Slow-Cooker Apple Butter Yeast Rolls

Yep, you read that right. Yeast Rolls. Made with apple butter. In a slow cooker.

This easy yeast rolls recipe is my favorite variety of crockpot bread, with a rich sweet flavor and moist tender texture. Just the kind of rolls you want to serve on Thanksgiving!

Crockpot Apple Butter Yeast Rolls | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Hi, my name is Sommer and I’m a bread burner.

It’s been 3 weeks since I last burned a baguette and scraped the black crumby evidence into the kitchen sink…

What, you think just because I create recipes for a living I never struggle in the kitchen?

I’ve burned bread my whole life. I can’t even prepare a proper piece of toast without having one of the kids stand over the toaster for me with wooden tongs in hand.

Crockpot Apple Butter Yeast Rolls Dough | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

I’m going to blame it on my mother. Bread-burning runs in the family.

My mother is an amazing cook. She was my first inspiration and mentor in the kitchen, and has taught me many things over the years.

But, my mother burns bread.

Making Crockpot Apple Butter Yeast Rolls | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Among all the useful kitchen tips I’ve learned from her, I’ve also learned that bread is the least important element in a meal. Therefore, you pop it in the oven and never look back.

That is, until you smell the dark char wafting from the oven.

This is how I was raised and this is how I’ve always treated bread.

Until I discovered crockpot bread.

Crockpot Bread - Apple Butter Yeast Rolls | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Crockpot bread has changed my whole perspective on bread baking.

No, it’s not the most glamorous bread, with a glossary top and crispy crust, but it’s almost impossible to burn and it stays extremely moist.

Because crockpot bread is cooked on low heat in a slow cooker, the bottom develops color and crust and the rest of the bread is steamed to perfection.

This apple butter yeast rolls recipe is one of my favorite varieties of crockpot bread. It’s slightly sweet with a deep apple flavor and the little yeast rolls stay so soft and moist, they are impossible to resist.

Crockpot Apple Butter Yeast Rolls Recipe | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Yes, this apple butter yeast rolls recipe takes much longer to bake in a slow cooker than in the oven, but if you are like me (a notorious bread burner) it’s worth the extra time.

You can casually check the yeast rolls whenever you get around to it, knowing that extra few minutes is not going to ruin the whole bread baking endeavor.

Slow Cooker Apple Butter Yeast Rolls Recipe | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Another reason to make your apple butter yeast rolls in a slow cooker is to save room in the oven for other dishes.

Thanksgiving would be a great time to try this yeast rolls recipe. While your turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and casseroles are hogging the oven, your sweet little yeast rolls will be steaming away on the counter top.

Apple Butter Yeast Rolls | #crockpot #slowcooker #thanksgiving #recipes

Crockpot bread has been a revelation for me.

If you’ve never tried it, this apple butter yeast rolls recipe is the perfect place to start!


Yield: 24 rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes active time

Cook Time: 3 hours

Apple Butter Yeast Rolls Recipe

A crockpot bread recipe.


2 1/2 tsp. dry active yeast (1 packet)
1/2 cup warm water
3 Tb. sugar
1/2 cup apple butter
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups bread flour
4 Tb. melted butter
2 Tb. brown sugar (optional)


Using an electric mixer with a bread hook, place the warm water (just barely over luke-warm, too hot will kill the yeast) and sugar in the mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it foam for 10 minutes.

Then turn on the mixer and add the apple butter, egg and salt. Slowly add the flour. Once all the flour is in the bowl, add the melted butter. "Knead" the dough with the bread hook for 5-8 minutes.

The dough will be smooth, but very tacky. Dump it out onto a floured work surface. Using a floured knife, cut the dough into 4 quarters. Then cut each quarter into 6 equal pieces, to make 24 small dough segments.

Turn the ends of each dough segment under to create little balls. Then place a large piece of parchment paper in a 6 quart slow cooker, and press down. Arrange 12 dough balls in the slow cooker. Then carefully lift the parchment paper out, and repeat with the remaining dough balls and another piece of parchment, creating two separate batches. Place the lid on the crockpot and cover the additional dough balls on the counter, with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise for 1 hour at room temperature. *At this point the dough balls could be put in the fridge for up to a week, until ready to bake.

Sprinkle the rolls with a little brown sugar. Turn the slow cooker on high and "bake" for 60-90 minutes, depending on your crockpot. To test, touch the top of the rolls. If they feel slightly firm and are no longer tacky, the rolls are ready. Repeat with the second batch of dough balls. Each batch will cook for 60-90 minutes, 3 hrs total.

