Fluffy cinnamon rolls made from scratch with an easy 30 minute dough, stuffed and baked inside juicy apples and topped with rich cream cheese frosting. The juice from the apple seeps into the cinnamon roll just enough to give it a cinnamon-apple flavor!
Buckle up people cause I’ve got a whole lotta make-you-crave-a-cinnamon-roll-photos comin’ your way. I know I said I was at the end of my apple-stuffing phase, but alas, I have another. Can you bear to suffer through one more with me? (But if you’re like me, and you want more, check out my Apple Cinnamon Pancakes.) I promise you that it will be worth your time. I mean, it involves cinnamon rolls. Need I say more?
Now first things first, let’s talk dough. Yes, this is a yeast dough BUT before you go running in the other direction, just hear me out for a second. This dough is EASY. Let me say that again in case you didn’t quite let yourself believe it the first time. THIS. RECIPE. IS. EASY. 🙂 Capiche? Good. Now let me tell you why it is easy.
This dough requires only 5 ingredients and 30 minutes of prep before it is in the oven doin’ it’s rising-baking-browning thang. Easy right?? None of that “cover it with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm dry place for a bazillion hours til it has quadrupled in size and a new season has begun” nonsense. And then I look like an idiot running all over the house trying to decide where it’s “warm enough” to place a big bowl of dough and expect it to grow like a weed. Bleh. Call me lazy, call me impatient… I prefer “efficient”. Why wait an hour for your dough to rise when you can wait 10 minutes. No brainer? Um, yes.
Now let’s discuss this whole putting a cinnamon roll inside of an apple thing. When I first thought of this recipe half of me (the cool half) was thinking oh my gosh this is sheer brilliance! and the other half was thinking – no way Jose, not gonna work. Challenge accepted. I’m here to tell you that yes, cinnamon rolls can be baked inside of apples, and yes, they are easy, and yes they are absolutely 110% better than your average everyday baked outside of an apple cinnamon roll.
Besides the fact that these are so purrrdy, they really are insanely delicious. The apple juices kind of seep into the cinnamon roll dough while it’s baking – not enough to make it soggy (ewe), but just enough to give the cinnamon roll a hint of sweet apple-y flavor (mmmm). It’s incredible, irresistible, and undeniably wonderful. And the frosting! Can’t forget that stuff, obviously. A rich cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for these cinnamon rolls. Drizzle it, spread it, dunk it – however you please, just make sure you get plenty of that frosting on every single bite of your cinnamon roll stuffed baked apple. You will not regret it friends.
Cinnamon Roll Stuffed Baked Apples
- 4-12 large apples - (1 apple per person. Round, wide apples work best with this recipe if you can find some)
- 1 ⅓ cups very warm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons butter - very soft
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 ounces cream cheese - softened
- 2 tablespoons butter - softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- heavy cream or milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment (*see notes for alternate method) add water, yeast, and honey and stir with a spoon to combine. Allow to rest for 5 minutes (mixture will rise and foam).
- Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix until all ingredients come together. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for 2-3 minutes longer until dough is more smooth. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- While dough is resting, prepare the filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. (Don't do anything with the butter yet).
- Chop off the tops of the apples and scoop out the insides. Discard or use for another recipe. Place hollowed apples on a greased baking sheet and preheat oven to 350.
- After 10 minutes of rest time, roll the dough into a 9x15 (approximate) inch rectangle (make sure the surface is well-floured and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim any uneven sides of the rectangle of dough - discard trimmings)
- Spread softened butter (from filling ingredients) over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Tightly roll one long end (the 15-inch of the rectangle) toward the other long end so you have a long log-shape. Trim the ends with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and discard. Cut remaining dough into 1 1/2 inch wide sections (cut as many sections as you need for your apples. If you are preparing 10 apples, cut 10 sections, etc) Place cinnamon roll sections swirly-side-up inside each of the apples.
- Bake apples in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until tops are lightly golden and rolls are cooked through. While those are baking, prepare the frosting by creaming together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until a pourable or spreadable consistency is reached.
- When cinnamon rolls are finished baking, spread or drizzle with frosting and serve warm.