Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins


Apple pie meets cinnamon rolls in this Fall treat that you won’t want to miss out on. I mean really, is there anything quite like a fresh out of the oven cinnamon roll drenched with glaze or a slice of perfectly sweetened and spiced homemade apple pie? With that said, they were made to go together. These are what Fall baking is all about.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins | Cooking Classy

With these I decided to shred the apples in them for a few reasons. My Grandma would shred the apples in her apple pie so they’d all cook through, so I decided to adapt that method because I definitely wanted soft apples in these. Second I wanted to be able to remove some of the juices without having to add another step and cooking the liquid off so what better than to shred and squeeze (by hand) some of the juices out. It also seems faster than chopping for some reason. Maybe I’m just a slow chopper, but I’ve got grating down with all the cheese we consume around my house (and who knows why I never get out the grater attachment on the food processor – it seems like too much work :). The first time I made these I mixed the apples with the sugars before spreading over the bread layer and didn’t juice them quite as much and seriously what a runny mess, still tasty but a much messier method, so be sure to extract some of the juices before layering them on and don’t mix the sugars with the apples (bad idea). It may seem like a strange step to juice the apples but I believe it’s an important one. It also works out conveniently anyway because I just added it to the glaze rather than adding another ingredient like milk or cream.

Are you guys tired of me make everything in cupcake/muffin form yet? Well too bad if you are because I just can’t resist (just kidding :). I just love how convenient it is and I also liked how it evenly baked these cinnamon rolls, I wasn’t left with some gooey rolls in the center and dry ones around the edges. They also baked faster this way too. Yes these could probably be baked in a baking dish if you want to stick with the traditional method or if you happen to be out of cupcake liners and are like me and wouldn’t want to make a special trip to the store just for those (if you do bake them that way though you may need to increase the baking time a bit).

If you like cinnamon rolls I’d highly recommend making these at least once in the next few weeks because once you do you’ll likely fall in love. Enjoy!

Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins | Cooking Classy Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins | Cooking Classy


Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins


  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%), warmed to 110 degrees
  • 1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter , melted
  • 3 - 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 2 cups (slightly packed) peeled and grated Granny Smith apples (from about 3 medium)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter , halfway melted


  • 2 Tbsp butter , melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 - 5 Tbsp reserved apple juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Add yeast to warmed milk in liquid measuring cup and whisk to dissolve. Let rest 5 - 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add sour cream, granulated sugar, salt, egg, vanilla extract, vegetable oil and melted butter to bowl of electric stand mixer. Add milk mixture. Set stand mixer with whisk attachment and blend mixture to combine. Add in 1 1/2 cups flour and blend until combined, then switch to hook attachment and slowly add in remaining 1 1/2 cups flour. Knead mixture until smooth an elastic, about 5 minutes, adding in additional flour as needed to create a soft dough (it should pull away from sides of the bowl and may slightly stick to the bottom). Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size (I like to place it in the oven with the light on), about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  2. During the last few minutes of rising, grate apple and place in a bowl then toss with lemon juice and set aside. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, set aside. Punch dough down. Roll out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface to about an 19 x 13 inch rectangle. Brush top evenly with 1/4 cup butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and spread into an even layer. Squeeze 6 Tbsp of the excess liquid from apples into mixing bowl by lifting and pressing grated apples against sides of bowl (or just squeeze in your hands) and reserve juice (you'll be using most of it for the glaze). Sprinkle strained apples evenly over cinnamon sugar layer. Beginning on the long side (the 19-inch side) snuggly roll up to the other end (to the other 19-inch side, this may seem like the wrong side to be rolling, I usually begin with the shorter side, but it works best this way as you want taller not wider rolls for the muffin tins). Cut into 12 - 13 rolls and transfer each rolls to paper lined muffin cups (preferably using 2 - 12 hole muffin tins to allow muffin tops room to expand outward). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest in a warm place 40 minutes, preheating oven to 375 during last 10 minutes of rising.
  3. Brush tops of rolls lightly with butter, then bake in preheated oven 14 - 17 minutes until lightly golden and centers are no longer doughy. Allow to cool slightly then drizzle with glaze and enjoy warm. Store in an airtight container (preferably rewarm in microwave 10 - 20 seconds before enjoying).
  4. For the glaze:
  5. In a mixing bowl whisk together 3 tbsp reserved apple juice, powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Add in more apple juice as needed 1 tsp at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy


