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Apple butter cinnamon rolls with maple icing on a black cooling rack.

High Altitude Apple Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing

Heather Smoke
These apple butter rolls are incredibly soft and fluffy, filled with apple butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, and frosted with maple apple icing.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Rising Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings12 rolls

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook
  • Standard Muffin Pan with 12 Cups

Ingredients
 

Dough

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup whole milk or buttermilk
  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour, spooned and leveled (divided)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, very soft
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • ½ cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

Icing

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp apple cider concentrate
  • 1 ½ tsp maple extract

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the buttermilk and stir. Warm the mixture just until it reaches between 110-115 degrees F.
    If it gets too hot, let it sit for a few minutes until it cools down to the correct temperature. It's important that you check the temperature – if it's too cold, it won't activate the yeast, and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the warm butter and milk, 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, yeast, eggs and vanilla extract. Knead for 5 minutes on medium/low speed. The dough will be soft, loose and sticky.
  • Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Scrape the dough into the bowl, and cover tightly with plastic. Set the dough in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
    If your oven has a bread-proofing setting, you can use that to proof your dough. If not, let your oven preheat to the lowest setting, turn the oven off, and then set your dough inside to rise.
  • Set the bowl of dough, still covered, in the refrigerator, and chill for 2 hours, or preferably overnight.
    This rest period allows the gluten to rest and the dough to develop flavor. Also, since this is a very soft dough, it's extremely difficult to work with when it's not chilled. The cold dough is very easy to roll out, fill, roll up and cut.
  • Use the remaining 1/4 cup of flour to flour your work surface, and turn the cold dough out onto the flour. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, too, and roll the dough out into a rectangle, roughly measuring 12x18 inches.

Filling

  • Spread the dough all over with the soft butter, then spread with the apple butter. It won't seem like much apple butter, but too much and the dough will be difficult to roll up.
  • Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll Up and Bake

  • Thoroughly spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick baking spray (on top of the pan and inside the cups).
  • Roll the dough up lengthwise, so you have a long log of dough. To cut the dough, the easiest way is to use dental floss (unflavored). Just take a length of floss, slide it under the dough, then cross it over the top to cut through the dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal portions.
  • Place the cut rolls in the muffin pan. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise just a little, until the dough fills the cups and is just starting to puff up.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the rolls on the center oven rack for about 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and baked through.
  • Let the rolls cool in the pan for no more than a minute or two, then use a spoon to lift them out of the pan and set them on a cooling rack.

Icing

  • In a bowl, whisk together all of the icing ingredients until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the hot rolls, letting it drip over the sides.
  • The icing will set in about 10 minutes, and the rolls are best eaten warm.
Keyword Apple Butter, Cinnamon Rolls
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