World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing

Let’s unravel the magic of Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing – a quintessential autumn breakfast that’s a symphony of flavors and textures.

A Symphony of Flavors & Textures

a pan of apple cinnamon rolls with brown sugar maple icing

Cinnamon rolls hold a special place in the culinary world. It’s a love story that spans generations, and it all begins with those rolls that pop out of a can, especially around the holidays. Growing up, families adored them. They would eagerly anticipate those cinnamon roll breakfasts year after year.

But as we mature, our palates evolve, and our quest for culinary excellence pushes us to make our own. The truth is, homemade is always best, and here’s a little secret – cinnamon rolls are not that intimidating to make.

Crafting Perfection

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of crafting these apple cinnamon rolls. From the dough to the icing, it’s a journey worth every step. Sure, they might require some patience due to the rising time, but believe me, it’s a labor of love that even Anthony Bourdain would appreciate.

The Dough, the Heart of the Matter

The foundation of these rolls is a simple yet heavenly dough. Begin by mixing yeast with warm milk and a touch of brown sugar. Give it time to sit and activate that yeast, creating the perfect canvas for our creation.

Next, introduce butter, eggs, flour, and a dash of salt into the mix. Stir until smooth, then let the dough rest until it swells to double its original size. It’s during this period that the magic happens, setting the stage for what’s to come.

Crafting the Filling

While the dough works its magic, let’s concoct the filling. Simplicity is key here. A combination of brown sugar, sugar, and a generous amount of cinnamon creates the ideal consistency. The brown sugar lends depth to the flavor, while the copious cinnamon infuses sweet swirls throughout.

And of course, the star of the show – the apples. Opt for Honeycrisp apples, and here’s a little twist, keep the skin on for an added layer of texture and flavor. If you’re a purist, feel free to peel the apples, but trust me, the skin adds character.

Assembling and Baking the Delights

an apple cinnamon roll log on a counter

Now comes the fun part – assembly. Spread the dough with butter, sprinkle the cinnamon sugar, and layer on those luscious apples. Roll the dough into a log, slice it into pieces, and let them bake. The aromas wafting from the oven will tease your senses, like a blend of a fall candle and a Christmas morning.

Icing Perfection

Lastly, let’s talk icing. The pièce de résistance. Brown the butter to perfection, then blend it with cream cheese, maple syrup, sugar, and a hint of vanilla. Ah, the maple, a key player that harmonizes beautifully with the apples and cinnamon.

Savoring the Sweet Perfection

As the rolls emerge from the oven, it’s time for the final touch. Frost them generously, serve, and savor every heavenly bite. Soft, fluffy, oozing with cinnamon swirls, and infused with the warmth of autumn flavors, these rolls are not just good; they’re downright spectacular.

They’re the ideal companions for those crisp fall weekends that beckon us to slow down and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Anthony Bourdain would surely applaud these Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing – a symphony of flavors that welcomes autumn with open arms.


Let’s explore this Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing recipe. But first, the ingredients!

Ingredients For the Dough

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients For the Filling

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, thinly sliced (leave the skin on for extra texture and flavor)

Ingredients For the Icing

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Prepare the Dough:

  • In a bowl, combine warm milk, yeast, and a pinch of brown sugar. Allow it to sit for a few minutes until the yeast activates.
  • Mix in the melted butter, eggs, and the remaining brown sugar.
  • Gradually add the flour and salt, mixing until a smooth dough forms.
  • Cover the dough and let it rest until it doubles in size, typically 1 to 2 hours.

2. Create the Filling:

  • In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, and ground cinnamon. Set this mixture aside.
  • Thinly slice the Honeycrisp apples. No need to peel them; the skin adds texture and flavor.

3. Assemble and Bake:

  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle.
  • Spread a generous layer of softened butter over the dough, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly.
  • Lay the sliced apples over the cinnamon sugar.
  • Carefully roll up the dough into a log and slice it into individual rolls.
  • Place the rolls in a greased baking dish, cover them, and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

4. Prepare the Icing:

  • In a saucepan, brown the butter over medium heat until it turns a deep golden color and has a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a mixing bowl, blend the browned butter, softened cream cheese, maple syrup, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.

5. Frost and Enjoy:

  • As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, generously frost them with the brown butter maple icing.
  • Serve the rolls warm, and savor every bite of these soft, fluffy, cinnamon-swirled delights with a heavenly icing that melts into every nook and cranny.

These Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Maple Icing are a true masterpiece of autumn flavors. Enjoy the comforting embrace of this sweet treat as the seasons change.

We hope you find this recipe and its instructions clear and concise. Enjoy your homemade Apple Cinnamon Rolls! We encourage you to check our list of the World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls!

Floating Item
You might also like: