Soft-Baked Apple Cinnamon Rolls: A Slice of Fall Heaven

Hello, baking enthusiasts and lovers of all things cozy and cinnamon-spiced! Today, we're embarking on a delightful journey into the heart of autumn with a twist - Soft-Baked Apple Cinnamon Rolls. These heavenly spirals of soft, doughy goodness are infused with the comforting flavors of apple and cinnamon. I'm excited to guide you through the process of creating this seasonal masterpiece. So, let's preheat those ovens and dive into the warm embrace of fall baking!

Ingredients You'll Need:

For the Dough:

  • 2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 packet (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups apples, peeled and finely diced (use your favorite variety)

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Step 1: Activate the Yeast

- In a small saucepan, heat the whole milk and unsalted butter over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove it from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm.

- In a separate bowl, combine the water, granulated sugar, and yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy. This means the yeast is activated and ready to work its magic.

Step 2: Mix the Dough

- In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, salt, and the activated yeast mixture.

- Add the lukewarm milk-butter mixture and the large egg. Mix until everything is well combined and a soft dough forms.

Step 3: Knead and Rise

- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for about 6-8 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. You can add a little more flour if it's too sticky.

- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1-1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Step 4: Roll Out the Dough

- Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles.

- Roll it out into a large rectangle, approximately 15x9 inches.

Step 5: Fill with Flavor

- Spread the softened unsalted butter evenly over the dough.

- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle this delightful mixture generously over the butter.

- Scatter the finely diced apples evenly on top.

Step 6: Roll It Up

- Carefully roll up the dough into a log, starting from the long edge. Pinch the seam to seal.

Step 7: Slice and Arrange

- Use a sharp knife to slice the log into 12 equal-sized rolls.

Step 8: Bake to Golden Perfection

- Place the rolls in a greased 9x13-inch baking pan, cover them with a clean kitchen towel, and let them rise for another 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

- Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until they're golden brown on top.

Step 9: Make the Cream Cheese Glaze

- While the rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese glaze by mixing together the softened cream cheese, softened unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and pure vanilla extract in a bowl. Stir until it's smooth and well combined.

Step 10: Glaze and Enjoy!

- Once the rolls are out of the oven, drizzle them generously with the cream cheese glaze while they're still warm.

- Serve them up and savor the soft, cinnamon-spiced, and apple-infused goodness of fall.

Tips for Extra Flair:

- Add a handful of chopped nuts or raisins to the filling for extra texture and flavor.

- These Soft-Baked Apple Cinnamon Rolls are perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a delightful snack with a cup of coffee or tea.

There you have it, dear readers! Soft-baked apple Cinnamon Rolls that bring the essence of fall right to your kitchen. Whether you're enjoying them fresh out of the oven or reheating them for a cozy morning treat, these rolls are a delightful way to celebrate the season.

So, roll up your sleeves, embrace the aromas of cinnamon and apple, and let the baking adventure begin. Happy baking! 🍏🍂🍞