Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Published September 28, 2013. Updated March 11, 2020

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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.

Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins | Cooking Classy

Are you guys tired of me make everything in cupcake/muffin form yet?

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!

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4.50 from 2 votes

Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Two delicious flavor combinations collide - sweet autumn apple meet cinnamon swirled rolls. It's a breakfast treat that's sure to impress!
Servings: 12
Prep40 minutes
Cook15 minutes
Resting2 hours 10 minutes
Ready in: 3 hours 5 minutes



  • 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



  • 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.
  • 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 that have been sprayed with non-stick spray (preferably use 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.
  • 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).
  • For the glaze: 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.
Nutrition Facts
Apple Cinnamon Roll Muffins
Amount Per Serving
Calories 409 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 284mg12%
Potassium 139mg4%
Carbohydrates 71g24%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 360IU7%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.


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  • Mariana

    I have a question. What non dairy substitute could I use for the sour cream?
    Thank you!

  • Ann Smith

    Your estimation of the total time for this recipe is flawed. It takes 1.5-2h for the dough to rise the first time, so the total time for the recipe is certainly more than 55min.

    So we ARE making the recipe, but will be finished sometime around 10:00pm!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry the time was there but for some reason it didn’t get added to it, updated that in the recipe sorry for the problem!

  • 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?

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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 :)

  • 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!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      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!