Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

Is there anything you could eat for the rest of your life and be perfectly happy doing so? I have a few things I could seriously make a variation of each day for at least the next 10 years. Those things include cupcakes, flatbread, risotto, and cinnamon rolls. (And if martinis count, then those, too).

But let’s talk cinnamon rolls (buns? still can’t figure out the difference). Yup, there are just some things you can’t get off your mind. I could eat cinnamon rolls every single morning for the rest of my life and remain happy. And there are SO many different variations that I really could have a different type every day (but many I’d want to return to!). I made the Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning once again. And since then, I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT THEM. I decided it would be piggy of me if I immediately made them again and gobbled up the plate of them. But if I were trying a new cinnamon roll recipe, it would be totally different. For the sake of experimentation and learning something new and all. Trust me, I’m good at justifying these things to myself.

I’m getting so good at making cinnamon rolls (a sign I’m making them too much?), I might even be able to make them in my sleep. And that would be a very, very dangerous thing! I followed this recipe, but changed a few things… like adding more sugar. What? I couldn’t stop myself.

Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls (makes about 16 cinnamon rolls):

• 1 C plus 2 T warm water (110-115 degrees
• 2 T yeast
• 1/4 C sugar
• 1/3 vegetable oil
• 1 egg
• 1 t salt
• 3-3.5 C all-purpose flour
• 3 T butter, plus more for pans
• 1 C brown sugar
• 1 T cinnamon
• 2 apples, peeled, cored, and “shredded”
• 1 C walnuts, chopped
• Icing recipe (see below)


Icing (I used my own recipe variation):

• 1.5 C powdered sugar
• 1/8 C milk (I only had vanilla Silk soy milk, but it was divine)
• 1 T butter, melted
• 1 t vanilla extract


In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water.


Add the oil and sugar and let stand for 5 minutes.


After 5 minutes, the mixture was totally already rising even though there was no flour. I was intrigued.


Now add the egg and the salt.


And add 3 cups of flour. If you think the dough is too sticky (mine was), add up to 1/2 C more.



Now let the dough rest for about 10 minutes, so it can “relax.” You can relax while your dough is relaxing if you want.

I was trying to figure out what the next step of the recipe was.


Just kidding; I was probably tweeting or something. (and yes, I know it’s not good to bring my laptop into the kitchen. Yes, it’s constantly covered in oil. Sorry).

Actually, while the dough was resting, I peeled my apples and “shredded” them. You could chop them into small bits, but I just cored them and used my Chef’n VeggieChop and it was SO easy. If I haven’t already recommended this thing enough, I’m recommending it again. You need this in your kitchen!


Perfect-sized apple pieces and all I had to do was pull the string a few times. This is SUCH a time-saver!


Now my dough had been resting for 10 minutes and rose a tiny bit. for some reason, you don’t need to let this dough rise much… Quick and easy cinnamon rolls!


Take the dough out of the bowl (if it’s still super sticky, make sure you coat your hands well in flour) and put it on a lightly floured surface.


Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.


Spread the melted butter evenly over the dough.


I used a pastry brush to make sure the dough was totally coated in butter.


Then sprinkle the brown sugar over the dough rectangle.


And the cinnamon, too. Ew to the vein in my wrist?


Now sprinkle the apples all around.


I had walnuts but they weren’t chopped… So I got out my VeggieChop once again and chopped up the walnuts. So much easier than chopping them by hand. Hi Chef’n, can I be your spokesperson?


Now my dough rectangle is fully loaded.


I mean, I couldn’t even believe how much stuff I got on here!


Time to fold the dough up. This part used to intimidate me so much, but after doing it a few times it’s become simple as pie (I’m telling you, practice really is perfect). Starting on the long edge farthest from you roll the dough toward yourself.


Keep going until the dough is all rolled up and pinch the edges to seal.


Now, with a sharp knife, cut into 2-inch rolls. I’m not too picky when it comes to the size of the rolls; a little variation is just fine.


I absolutely love the way this cinnamon roll looks when you cut into it.


The recipe I followed said to put the rolls on an 11 x 14-inch baking dish. But I used two 9-inch pie dishes instead.


At this point you’re supposed to let the cinnamon buns rise for 30 minutes to an hour. But I made these the night ahead, so I covered them in plastic wrap and popped them in the fridge (I put the other plate of them in the freezer).

When I woke up in the morning, they looked like this:


I let them sit out, uncovered, while I pre-heated the oven to 375 degrees.

Put them in the oven for about 20-23 minutes.

I say this every time I bake cinnamon buns, but your house/apartment/hut is going to start smelling SO good around minute 10. The neighbors will be jealous– I just hope they don’t come knocking on your door. There’s not enough to share!!


While they’re baking, you should mix up the icing. Just put all the icing ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together. Easy. Pour the icing over the cinnamon buns.

