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 Sweet Rolls Recipe
There are two important parts to this recipe–the apple fritter filling and the dough.
Filling Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Granny Smith apples
- Brown sugar
- Kosher salt
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Active dry yeast
- All-purpose flour
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
How to Make the Filling
The first thing to prepare is the apple fritter filling. Get started by peeling, coring, and dicing your apples. For this recipe, dice the apples on the smaller side. In a bowl, combine the chopped apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, making sure to coat each apple piece.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the coated apples to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Let the apples sit in the saucepan to cool and soak up all the sweetness as you prepare the dough.
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.
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).
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.
Rise and Prepare the Dough
Transfer the dough to a medium-sized buttered dish. Brush the top of the dough with melted butter and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm area until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Give the dough a good punch and turn it out onto a floured surface. Roll out a 10×15 rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick.
How to Make Apple Fritter Sweet Rolls
Once your dough is rolled out the rest is easy peasy! Spread most of the apple filling over the dough, reserving about a cup of the filling for the topping. Tightly roll the dough into a log using the bottom long edge as a starting point. Using a very sharp knife, cut the rolls into 8-12 equal pieces.
Place each roll into a greased 9×13-inch pan. Put the pan in a warm, dry place and let them rise again (about 1 hour). After the rolls have had time to rise, pour the reserved one cup of apples onto the tops of the rolls. Bake for 25-30 minutes. You are going for a golden-brown crust.
Can I Freeze Cinnamon Rolls?
Yes! You can freeze cinnamon rolls in a few different ways.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
Looking for More Apple Recipes?
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.
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced into small pieces
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds
- 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
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.
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 out onto a floured surface, and roll into a 10x15 rectangle (it should be about 1/4 inch thick).
Spread the apple mixture over the dough, reserving one cup for the topping.
Roll up tightly starting on the long edge.
Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 12 rolls. Place them into a greased 9x13-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.