Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Every holiday comes with it’s own blend of specialty candies. However, it always seems like fall has the best variations. Even though I don’t favor Milky Way candy bars normally, when I saw this season’s caramel apple version I had to pick them up. But it took until now to figure out what to make with these fun treats. Why not stuff them into cinnamon rolls?

I wasn’t fully convinced on the apple flavor of the candies when I tried one by itself, so I went ahead and added in some real apple into the rolls as well. And then topped them off with a caramel glaze. It may still be reaching into 80 degree weather here, but it certainly tastes like fall with these cinnamon roll cupcakes.

While making these, I was almost certain I had killed the yeast with milk that was too hot, because it didn’t look like it was rising much. In the end they came out just fine! I really enjoyed these as individually portioned cupcakes too, but you could easily throw them all into a pan together like traditional cinnamon rolls. Also, I halved these from the original recipe, so feel free to double it back for a larger crowd!


CARAMEL APPLE CINNAMON ROLL CUPCAKES

Serves 12

Ingredients:

ROLLS

1 cups 2% milk

1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 egg

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

FILLING

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1-1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup finely chopped tart apples

1 cup (about 16) chopped Milky Way caramel apple mini candy bars

TOPPING

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp milk

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan or a microwave oven, warm milk to about 110 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in the milk. Add salt and one cup of flour and beat for two minutes. Beat in egg and butter. Stir in the remaining flour a half cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about five minutes).
  2. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with a towel.  Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 40 minutes or until approximately doubled in volume.’
  3. While waiting for it to rise, make the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, mix sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, apples and chopped candy bars.
  4. Roll out dough into a long rectangle (about 22″x10″) about 1/4” thick. Brush with about half of the melted butter.
  5. Spread the apple/candy bar mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about an inch empty on all sides.
  6. Roll dough over itself from back to front along the long side of the rectangle to form a log. Slice the log into 12 even pieces.
  7. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners and place each piece of the log in a cupcake liner.  If they don’t fit, fold the ends together to make a “C” shape.  The pieces should come to about the top of the liners.
  8. Cover the cupcake tins and set in a warm place to rise for another 40 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Evenly distribute the remaining 1/4 cup of melted butter over the tops of the cupcakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are golden. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack.
  11. While the rolls are cooling, make the topping. In a small saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup over medium heat for about 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and milk. Allow to cool slightly before drizzling over rolls.

Source: Rolls adapted slightly from Pass the Sushi. Topping adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

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