Cut a roll out of the dish. And think “Hmm, I bet the plate would look prettier with 2 cinnamon rolls on it.” Then quickly realize if you put 2 cinnamon rolls on your plate, you’ll most definitely be eating 2 cinnamon rolls. And you probably shouldn’t tempt yourself like that. (Psst. You can go back for more after eating this one).


These cinnamon rolls were an awesome change from the typical plain cinnamon roll. They tasted a lot like an apple turnover or some kind of apple walnut pastry.


They definitely weren’t as sugary sweet, or buttery, as the Pioneer Woman’s, but sometimes variation is good. They were still sweet and gooey, which is what I want in a cinnamon roll. And because there are apples in them, they’re a very well-rounded breakfast. Right? Right.

I’m also posting the New Year’s Eve video again because it shows my cinnamon roll making process. Also, my mom said “You’re so good at making these! You look like a pro!” That’s likely because the photos Chris took actually made me look like I knew what I was doing; and put all together I look like I did it quickly and without hesitation. But really, for all you know I could have dropped the entire rectangle of dough on the floor, picked it up, cleaned it off, and continued rolling it. And it just didn’t appear in the photos. I didn’t. But I could have.

And now I’m off to get some sleep. Tomorrow Chels and I are headed to Sugarbush in Vermont to learn to Snowboard with Cabot Cheese and Team Snow How. Please keep me in your thoughts as I’m just about the clumsiest person in the world and will need some luck out on the mountain. But I can’t wait!! 🙂

What’s your dream cinnamon roll variation? Tell me what kind I should make next!


50 Responses to "Apple Walnut Cinnamon Rolls"

  1. Gina says:

    Oh my goodness! I want some right now. Totally blows away the Pillsbury ones in a can 😉

  2. andrea says:

    I’m hungry now. I will have to make these someday. 🙂

  3. Kelly says:

    I know what you mean, I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls back in november and they have been on my mind. Specifically an apple/marzipan combination. But I can’t justify making them. I’m getting too big for my britches.

  4. These look awesome. I want some for bfast!

  5. I made my first batch of cinnamon rolls on New Year’s and I am obsessed! I adore them.

  6. Simply Life says:

    wow I’ve been thinking about making these and I think you just convinced me! They look amazing!

  7. Erica says:

    Gotta love blogging- it is such a great excuse to bake up what you’re craving 🙂 The rolls look great. ESPECIALLY with the apple chunks. Warmed apples…amazing.

  8. Joanne says:

    I totally understand. I really truly do. And maybe that’s why I’ve never made cinnamon rolls, ever. I know that, like with Pringles, once I pop, I just won’t stop.

    Apple walnut cinnamon is GOOD stuff. I had an inclination to make some nutella infused version this week, which I didn’t give into. But should have. Maybe you want to do it for me? 😛

  9. Between these and some of the pumpkin variations I have seen, it looks like it is time I try to make cinnamon rolls!

  10. Emily says:

    Genius! These look so yummy – and the apples make them healthy, right? btw, did you make your own vanilla extract!?

  11. kitchenbelle says:

    I LOVE the smell of cinnamon rolls baking! Delicious!

  12. Wow, those rolls look simply heavenly! I love the apples and walnuts in them, so delicious!

  13. emily says:

    you can never go wrong with cinnamon rolls, and i love that this recipe includes apples (that is one nifty apple chopper, btdubs!).
    good luck on the mountain! 🙂

  14. These look fabulous and you’re right, I bet your neighbors were insanely jealous!

  15. Drool drool drool!!! I am so going to make these this wknd…I wonder if raisins in there would be yummy too??

  16. Monique says:

    i havent baked anything in *gulp* 3 weeks. i think its time to dust off the mixer.
    I got a can of pumpkin and i might just make something pumpkinny. Eff the fall season. Eff the snow. i need comfort and i need it now.

  17. Lauren says:

    These sound AMAZING! I love making (and, of course, eating) cinnamon rolls, and have some ideas brewing in my head for ingredient additions ;). Stay tuned!

    In terms of bringing the computer into the kitchen, may I suggest the Demy?! It is a digital recipe reader that I got for Christmas and I LOVE it!!

  18. Vidya says:

    I make rolls like these from a recipe which is pretty much exactly the same. The only key difference is that there are raisins mixed into the dough in my version, so it’s kind of like a raisin bread wrapped around apples and walnuts. I also skip the icing because then I’d eat them all in one go. Not that I don’t come close without it.

  19. Nicole says:

    Your cinnamon rolls look so good! I love that they aren’t skimpy on filling 🙂 Have fun on the slopes!

  20. Janel says:

    I need that veggie chopper! I have a similar one that is really terrible and barely chops, and I can’t stand chopping onions – I cry every time. This would be perfect!

  21. Megan says:

    Now you have me thinking about cinnamon rolls and martinis in the middle of the day… they look gorgeous! (I’ve started bring my computer in the kitchen sometimes too.)

  22. Karen says:

    Wow, these look great! I love the apple cinnamon walnut combo!

