Caramel-Apple Cinnamon Buns

Grated apples bathed in cinnamon sugar make an excellent filling for this unusual riff on cinnamon buns. A drizzle of rich caramel after baking is their crowning glory. These buns are best served warm; so if you have to wait awhile before sharing, gently reheat in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

30 mins
20 to 25 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
12 buns
Caramel-Apple Cinnamon Buns


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  1. For the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the water, mixing until a soft dough forms. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, to adjust the dough’s consistency as needed. Knead the dough in a mixer at low speed for 6 minutes or by hand on a lightly floured work surface for 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and bounces back when poked.

  2. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let  rise for 11/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.

  3. For the filling: Combine half the sugar, the ClearJel (or flour), and cinnamon; set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet and add the grated apples and the remaining sugar. 

  4. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until any juice in the pan cooks away. Add the reserved sugar mixture and boiled cider (or apple juice concentrate) and stir until the apples are coated and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

  5. To assemble: Grease a muffin tin or line with papers, or grease a 9 ̋ x 13 ̋ metal pan.

  6. Deflate the risen dough and roll on a greased work surface to a 14" x 18" rectangle. Spread with the filling, leaving 1" along one long edge uncovered. Sprinkle with the walnuts. Starting with the covered long edge, roll up the dough toward the uncovered edge and pinch the dough to seal it.

  7. Cut the dough into 12 equal slices. Place the rolls, cut side up, in the wells of the prepared pan. Cover the pan with greased plastic and let rise until puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes. Toward the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  8. Uncover the buns and bake for 20 to 25 minutes (25 to 30 minutes for the 9" x 13" pan), until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the buns from the pan and drizzle with the Caramel Sauce.

  9. Store leftover buns covered on the counter for up to 2 days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers