These apple cinnamon buns are fool proof and perfect for fall. I’ve made these a few times for work parties and at home and they’re always a hit. You can also substitute any of the dairy ingredients to make this recipe vegan. Sometimes this recipe yields 15 cinnamon rolls, sometimes it makes 12 rolls – it really all depends on how you roll the dough out, but not to worry, there will be enough for seconds… And thirds.
FOR THE DOUGH
– 3 Tbsp butter
– a packet instant yeast
– 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 1 Tbsp sugar
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
Heat milk and butter over low heat, until temperature reaches 110 F.* Transfer mixture to large bowl and then sprinkle yeast in bowl to activate, about ten minutes. Add sugar and salt then stir. Begin adding ½ cup of flour at a time. The dough should be slightly sticky.
Transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough just enough so it forms a loose ball, careful not to over mix your dough. Put dough in a bowl coated with olive oil. Cover with plastic and let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour.
FOR THE FILLING
– 5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
– 2 Tbsp butter, plus extra for coating
– 1/3 cup brown sugar
– 2 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
– 1 tsp tapioca starch or cornstarch
Peel and dice apples, set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes. If filling is still watery, add the tapioca starch. When filling becomes a syrup/jam consistency, remove from heat and set aside to cool at room temperature.
FOR THE ICING
– 2 oz. cream cheese, Ⓥ option
– 2 Tbsp. Butter
– 1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
– ½ tsp. Pure Vanilla extract
– 1 cup powdered sugar
Using an electric mixer, combine butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until creamy. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar until smooth.
THE APPLE CINNAMON BUNS
Roll the dough out into a rectangle. Using a spoon, scoop the cooled apple filling onto the dough. From the longer side of the dough, begin rolling, keeping the dough tight as you go.
Butter a 15”x10” dish. Using a serrated knife or floss, cut the roll into 1-2in sections and place in dish. Melt some butter and brush along the top of the rolls. Place dish on top of the stove, covered with plastic. Preheat the stove to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Once the stove is heated place rolls in stove and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let rolls cool for 15-20 minutes and then drizzle frosting over. Serve immediately!
*I added a little caramel drizzle and ground cinnamon to my final product.