  23. yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. but i’m a dunce and kept wondering what the vodka was for!

  24. Kelley says:

    now I have cinnamon rolls on my mind! These look amazing!!!!!!!!!

  25. anna says:

    If you take a long string of thread and slide it under the rolled up log..and then bring up the sides and (cross and pull tight) it cuts the roll perfect with out smushing the roll, like it does when you use a knife. kinda hard to explain but here is a picture

  26. Susan says:

    One of the dangers of food blogging is finding recipes like these! Oh my, they look wonderful. I am going to try these for a special weekend breakfast!

  27. I highly admire your mastery. I’ve always meant to, but never made cinnamon rolls. That’s gotta change soon

  28. Kelly says:

    Yummy. I made a remotely similar recipe from my king Arthur book that had apples in the rolls and they were so, so good. I’ve been wanting to try rolls but with a chocolate banana filling. Mmmmmm.

  29. Reeni says:

    I love making cinnamon rolls but suck at rolling them up! They never seem to roll up tight enough. Oh, well I guess I need practice, lots of practice! These are delectable! I saw a butterscotch cinnamon roll that sounded interesting and different. Hope you’re having fun snowboarding!

  30. I love making cinnamon rolls…I add a touch of chili powder and nutmeg to mine for an extra kick…have a great weekend snowboarding and Happy New Year!

  31. This is one of those things that’s worth the time. You just have to ride out the dough leavening process, a little baking, and it’s eating time. Delicious.

  32. Rhonda says:

    Apple pie hidden in a cinnamon roll…yeah baby! My laptop is always in the kitchen also, I won’t even discuss how gummed up it gets.

  33. Mandi says:

    I swear making a successful cinnamon roll is so gratifying! It takes so long with the rising times, but they are so worth it! I am loving this filling, it looks positively delicious! Oh, and P.S. the hubs has officially banned me from putting our Macbook on the counter while I’m cooking/baking – our keys now stick because of all the crap I’ve spilled on it =( woops

  34. Sues says:

    Emily- Hehe, I totally need to turn the vanilla bottle around next time so it doesn’t say “vodka” in big letters!

  35. Lizzy says:

    My computer is always in the kitchen with me… so much so that I had my friend Meg put it in my newly designed header! haha. Those rolls look so good!!! Does Chris take those pics for you? I can’t see my hub being that patient and helping out like that with the photos. You got a good catch there!

  36. Velva says:

    Not many people can brag that they are getting good at making cinnamon rolls-this is a good thing. Even better if you are serving it up with a really good , strong cup of coffee.

    Can I add that having martinis everyday for the rest of my life would be very satisfying indeed!


  37. A.Judy says:

    In my 67 years I have yet to work with yeast as it always intimidated me. You made it look so easy…………I gave it a try and VOILA!……I am now “Queen of Cinnamon Rolls”! Good thing half of the recipe is in the freezer……….HH and I really did a number on them between last night and this morning!

  38. Sharlene says:

    I love every single one of the cinnamon roll recipes you post here. They’re so creative! I’m still a sucker for the classic roll/bun (I don’t know the difference either) but one day I’m going to venture into other flavors. Hope you had fun on the slopes!!

  39. Love this, me and my bud have been trying to think up crazy ice cream flavours so we’ll give these rolls a go as ice cream and I’ll let you know how it goes.

  40. Ruth says:

    Great meeting the two of you at Sugarbush this weekend. I hope you return many times using your new passes and newly acquired skills.

    ps – if you were in charge of bringing the snow, we thank you very much!

  41. Haha, I like the pic of you in the kitchen. I do that all the time!

    These look incredible. The filling sounds very good!

  42. Kerstin says:

    I’m drooling, these look amazing and I love the apple filling! Hope you had fun boarding!!

  43. I need these right now – you are only an hour away – slurp

  44. Abby says:

    I have never written to yall before, but I have made alot of your recipes and they are ALL delicious!!! You know you read a blog consistently when you are SO excited when one of yall, Sues, gets engaged!!! Congrats! While we are snowed in here in Alabama, I just happened to have the ingredients to the cinnamon rolls and let me tell you they were a HUGE success!! We have people here that are supposed to be a the national championship football ball game right now, but instead are snowed in at our house! so thank you for delicious food to ease their pain!!!

  45. Girls- wanted to let you know that I gave you the Stylish Blogger Award because I love your blog! Stop by the blog and check it out. I hope you’ll share 7 things with everyone!

  46. sippitysup says:

    Here’s one to notice and remember and love! GREG

  47. Delishhh says:

    YUM YUM! I will have a cinnamon roll any day. Nice recipe.

  48. Jennifer says:

    Oh, yummy! I love to see a variation with toasted hazelnuts and maybe a little chocolate.

  49. I’m a huge fan of cinnamon rolls. Especially when they are covered cream cheese frosting.

  50. vanessa says:

    absolutely divine cinnamon rolls..even without the frosting! will be baking them again tomorrow! thanks for the recipie.

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