Go Back Email Link
+ servings
An apple cinnamon roll on a plate with utensils and apples nearby.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 1 vote
Wake up on the right side of the morning with these easy, gooey, and pillow soft apple cinnamon rolls drizzled with brown butter cream cheese icing. These homemade milk bread apple pie cinnamon rolls are really easy to make and can be prepared in advance!
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 45 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Proofing Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Author: takestwoeggs




  • ¾ cup (180 g) water
  • ¼ cup (34 g) bread flour

Yeast Mixture

  • 1 cup (250 g) warm milk 100-105°F or 38°C
  • 2 teaspoon (8 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) active dry yeast, or instant yeast


  • 4 cup (543 g) bread flour
  • cup (67 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) salt
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 4 tablespoon (57 g) unsalted butter room temperature

Apple Pie Filling

  • 5 (650 g) apples peeled, cored and diced (honey crisp or pink lady)
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoon (30 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Brown Sugar Filling

  • cup (135 g) dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) ground cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoon (85 g) unsalted butter room temperature

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 tablespoon (60 g) unsalted butter
  • 4 ½ tablespoon (85 g) cream cheese room temperature
  • 2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoon (30 g) milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



  • In a small saucepan, add the water and bread flour on medium heat and using a rubber spatula mix until there are no more lumps and the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue mixing for an additional 1 minute. Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure plastic wrap is touching tangzhong to prevent it from developing a film. Refrigerate until it has cooled to about room temperature.


  • Bloom the yeast. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix together warm milk (100-105°F or 38°C), 2 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Mix and let it bloom for 5-10 minutes or until it is frothy. (Do this with either instant or active dry yeast to check if the yeast is still alive)
  • Make the dough. In the bowl of your KitchenAid with a dough attachment, mix together the bread flour, the remaining sugar, and salt. While the mixer is on low, add in the yeast mixture and tangzhong, and egg. Continue mixing until the mixture transforms into a dough, about 2 minutes.
  • Add butter and knead. When the dough has just formed, add the softened room temperature butter and knead on low until combined, about 1 minute. Then increase the speed to medium-high and knead until smooth, 7-8 minutes. The dough should form into a smooth elastic ball and be slightly sticky. If it's TOO sticky (meaning it's sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 1-2 tablespoons of bread flour.)
  • 1st Proof. Shape the dough as a ball and place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm place for about 1-1 ½ hours or until doubled in size. This may more or less time depending the humidity and temperature in your home.


  • Apple pie filling. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until evenly coated.
  • Cook the apple filling. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the apple mixture. Toss to coat and stir until apples are tender and released some of its juices about 3 minutes. Then add the cornstarch and mix to incorporate. Cook until the mixture has thickened. Set aside to cool.
  • Cinnamon sugar filling. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.


  • Roll out the proofed dough. After the dough has doubled, transfer the dough onto a well-floured surface and roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about ¼-inch thick.
  • Add the filling. Spread softened butter over the dough, leaving a ¼-inch margin along one width side of the dough to seal the dough. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and diced apples over the buttered dough leaving the ¼ margin at the end clean.
  • Roll the dough. Starting from the brown sugar coated width side, tightly roll the dough and ending with the unbuttered side and gently pinch the end to seal the edges of the dough as best you can.
  • Cut the dough. Cut into 1-inch sections with a serrated knife or floss.

2nd Proof and Bake

  • 2nd proof. Place the cut cinnamon rolls in a lined and greased baking pan (9-inch round or 9x13 pan) Cover with a kitchen towel and place the pan in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350˚F or 176˚C. Remove kitchen towel and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until slightly golden brown along the edges. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • Brown the butter. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to brown lightly until it is golden brown and smells toasted with some brown bits at the bottom of the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Combine. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and salt. Then add the browned butter and whisk until combined. If the icing is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar; if it's too thick, add more milk. Drizzle icing over warm rolls using a piping bag or a spoon. Enjoy!


  • Do not overheat the milk and kill the yeast! The ideal temperature for activating yeast is 100-110 degrees F. (My sweet spot is usually 105 degrees F) Anything hotter will instantly kill the yeast and the yeast will not rise. Measure the temperature with a thermometer to make sure it is at the right temperature.
  • Make sure to use room temperature ingredients. Using softened room temperature butter will allow even mixing into the dough without making the dough overly wet. Moreover, if you use melted butter for the filling it will cause the filling to leak out before baking. Room temperature eggs will keep the dough at perfect room temperature for optimal yeast activity.
  • If the dough is too wet, add 1-2 more tablespoons of flour. The dough should be fairly tacky and may stick to your hands but it should come off cleanly. However, if you feel like the dough is too wet to be manageable knead in 1-2 more tablespoons of flour.
  • Rub the brown sugar into the butter. When you spread the cinnamon sugar across the buttered dough, remember to gently rub the sugar into the dough so that it is well combined and sticks to the dough.
  • Cool the cinnamon rolls before icing. Make sure the cinnamon rolls are cooled for at least 7-10 minutes before icing to prevent the icing from melting too quickly. 
Share on Facebook Pin Recipe
Hungry for more?Follow us for more tasty creations and updates ⬇️
Instagram Pinterest Facebook


Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 317mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 33g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 1mg
Calories: 468kcal
Course: Appetizer, Appetizer & Sides, Bread, Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Asian Fusion
Keyword: apple cinnamon roll, apple cinnamon rolls, apple pie cinnamon rolls, apple roll, cinnamon apple rolls, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling, milk bread cinnamon rolls
Keyword apple cinnamon roll, apple cinnamon rolls, apple pie cinnamon rolls, apple roll, cinnamon apple rolls, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling, milk bread cinnamon rolls