Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls are homemade sweet rolls filled with juicy, spiced apples that give you all the flavors of my Apple Fritters, but in a sweet roll. Try my Apple Fritter Bread for another popular sweet bread.

Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls

Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls use fresh apples that are coated with cinnamon and brown sugar to give you that great-smelling kitchen as they are being baked. Filled and topped with apples that have been sweetened with cinnamon and sugar, you won’t even need frosting or a glaze on these rolls.

Apple Cinnamon Roll on White Plate with White Fork

What Kind of Apples is Best?

I used Granny Smith apples for the recipe because they remain firm when baking. They won’t turn to mush and they tend to retain their shape when baked. A few other options you could try would be Honeycrisp apples, Braeburn, or Pink Lady apples.

Overhead View of Apple Rolls in Pan Baked and Ready to Serve

Sweet Roll Dough

The base for this sweet roll dough is the same as a few of my other sweet rolls recipes, including the Raspberry Cream Cheese Sweet Rolls and Orange Sweet Rolls.  It is one of the easiest doughs to work in part due to the ingredients and in part due to the process.  To make this dough, whisk together the milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and the yeast. Let that sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes. The mixture will get a little foamy. Add in eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Next, move to your stand mixer. Make sure it is fitted with a dough hook. In the bowl, combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt.  Add the milk mixture and turn the mixer on low.  Slowly add pads of butter, blending well between additions.  Once everything is combined, turn the mixer to medium for 1 minute and then switch to medium-high to knead until the dough is soft (about 5 minutes).

Hand Holding Spatula with Apple Roll on It

Can I Make Cinnamon Rolls Without a Dough Hook?

Yes. For best results, use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but if you have to knead the dough by hand, it will take about 25 minutes of gentle kneading (and some arm strength) to equal the 5 minutes using the dough hook. It can still be done, but it gets a little messy, and sometimes there is too much extra flour added to the recipe in the kneading process.

Apple Roll on a Plate with Fork Sticking Out of the Top

How to Slice Sweet Rolls with Dental Floss

After rolling all the goodness up into sweet rolls, sometimes it’s hard to slice them into individual-sized rolls without smooshing them. If the knife you are using is not sharp enough, that can lead to the squishing of the rolls before they are baked. A great method to save you from frustration is dental floss! Yep, dental floss.

To use dental floss, first, make sure it is plain (not flavored) floss. Slide a long piece of floss underneath the rolled-up rolls and wrap the floss around the roll about 2 inches in. Pull to slice through the roll. Continue this method every two inches or so. Now, don’t forget to go floss your teeth, but use a new piece of floss!

Can I Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?

Yes! You can freeze cinnamon rolls in a few different ways.

  1. Before the rolls rise and bake, cover them with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Take them out of the freezer when you are ready to bake them and let them thaw and rise before completing the rest of the steps. If you are planning to freeze the rolls longer than a couple of weeks, you will want to add a bit more yeast to the recipe (about 1 extra teaspoon).
  2. You can also freeze them after baking the rolls, but don’t add any glaze or frosting (if there is any needed). You can make the frosting as the rolls are thawing.
  3. A third way to freeze the rolls would be to cook them only 10-15 minutes. Then, remove them from the oven and let the rolls cool completely. After the partially baked rolls have cooled, cover them (in the pan) with at least two layers of plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 weeks. When you are ready to bake them, let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight before popping them in the oven for about 15 minutes. That would be the perfect time to make the frosting.

Whenever you store food in the freezer, always remember to label and date the storage containers or wrappings that the food is held. I sometimes like to add a couple of instructions to remind me how to reheat or cook the food when I am ready to do that.

Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Rising Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls use fresh apples that are coated with cinnamon and brown sugar to give you that great smelling kitchen as they are being baked.

Ingredients

Apple Fritter Filling

  • 4 tablespoons   butter
  • 6 medium  Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup (200 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon  cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon  Kosher salt

Dough

  • cup whole milk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cups (344 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Apple Fritter Filling

  • In a medium bowl combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Toss to coat apples evenly.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add apple mixture and cook until apples are tender (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool as you prepare the dough.

Dough

  • In a medium bowl, combine milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.
  • Combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the milk mixture. With the mixer running, add butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions.
  • Knead on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until the dough is soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place the dough in the bowl. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.
  • Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • When you are ready, punch the dough, turn it out onto a floured surface, and roll it into a 10×15-inch rectangle (it should be about ¼-inch thick).
  • Spread the apple mixture over the dough, reserving one cup for the topping.

Rolling, Cutting, and Baking

  • Roll up tightly starting on the long edge.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Place them into a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  • Pour the reserved cup of apples over the tops of the sweet rolls.
  • Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I just cooked the apples on the stove and sure does seem like a lot of liquid in the saucepan. They are still hot. Will they thicken as this cools? Otherwise I’ll have a runny mess

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