Fluffy cinnamon rolls made from scratch with an easy 30 minute dough, stuffed and baked inside juicy apples and topped with rich cream cheese frosting.
4-12 large apples (1 apple per person. Round, wide apples work best with this recipe if you can find some)
1 1/3 cups very warm water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, very soft
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar
heavy cream or milk
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment (*see notes for alternate method) add water, yeast, and honey and stir with a spoon to combine. Allow to rest for 5 minutes (mixture will rise and foam).
Add flour and salt to yeast mixture. Turn the mixer on low and mix until all ingredients come together. Increase speed to medium-low and knead for 2-3 minutes longer until dough is more smooth. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
While dough is resting, prepare the filling by whisking together sugars and cinnamon in a bowl. (Don’t do anything with the butter yet).
Chop off the tops of the apples and scoop out the insides. Discard or use for another recipe. Place hollowed apples on a greased baking sheet and preheat oven to 350.
After 10 minutes of rest time, roll the dough into a 9×15 (approximate) inch rectangle (make sure the surface is well-floured and use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim any uneven sides of the rectangle of dough – discard trimmings)
Spread softened butter (from filling ingredients) over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Tightly roll one long end (the 15-inch of the rectangle) toward the other long end so you have a long log-shape. Trim the ends with a sharp knife or pizza cutter and discard. Cut remaining dough into 1 1/2 inch wide sections (cut as many sections as you need for your apples. If you are preparing 10 apples, cut 10 sections, etc) Place cinnamon roll sections swirly-side-up inside each of the apples.
Bake apples in preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until tops are lightly golden and rolls are cooked through. While those are baking, prepare the frosting by creaming together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Slowly mix in powdered sugar until incorporated and smooth. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until a pourable or spreadable consistency is reached.
When cinnamon rolls are finished baking, spread or drizzle with frosting and serve warm.