Apple Pie Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze {GF}

Warm apple spiced gluten-free cinnamon rolls stuffed with caramelized cinnamon apples, pecans with a salted caramel glaze. A perfect fall breakfast treat.

Apple Pie Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze - Life Made Sweeter


Every year whenever September rolls around, I get excited to step back into the kitchen to use the stove and oven more often again after enjoying a few months of summer grilling and no-bake treats.

As much as I will miss all the sweet summer berries, endless sunshine and carefree days that summer brings – I adore fall. It is my favorite season for baking with all the warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg along with apples and pumpkin.


Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze 3.jpg


Cinnamon rolls hold a special place in my heart. I can’t think of anything better than the sweet intoxicating aroma that fills up the house while a pan of warm and sweetly spiced rolls are baking in the oven.

I don’t make them as often as I would like since they do require some planning but it’s always completely worth it in the end.

If you’re a fan of apple pie and cinnamon rolls then you are going to fall in love with these! They are seriously the best of both worlds.




Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with a gluten-free dough recipe that still produces great tasting rolls.  Although they may not replace the Cinnabon ones, they were a hit when I brought them over to a friend’s party. The entire pan was gone by the end and nobody could tell that they were gluten free.  

I am still on a quest to come up with a recipe that doesn’t require buying a special gluten free flour blend (it is a mixture of whole grain brown rice, white rice flour, tapioca, corn starch, and xanthan gum) because various brands may yield different results — but until then, this will be the recipe I will be using for now whenever  we need a gluten free cinnamon roll.


Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze - Life Made Sweeter.jpg


The dough is soft and sweetly spiced while the center is bursting with caramelized cinnamon spiced apples that just melt in your mouth!

A sprinkling of chopped pecans adds a nice crunch where you roll it all up, slice, set aside to rise again, and bake.

While they bake, you whip up the most amazing salted caramel glaze to slather on top once the rolls are warm from the oven.

Throw on another spoonful of that caramelized apple filling and you have extraordinary cinnamon rolls that are a perfect welcome for fall.

Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze 7.jpg Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze 4.jpg


Yields 14-15

Salted Caramel Apple Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Warm apple spiced gluten-free cinnamon rolls stuffed with caramelized cinnamon apples, pecans with a salted caramel glaze. A perfect fall breakfast treat.

1 hr, 30 Prep Time

25 minCook Time

1 hr, 55 Total Time

Save Recipe



4 1/4 cups gluten free good quality flour blend (I used this one) (use all purpose flour if gluten is not a concern)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

pinch of ground cloves

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)

plastic wrap for rolling the dough

Cinnamon sugar filling and extra toppings

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Apple Pie Filling

4 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and diced

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup brown sugar

lemon juice from half a lemon

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of ground cloves

Salted Caramel Glaze

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

1 cup of powdered sugar


    Make the dough:
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, vegetable oil and sugar over medium heat until the mixture is warm and frothy but do not allow to boil. Pour mixture into large mixing bowl and allow to cool to lukewarm.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on top of the lukewarm mixture and allow to sit for 1 minute. Add 4 cups of the flour and mix until just combined. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size in a warm and draft-free environment.
  3. After the dough has risen, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of flour and stir until just combined. (At this point you can store the dough in the fridge for up to three days before proceeding)
  4. For the filling
  5. While the dough is resting, make the filling.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar together.
  7. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, add butter and brown sugar until caramelized, toss in diced apple chunks. Add lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, salt and stir together allowing to come to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer until apples have reached desired tenderness. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and allow to cool.
  9. Rolling and assembling
  10. Place a large piece of plastic wrap on counter and flour the plastic wrap as well as your rolling pin. Place another plastic wrap on top of the dough. Place the rolling pin on top of the plastic wrap and roll doll out evenly but not too thin (about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thickness) into a rectangle about 16 x 10 inches. Add more flour as needed if the dough is too sticky. Remove the plastic wrap on top.
  11. Brush the softened butter evenly on top. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides. Spread the apple pie filling evenly over the dough and top with chopped pecans. Sprinkle with more cinnamon/sugar if desired.
  12. Starting on the long side, roll dough up snugly and gently to opposite end. Pinch the end seam to seal and cut dough into approximately equal portions or about 1.5 - 2 inches wide. (I got 14 rolls)
  13. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9-inch round pan. I used a cast iron skillet, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray.
  14. Cover the rolls loosely with foil and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for about 19-25 minutes or until lightly browned. To avoid heavy browning, cover rolls with foil after 12 minutes of baking.
  15. Remove from oven and glaze.
  16. Store in an airtight container and reheat in microwave if desired.
  17. For the salted caramel glaze:
  18. In a medium saucepan, add butter on medium heat until melted. Stir in brown sugar, salt and heavy cream whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved and boiling for a minute.
  19. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Continue to whisk in powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  20. Pour over cinnamon rolls and top with more chopped pecans and reserved apple filling.