More Beloved Bread Recipes

Rosemary and Red Onion Focaccia

Truffle Parmesan Biscuits

Banana Coconut Bread

Buttercrust Rolls ~ Eat Live Run

Gluten Free Hawaiian Sweet Bread ~ Living Without

Apple Bran Bread ~ Musselman’s

Salted Pretzel Bread ~ Bake Your Day

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103 Responses to “Slow-Cooker Apple Butter Yeast Rolls”

  1. #
    Elaine — January 9, 2013 @ 10:07 am

    Can these be made without the apple butter? I love the sound of yeast rolls, but would prefer they not have the apple flavoring. Can that ingredient just be eliminated, or could something else be substituted? For example, what about something like thinned mashed potatoes, for potato bread flavor?


    • RobinM61 — November 4th, 2013 @ 8:04 am

      Elaine, don’t know if you’ve gotten an answer, but I suspect that thinned mashed potatoes would work, canned pumpkin, mashed sweet potato (thinned a bit), you could go with a Hawaiian roll style and use pineapple puree and honey instead of sugar…I think this is a great recipe to experiment with. I know you wrote your question about a year ago, did you try something else and how did they turn out if you did?


  2. #
    Bakeaholic — January 10, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

    Wow! These look and sound amazing. I’ve never thought to make bread in a crockpot. I just made pretzel rolls the other day and they were excellent. I’ve never been a bread baker either. i will have to try these crockpot rolls. Yum!


  3. #
    Gina — August 22, 2013 @ 8:57 am

    I love baking in my crock pot- bread, brownies, pie crust, caramel- It has opened a whole new world for me. Love your recipe- I will be giving it a go probably today. :)


  4. #
    Mycah — October 23, 2013 @ 8:02 am

    Hey Sommer! Do you think these would work using an all purpose gluten free flour or bread mix?


    • Sommer — October 23rd, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

      Mmm, not sure. It would be worth a try! Sorry I’m not more helpful–I’m not well versed in gluten free baking.


      • Mycah — October 25th, 2013 @ 7:08 am

        Thanks, Sommer! I think I might give it a try. I’m not very well versed in gluten free baking either, but am trying to learn. I also have tons of pear-apple butter that I made using fresh pears I picked from my family’s farm, so I’ve been trying to come up with creative ways to use it.

        Also, not sure if you remember me, but we worked together when I was at the Zimmerman agency and the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville was my client.

        I’m no longer at the agency, but I’ve continued to follow your blog and it’s become one of my absolute favorites. I’m even making a couple of your recipes for this coming Thanksgiving!

        Thanks again for your response!

        • Sommer — October 25th, 2013 @ 8:47 am

          Awesome! Thanks for reaching out and for the kind words. Let me know how the recipes turn out. :)

    • Donna Gail — October 28th, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

      Mycah, I have never read this blog before but noticed your post concerning GLUTEN free bread and saw Asheville, NC. My Fiancé is about to put his Asheville home on the market and move here South of Memphis and we are considering opening a Gluten Free Restaurant! That I hope will go Nationwide with Franchisees. His home is less than two miles from Grand Bohemian … in case you know anyone in the area looking for an older home in an older neighborhood.


  5. #
    Casey — October 25, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

    These look great! How would you suggest reheating the first batch if you want to serve both batches together?


  6. #
    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — November 6, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    I am absolutely trying this, just on Facebook too, I think everyone will love this idea!!


  7. #
    donna — November 20, 2013 @ 4:49 am

    Can these be done in the oven? I’d love to make them for thanksgiving.


  8. #
    Deborah lynch — November 20, 2013 @ 12:44 pm

    I am going to try these but quick question. Do you let them rise for 1 hour before you bake in crockpot?


  9. #
    Kirsten — November 28, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

    These are fantastic! They have a subtle sweet and spicy apple flavor that goes well with pretty much anything. I did notice that my crockpot seemed to cook a little unevenly so that some of the rolls got a little too dark while some were a little doughy. To make up for this on the second batch I just made sure to rotate the rolls part way through cooking.


  10. #
    emily — January 7, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

    Tried this recipe 3 times and failed all 3 times. Dough was always dense and borderline dry. Never the described (or pictured) “tacky. Cut rolls never rose much and bake time was beyond 90 mins. Very disappointed.


  11. #
    Floyd — September 3, 2014 @ 7:39 am

    I followed the steps and my ball is crumbing and not smoothed what I’m I doing wrong thank you


    • Sommer — September 3rd, 2014 @ 4:34 pm

      Hi Floyd, Sounds like a moisture issue… sometimes ingredients like butter or apple butter vary in moisture level. I’d add a itty bitty bit of water to soften the dough.


  12. #
    Betty — November 18, 2014 @ 12:59 am

    This is a weird question, considering the recipe is for crock-pot bread. Had anyone tried baking this bread in the oven? I have to ask because the one thing I don’t have on holidays is the crock-pot, the fabulous bashed beans go in there. Though I could just bake the rolls the day before, and stick them in the oven to warn them up.

    Ignore me, it’s late and snowing, I’ve so got to try these rolls.


    • Sommer — November 18th, 2014 @ 7:42 am

      Hey Betty, they are GREAT in the oven! Try them at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes.



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