These Apple-Maple Cinnamon Rolls are a heavenly taste of autumn. A light brushing of pure maple syrup on fresh-from-the-oven rolls sweetly elevates their flavor.

See Ingredient IQ: Apples for tips on using the crisp, juicy fruit in your kitchen. 

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1 cup warm (105°F to 115°F) unsweetened plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or oat
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 to 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups peeled and finely chopped cooking apples
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider or juice
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • In a large bowl combine milk and yeast; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the next five ingredients (through salt). Stir in as much of the all-purpose flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (1½ to 1¾ hours).
  • Meanwhile, for filling, in a medium saucepan combine apples, raisins, 2 Tbsp. of the cider, and 2 Tbsp. of the maple syrup. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook over medium 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine arrowroot and the remaining 1 Tbsp. cider; stir into apple mixture. Stir in cinnamon. Cook and stir 1 minute more; cool.
  • Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Roll dough into an 18×12-inch rectangle. Spread filling over dough, leaving 1 inch unfilled along a long side. Starting from the filled long side, roll up rectangle. Pinch dough to seal seam. Cut into 12 slices. Arrange in the prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (45 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Brush with the remaining 1 Tbsp. maple syrup. Using parchment paper, lift out rolls. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Comments (31)

(5 from 9 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I’m wondering if this recipe is correct. I see flour listed twice: 2 1/2 cups white whole flour and 1 to 1/2 all-purpose flour and just 1 cup of milk.


Can you make it gluten free


What is 1 package of yeast. In Australia yeast comes in different sized packaged. Not sure how much to use


For us gluten-sensitive and celiac people: What combination of alternative flours do you recommend (please, no oats, either, because oats do mimic gluten when ingested.) We really do miss our cinnamon rolls!!


The filling had really good flavor, but the dough was too sweet and too dry. I kept the recipe for the filling and used a different dough recipe and the second try turned out much better.

Paula Southworth

Must try. Looks awesome.

Em Lake

Wonderful recipe! This turned out really well, I used an orange glaze while still warm after baking instead of extra maple syrup. Love this recipe and will be making again for sure.

Em Lake

By the way I used chia seeds instead of flax (what I had) and was fine.

Judy B

Would you please share your orange glaze recipe? ☺️


Really good! They take a long time to make but I think it's a nice treat. I did step 1 the night before then let it heat up to room temp while I was doing the filling. I think the filling was the best part since the dough is pretty bland so I'm planning to make double the filling next time. They looked beautiful, and my sister said they looked "bakery quality". Only downside is they're pretty dense and dry out quickly if you don't eat them day of. I reheated them and added some maple syrup on time to help the dryness.

Holly Nelson

What does arrowroot do? I live in a developing country, and need to know what it does, so I can substitute something that might work. Thanks!

Laura S

It is a thickener like cornstarch.


What?! No frosting?


You can make icing from tapioca flour and maple syrup and vanilla.


Can these be frozen before or after baking? To be reheated later?


The dough consistency was nice. I did not brush the rolls with maple syrup before they were baked, and yet the taste of maple was still too much for me. If I make them again, I will make adjustments.


I used oat milk in lieu of almond milk and I always bake with Jovial Eikhorn flour and it came out great! A time-consuming treat but sooo worth it. Thanks for posting this recipe—I look forward to trying more.


Can I make ahead and let rise overnight?


Yes, Just let the dough rise in the fridge


just because i want to.


It's come out beautiful ❤️ it was easy to make and delicious. Followed recepie and made no changes except I used fresh apple sauce from 1 . Thank you ☺️


This sounds so fascinating!!! Does the milk HAVE to be almond? I'm not a fan of almond milk at all (it's got a gnarly taste to me).


I'm trying to go wheat-free, is there an alternative flour?


Coconut, almond, rice, chikpea flour


First cinnamon roll since going WFPB. So satisfying!


I made these today with regular whole wheat flour, and instead of the all purpose flour I used buckwheat flour. I let them rise a little longer than written and they came out so good! Denser than if made with white flour, but fluffy and soft. Next I’m going to try a blueberry lemon filling!

Teresa Mann

I am gluten free. Is there a flour I can substitute for the whole wheat? I understand that other flours are not as healthy.


The glaze sounds good. This does need a glaze. Thanks!


Isn’t all purpose flour processed flour? Can we make it with 100% whole wheat and would the outcomes be the same?


Hi Asma, All purpose - especially when bleached is a refined flour. More importantly, the bran is removed. That’s where the nutrition mainly is. So, it’s healthier to use whole wheat. However, when it’s not fermented (like sourdough), it’s still harder to digest Moreover, the bran in the wheat cuts through the gluten network that builds as you rise and proof the dough. Making this from 100% whole wheat flour will almost certainly result in a dense, wet bake that won’t be that good. When you want to use alternative flours, typically you want just sub one-for-one as the characteristics differ. Hope this helps.


… you can’t* just sub one-for-one. Typo!

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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