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Apple Pie Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

These delicious spiced apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls are truly so good. Topped with a whipped maple cream cheese frosting, these aren’t your average cinnamon rolls. The fermentation process not only makes them healthier, but also adds another layer of flavor that pairs so well with the sweetness. You have to add these to your table this fall!

pinterest graphic for apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls

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sourdough cinnamon rolls

Cinnamon rolls are such a delicious breakfast treat. Growing up, it always felt like a special occasion when we got to have cinnamon rolls. I have made them quite a few times for my own family now, and my boys just go crazy when I tell them I’m making cinnamon rolls. A few years ago, I started switching all of our favorite baked goods to sourdough versions, and the cinnamon rolls turn out so fantastic with a sourdough dough. I have grown to love the tangy sourdough flavor so much, that regular baking almost feels like something is missing.

Try this recipe for Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls too!!

The trees are starting to turn here in Wisconsin and Starbucks officially declared it’s pumpkin spice season. The calendar turned to September and I was instantly in cozy mode and ready for all the tastes and smells of fall flavors. I decided to put a little seasonal twist on our favorite Sourdough Cinnamon Roll recipe and make Apple Pie Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. Holy moly you guys, they are so good.

hand holding apple pie cinnamon roll on a plate

sourdough cinnamon roll timeline

Because these homemade cinnamon rolls are made from sourdough, they do take quite a bit of time to make from start to finish, so you’ll want to plan ahead. You will need to start with an active sourdough starter at 100% hydration. This means that your sourdough stater was fed between 4 and 8 hours ago, with a 1:1:1 ratio of starter, flour and water (by weight). You’ll know it’s active if it’s nice and bubbly and has inflated since you fed it. If you don’t have a sourdough starter, you can grab a dehydrated one from my Etsy shop here! This is the same starter that I use in my house almost every single day.

I like to feed my sourdough starter around noon the day before I want these apple pie cinnamon rolls. Then I use my active sourdough starter around 6 pm the same day to make the cinnamon roll dough, and then let it ferment overnight. The next morning, I make the homemade apple pie filling and roll the dough into rolls. Once the rolls are formed, they need to rise another 2-4 hours.

sample baker’s schedule

Day 1:

  • 12 pm: Feed sourdough starter with equal parts starter, water and flour by weight.
  • 6 pm: Make cinnamon roll dough, let rise for 12 hours or overnight.

Day 2:

  • 6 am: Make apple pie filling and roll into cinnamon roll dough. Let rise again 2-4 hours.
  • 9-10 am: Bake cinnamon rolls, top with whipped maple cream cheese frosting and ENJOY!

ingredients you’ll need –

Cinnamon Roll Dough-

Apple Pie Filling-

  • Fresh apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • Maple syrup
  • Water
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Homemade apple pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, allspice, ginger)

Whipped Maple Cream Cheese Frosting-

  • Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • Maple syrup
  • Heavy whipping cream

how to make apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls –

day 1:

There are many bread doughs that would work for this recipe, but my most favorite dough to use for cinnamon rolls is this Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread recipe. It is enriched with butter and it turns out so soft and delicious when made into cinnamon rolls. The original recipe makes two loaves, so I divide it in half to make this recipe.

Begin by placing butter, honey, sourdough starter, salt, water and flour in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Use the mixer to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should be soft, but not too sticky. If it’s so sticky that you’re not able to work with it, add more flour. If it’s dry and feels stiff, add more water. Add just a little at a time; it doesn’t take much for the dough to turn sticky.

After the mixer has kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes, transfer the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow the dough to rise in a large bowl at room temperature for about 12 hours or overnight. The dough should double in size in this amount of time, so make sure you use a big enough bowl.

day 2:

After the dough has risen, it’s time to make the apple filling. Begin by peeling, coring and slicing apples until you get four cups. I was using pretty small apples, and I needed five whole apples to get to four cups. Using one of these apple processing gadgets has saved me literal hours. If you don’t have one already, you need one!! Especially during apple season in the Midwest – it’s no joke!!

After your apples are sliced and ready to go, melt the butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Cook the apples down until they are soft, about 5-7 minutes. While the apples are cooking, whisk the water and arrowroot powder to form a slurry. After the apples are soft, remove from heat and add maple syrup and the arrowroot powder slurry. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid thickens. If your pan is really hot, the liquid might thicken too much and because thick and sticky instead of like a sauce. If this happens, just add water a little at a time and stir until the you get the right consistency. Finally, add the spices and stir one more time to combine.

Allow the cooked apple pie filling to cool before forming the cinnamon rolls. If you make the cinnamon rolls while the apples are warm, the butter in the cinnamon roll dough will melt and the dough will become too sticky to work with, and might even tear easily.