Rolls are best enjoyed on the same day.

Dough can be made the day before before filling them after step 3.

**If gluten is not a concern, feel free to use all purpose flour instead or your favorite cinnamon roll recipe.


Roll dough recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ready for more fall flavors? Try these:

Baked Apple Cinnamon Doughnuts with Brown Butter Maple Glaze

apple donuts.jpg

Pear Cheesecake Bars with Oat Streusel

pear cheesecake.jpg

Apple Pie Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze - Life Made Sweeter



Thanks so much for reading Life Made Sweeter. You can stay connected with me here: 

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Lovely comments

  1. A combo of apple pie and cinnamon rolls?! Ohhhh heck yea!!! This sounds fantastic Kelly! Pinned :)
    Chris @ Shared Appetite recently posted…The Ultimate S’mores Sundae

  2. Oh dear “Apple Pie Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Glaze ” I could eat the whole pan -without sharing! These sound terribly addicting!!! the glaze, the pecans, the apples….oh dear!!! Added kudos since they are GF – I need to check out that gluten free flour blend…that dough of yours looks incredible!

  3. Sarah - Bread & Batters says:

    Apple pie and cinnamon rolls in one??? Amazing!!!! I’ll take the whole batch! They look so good Kelly!

  4. As if the pictures weren’t enough, your description totally had me nodding my head and wishing I could have one of these for breakfast right now. There’s so much goodness packed into these. I am dying! You knocked it out of the park, Kelly 😉

  5. Wow these cinnamon rolls are stuffed with great flavors! I can’t wait to go apple picking and make some apple treats too!
    Meghan @ Spoonful of Flour recently posted…Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

  6. Can I come over for breakfast? :) These apple pie pecan cinnamon rolls are making me drool right now, and I just had breakfast!

    • Haha, you and Addie are ALWAYS welcome here for breakfast any day – it would definitely help so I’m not tempted to polish the entire batch off my self :) Thanks Eva and hope you’re having a great weekend so far!

  7. Girl, these are absolutely magnificent, and my stomach is literally grumbling just looking at your photos! What an amazing treat and I can’t believe they are even gluten free! Incredible…
    Allie | Baking a Moment recently posted…Easy, Make Ahead Blender Tomato Soup

  8. So perfectly welcoming for fall, Kelly! I love your idea of adding apples into cinnamon rolls. I keep seeing pumpkin everything starting to pop into my feeds, so I’m pretty much getting into full fall mode. Chili and cornbread this weekend, and I think these rolls would we fabulous for breakfast (and dessert!) :)
    Lisa @ Simple Pairings recently posted…easy dill pickles

    • Thanks Lisa :) Haha yup, pumpkin everything already – can’t believe how fast fall is sneaking up on us :) Yum, chili and cornbread sounds perfect – hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far!

