Pop open the bubbly and invite your friends over for brunch. These Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon are the ultimate mashup of sweet, warm, and savory flavors, crowned in a tangy cream cheese frosting.
Cinnamon rolls in general are always an instant crowd favorite. However, it’s fun to play with their flavors and give them unexpected twists. Whether it’s Glazed Blueberry Sweet Rolls or this sweet and savory masterpiece, they’re a fun sweet treat for breakfast, brunch, or even just an afternoon pick me up.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Accessible Ingredients – These apple cinnamon rolls combines baking staples like flour and yeast with fresh ingredients like apples. You probably already have almost everything to make these!
- Easy Process – Yes these are homemade sweet rolls, but they come together in a few easy to follow steps. Whether you’re new to baking or an experienced baker, anyone can make these.
- Balance of Flavors – All of the ingredients compliment each other. There are warm spices from the applesauce and apple pie spice, but they don’t overpower. There is sweetness, but the salty bacon balances the sweetness.
- Texture – Applesauce is the key to not just the flavor of these cinnamon rolls, but also their tender and moist texture. It will be love at first bite!
Combining simple ingredients with warm and cozy flavors, Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon are an instant classic. For those that love that combination of sweet and salty, this is your morning confection! Tender, moist, and bursting with flavor, this is a fun spin on the traditional cinnamon roll.
- Butter – Used in both the dough itself and also the filling. Adds richness and moisture.
- Honey – Helps feed the yeast.
- Sugar – Gives delicate sweetness to the rolls.
- Warm Water – Helps activate the yeast. You want it to be around 110 degrees.
- Instant Active Yeast
- Apple Sauce – Brings both flavor and moisture to the dough itself.
- Apple Pie Seasoning – Contains spices similar to pumpkin pie spice, but replaces the ginger with cardamom. It’s deeply aromatic and warm.
- Flour – No need for anything fancy. AP flour works just fine. This recipe is easily made gluten free by using a 1 to 1 flour such as Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour.
- Brown Sugar – Gives the filling a slight caramel flavor from the molasses in brown sugar.
- Cinnamon – Gives the apples a kiss of warmth.
- Apples – Fresh apples give the filling texture and a burst of flavor.
- Cream Cheese – Adds tang and creaminess to the glaze.
- Vanilla – The higher the quality the vanilla, the more pronounced the flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Easily dissolves into the cream cheese for the frosting.
- Bacon – Bacon makes everything better including these rolls. Adds a savory, smoky note that pairs well with the apples.
How to Make Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon
Just imagine your home perfumed with the sweet smell of spices and irresistible bacon. Your family will be flocking to the kitchen in anticipation as these tender rolls bake away.
Time needed: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Apple and cinnamon filled sweet rolls are topped with a tangy cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with bacon.
Add half of the sugar, the warm water, honey, and yeast to a bowl and mix to combine. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. It will begin to foam and bubble.
Add the milk, butter, remaining sugar, and salt to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow it to scald, but not boil. Bubbles will begin to form around the edges. Allow it to partially cool.
Add the applesauce and egg to a mixing bowl with a mixer fit with a paddle. Mix until smooth. Add the yeast mixture into the applesauce mixture. With the mixer running slowly pour in the milk mixture.
Add half a cup of flour at a time, along with the apple pie spice. The dough will be sticky.
- First Rise
Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place it in a warm spot and allow it to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Lightly flour your work surface and dough. Roll your dough out into an approximately 9×12 rectangle careful not to press out all of the air. Mix together the ingredients for the filling and spread over the dough. Tightly roll it up and slice it into 9 rolls. Place the rolls into a buttered 9×13 baking dish.
- Second Rise
Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for an hour.
Uncover the baking dish. For gooey rolls pour a cup of heavy cream over the top. Allow the rolls to bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Finishing Touch
Mix together the ingredients for the frosting and spread over the top of the rolls. Sprinkle the bacon over the top and enjoy!
How to Make This Recipe Dairy Free
This recipe can be made completely dairy free. Use plant based heavy cream and butter. Replace the milk with oat milk. The measurements will be the same.
How to Make This Recipe Gluten Free
This recipe can be made completely Gluten Free. Instead of all purpose flour use a 1 to 1 baking flour. The measurements will be the same.
Is there anything better than a gooey sweet roll? For gooey rolls with slightly caramelized bottoms, pour a cup of heavy cream over the entire top of the rolls just before baking. They’ll absorb the cream as they bake.
Storage for Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon
Make these on the weekend and enjoy them for a quick treat during the week! Once the rolls have cooled cover them tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container. Keep them refrigerated and they will last for five days.
To reheat them you can reheat them in the oven on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 325 for 10 minutes or until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the microwave.
Top Tip for Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon
These cinnamon rolls are as much about the texture as they are the flavor. When you’re rolling out your dough, make sure to be gentle. You want to keep as much of the air in the dough as possible. This is what gives these rolls their tender and airy texture.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bacon
- 1 mixer fit with a paddle
- 1 mixing bowls
- 1 saucepan
- 1 9×13 baking dish
- 1 Rolling Pin
- plastic wrap
- 6 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water, 110 degrees
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pkg instant active yeast
- 8 oz applesauce
- 2 tsp apple pie seasoning can substitute with cinnamon
- 4 cups Gluten Free 1.1 flour plus 1/2-1 cup for working the dough
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 8 tbsp butter
- 1 cup apples, finely diced
- 1 cup heavy cream This is optional and will give a gooey texture
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
- Lightly oil a bowl and set it aside.
- Add the yeast, honey, half of the sugar, and warm water to a bowl and mix. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes. It will begin to foam and bubble.
- Add the milk, remaining sugar, salt, and butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Allow it to scald, but not boil. There will be bubbles that begin to form around the edges of the pot. Remove from the heat and let partially cool.
- Add the applesauce and egg to a mixing bowl with the mixer fit with a paddle. Mix to combine.
- Add the yeast mixture and mix to combine.
- With the mixer running slowly add the milk mixture. Mix until combined.
- While the mixer continues to run add 1/2 cup of the flour. Add the apple pie seasoning.
- Once the flour has been incorporated add the dough to the oiled bowl. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place it in a warm place. Allow it to rise for an hour or until it's doubled in size.
- Lightly flour your work surface and dough.
- Carefully roll the dough out until it's approximately a 9×12 rectangle. Be careful not to press all of the air out of it.
- Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and apples to a bowl and mix to combine. Spread the mixture onto the dough.
- Tightly roll the dough into a log. Slice the log into 9 rolls.
- Place the rolls into a buttered 9×13 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Uncover the rolls. If desired drizzle the heavy cream over the top of the rolls. This will give them a gooey texture.
- Allow the rolls to bake for 30 minutes. Let cool.
- Add the cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar to a bowl and mix until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the cooled rolls.
- Sprinkle the bacon over the top of the rolls.