  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen: Just beautiful, Jaclyn! Your apple cinnamon rolls look deliciously divine. Your photography is just simply stunning here. Love the drippy drips of the icing glaze! Thanks for sharing. Will pin to several group boards at Pinterest! xo September 28, 2013 at 8:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Stacy! September 28, 2013 at 9:39am Reply

  • Erin | The Emerging Foodie: These look delicious! Beautiful photos. I love the idea of grated apples, too. So smart! September 28, 2013 at 9:04am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Erin! September 28, 2013 at 9:38am Reply

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar: These muffins are stunning! Gorgeous recipe :) September 28, 2013 at 12:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks so much Katrina! September 29, 2013 at 8:14am Reply

  • ATasteOfMadness: Oh my gosh! These look SO good! I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in forever, but cinnamon roll muffins? Now you’re talking! September 28, 2013 at 2:21pm Reply

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks: I made some vegan apple muffins last week but I just chopped them rather than grating them (lazy!). Love the texture you got and that you literally rolled these up like cinn rolls. You are so creative! :) September 28, 2013 at 3:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Averie :)! I’d love to try out your vegan apple muffins! September 29, 2013 at 8:14am Reply

  • Maria: These look amazing! September 28, 2013 at 7:11pm Reply

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.: These are so pretty!!! September 28, 2013 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Stephanie! September 29, 2013 at 8:13am Reply

  • Elisa @ Insalata di Sillabe: These are the best fall-ish baked goods ever. Pure genius!

    xo, Elisa September 28, 2013 at 10:55pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Elisa :)! September 29, 2013 at 8:13am Reply

  • Nicole: Oh, I want this for my Sunday breakfast! Looks so good! September 28, 2013 at 11:10pm Reply

  • Abbie @ Needs Salt: These muffins look absolutely delicious! Your icing is drizzled so perfectly. I think I’ve already fallen in love with these. <3
    Cinnamon rolls are the ultimate comfort food of autumn.. just sayin'. :)
    Pinning these! September 29, 2013 at 7:56am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for sharing Abbie! September 29, 2013 at 8:05am Reply

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious: Jaclyn, these cinnamon rolls are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Got any leftovers? If so, I’m totally coming over! September 29, 2013 at 9:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Chung-Ah! And no, how I wish I still had some left over :)! September 29, 2013 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Arlene Ross: Hi

    These look awesome ! I have a question, though. I’m assuming that the recipe makes 12 muffins…..but I’m confused by this part of the recipe. “(preferably using 2 – 12 hole muffin tins to allow muffin tops room to expand outward)”

    It sounds like you are saying to use 2 muffin tins…..pls clarify…..thanks so much !

    Arlene September 29, 2013 at 9:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes, sorry that does look confusing. Use 2 muffin tins is what I meant but it does make 12 muffins :). October 1, 2013 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Laura Dembowski: Forget cinnamon rolls, I want these for breakfast! September 29, 2013 at 1:05pm Reply

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist: These are just….incredible. September 30, 2013 at 9:06am Reply

  • sara: Just wanted to let you know I made these over the weekend and they are AWESOME! Totally delicious – perfect brunch treat. :) Thanks for sharing a great recipe! September 30, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you thought these were awesome Sara! Thanks so much for leaving a comment! October 1, 2013 at 11:39am Reply

  • sally @ sallys baking addiction: Jaclyn, these look amazing. Simply gorgeous photography! I love apple muffins but I just loved that you made cinnamon rolls into muffins. Even better! September 30, 2013 at 7:26pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sally! October 1, 2013 at 11:31am Reply

  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl: Pinned, super yum! Can’t wait to make these! October 2, 2013 at 6:48am Reply

