Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Yogurt Icing: Our New Holiday Breakfast Tradition

Do you have a holiday food tradition? One year when my siblings and I were probably elementary-aged, my mother came home Christmas morning after present opening with a box full of Mister Donut doughnuts. We somehow convinced my parents in the years to follow that it was tradition and I remember how excited we would be to indulge each year. If any of you have had the pleasure to spend time in Japan you may be familiar with this doughnut chain of restaurants and few donuts I have ever had can compete. One of my favorite donuts they carried was a doughnut filled with yogurt-creme that had a light, tangy filling and was anything but heavy or oily.

Our growing family is still forming our traditions for the holidays now that my little ones are getting old enough to be more involved, but I have been wanting to recreate a Christmas morning breakfast tradition of our own. With no Mister Donut stores around I came up with my own twist on a Christmas morning treat that pays homage to that yogurt creme doughnut I loved as a child. And that is how my Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Yogurt Icing were born.

Cinnamon Roll Icing

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Yogurt Icing
Makes 3-4 dozen rolls

1 quart whole milk
1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
9 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp salt

4 apples peeled and diced
2 cups brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 stick of cold butter

Maple Yogurt Icing:
1 cup Stonyfield Greek yogurt
1 cup powdered sugar
Maple syrup to taste (I put 1-2 Tbsp)

1. Heat the milk, oil and sugar in the microwave for 5-10 minutes or over the stove until hot, but not simmering.

2. Meanwhile combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and wait for the wet mixture to finish heating.

Dough Rising3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine. The dough should be tacky, but should not be overly wet (I love to use a non-stick plastic rice paddle for mixing in this step).

4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or spray lightly with oil to keep the dough from drying on top. Then place the bowl in the fridge overnight. This will make it easier to handle when rolling it the next day and you can go to sleep without having to watch the clock.

Cinnamon Brown Sugar

5. The next day pull the dough out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for about an hour to warm up slightly (you may also choose to work with the dough immediately, but add additional rise time after they have been rolled and cut).

6. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Rolling Time

7. On a clean, floured surface place half of the dough in a log shape and roll it out into a rectangle. The dough should be pretty thin, probably around half or a third of an inch.

8. Sprinkle the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the entire surface and evenly scatter the chopped apples.

Second Rise9. Roll the dough starting at the side furthest from you, slide on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch pieces. Place in a baking dish (I love enameled stoneware for gentle, even baking) and repeat for the other half of the dough.

10. Take a stick (1/2 cup) of cold butter and cut into small squares. Top each roll with a piece of butter and scatter any remaining butter in between the rolls. Now if you really want to indulge for the holidays you will want a lot more butter in the rolls and around them (like 2-3 sticks), but I was trying to be a teensy bit kinder to my waistline.

Baked Oval

11. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes, checking them after 15-16 minutes. Baking time will, or course, depend on how thick you cut the rolls, the baking dish you are using and your particular oven.

12. Assemble the icing when the rolls are baking or as they cool. Combine the yogurt, powdered sugar and maple syrup and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over warm rolls or serve on the side for dipping. This is a thick topping, so if you prefer a thinner icing to seep into the cracks use a plain yogurt.

There are many ways you can incorporate yogurt into your holiday cooking and baking! Stonyfield has a lovely Yogurt Substitution Guide that you can use to have healthier substitutions in your cooking and baking year ’round.

I will be entered for a chance to win a giveaway, but no compensation was received. Affiliate links were used in this article and the views and opinions are my own.

{If you enjoyed reading Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Yogurt Icing: Our New Holiday Breakfast Tradition I would be tickled pink if you left a comment. To read more about my green(er) parenting aspirations, advice and adventures be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get updates via email.}


By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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