Giant Apple-Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls

Take your morning sweet rolls to the next level by adding fresh apple and dried cranberries to the dough. Topped with a brown butter frosting, these are sure to disappear fast from the brunch spread.

Overhead view of Giant Apple-Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls with frosting
Photo: Brie Passano
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Rise Time:
1 hrs 15 mins
Bake Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
6 large rolls


  • 2 ¾ - 3 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • cup mashed, cooked potato*

  • ½ cup milk

  • 3 tablespoon butter, cut up

  • 3 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup finely chopped peeled apples

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • cup dried cranberries

  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice

  • 3 tablespoon butter, softened

  • 1 recipe Browned Butter Frosting (optional)


  1. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast. In a small saucepan heat and stir next five ingredients (through salt) just until warm (120°F to 130°F) and butter almost melts; add to flour mixture. Add eggs. Beat with a mixer on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high 3 minutes. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.

  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes). Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (45 to 60 minutes).

  3. Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. For filling, in a medium bowl stir together apples, brown sugar, cranberries, and cinnamon.

  4. Roll dough into a 15x10 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and sprinkle with filling, leaving 1 inch unfilled along one of the long sides. Roll up rectangle, starting from the filled long side. Pinch dough to seal seams. Press ends of roll toward each other to form a 12-inch roll. Using a serrated knife, cut into 2-inch slices.

  5. Place slices, cut sides down, in prepared skillet or pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (30 minutes).

  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake about 30 minutes or until golden. If needed to prevent overbrowning, cover loosely with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer rolls to a platter or serve rolls directly from skillet. If desired, spread with Browned Butter Frosting. Serve warm.


Prick an 8- to 10-oz. unpeeled potato all over with a fork. Microwave 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Halve potato and scoop pulp out of skin into a small bowl; discard skin. Mash potato pulp. Measure 2/3 cup mashed potato.

To Make Ahead

Prepare rolls as directed through Step 5, except do not let rise after shaping. Cover loosely with oiled waxed paper, then with plastic wrap. Chill 2 to 24 hours. Before baking, let chilled rolls stand, covered, at room temperature 30 minutes. Uncover and bake as directed.

Browned Butter Frosting

In a 1-qt. saucepan melt 6 tablespoons cut-up butter over low heat. Continue heating until butter turns a delicate light brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. In a large bowl combine 3 cups powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the browned butter. Beat with a mixer on low until combined. Beat on medium speed, adding additional milk, 1 tsp. at a time, to reach spreading consistency.

Time Saver

Omit the first 8 ingredients and omit preparing dough through step 3. Thaw 2 pounds frozen bread dough according to package. Roll as directed in step 4. Continue as directed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

491 Calories
14g Fat
82g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 491
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 327mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 82g 30%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 1.4mg 7%
Calcium 73mg 6%
Iron 3.3mg 18%
Potassium 238mg 5%
Folate, total 151.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.2mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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