When the apple pie filling is cooled, use a rolling pin to roll out the cinnamon roll dough in a large rectangle. Spread the apple pie filling evenly over the rectangle. Starting on one of the long ends of the rectangle, slowly roll the dough. When you get to the end, gently pinch the edge all along the log of dough so none of the filling escapes. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 12 equal-sized rolls. Arrange in a greased baking dish. Now, the apple pie cinnamon rolls will need a second rise. Allow them to rise in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel until they are doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.

baking sourdough cinnamon rolls –

When the rolls have puffed up to about double their original size, it’s time to bake! Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the cinnamon rolls into the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops just start to turn golden brown. While they are baking, prepare the Whipped Maple Cream Cheese topping. Put the softened cream cheese into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until the cream cheese is fluffy and there are no lumps, about 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and beat on low until combined. Then add the heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed until the cream is whipped and holds its shape (it will no longer be runny like milk).

When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, allow them to cool slightly before spreading the whipped topping. Enjoy a warm cinnamon roll with a friend over a cup of coffee, or with your family on Christmas morning – any time is the perfect time for this delicious treat! The best thing about fall is fresh apple pie, and now you can enjoy that perfect apple pie spice in the form of a warm, soft sourdough cinnamon roll. Sourdough is the best way to enjoy all your favorite baked goods – no instant yeast necessary.

For best results, store these Apple Pie Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container.

apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls
hand holding apple pie cinnamon roll on a plate

try these other fall sourdough recipes –

recipe card –

apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls

Apple Pie Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls with Whipped Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 12 cinnamon rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 14 hours
Total Time: 15 hours

These delicious spiced apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls are truly a show stopper. Topped with a whipped maple cream cheese frosting, these aren't your average cinnamon rolls. The fermentation process not only makes them healthier, but also adds another layer of flavor that pairs so well with the sweetness. You have to add these to your table this fall!

Ingredients

CINNAMON ROLL DOUGH

  • 1/4 cup soft or melted butter
  • 4 Tbls sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 4 cups all purpose flour

APPLE PIE FILLING

  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 4 cups apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ginger

MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

    1. Begin by placing butter, honey, sourdough starter, salt, water and flour in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment. Use the mixer to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. It should be soft, but not too sticky.

    2. Transfer the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and allow the dough to rise in a large bowl at room temperature for about 12 hours or overnight.

    3. After the dough has risen, make the apple filling. Begin by peeling, coring and slicing apples until you get four cups.

    4. Melt the butter over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Cook the apples down until they are soft, about 5-7 minutes. While the apples are cooking, whisk the water and arrowroot powder to form a slurry. After the apples are soft, remove from heat and add maple syrup and the arrowroot powder slurry. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the liquid thickens. Allow the cooked apple pie filling to cool before forming the cinnamon rolls.

    5. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin into a large rectangle.

    6. Spread the apple pie filling evenly over the rectangle. Starting on one of the long ends of the rectangle, slowly roll the dough. When you get to the end, gently pinch the edge all along the log of dough so none of the filling escapes. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 12 equal-sized rolls. Arrange in a greased baking dish. Allow them to rise in a warm place covered with plastic wrap or a damp towel until they are doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.

    7. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the cinnamon rolls into the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the tops just start to turn golden brown.

    8. While the apple pie cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the Whipped Maple Cream Cheese topping. Put the softened cream cheese into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed until the cream cheese is fluffy and there are no lumps, about 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and beat on low until combined. Then add the heavy whipping cream and beat on medium speed until the cream is whipped and holds its shape.

    9. When the cinnamon rolls are done baking, allow them to cool slightly before spreading the whipped topping. Enjoy a warm cinnamon roll with a friend over a cup of coffee, or with your family on Christmas morning - any time is the perfect time for this delicious treat!

Notes

For best results, store these Apple Pie Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls in an airtight container.

save this recipe –

pinterest graphic for apple pie sourdough cinnamon rolls

13 Comments

  1. These look absolutely stunning and the maple cream cheese frosting sounds like it’s to die for! I can’t wait to try making these!

  2. Apple picking day is next week. Always a tradition to do some sort Apple pie making them too. We also quite often have some sort of homemade cinnamon rolls in the house so combining it’ll be fun!

  3. Cinnamon rolls are a real treat in this house because I rarely make them! lol But these look so fluffy and delicious and I agree with you, I think this is the absolute best frosting to use. And I have never used apples in them! Great ideas.

    1. I have not tried it with cornstarch as that’s not an ingredient I typically use, but if want to try it, I would start with half the amount and see how it thickens and go from there.

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