Thursday, November 17, 2011

Easy Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Yesterday I was going to make beef stir fry.  The recipe was out, the meat was thawing in the fridge, and the veggies were ready to go.  Then I went to take a walk.  About a minute into my walk it started snowing.  I made it about 10 minutes before I went inside and started making a pot of chili.  Stir fry could wait.

And since I was making chili, I needed some cinnamon rolls.  Unfortunately, I didn't have all day to make a batch of cinnamon rolls that required kneading, rising, rolling, more rising, and time to actually bake.  Fortunately, I had a recipe for quick and dirty cinnamon rolls lying around.  I did make a few changes to suit my preferences, and pantry stock.  I was not about to go out again for groceries.

These cinnamon rolls are awesome and really easy to make.  My husband went so far as to say they were the best cinnamon rolls he has ever had.  They are baked individually in muffin tins, so each roll has a crispy exterior and a sticky, gooey center.  Ah, heaven.  I didn't have the heart to tell him they were the easiest cinnamon rolls I have ever made.  They are such a cozy treat on a snowy day, and I am sure they would also be great for breakfast.  If you have company coming for the holidays these would be a great way for your guests to start their day.  And they will think you slaved over them for hours.  No one needs to know they are easy!
Start by stirring together the dry ingredients.
Whisk together the wet ingredients.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, just until it is combined.
Use your hands to form the dough into a ball.  Knead a few times if you need to.  If the dough is too sticky to come together, add some extra flour.  Mine was almost too dry.  In that case, add a little more milk.
Now roll the dough out into an 18x10 inch rectangle.  I made a half batch, so it's not that big.  Either roll dough onto a floured surface, or waxed paper.  Don't worry about it being perfectly shaped.  It won't matter when you roll it up.
Spread with margarine.  For a good time, use your fingers.
Mix the sugars, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl.
Sprinkle this delicious mixture over the margarine to create an even more delicious mixture.  Don't lick it off the dough no matter how badly you want to.
Spread chopped apples and pecans over the dough.
Roll it up!  Cut your roll into 12 pieces, or 6 if you are making a half batch.
Place each roll into a greased muffin tin.
Bake these rolls of awesomeness for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. 

During the last few minutes of baking, prepare the frosting.  Heat the cream cheese and margarine in the microwave for about 15 seconds, or until they are soft enough you can whisk them together.
Whisk in the pancake syrup and vanilla.  Yeah, I know it looks pretty much the same.  
Now whisk in the powdered sugar.  This came out just the right consistency for me.  If it is too thin for your liking, add more powdered sugar.  If it is too thick add a little milk.  Spread the frosting over the rolls. 
These are great hot out of the oven.  I would love to tell you how they are reheated, but none of mine made it that far.  I totally regret not making a whole batch.  But I suppose it's probably I good thing I didn't.  I might not have had any leftovers no matter how many I made!

Easy Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls With Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Rolls:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 whole apple, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans
For the Frosting:
4 oz light cream cheese
1 Tbsp margarine
3 Tbsp light pancake syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  In another bowl whisk sour cream, milk, and melted butter. 
Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Use your hands to knead the dough until it comes together.
Roll the dough on a floured surface using a rolling pin to about 18x10 inches.  Spread the dough with margarine.
Combine the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Spread over dough evenly.  Top with apples and pecans.
Starting with the long end, roll the dough tightly.  Pinch the seam to seal and place the roll, seam-side down, on the counter.  Cut the dough into 12 pieces using a sharp knife.  Pick up the slices and place in a greased muffin pan.
Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
While the rolls are baking make your frosting.  Combine the cream cheese and butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 15-20 second intervals until you can whisk the mixture together.  Whisk in maple syrup, milk, and vanilla until smooth.  Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.  Drizzle over rolls.

Recipe adapted from Julie's Eats and Treats


  1. Hey man, I can totally dig quick and dirty cinnamon rolls :) I am so not a baker so the easier the better. And YIKES to the snow. Brrr...good switch up with the chili, great way to make it through freezing temperatures!