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Apples are one of my favorite fruits.

Therefore fall means apples – preferably baked apples, as in Schwäbischer Apfelkuchen – Swabian Apple Cake or boozy Apfelkuchen with Almonds & Apfelkorn.

Hanaâ’s pick for our October ABC project, Cinnamon-Apple Twist Bread was a novelty for me – a bread with an apple filling! King Arthur Flour’s two beautifully twisted breads are enough for a large family, so I made instead a batch of Cinnamon Apple Rolls.

Apart from halving the recipe, I made a few changes, replacing a third of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat, reducing the amount of yeast (while enhancing the flavor!) with a slow overnight rise in the fridge, and omitting the sugary glaze.

Next time I would use even more grated apples for the filling

For the filling, I used half white, half brown sugar, and cut down on the overall amount. I also added some lemon zest. Measuring weight rather than volume, I ended up with more than 1 cup grated apples in the filling – which was fine, it even could have been more! 

Using Instant ClearJel in the filling, I didn’t experience any pesky leakage, when I rolled up the dough. (You can take flour instead, but, unless you cook the filling, this doesn’t work as well!)

We liked the fruity little buns and finished them in no time. They taste best when they still a bit warm.

NEXT TIME  I would put even more apple in the filling, add some walnuts, brush the dough coils with egg wash, and sprinkle them with a bit of raw sugar.

Fruity little Apple Cinnamon Bun

CINNAMON APPLE ROLLS  (adapted from King Arthur Flour)
(12 Rolls)

130 g/4.6 oz all-purpose flour
55 g/1.9 oz white whole wheat flour (or more all-purpose flour, total amount 1 5/8 cups)
22 g/1/8 cup potato flour or 1/4 cup dried potato flakes
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
2.5 g/1/2 + 1/8 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 + 1/8 tsp. salt
21 g/0.75 oz butter (1 1/2 tbsp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 egg*)
113 g/1/2 cup milk

*) Break egg into a small bowl, set on a scale, beat it lightly, weigh amount and spoon half of it in your dough.

20 g sugar
20 g light brown sugar (instead of 1/4 cup all white sugar)
10 g/1 1/2 tbsp. Instant ClearJel powder (or 10 g/1/8 cup instant tapioca)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
170 g/12 oz apples, peeled and grated (1 large apple, I used Honey Crisp – it could have been more!)
1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl, so that they are evenly distributed. Add butter, vanilla, egg and milk, then mix until a shaggy dough forms. Let rest for 30 minutes.

The dough is nice and smooth, ready to go in the fridge overnight

Knead dough for ca. 10 minutes; it should feel slightly sticky and soft (adjust with a bit more water, if needed).

Gather dough into a ball and place in an oiled container, rolling it around to coat. Cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Remove dough from refrigerator 2 hours before using. It should have almost doubled in volume and show large gas bubbles.

The bottom of the dough shows large gas bubbles

For the filling, whisk together sugar, ClearJel powder and cinnamon.

Whisk together sugar, ClearJel and cinnamon

Toss grated apples with lemon juice, then add to ClearJel-sugar mixture. Mix well, and set aside.

Mixing the filling

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Roll into a 25 x 30-cm/10 x 12-inch rectangle.

Spread filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1 1/4 cm/1/2-inch margin clear along all sides.

Spread filling over the rolled out dough

Starting with a short side, roll dough into a log, then seal the edges.

Roll dough with filling into a log

Now cut the log into 3 cm/1-inch slices. Place slices, cut side up, on parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them that they touch each other.

Let rolls rise about 45 minutes, or until they are puffy and a dimple remains visible when you gently poke the dough with a finger. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC.

Nicely risen and ready for the oven

Bake rolls for about 20-30 minutes, until they are lightly browned.

Let them cool before serving. We liked them still a bit warm.

Mount Desert Island in October – still sunny and fairly warm


  1. That is so 'funny', apples this way do not appeal but that Apfelkuchen with Apfelkorn is absolutely super, Calvados is on my list for tomorrow's shopping! Really, I mean it 🙂
    Thanks. And I just found some Dr Oetker Feinherbe Schokolade pudding mix…guess I need to make this 🙂 Just finished some Raspberry Plum jam, dang neighbors still giving me It. Prune Plums and obviously I am still accepting them!!


  2. I really like your rolls. Will definitely try that shape next time. I also like your lemon zest addition. In the spirit of Fall, I might try a spicy pumpkin filling with a cream cheese glaze 🙂


  3. I have a whole battery of liquors for cooking and baking (and they don't miraculously evaporate anymore, since my kids left home!). The Apfelkuchen with Apfelkorn will be even better with Calvados, I'm sure.
    I'm always looking what's all new in the baking aisle, when I visit Germany, especially all those specialty flours that I can't get here.


  4. Thanks, Sunita, I was wondering about that, too, but the combination tasted very nice. I like retarding the dough overnight – less work the next morning, no extra waiting time for the rise, and the taste usually improves.


  5. Thanks for those step-by-step pictures, I can see now what this clear gel stuff does. Looks handy. I used flour as I can get that here. Lovely rolls, loved them too.


  6. Thanks, Lien!
    Instant ClearJel is a kind of pre-cooked cornstarch, it works really well even in cold mixtures, whereas, as Hanaâ found, the flour needed to be cooked to achieve the same. Cook's Illustrated suggests as better alternative to thicken fruit fillings tapioca, but I don't whether that is available in the Netherlands.


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