This giant cinnamon roll is oozing with a gooey caramel apple and topped with a perfect cream cheese glaze.
I think Matt put it perfectly when he said, “You know how when you eat a cinnamon roll and the middle is the best part? This is like getting almost only the middle!”
Seriously, though. I’ve been drooling over Audra’s giant cinnamon roll for months. I’m always a little leery of baking with yeast so I procrastinated making one of my own for a while. Well, if I regret anything, it’s waiting so long to make this because it’s definitely one of the most delicious things to ever come out of my kitchen. In fact, I had given a slice to someone in our building and an hour later he called me just to say it was the best cinnamon bun he has ever had.
Since I so rarely bake something special like this, I wanted to make it extra special by loading it up with a caramel apple filling. After cooking the chopped apples in a skillet with some butter and brown sugar they pretty much tasted like candy. I was tempted to just start spooning them into my mouth but I wanted to make sure there were apples everywhere in this giant cinnamon bun.
While the process to make this is a bit on the messy side and there are a few different steps, it’s actually quite easy. The hardest part is waiting for your cinnamon bun to finish baking (and photographing in my case). Oh and maybe scrubbing the gooey dough off of the counter…
- 57g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, separated
- 340g (~3 cups / 2 medium) chopped apples (I prefer to use a crisp apple like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
- 235g (~1 cup tightly packed) light brown sugar
- 15 milliliters (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice (from ~1/2 lemon)
- 5g (1 tablespoon) ground cinnamon
- 5 milliliters (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 177 milliliters (3/4 cup) milk (any type is fine)
- 57g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 430g (~3¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- 50g (~1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 7g (usually 1 package) instant yeast
- 2 ½g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- 59 milliliters / 2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) water
- 50g (~1 whole) large egg at room temperature
- 57g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 57g cream cheese, softened at room temperature (light or regular)
- 190g (~1 cup) powdered sugar
- 8 milliliters (½ tablespoon) vanilla extract
- 15 milliliters (1 tablespoon) milk
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt ½ of the butter; stir in apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes; remove from heat and make dough
- In a large glass measuring cup, heat the milk and butter in the microwave for 60-90 seconds or until warm and the butter has melted (do not bring to a boil); set aside
- In a large bowl, whisk together ⅔ of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; add the milk mixture, egg and water, and mix until combined (it will be very sticky); add the remaining flour and knead it into the dough with your hands until it comes together in a soft ball
- At this point, knead dough for a couple of minutes on a lightly-floured surface until it is smooth and elastic (if you press a finger into the dough it should bounce back); return dough to bowl and cover with a damp cloth; let rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
- Grease a round 10-inch cake pan or skillet; line bottom with parchment paper and grease top of that as well; set aside
- Roll the dough on a clean floured surface into a large rectangle about ⅓ of an inch thick; melt the remaining butter for filling and use a pastry brush to coat the dough; spread apple filling so that entire surface of dough is covered
- Using a pastry wheel, pizza cutter or knife cut the dough into strips that are ~2 inches wide; start with one strip and roll it from one end to the other forming a swirl; continue by attaching the end of a second strip and rolling so that the swirl is even bigger; repeat and then place in center of pan or skillet; cut remaining strips in half horizontally so that they are easier to handle and wrap them around the dough so that you are expanding the spiral towards the edges of the pan (it will not fill the entire pan) until no dough remains
- Cover the pan with a damp cloth, and leave in a warm place for 30-45 minutes or until it has doubled in size
- Once dough has finished growing, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; when ready, bake cinnamon roll for 25 minutes or until edges are golden brown; make the glaze
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until light and creamy; add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy; add milk and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy
- Spread on warm cinnamon bun and serve immediately
- Cover leftovers (if they actually exist) with seran wrap and gently reheat before eating (they should be good for up to two days)
Note: Prepare for about an hour of proofing time in addition to the prep and baking time (total time from start to finish should be about 2 hours)
Since it’s one giant cinnamon bun, you don’t necessarily have to share…
This looks absolutely amazing – love the gif of the cream cheese glaze! Drooool!
A giant cinnamon bun?!!? GAH!! This is awesome!
Oh my goodness — wow! This looks EPIC! And I love your animated GIF. :)
LOVE this giant cinnamon roll!!
Thanks so much, Marla!
AMAZING .. this would be the perfect dessert for thanksgiving dinner!! The first picture you posted, of drizzling the glaze — I LOVE IT … so cool!!
Thank you, Sharana!!
WOW!!! This looks unreal. The only thing better than a cinnamon roll is adding apple to it! Fall perfection!
Wow this looks so amazingly delicious, and perfect for a cold Fall day! :)
I love this! More middle to go around, great idea!
If only you knew how long I’ve been waiting for you to post this!! If I ate the whole thing for breakfast all by myself, would you judge me?
Considering the fact that it really is only ONE cinnamon roll, not at all!
The middle is definitely the best part! This giant cinnamon bun looks so awesome.
This looks AMAZING! thank you
Thank you, Debra!
Oh wow, this looks amazing! “almost the middle” = YUM
Delicious to a whole new level.