These are going to be the best cinnamon rolls from scratch that you’ve ever had. They’re golden on the top and soft and fluffy on the inside. They are gooey with homemade apple butter cinnamon filling and all topped off with a maple cream cheese frosting. This is the only cinnamon roll recipe that you’re ever going to need!
Sooooo remember that maple apple butter from yesterday? Cool.
I just used a jar of it for filling these cinnamon rolls! Because, how could we not! To say that the tray disappeared in a flash is an understatement! They were a hit, and I’ve since gone on to adapt a few different filling variations that I’ll get to in the recipe notes. But just a hint… Hello, pumpkin butter!!!!
I know I don’t have to mention the fact that a cinnamon roll is about a 75% dough to filling ratio. This obviously means that the dough is of the utmost importance. So, let me be the first to tell you that these cinnamon rolls from scratch are the real deal.
My personal preference is for a dough that is soft and a filling that is gooey, but not quite as fluffy as a Cinnabon roll. I kinda think that those ones are a little to doughy for my liking, even after they’re baked. So, these cinnamon rolls are a bit more of a European style with a darker golden on the tops and the edges, but still soft and fluffy on the inside.
Who says we can’t have it all?
Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch- What you need to know!
- This dough recipe is a quick rising dough that uses quite a bit of yeast. That way the recipe is about 1 hour from start to finish.
- Cinnamon roll dough is perfect for freezing. Because it’s an enriched dough it will freeze and defrost flawlessly.
- To make the apple butter filling, you’ll need to either make this recipe or have some apple butter on hand to whip into the filling. Yes, this recipe can totally be made without the apple butter. And they will still be spectacular!
What kind of dough do you use to make cinnamon rolls?
As I mentioned before, cinnamon roll dough is an enriched dough. That just means that it’s got some fat in it. In the form of eggs, milk, and butter.
Yeasted doughs can be split into 2 categories- enriched and lean. Cinnamon buns are in the enriched category. It’s essential a yeasted dough made in a similar way to a brioche but is easier to work with and more forgiving.
Can these cinnamon rolls be made the night before for a special brunch?
You bet! That’s how this recipe likes to be made! Just follow the instructions right up until the part where you roll them and place them cut side up into the baking pan. That way, as soon as you’re ready to bake them off, they’re ready to go. Nothing else to do, but let the whole house fill with the smell of sweet and warm apple cinnamon rolls baked from scratch!
And that frosting?
It’s a classic cream cheese frosting with chai spices, like cardamom and cinnamon added to it. But there’s also a really healthy dash of dark maple syrup in there too! Because maple syrup and cinnamon buns are the perfect pairing.
So, here’s to the cold weather and frosting mornings and these cinnamon buns on repeat all winter long!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING AND COOKING ALONG WITH ME! IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE OR HAVE A QUESTION, I’D LOVE IT IF YOU LEFT A COMMENT AND A RATING. YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW ALONG ON PINTEREST, FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM TO SEE WHAT WE’RE EATING, PINNING AND A LITTLE BEHIND THE SCENES TOO!
EXTRA GOOEY APPLE SPICE CINNAMON ROLLS FROM SCRATCH
FOR THE DOUGH
- 4 cups flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 x ¼ ounce sachets/envelopes instant yeast
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⅔ cups milk
- 2 eggs
FOR THE FILLING
- 3/4 cup soft unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup homemade apple butter or store bought.
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 egg beaten, to glaze
For The Chai Frosting
- Preheat the oven to 230°C/ 450°F.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter and whisk it into the milk and eggs, then stir it into the flour mixture. Mix to combine and then knead the dough either by hand or using the dough hook of a food mixer until it's smooth and springy. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise for about 25 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface, aiming to get a rectangle of roughly 50 x 25cm (20 x 10 inches). Mix the filling ingredients in a small bowl and then spread the rectangle with the buttery cinnamon mixture. Try to get even coverage on the whole of the dough. Roll it up from the longest side until you have a giant sausage. Cut the roll into 2cm slices (¾ inch) which should make about 20 rounds.
- Sit the rounds in lines on top of the dough in the tin, swirly cut-side up. Don't worry if they don't fit snugly together as they will swell and become puffy when they prove. Brush them with egg and then let them rise again for about 15 minutes to let them get duly puffy.
- Put in the hot oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, by which time the buns will have risen and will be golden-brown in colour. Don't worry if they catch in places - see mine in the picture. Remove them from the tin and leave to cool slightly on a rack - it's easy just to pick up the whole sheet of parchment and transfer them like that - before letting people tear them off, to eat warm.
To make the frosting
- Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Set aside to frost the buns once they’ve cooled slightly.
Pumpkin Butter Variation- Use 1/2 cup pumpkin butter or pumpkin puree instead of the apple butter when making the filling. Add a pinch of nutmeg.