Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze


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cinnamon rolls in a round clear baking dish

Bring fall into your kitchen with Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls. Soft and fluffy, these cinnamon rolls are totally classic but use sweet, tart apple butter for a filling alongside brown sugar and cinnamon. 

If you ask me, every season is homemade cinnamon roll season, but when the weather turns cooler, I really start wanting the cozy aroma of breakfast baking. And these cinnamon rolls have a little extra dose of fall flavor thanks to apple butter in the filling.

What You’ll Love About These Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are based on my all-time favorite 1-Hour Cinnamon Rolls. I’ve never found a recipe to beat this one that is incredibly easy, rises in under an hour, and always produces light, fluffy rolls with just the right amount of filling. 

This recipe is:

  • Fall-Themed
  • Quick-Rising
  • Slightly Sweet
  • Tender
  • Make-Ahead Friendly

uncooked rolls in a clear baking dish

risen cinnamon rolls in a clear baking dish

Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon rolls will barely rise in the refrigerator, so you can pause the process by transferring them to the refrigerator. In the case of these quick-rising cinnamon rolls, you can place them in the baking dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge for up to 12 hours. Take them out and let them come to room temperature. Let them rise an additional 15 minutes while the oven heats up. Pack in some protein and prep your whole meal in advance by pairing these cinnamon rolls with the make-ahead friendly Muffin Pan Baked Eggs.

baked cinnamon rolls in a muffin tin

adding vanilla glaze to cinnamon rolls

Make Your Own Apple Butter

Homemade apple butter is one of the best ways to use up extra apples. The New York Times Apple Butter is my all-time favorite. I’ve made this slow cooker recipe as well, and it’s also great and will make the house smell amazing as it simmers. 

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Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Glaze

Bring fall into your kitchen with apple butter cinnamon rolls. Soft and fluffy, these cinnamon rolls are totally classic but use sweet, tart apple butter for a filling alongside brown sugar and cinnamon.
This quick and easy dough can be made an hour before serving or refrigerated overnight to bake in the morning.
Prep: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook: 16 minutes
Total: 1 hour 31 minutes
Servings: 18


  • 2 8" Round Baking Pans or 1 9x13" Baking Pan
  • Stand or Hand Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Rolling Pin



  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon Fast Acting or “Instant” Yeast (see note)
  • 2 Tablespoons White Sugar
  • 4 cups All-Purpose Flour (500 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt


  • 1/2 cup Apple Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Vanilla Glaze:

  • 4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2-4 Tablespoons Milk


  • Spray two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in the microwave until warm to the touch. Combine milk and melted butter in the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir in yeast and white sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • To the yeast mixture, add flour, and salt. Mix on low until the ingredients come together. Increase speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and begins to make a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover the dough with a dish towel. Let dough rise (preferably near the warm oven), until the surface is smooth, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a rectangle (approximately 9"x18") with the long side facing you.
  • Spread apple butter over the dough, leaving about 1 inch of space on all sides. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture over apple butter.
  • Starting with the side closest to you, roll up the dough. Slice roll of dough in half. Slice each half into 8 rounds (you should have 16 rolls total). Place the slices in the prepared baking dish(es).
  • Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C.
  • Set cinnamon rolls, uncovered near the oven as it heats. Let rise until the edges of the rolls are touching (or nearly touching), 15 minutes.
  • Bake until light golden brown on top, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • While the rolls are baking, use a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. While beating, add milk a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and pourable.
  • When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes before drizzling icing over top.
  • Serve warm.


Yeast - Be sure to get yeast labeled as Fast Acting, Instant, Quick-Rise, Bread Machine, or RapidRise - any of these will work. Do not use “Active Dry Yeast” which needs to be dissolved in water before using. 


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.00
Calories: 201
Keyword: apple recipe, baking, fall
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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