Brioche Apple Cinnamon Rolls

A brioche cinnamon roll enhanced with the tartness of early season apples happened in our kitchen today, and Shaina wasn’t even home.

Shaina is off today. Not by choice, but by force. Currently she is traveling around the West Coast promoting her book and talking to people and attending the International Food Bloggers Conference. Traveling though, doesn’t normally keep her from working. Shaina is known for being just as productive on the road as she is at home. Unfortunately, this time a crashed laptop has interfered with her schedule.

Normally, if she were home, I’d offer my services in the tech support department and get things up and running again, but the 1600 miles between me and her laptop make diagnosis and repair a problem. So, instead, I’ll jump in and try to do some work for her and see what it’s like to live her life for the day.

Who likes apples?

Great, because we happen to be having an early apple season in Minnesota, a warm spring and plenty of rain this summer have sped things up and the picking has begun.

For my day job, I’m lucky enough to get outside almost daily to do some of my work, and it just so happens that I know of a secret apple tree or two that I can swipe a few apples from. Yesterday I picked a couple without being sure what I would do with them. This morning, I remembered that we had some dough left over from an Artisan Bread in 5 brioche project earlier in the week (langoustine lobster rolls with homemade brioche buns), and my wheels started turning.

First I coarsely diced up four peeled apples and mixed them with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and cooked them down with butter and let them cool. Later, I rolled out the dough into a very thin rectangle, covered it with the cooked apples, rolled it up and cut it into eight even pieces. These were then placed, end up, in a small baking pan lined with parchment paper and set aside to rise.

Right now Shaina is on a plane from Seattle to Portland and I’ve spent the day living her life, getting a kid to swimming lessons, taking another one to a meeting at school, making breakfast and lunch, cleaning up, baking, cleaning up, taking pictures, blogging, and on and on. Now it’s nap time; not mine. At least I don’t think so, though that would be nice, wouldn’t it?

For the dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast (1 package)
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons)
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon water)
caramel sauce for topping, optional
For the apple filling (this will fill 1/2 the dough and make one pan of rolls):
4 apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
4 tablespoons butter

In a 5-quart bucket with a lid (though not airtight), mix together the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter. Stir in the flour with a spoon or dough whisk. Cover loosely and place in a warm area to rise for two hours. Once risen, transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

When ready to bake, line a square baking pan with parchment and prepare the filling. Mix together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in a bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the apple mixture and cook until apples soften and a thick sauce is formed, about 10 minutes.

Remove half the dough from the container, using a knife to cut the two pieces apart. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Spread the apples over the rough and roll the dough lengthwise to create a tube of spiraled dough. Slice nine 1 1/2″ pieces. Place the sliced dough spiral side up on the parchment-lined pan. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350º F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve warm with warm caramel sauce.

Makes 9 rolls.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

Truths from Shaina:

  • I had Ole take this post down because my perfectionism stated it needed the recipe card. I am republishing now that I added it. Naughty.
  • I’m still out a computer, but the new one should be here today. Nothing like being disconnected and halfway across the country from home. Still, I had a great time on my tour, and it looks like I’ll probably be continuing to add a few events here and there, so watch the book tour page for updates!
  • Haven’t noticed Ole posting before now? He writes semi-frequently under the “From the Patio” section.


  1. This is a fantastic idea! I definitely need to make these

  2. Oh, these look right up my alley. I love apples, cinnamon, and of course, rolls.

    Breakfast over the weekend? Maybe!!

  3. I just want to dive into that cinnamon roll! Ole, you’re a good guy to fill in for her. I just love you two.

  4. So sorry that your computer crashed/died/burned. I can relate. Happened to me last month. How supah dupah nice of Ole to step in. These look ah-mazing!

  5. I love how much you help Shaina out Ole!! My husband doesn’t even know how to turn the computer on!

    these cinnamon roles………..DELICIOUS!! you deliver right? I can wait until after your nap! HA!

  6. Love this post! These cinnamon rolls look incredible…but love how you stepped into her role while she’s gone!

  7. Today feels like Fall. I love this recipe, thank you! Happy Monday Shaina!

  8. looks delicious and what a great guy you have there!

  9. Mmmm, gorgeous and inviting! It’s going straight to the top of my baking list.

  10. Your husband did a great job filling in! The apple cinnamon rolls look delish. Maybe you should be a dual-blogger family. 🙂 Loved meeting you at IFBC. Hope you come visit me at School Bites ( or Facebook/SchoolBites).

  11. You’re definitely a keep, Ole. I love how you came to Shaina’s rescue with such an incredibly delicious dessert!

  12. Wow these look amazing no matter who made them or posted them :).

  13. You did an amazing job filling in for Shaina. The apple cinnamon rolls looks very professional.

  14. I love that Ole filled in for you Shaina and he did a fabulous job! Welcome home and sorry about the computer 🙁

  15. Brioche is definitely a favorite of mine, and paired with cinnamon and sugar, it sounds over-the-top perfect. I love this!

  16. Seriously?? I’d die of happiness if my husband took over and wrote my blog for the day… or cooked… or baked! How cute. I love the cinnamon rolls. And it appears that your child does too 🙂 bravo!

  17. Well fine… gosh darn it… if I have to eat one of these tasty treats, I’ll just have to force it down. 😉

  18. too good! I want one!

  19. Great new design. Hate the red ad that stays at the top of the first post – can’t even read the title. Love the recipe.

  20. That’s it — sending Luke to your house for some cooking lessons. Looks delicious!

  21. Girl's Guide to Guns and Butter says:

    That is so sweet – my husband will ocasionally cook for my blog with my posting, and is very conscientious about posing with all the homesteading, as everyone – including kids – treats it as a family business, which it is.

    So sweet of Ole. Also, I love the proverbial Minnesota name. I wondered if you did the recipe card yourself even before I read that you did, lol.

  22. We get apples from our friends in Washington every October and this will be at the top of my list!

  23. Love that Ole shared a recipe!! I love the Artisan Bread and Pizza books…and these rolls look amazing!!

  24. These look absolutely mouthwatering. Why can’t my husband make me cinnamon rolls?! (Or write blog posts for that matter!)

  25. Hi Ole! You two are a fine team. I didn’t know you had such baking skills. Keep it up!

  26. Wowwwwwww that’s mouthwatering!

  27. Okay, those look mouth wateringly fantastic. I want one right now with all that caramel dripping off. Yum!

  28. Love pretty much every single thing about this post 🙂

  29. oh my goodness, my jaw just dropped! Oh how I would love to bite into that right now…

  30. Wow, I am seriously impressed Ole! Beautiful photos and great post.

  31. I wish my husband knew how to whip up cinnamon rolls while I was gone, lucky girl!

  32. Ole, you did a great job filling in. I’m sure you’ll be glad to have that laptop…and your wife back soon! Oh, and by the way, my neighbor has an apple tree with low-hanging early fruit. I’m working up the nerve to go ask her for some right now!

  33. These look so good! I love Artisan Bread in 5. Will definitely have to try these lovely rolls!

  34. Those look good!

  35. Oh my! What a perfect way to put apples to good use. I’m planning a trip to eastern Washington shortly and hope to return with armfuls of apples – I’m saving this recipe for when I get back!

  36. pinned!

    I have the Artisan Bread in 5 book and have always wanted to try their brioche dough for cinn rolls! Well, now I know I just need to! They look incredible!

  37. Delicious! Can’t wait to try these.

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