Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Dairy, Egg, and Nut Free

Oh, caramel apples.  One of the highlights of fall, and certainly our trip to the pumpkin patch, is getting a warm, gooey, caramel apple coated with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds.  Except this year, Sweet Pea is old enough to understand that I’m eating something different, and is old enough to throw the mother of all tantrums when she can’t eat my food.  So while we will still go to the pumpkin patch, I may not be able to get one of my favorite things.  Sigh.

To try and help ease my pain, I’ve decided to make a caramel apple version of everything.  You’ve probably had the caramel apple cider that invades all coffee shops this time of year (along with pumpkin lattes, which are WAY better when made at home).  Been there, done that.  Then Tom realized this weekend that we haven’t made cinnamon rolls in a while, and the light bulb went off in my head.  Caramel. Apple. Cinnamon. Rolls.  Genius.

This recipe is based off an excellent dairy-free cinnamon roll recipe from Alisa Fleming’s Go Dairy Free cookbook.  I took the basic recipe and tweaked it to the get the caramel apple flavor I wanted.  Feel free to double the caramel glaze recipe for maximum sugar overload!

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Lanari Photography

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 c. olive oil

2/3 c. apple cider, apple juice, or water

Filling:

1 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine, melted

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. finely diced, peeled apples

Caramel Glaze:

1 Tbsp. dairy-free margarine

1/4 c. packed brown sugar

1 c. finely diced, peeled apples

Pinch of baking soda

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Mix together the dry ingredients, flour through salt, in a medium mixing bowl.  In a one-cup measuring cup, mix the olive oil, water, and vanilla extract together.  Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Knead the dough 20 to 25 times on a floured surface.  Roll the dough into a 1/4 inch-thick rectangle that measures approximately 11″x14″.

Make the filling: in a small bowl, combine melted margarine, brown sugar, apples, and ground cinnamon.  Spread the mixture evenly over the rolled dough.  Roll up the dough like a jelly roll, so that you have a 14-inch-long roll of dough.  Slice the roll evenly into 12-16 pieces (depending on how big you like your cinnamon rolls!).  Place cinnamon rolls cut side up in ungreased muffin tin cups, one slice per hole.  Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the cinnamon rolls are golden brown and puffed.  Remove to a serving platter, top with caramel glaze.

Make the caramel glaze: in a small saucepan, combine the margarine, brown sugar, diced apples, and baking soda.  Bring to a simmer and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture has thickened and turned a dark golden color.  Pour over cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

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