require you to measure the dough, I make it easy on myself by measuring and cutting a piece of parchment paper to the desired size. I tape it to the surface I’m working on and roll the dough to the same size (or as close as possible).
A generous layer of brown sugar, melted butter and apple pie spice is what gives this dough an amazing flavor. Oh and there’s the whole can of apple pie filling!
You might notice there’s a few photo steps missing here. Well, that’s because it’s a messy job and my fingers were covered in the filling … much too sticky to pick up the camera. It’s a messy job but the result is totally worth it. And all that pie filling that leaks out of the dough? Just scoop it up and toss it on top of the rolls.
With this recipe I roll and cut 12 giant cinnamon rolls that nestle perfectly into the baking pan.
After 30 minutes of rising and 30 minutes of baking, the house smelled like the perfect fall day.
Sometimes it’s okay to get up close and personal with your food especially when you want a peek at all the yummy bits of perfectly baked apples nestled in the cinnamon roll layers.
While they could be perfect as is right out of the pan, a little (or a lot) of creamy caramel frosting doesn’t hurt either. They’re tender, sticky, sweet and oh so delicious!
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons water
- 6 tablespoons instant french vanilla pudding powder (3.4 oz box)
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (rapid rise)
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 can (20+ ounces) apple pie filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 teaspoons.milk
- ⅓ cup caramel ice cream topping
- Add the dough ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. (typically wet first, dry second, yeast last)
- Select the dough cycle.
- When the cycle is finished, roll the dough into a 17in x 10in rectangle.
- For the filling, mix the butter, brown sugar and spice until combined. Spread over the dough as close to possible to the edges.
- Use a knife to slice the apples into chunks inside the can. Spread the pie filling over the dough.
- Roll the dough into a tight log, starting with the widest section of the dough.
- Cut into 12 even rolls. Tip: Cut the log into half, then into thirds.
- Place the rolls into a greased baking pan and place in a warm spot to rise. I preheat my oven to the lowest setting, turn off and place the rolls in the oven with the door slightly ajar. Allow the rolls to rise and double in size for 30 minutes.
- Remove the rolls and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
- For the frosting, combine all ingredients and whisk on medium speed until combined. Add more milk to make the frosting thinner or add more powdered sugar to make it thicker. Your choice!
- Spread the frosting over warm rolls and serve.