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.
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Keyword: apple recipe, baking, fall
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
2 8" Round Baking Pans or 1 9x13" Baking Pan
Stand or Hand Mixer
2TablespoonsUnsalted Butter, melted
1TablespoonFast Acting or “Instant” Yeast(see note)
4cupsAll-Purpose Flour(500 grams)
4ouncesCream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1teaspoonPure Vanilla Extract
Spray two 8-inch round cake pans or one 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat 1 ½ 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.
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.