This fall, bake up a batch of these mouthwatering Apple Pecan Chai Cinnamon Rolls! Honeycrisp apples, pecans, ground cinnamon and chai spice rolled into the easiest yeast-leavened dough and baked until gooey and amazing. Iced with luscious brown butter cream cheese frosting!
Who doesn’t love cinnamon rolls?
The tender dough, gooey middle and the more icing the better! And homemade is always better.
In this recipe, I use honeycrisp apples not only because they’re my favorite, but also because the flavor is incredible, and when baked they don’t loose too much shape so they really hold up in these rolls. To round these rolls out, they are warmly spiced with a homemade chai spice, cinnamon, toasty pecans and lots of butter and sugar as they’re known to have. And as if these rolls aren’t already incredible, they are iced with a brown butter cream cheese icing.
These apple pecan cinnamon rolls taste like fall!
To Make The Dough for these Apple Pecan Chai Cinnamon Rolls You Will Need:
- active dry yeast
- unsalted butter
- kosher salt
- unbleached all-purpose flour
Start by heating 1/2 cup milk with 1/2 cup water in a small sauce pan until not but not boiling. I gauge this by when I start to see steam.
Sprinkle in 1 envelope or 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast. Set this off to the side for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add in 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 large egg. Mix on low until combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients get incorporated.
Add in roughly half of 3-1/2 cups of flour and mix until combined and crumble. Pour in all of the yeast/milk mixture and mix until combined before adding in the remaining flour.
Once most of the flour mixture is combine, switch over to the hook attachment.
Set a timer for 8 minutes and with your mixer on low, “knead” until the dough is elastic and the timer is up.
Transfer the dough to a well greased bowl, cover with a kitchen or tea towel and place in a dry warm place to rise for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
Meanwhile make the apple pecan chai cinnamon filling.
To Make The Apple Pecan Chai Cinnamon Rolls Filling You will Need:
- honeycrisp apples
- dark brown sugar
- chai spice
- ground cinnamon
- granulated sugar
Core and dice two medium honeycrisp apples into small 1/2-inch (approximately) pieces.
In a 10-inch, deep-sided skillet, add the butter and heat on medium to medium-low until melted. Add in the diced apples, 3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon chai spice, 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt.
Stir and cook until the apples start to soften and release their juices, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet off of the heat to cool while the dough finishes rising.
Lastly in a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 3/4 teaspoon each of the chai spice and ground cinnamon.
To Build The Apple Pecan Chai Cinnamon Rolls You Will Need:
- risen yeast-leavened dough
- chai cinnamon apples and pecans
- butter (cubed)
- cinnamon chai sugar
Position your own rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350° .
When the dough has finished risen, use your fist to gently punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to roughly a 15×9 rectangle.
Spread all of the chai cinnamon apples and pecans over top of the dough.
Sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
Lastly, drop 1/2 cup cubed unsalted butter over top before starting at one of the longer sides and rolling tightly.
With a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Then cut each half in half so you have 4 shorter pieces.
Slice each quarter into 3 (1-1/2 inch) slices so you end up with 12 rolls.
Place each roll into a well greased 9×13 baking dish and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
Meanwhile make the icing!
To Make This Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing You Will Need:
- brown butter
- softened cream cheese
- powdered sugar
- whole milk
Set the cream cheese out 30 to 40 minutes prior to making the icing.
In a mixing bowl, combine 6 tablespoons browned butter, 4 ounces cream cheese and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract until smooth.
Alternate adding a cup of sifted powdered sugar and a splash of whole milk until all 4 cups are used and the icing is the consistency you desire. For me personally, I use less milk for a thicker, spreadable icing that will melt slightly when spread on the warm apple pecan chai cinnamon rolls.
Allow the apple pecan chai cinnamon rolls to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before icing.
To do this, drop dollops of the icing onto each roll and spread it evenly.
Below is a step-by-step on how to devour one of these apple pecan cinnamon rolls. Not pictured is me passing out from pure bliss.
For more chai or chai spice inspired recipes Click Here!
Apple Chai Pecan Cinnamon Rolls
FOR THE DOUGH:
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, or 1 envelope
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
FOR THE FILLING:
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced (divided)
- 2 apples, Honeycrisp, cored and diced small
- 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons chai spice, divided
- 1½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
- pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
FOR THE BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE ICING:
- 6 tablespoons brown butter
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 tablespoons whole milk
MAKE THE DOUGH:
- In a small sauce pan, warm the milk and water. Once steaming hot (but not simmering) remove off of the heat and stir in yeast. Set off to the side for it to dissolve and bloom, abour 8 to 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter, sugar, salt and egg. Mix until combined.
- Add in half of the flour and mix until crumbly. Pour in the yeast mixture, stir until mostly combined. Add in the remaining flour, mix until just about incorporated.
- Switch over to a dough hook, set a timmer for 8 minutes and knead the dough (on low speed) for 8 minutes. The dough should be elastic.
- Transfer the dough to a large, well oiled bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm, dry area to rise for 1 hour or doubled in size.
- Meanwhile make the filling.
MAKE THE FILLING:
- Heat 2 tablespoons butter a 10-inch skillet over meidum heat until melted. Add in apples, pecans, brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon chai spice, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook until the apples start to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Remove off of the heat and let cool.
MAKE THE ROLLS:
- Preheat your oven to 350° and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Once risen, use your fist to punch the air out of the dough. On a lightly floured surface, with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to an approximate 15x9 rectangle.
- Spread the apples and any liquids onto the the dough.
- In a bowl, cobmine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 3/4 teaspoons each of chai spice and ground cinnamon. Sprinkle all of the chai cinnamon sugar over top of the apples and pecans.
- Scatter the 1/2 cup cubed unsalted butter over top of the apples.
- Starting on the long side of the dough, roll it tightly to form a log.
- Cut the log in half, then each half in half.
- Cut each quarter piece into thrids and place into the prepared dish.
- Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, make the icing.
- Once baked, allow the rolls to cool for 5 to 8 mintues before spreading with icing. Then serve.
FOR THE BROWN BUTTER CREAM CHEESE ICING:
- In a mixing bowl, with a electric hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and brown butter.
- Add 1 cup sifted powdered sugar with a splash of whole milk and mix until combined. Repeat until 4 cups are incorporated adding a splash of milk until it reaches a desired consistency.
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