Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

by Erin

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!


Serves 12



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


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


1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 Tbsp light corn syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp milk


  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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Laura Dembowski November 3, 2012 - 10:56 am

Those are adorable and a wonderful idea! I love the look of the topping. It’s making my mouth water!

Tracey October 30, 2012 - 9:11 pm

Oh wow, are you kidding me with these?? That glaze just dripping down the side is killing me. I need to try these asap!

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust October 29, 2012 - 11:33 am

Holy cow, yes! These are amazing!

Kerstin October 24, 2012 - 11:01 am

Oh wow, two of my favorites all in one – looks fabulous!

amy @ fearless homemaker October 23, 2012 - 3:05 pm

These look gorgeous! I actually just bookmarked a cinnamon roll cupcake yesterday – now i *really* want to give ’em a try!

Erin @ Texanerin Baking October 23, 2012 - 2:06 pm

Oh my gosh. These sound incredible! I wish we had Milky Way over here. Although I guess it’s kind of a blessing that we don’t. :)

spiffycookie October 23, 2012 - 2:11 pm

You can totally make these without. You could use chocolate chips and drizzle in some caramel in place of the candies. Or just use more apple!

Aly October 23, 2012 - 1:54 pm

I’ve never seen those Milky Way bars before. What a cool way to use them!

spiffycookie October 23, 2012 - 1:56 pm

They can be found wherever Halloween candy is sold. At least that’s where I find them at Kroger and Target.

sally @ sallys baking addiction October 23, 2012 - 10:29 am

Erin I am COMPLETELY blown away. These cupcakes are gorgeous, so so pretty! That caramel glaze topping – I want to drink it! Or just pour it over everything I eat. These cupcakes are just so adorable. And caramel + apple together is almost as delicious as chocolate + PB! (almost!!!)

Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel October 23, 2012 - 9:35 am

Erin. I need these. They look so good!!

Villy @ For the love of Feeding October 23, 2012 - 8:03 am

WOW! Love the one dose serving! :)

Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray October 23, 2012 - 7:39 am

Such a cool idea! I like that each roll is packaged for individual enjoyment. :)


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