  9. Kelly, these rolls look absolutely DREAMY! Seriously, your pictures are outta-this-world stunning and I want to grab some of that caramely apple goodness straight outta my screen. And apple pie in a cinnamon roll? I don’t think anything could beat that. :) Pinned!
    Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven recently posted…Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • Haha thanks so much girl :). Your pics area always leaving me drooling so I’m so glad you like these. Thanks so much for pinning too and hope you’re having a great weekend so far!

  10. These cinnamon rolls look so amazing, Kelly! What a perfect way to ring in the fall! I’m so loving that you added apples and caramel in these cuties. Pinned!
    Gayle @ Pumpkin ‘N Spice recently posted…Creamy Pea Salad

  11. Good grief, these can be ‘dangerous’! I never much liked cinnamon rolls but ever since I had an odd craving for them and made some, my husband and I keep wanting more! I made another small batch about 2 weeks ago…I’m almost glad it takes some planning or I might end up enjoying them constantly. I’m so intrigued that gluten free can taste “normal” these days. I don’t have much of any experience in that regard but I’m glad more and more products and good recipes are available to those who need it. Your rolls look so luscious. I can imagine it was devoured by all and brought a moment of bliss for everyone!

    • Haha I know what you mean – if they weren’t so time consuming I would definitely make them more – I am not ashamed to admit that am a sucker for yeast pastries and donuts :) I’ve been trying to experiment more with GF baking and cooking a little here and there since I’ve found it’s helping with my lower energy level lately. Thanks Monica – hope you have a great rest of the weekend :)

  12. Wow! Those cinnamon rolls look absolutely amazing! Pinned :)

  13. Oh Kelly these look so lovely I am hoping for cooler weather soon, but we are still in the 3 digits! Love these rolls they look so sticky and gooey… I hope you have a great weekend :)
    Shundara@savynaturalista recently posted…Black Head Buster Face Mask

  14. Yum! I love pecans and I love fall recipes! I could never get sick of apples + pumpkin + spices.

  15. o Kelly, my mouth is watering…these cinnamon buns look amazing!

  16. This looks absolutely delicious! Just like you, I love fall baking too! A warm apple cinnamon bun would be very comforting for a cool morning. :)
    Lokness @ The Missing Lokness recently posted…Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  17. As usually this recipe looks divine, my dear! Definitely this is my kind of treat! Have a wonderful weekend 😉
    olivia – Primavera Kitchen recently posted…Zucchini Couscous Salad

  18. These rolls look extra deluxe in the delicious area! I just want to sink my teeth into a couple of these! Need these in my life!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Baked Sugar Snap Peas

  19. Kelly,
    Cinnamon rolls hold a very special place in my heart too. . along with donuts and sticky buns. I knew I liked you. 😛 And Fall is my favorite season for baking too! LOVE these apple pecan cinnamon rolls. . they look soooooo good! can’t wait to get started baking with apples!
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom recently posted…Fall Baking with LAND O LAKES® Butter #SpreadTheLove

    • Haha oh my gosh heck yes to donuts and sticky buns too 😀 Yay for fall baking and I can’t wait to see your apple recipes, I know they will be totally drool worthy :) Thanks Alice and hope you’re having a great weekend so far!

  20. Cinnamon roll and apple pie together!!. That is so soo amazing girl.. you rock! ! Love this Kelly!! 😀 😀
    Arpita@ TheGastronomicBong recently posted…Turkish Lamb Lahmacun and Camden Market

  21. I can’t believe how good this sounds!!! And it’s gluten-free AND easy to veganize… well, I’ve got to try it soon :-)

  22. Cinnamon rolls really are the best, total comfort food! I love this variation, definitely perfect for fall!
    Danielle recently posted…Baked Sweet Potato Fries

  23. As much as I love summer produce and grilling, fall is my favorite, and I can’t wait to dive into the season! These cinnamon rolls look amazing, and the perfect way to kick off fall! And of course, you gotta have the salted caramel sauce — delicious touch!
    marcie recently posted…Heirloom Tomato Galette {Farmer’s Market Friday}

    • Thanks Marcie. I’m ready for fall now too :) I will just miss all the yummy summer fruits and veggies since they were so good this year. Haha – yup, gotta love that salted caramel sauce – thanks Marcie and hope you are having a great weekend so far!

