The scent of these divine apple cider cinnamon buns will win over your holiday houseguests for sure! They’ll make your home smell like fall.
Thinking back, I believe the first time I ever tried a cinnamon bun was at a mall stand, Cinnabons. Is that place still around?
As a teenager, I pretty much lived at the mall (because what else were we supposed to do before social media existed?). I never get to the mall anymore because I avoid dressing rooms like the plague, so when I get a cinnamon bun craving, I usually make them from scratch.
It’s not as difficult as it may sound! The best part is that you can play with interesting flavors that I doubt you’d find at the mall, which is exactly what I’ve done here with these apple cider cinnamon buns.
The cider adds a nice depth and subtle tartness. They taste like fall. Perfect for the upcoming holidays, am I right?
You can divide the recipe into two parts (simplifying your morning prep work) by breaking up step 5. After placing the buns into the prepared cake pans, cover and place in the refrigerator.
The next day, place them on the counter. They’ll need to come to room temperature before rising, so add an extra 30-45 minutes to the rise time.
Baking With Yeast
This recipe uses active dry yeast. Yeast is an ingredient many novice bakers fear, and I’d like to change that! So what is yeast, and how does it work? Can you substitute one variety for another? Check out my article What is Yeast to learn more!
More Brunch Recipes
- Cranberry Goat Cheese Scones
- Apple, Sweet Potato and Bacon Turnovers
- Spiced Acorn Squash Apple Muffins
- Baked Chai Spiced French Toast
- Smokey Andouille Sausage Frittata
- Apple Pumpkin Coffee Cake (on Dinners, Dishes & Desserts)
- Potato and Apple Home Fries (on Belly Full)
Apple Cider Cinnamon Buns
for the buns:
- 1/2 cups whole milk, warm (110-115 degrees F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3 large eggs
- 20 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 4 cups)
- 3 1/4 ounces cornstarch (approximately 3/4 cup)
- 3 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (approximately 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, chopped and at room temperature
for the filling:
- 10 1/2 ounces packed light brown sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups apples, peeled and finely diced (see notes)
for the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 4 ounces creme fraiche or cream cheese, room temperature (see note)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and instant yeast, followed by the eggs.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Attach the dough hook, turn the mixer on low speed and add the warm milk mixture followed by the apple cider. Allow the ingredients to combine for one minute. Increase the speed to medium and add the butter in pieces until it's all incorporated. The dough will be very wet. Allow it to continue mixing for 5 minutes. The dough should be very soft and delicate but not too sticky to handle. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased large bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to double in size, up to 2 hours.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl. Grease 2 8-inch cake pans thoroughly and set aside.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured countertop. Roll the dough into a large, thin rectangle, approximately 19 x 14 inches. Using clean hands, spread the butter across the dough, leaving a small border around the edges, and then top evenly with the brown sugar mixture. Sprinkle the chopped apples on top of the sugar.
- Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Cut into16 even pieces and place in the reserved cake pans, cut side up. Cover and allow to double in size, approximately 1 hour.
- Prepare the glaze by whisking together the confectioners' sugar, creme fraiche (or cream cheese), and apple cider. Set aside.
- Bake the buns at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Top each pan with 1/4 cup of the glaze and allow the buns to cool completely. Top with the remaining glaze before serving.
Please read my full post for additional recipe notes, tips, and serving suggestions!
For immediate help troubleshooting a recipe, please email me using the form on my contact page. I’ll try to respond to urgent questions as quickly as possible! For all general questions, please leave a comment here :)
Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom says
WANT these buns!!!
Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy says
Nothing better for a cozy fall brunch!!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen says
Yes, what did we all do before social media?! Lol! These look amazing Jennifer! Perfect for brunch for the holidays! And this season I can’t seem to get enough apples!
Matt Robinson says
Exactly why I love Fall. These look amazing!
Leigh Ann says
What a perfect holiday breakfast! Saving this one for sure!
Natasha @ Salt & Lavender says
These look seriously awesome. The scent of cinnamon buns baking makes me so happy. :)
I am confused about how much milk “1-2 cups”… is that 1/2 cup? thanks
Jennifer Farley says
Oh my, thank you for catching that. Yes, that should say 1/2 cup. The “/” versus the “-” is quite substantial, isn’t it!
Has anyone tried this recipe?
Went exactly by recipe….did not rise after 2 hours. My yeast is fine, would like to know if anyone has made this recipe & found it did not rise! I’ve been making cinnamon buns & breads for years & never had this happen to me. Just thought I’d try this recipe because of the cornstarch as I’ve never seen a recipe with that before. Thought maybe it would make them a little special from the ordinary recipes.
Jennifer Farley says
That’s really odd. I’m assuming you’ve used the yeast recently in a different recipe? You should definitely have seen activity after 2 hours. Is there a chance the milk was too hot? The cornstarch is there simply to soften up the texture of the buns slightly, as if using cake flour.