Frankie’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Filling

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So, today’s post is kinda special. My cousin Frankie is going to make me a new logo, yay! In exchange for that logo I named a dessert after him. He gave me a few guidelines as far as what he liked for dessert, “not too rich, and he likes apple pie.” Hence, an entire month themed with apples, well it’s also National Apple moth too, anyway. So, I made him lots of options and mailed them to him and he chose these: Apple Cinnamon Rolls as his favorite. If your interested in seeing some of my cousins work or getting him to do some work for you checkout his site. I’m super excited to see the logo he comes up with for me 😄

Okay, so on to the cinnamon rolls already! Well, these are pretty much like normal cinnamon rolls only before you bake them you squish them down in the middle a bit and fill the resulting dip with apple filling! Then as it bakes it the apple filling goes down and fills all the little nooks and cranes while still leaving a good bit of filling on the top. When you eat them warm… heavenly!

Let’s start with the dough. In a large bowl combine the warm water and yeast.

Next, add the brown sugar, salt, eggs, softened butter, and flour.

Mix this up until well combined. I just use my hands… It’s messy but it’s fun! A nice thing about this dough is you don’t have to knead it, just mix and done. Not kneading it will help to make it an extra soft and light dough.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl. Cover it and allow it to rise for 1.5 hours in a warm place.

Here is the dough after rising. Yikes, your gonna need a bigger bowl! 😉

Next, roll the dough out onto a well floured surface.

It’s going to make a huge rectangle, so be sure to clear some space! Once you have it rolled out, I didn’t measure it I just rolled it out until it was huge, brush it with melted butter.

Now, the first recipe I made of this I only used 2/3c. of brown sugar in the filling and 1T. cinnamon sprinkled on top… It just looked sad.

So, on the next batch I used 3c. brown sugar, 2T. cinnamon and 1t. nutmeg mixed it all together and look how much better it looks. Of course, you taste the difference too much yummier.

Next, just start rolling it up from one long end to the other.

Then cut the resulting dough log into 2-inch rolls.

Place the rolls in greased baking pans. I used a 9×13 and a 8×8-inch cake pan for one batch of rolls! That way you can have some for now and freeze some for later or have some to give away. Be sure to leave a little space between rolls so that they can rise.

Allow the rolls to rise for one more hour, covered and in a warm place.

Meanwhile, we still need to make the apple filling. You’ll need 3 cups of peeled, cored, and chopped apples.

Place the apples in a medium saucepan with brown sugar, cornstarch, salt, apple cider or water, and cinnamon.

Bring to a boil and cook and stir until the mixture is thickened.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter. Set aside.

Once the rolls have risen for an hour it’s time to make the little craters in them. I used the back of a portion scoop, but the back of a rounded ice cream scoop would work great too, or in a real pinch you could just mash it with your fingers/fist. You just want a roundish crater in the middle of the rolls.

Spoon some of the apple filling into each crater.

Bake the rolls at 350F for 40-45 minutes of until well browned. Cool slightly before serving.

These rolls are best served warm and if your like my dad’s cousin Dave you load the top of the roll with butter and then warm it up… So, amazing! He likes to say “bad rolls need butter, good rolls deserve butter.” Which, naturally, is true. I’m sure that you are going to love Frankie’s Favorite Cinnamon Rolls. Make some, you’ll be happy you did!

If you wanted to you could probably substitute other fruits in these rolls too, perhaps pears or raspberries or blueberries, just to mention a few. Which fruit would you want to see these cinnamon rolls made with?

Frankie's Favorite Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Filling
Frankie's Favorite Cinnamon Rolls: These cinnamon rolls are loaded with brown sugar and cinnamon and are topped with a delicious apple filling. Serve them warm with a bit of butter!
  • For the Dough:
  • 1½c. hot tap water
  • 9t. instant yeast
  • 1c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2t. salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1c. butter, soft
  • 8c. flour
  • ½c. melted butter
  • 3c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2T. ground cinnamon
  • 1t. ground nutmeg
  • For the Apple Filling:
  • 3c. peeled, cored, and chopped apples
  • ¾c. brown sugar, packed
  • 2½T. cornstarch
  • ¼t. salt
  • ½c. water or apple cider
  • 1t.ground cinnamon
  • 2T. butter
  1. In a very large bowl combine the yeast with the 1½c. hot water.
  2. Mix in the 1c. brown sugar, 2t. salt, eggs, 1c. butter, and flour. Stir until well combined.
  3. Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise, covered, in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
  4. Grease two pans (I used a 9x13 and an 8x8-inch pan). Set aside
  5. Roll the dough out into a giant rectangle on a well poured surface. No measuring just until it is pretty thin (perhaps ¼-inch or less) and huge!
  6. Brush the dough with the melted butter.
  7. In a small bowl combine the 3c. brown sugar, 2T. cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle this over the butter on the dough.
  8. Roll the dough up into a log starting from a long need and ending at the other side which is also a long end.
  9. Cut the dough into 2-inch rolls and place them in the grease pan. Cover and allow to rise 1 more hour.
  10. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and place the apples, ¾c. brown sugar, cornstarch, ¼t. salt, apple cider, and 1t. cinnamon in a medium saucepan.
  11. Cook and stir until well thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 2T. butter until melted.
  12. Once the rolls have risen make a crater in the middle of each, use the back of a rounded ice cream scoop or fingers or whatever is handy.
  13. Fill each of the craters with the apple filling.
  14. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until well browned. Serve warm.

Original Recipe By: Rilla Banks (A.K.A. Epic Sweet)