• September 29, 2014

    Apple Cinnamon Rolls

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    Cinnamon rolls are a labour of love – they take time. The dough must be kneaded for ten minutes, then it rises for an hour and a half, and after it’s rolled out, the buns must rise again for nearly an hour before they’re baked. It’s a process. One I love.

    Actually, when I was making them this weekend, I had this wonderful thought wash over me, that was “I’m BACK!” – life gets so busy when you have your first little one, and I spent the first year feeling overwhelmed, tired, and jumpy. Cooking was a necessity, but rarely did I have the time or the peaceful mental state required to work on yeast breads.

    It was a really lovely feeling. And it was followed by an abundance of insanely gooey, delicious cinnamon buns, studded with apples and drizzled with a tangy buttermilk glaze.

    They take time, yes. But they’re actually not that difficult. Especially when you let your stand mixer do the heavy lifting (i.e. the kneading).

    I love the fall addition of apples to the rolls – such a natural fit. Make sure to slice them thin and chop them fine – because the baking time is short, you want to make sure they can soften a bit.

    We enjoyed some while they were still warm from the oven, then I went ahead and froze the rest. Otherwise, I’d have a problem.

    So good. So sticky. So cozy.

    Om nom nom.


    For dough:

    • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 egg
    • 4 to 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 2 ¼ tsp instant (or quick rise or bread machine) yeast
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • vegetable oil, for bowl

    For filling:

    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tbsp cinnamon
    • ? cup soft butter
    • 4 medium apples, peeled, thinly sliced then chopped

    For glaze:

    • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 2 tbsp buttermilk
    • ¼ tsp vanilla extract


    1. Warm buttermilk and butter in microwave in 20 second intervals until butter starts to melt; let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to finish melting (don’t overheat buttermilk or it will curdle). Add egg and beat with fork.
    2. Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add buttermilk mixture and beat until dough comes together.
    3. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour as needed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but sticks to the bottom.
    4. Add a splash of oil to the bowl and turn dough to coat both the dough and the sides of the bowl. Cover with a clean towel and place somewhere warm to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.

    To make filling:

    1. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

    To assemble:

    1. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle 15″ wide and 1/4″ thick. Spread evenly with softened butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar mixture and top with apples. Roll up the dough, starting at the long edge closest to you – use a bench scraper or metal spatula to help lift it if it sticks. Slice into 16 equal pieces and arrange in parchment-lined baking dishes (two 9″ square, or other sizes are fine – just don’t over-crowd them). Let rise 45 minutes, until nearly doubled again.
    2. Bake in 375ºF oven for 20 minutes, or until golden.

    To make glaze:

    1. Whisk together all glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled cinnamon buns.
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    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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