Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Mini Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls! Imagine serving cinnamon rolls from scratch on Christmas morning, filled with tangy spiced apples and topped with a rich caramel glaze. These babies will make everyone at the table just a little more jolly!
If you haven’t already, it’s time to plan your menu and grocery list for the big week ahead!
I usually think about what I’m going to serve on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for weeks in advance. Yet when it comes to other holiday meals, I tend to forget about them until the last minute.
This year, let’s not forget to plan something really special for Christmas morning.
Or why not try your hand at making cinnamon rolls from scratch!
My Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls are a huge hit with friends and family. Plus they are mini, so you can allow the little guys to have more than one and won’t be worried about tummy aches later in the day.
…at least not from these.
Truly, cinnamon rolls are the perfect platform for caramel apple flavor.
I simply made my pillowy cinnamon roll as I usually do, then sauteed some tart granny smith apples in butter, brown sugar, and of course cinnamon.
To make cinnamon rolls mini, simply cut the dough into 3 equal pieces before rolling it out.
Then roll each piece out, and slather with spiced apple filling.
All the sugar, butter, and spices needed are in the filling, so you don’t have to mess with spreading butter on soft dough like in traditional cinnamon roll recipes.
It’s a little messy, but worth the gooey fingers in the end.
See all the spiced apples peeping out?
Let the rolls rise for a few minutes while the oven is preheating, then bake and slather with a quick caramel glaze.
Want to make Mini Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls ahead of time? No problem.
Follow the recipe below up to the point of popping them in the oven. Stop there and wrap the unbaked cinnamon rolls well, then freeze. The night before baking, allow them to thaw most of the way, then put in the fridge until morning. In the morning, bake and glaze!
You could also freeze the rolls, fully baked but unglazed. Later thaw them out, warm them in the oven for 5-10 minutes, and glaze them while warm.
There’s so much to love in each tiny roll!
As if Mini Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls weren’t fun enough…
Make sure to serve them on festive Christmas plates, like these Q Squared Winter’s Eve Plates!
Q Squared dishes are perfect for holiday entertaining because they are affordable, safe and sturdy (made of non-petroleum based Melamine that is crack resistant) and come in many fabulous styles that you would ordinarily only find in high-end china.
Make sure to check out other Q Squared styles!
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls
For the Cinnamon Rolls:
- 1 cup scalded whole milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the Apple Filling:
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 large Granny Smith apples peeled and sliced very thin
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 pinches salt
For the Caramel Glaze:
- 14 ounces Dulce de Leche Mexican style canned caramel
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- For the Cinnamon Rolls: Bring the milk to a boil to scald. The moment the milk reaches a boil, remove from heat and pour into the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the sugar and whirl around in the bowl to take the temperature down. Once the temperature is just above room temperature, add the yeast granules and allow the mixture to sit and foam for 5-10 minutes.
- Add very soft butter to the mixing bowl, place a bread hook attachment on the mixer, and turn on low. Add the eggs, salt and flour. Allow the mixer to run for 5-10 minutes, until the dough comes together and the bread hook kneads it for several minutes. Then cover the bowl with plastic and allow the dough to rise until double in size, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the apple filling. Place the butter, apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large skillet. Place over medium heat and sauté until the apples are soft and the sauce starts to thicken. Then turn off the heat and allow the apple filling to cool.
- Once the dough is double in size, flour a large work surface and dump the dough out onto it. Cut the dough into three equal pieces, then fold each piece into a rectangle. Roll all three rectangles out into 6x16-inch strips. Spoon the apple filling equally onto the three pieces of dough. Spread to coat, leaving a 1-inch border along the long edge of one side of each piece. Then starting at the long edge covered with apples, roll each strip into a long log.
- Cut each log into 12 rolls. Then line two 9x13-inch baking dishes with parchment paper and place the rolls in the dishes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, allowing the rolls to rise for 15-20 minutes before going in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and baked through, but not necessarily golden on top.
- While the caramel apple cinnamon rolls are in the oven, place the dulce de leche in a microwave-safe bowl and warm in the microwave until soft and runny. Whisk in the cream. Then whisk in the powdered sugar and whisk until completely smooth. Once the sweet rolls are out of the oven, pour the caramel glaze over the top. Serve warm.
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Disclosure: I am a product advocate for Q Squared NYC. All opinions are my own.