  • Belinda @themoonblushbaker: What do you mean?! The muffin tin is the lazy cooks best friend! I adore the portion sizes and everything about it. Serious do not stop until you ‘muffinise’ everything
    seriously delicious breakfast food right here October 2, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I love that word – muffinise :). Thanks for your comment Belinda! October 3, 2013 at 6:16am Reply

  • This and That | Week 61 | Two Peas & Their Pod: […] Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins-how good do these look? TOO […] October 3, 2013 at 12:00am Reply

  • Abby: Stunners! Wow, I’d love one right now. Last night I cooked up some apples on the stove like apple pie (minus the crust… wah) just to cure my apple craving. October 3, 2013 at 6:27am Reply

  • becca @ Crumbs: These look like they’d be SO good warm out of the oven October 12, 2013 at 5:40am Reply

  • Jayne: Oh wow, these look wonderful! They sound amazing, I’m going to have to make them! October 15, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Sara: I made these today and they were absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It was only the second time baking for me and everything worked out fine. A very clear and good recipe. October 26, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for leaving a comment Sara! I’m so glad you liked them and found the recipe was easy to follow! October 30, 2013 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Jovanni: Question: When you say muffin tin, do you mean actual muffin tins or cupcake tins? I know this may seem like a silly question but a lot of websites say muffin tins when they really just mean cupcake tins so is it a larger container or a regular cupcake? Would love to make these before the weekend! October 29, 2013 at 10:42am Reply

    • Jaclyn: As far as I know they are referred to as either one, either cupcake or muffin tins – just the 12 cup regular size. The only difference would be the jumbo muffin tins are larger or mini are smaller. October 29, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

      • Jovanni: Thank you for clarifying :) October 29, 2013 at 12:19pm Reply

  • Andrea: I am an avid baker and do it quite often… srveral times a week… all types of baking and I cannot get this dough to rise! I have made many recipes with the same yeast and flour and have had no issues. I hsve doubled this recipe like many others and lengthened the rise time in hopes it would work. I cant figure out why a simple recipe with good reviews is giving me such a hard time. November 1, 2013 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Did you kill the yeast by chance add add it to liquid that was too hot? The dough might not seem as puffy and fluffy as others, did you still bake them though? sorry they’ve given you trouble! November 7, 2013 at 7:01am Reply

  • Janet: I’ve made these several times now and my husband loves them! In fact, he has requested them for Christmas morning. Do you think I can make these the night before and let them proof for the 2nd time, covered, in the refrigerator overnight? Then let them come to room temp in the morning before baking in the oven? Thanks for the great recipes! November 2, 2013 at 2:07pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes I think that would be fine (I’d just be sure to wrap them pretty snug so the apple doesn’t slide to the bottom overnight). I’m so you and your husband have enjoyed them! November 7, 2013 at 7:00am Reply

  • Laura (Blogging Over Thyme): I want to eat these SO badly! Seriously, I could not imagine a better dessert/breakfast/treat. I totally agree that you can’t beat making foods in muffin form :) November 30, 2013 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Sarah: I just finished them, they are really yum! I didn’t think my dough turned out right because it took a while to rise properly (the full 2 hrs). Definitely worth the time it takes to make them. I made them on a tray next to each other because I couldn’t find my muffin tins. Took a bit longer to cook but ooh. Soo good! Thanks! June 29, 2014 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Deb: These were tasty BUT a horrible idea to bake in paper muffins! Had I just greased the tins, everything would be alright. Instead, I had the sugar caramelize and stick like glue to the paper. I spent the whole evening ripping off little shreds stuck to the muffins. UGH I will never use paper muffin cups for this again! August 24, 2014 at 10:09pm Reply

  • Linda: Every recipe I have made on this blog comes out perfect! It’s amazing how I can finally make dough because of you. I also think the humidity in San Antonio helps :) Thank you! September 1, 2014 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Linda: I am making this recipe tonight. I will let you know if mine sticks to the paper muffins. I’m not sure if it will since the sugar is in the inside of the roll. September 1, 2014 at 10:40pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love them Linda! September 2, 2014 at 12:38am Reply

  • Eden: I don’t have Granny Smith apples; I think we only have fuiji. Would the sweeter apples require cutting down the sugar so they’re not overly sweet? February 21, 2016 at 11:50am Reply

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