When you can’t decide between Pumpkin or Apple choose both and make these Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting.
Okay, so if summer has to end (and October says it does) then I might as well make the best of it and get baking. I’m really not ready to say goodbye to summer and all that sunshine, but these Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls are definitely helping.
I’ve been thinking pumpkin ever since the calendar rolled over to October, but I’ve also had a kitchen full of apples. I’ve been canning applesauce with a bushel of apples a generous friend brought over. Then the farmers market had even more delicious looking apples so we added to the pile.
But a kitchen full of apples and a craving for pumpkin leads to all good things. First up, these Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls.
I know this time of year there’s often a debate – pumpkin or apple? I’m here to tell you the answer is BOTH. Pumpkin + Apple = Delicious!
I already knew I loved pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I already knew I loved apple cinnamon rolls. I was pretty sure I’d also love Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls.
The official verdict is: YUM!
The picture above is what they look like underneath when you pop them out of the pan. Gooey, sticky, sweet apple cinnamon goodness.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, we start with a really good pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe and you’re in luck because I’ve got one.
Then, we add apples. I used a Honey Crisp and a Granny Smith for delicious, juicy flavor.
I made my pumpkin cinnamon rolls as usual. But when I got to the filling, I cut back the sugar just a little and added my sweet juicy apples.
And when they came out of the oven, they looked like this:
Pumpkin and Apple together are already a tasty combination. But a cinnamon roll isn’t a cinnamon roll without a good cream cheese frosting.
This particular cream cheese frosting has been elevated to amazing with the addition of a couple tablespoons of Salted Caramel. Yes, you read that right. What we have here are the most delicious Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting. Yes yes and yes.
And now I’m in love. Pumpkin + Apple forever and ever. I will make these in October. I will make these in November. I will even make these in December.
I can’t believe I never thought of this combination before now, but better late than never – especially where Salted Caramel is involved.
You have to try these Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon Rolls! And when you do, come back here and tell me if you’ve fallen in love like I have.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup warm milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree (like Libby's)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 cups chopped apple pieces (keep them small, no need to peel, about 2 large apples - see note below)
- 8 tablespoons softened butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- 4 ounces softened cream cheese
- 8 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons salted caramel (see note below)
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, stir together the yeast and warm water. Let it rest for approximately 5 minutes or until the yeast is dissolved and foamy.
- Using the whisk attachment, mix in the milk, egg, pumpkin, and butter until smooth (just a few seconds).
- Switch to the paddle attachment and add in 1¼ cups flour, brown sugar, salt, and spices and beat on high for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Slowly add more flour, ½ cup at a time until the dough forms a smooth ball. It can be a little sticky, but should be easy to work with by hand. Knead for another minute. Only add as much flour as needed for a smooth, soft, elastic dough.
- Grease a large bowl and place the dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough ball to coat all sides with oil. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately 1 hour.
- Prepare the filling. Combine the sugars and spices in a medium bowl.
- Roll out the risen dough on a lightly greased work surface into a 16"x12" rectangle. Cover evenly with the softened butter, then sprinkle the sugar mixture and apples over the top.
- Roll the dough into a longwise log. It will stretch to about 20 inches as you roll. Use a piece of thread, unflavored dental floss, or fishing line to cut the log into 15 even pieces (about 1.5 inch pieces) - see note below.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place slices in 2 well greased 8 inch round cake pans. Cover and let rise until doubled - about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven until the rolls begin to turn golden brown and feel firm to touch, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
- Prepare frosting while the rolls bake. Combine the butter, vanilla, cream cheese, and salted caramel in a small food processor or high powered blender. Add in the powdered sugar ½ cup at a time until desired consistency. I used 2 cups and it poured nicely.
- Frost warm rolls and serve immediately.
- Choose apples that are firm, juicy, and very flavorful. Some good choices are honey crisp, gala, and granny smith. Using 2 different kinds of apples adds even more flavor.
- I used this Salted Caramel Recipe and just made a half batch.
- Here’s a video showing how to cut your cinnamon rolls with thread or floss – it’s the easiest method.
- I adapted my friend Katie’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll recipe because it’s the best one ever – I’ve been using it for years.