Apple or Pear Butter Cinnamon Rolls

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These delicious cinnamon rolls are easy to make using frozen bread dough and pre-made apple or pear butter, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen. They are perfect for a cozy breakfast or brunch, especially on a chilly morning.
Breakfast
Freezer Friendly
Quick & Easy

There’s something about cinnamon rolls that makes me feel warm and happy. Maybe it’s the smell of cinnamon and sugar filling the air, or the soft and fluffy texture of the dough, or the gooey and sweet glaze on top. Whatever it is, I can never resist a freshly baked cinnamon roll.

But making cinnamon rolls from scratch can be a hassle. You have to make the dough, let it rise, roll it out, fill it, cut it, let it rise again, and then bake it. That’s a lot of work and time, especially if you’re hungry or in a hurry.

That’s why I love this recipe for apple or pear butter cinnamon rolls. It uses frozen bread dough and store-bought apple or pear butter, which are both easy to find and use and cuts the traditional cinnamon roll process down to just over an hour!

The apple or pear butter adds a wonderful flavor and moisture to the cinnamon rolls, making them extra soft and tender. You can use either apple or pear butter, depending on your preference or availability. They both taste great and complement the cinnamon well.

Customizing These Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is very versatile and adaptable, so you can make some changes according to your taste or dietary needs. Here are some suggestions:

  • If you’re feeling productive, you can definitely make the dough and/or fruit butter for this recipe from scratch. For this recipe, I used a spiced pear butter I’d made last fall, and since the fruit butter was already spiced, I skipped adding the extra cinnamon in step 2.
  • Most pre-prepared bread doughs are vegan, though you’ll want to check the label first. You can also find gluten-free bread doughs if you’re following a gluten-free diet.
  • If you want to add some crunch or texture to the cinnamon rolls, you can sprinkle some chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts, or almonds, over the apple or pear butter before rolling up the dough.
  • If you want to make the glaze more flavorful, you can add some vanilla extract, lemon juice or orange juice. Or, try replacing the milk with some apple or pear cider.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

These cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed fresh, but you can also store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat them, you can microwave them for 10 to 15 seconds, or bake them in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F.

Freezing and Reheating

If you want to make these cinnamon rolls ahead of time, you can freeze them before or after baking. Here’s how:

  • To freeze them before baking, follow the recipe until step 2, but do not let the sliced rolls rise in the baking dish. Instead, place them in a freezer-safe container, leaving some space between them. Cover the container with plastic wrap and foil, and freeze for up to 3 months. To bake them, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then let them rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Bake as directed in step 3.
  • To freeze them after baking, let them cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Then, wrap the entire pan with plastic wrap and foil, or transfer the individual rolls to a freezer-safe container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat them, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator, then microwave or bake them as described above. You can also make the glaze ahead of time and freeze it in a separate container, then thaw and warm it before drizzling over the cinnamon rolls.

Apple or Pear Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Apple or Pear Butter Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time:
45 min
Cook Time:
30 min
Total Time:
1 hour 15 min
Serves:
12
Difficulty:
Easy
Equipment Needed
  • 9x13 inch baking dish
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed but still cold (1-2 hours at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup apple or pear butter (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp of milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed bread dough into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Spread the apple or pear butter evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 inch border along one of the long edges. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the butter. Starting from the long edge opposite the border, roll up the dough tightly, pinching the seam to seal. Cut the log into 12 equal slices and arrange them cut-side up in the prepared baking dish.
  • Cover the dish with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let them cool slightly in the pan on a wire rack.
  • To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy.
Recipe Tips
  • Don't rush the proofing process. You want the dough to rise as much as possible, otherwise your rolls will end up small and dense. Depending on the temperature in your house, this could take an hour or more. Be patient, it's worth it!
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