  24. okay, so my mouth is watering… cinnamon apples and carmel = amazing!

  25. The mention of cinnamon and caramel have me drooling. Not a big fan of cooked fruits, but these look AWESOME!
    Jacquee @ I Sugar Coat It! recently posted…Ginger Peach Sherbet {FrozenFriday14}

  26. I don’t think these would make it out of my house. They look so amazing and I love the apples.

  27. You and these rolls hold a very special place in my heart!! I was going to make cinnamon rolls this weekend but now why make boring rolls when you can stuff them with apples? Amazing!!

    • Aaw, you know I definitely feel the same here my dear:) Haha aaw thanks, you totally should still make some (yum – maybe pumpkin ones?) so I can drool over them too!:) Hope you have a great rest of the weekend Z!

  28. These rolls look fantastic! I would love one for breakfast.. or maybe two :)

  29. Oh hooray, it’s going to be apple season soon! These rolls look absolutely lovely! I can’t believe they are gluten free!
    kelly – a side of sweet recently posted…Sleeveless Summer :: Wearing a Romper + Sunhat

  30. I totally freaked out when I saw this pic on Instagram!! I have a hugeee weakness for apples and cinnamon!

  31. Kelly these are AMAZING! I am a huge fan of cinnamon rolls (which I never make), so to see them all made up, and how gorgeous and mouth watering they are ~ it makes me want to reach right into my screen and grab some. The caramelized apple filling looks so decadent and rich. Just like a cinnamon roll should be. Pinning!
    Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen recently posted…Slow Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce

  32. WOW Kelly! This is amazing! GF rolls are no joke without egg! Amazing job and of course gorgeous photography! Pinned and shared!
    Laura @PetiteAllergyTreats recently posted…Chocolate Avocado Fudgesicle (Vegan Dairy Free)

    • Aaw thanks so much girlie, so glad you like them :) I tested out so many and even though it won’t beat my husband’s favorite Cinnabon, he says these were his second favorite which I’ll take haha :) Hope you had a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing and pinning too!

  33. Gorgeous shots…I need this for breakfast, Kelly! Spiced and caramelized cinnamon apples, pecans and salty caramel glaze all sound lovely together! I want your delicious apple pie filling in a pie, calzone and everything else! <3

  34. Wow Kelly these look seriously mouthwatering! I love apple pie, it’s one of my favourites, but combined in cinnamon rolls, that’s awesome. I always think cinnamon roll filling is a bit dry but you’ve totally solved that problem. And that caramel topping…..YUM.
    Katy recently posted…No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Cookies

  35. Oh my gosh Kelly!! Sent me one (or a few!) of these please! haha They look amazingggg. Cinnamon rolls combined with apple pie?? Genius!
    Ashley recently posted…Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Burrito Bowls

  36. Oh, these look spectacular! You’ve combined ALL my favorites: bread, apples and caramel! These could be dangerous in my kitchen :)

  37. Fall is one of my favorite seasons too! The fact that it comes right after all the hot summer temps makes me love it even more! Being able to use apples and pumpkins is a huge plus too! I love cinnamon rolls and that is so awesome that you put apples in them! These look amazing, Kelly! I wish I had a big pan of them for breakfast tomorrow morning :)
    Isadora @ she likes food recently posted…Hatch Green Chili Mexican Pizza

  38. Damn delicious!!
    the runny and sticky salted caramel really get me!
    Dedy@Dentist Chef recently posted…Resep Sate Buntel Kambing Solo (Spicy Lamb Kebab Wrapped in Caul Fat Recipe)

  39. The fact that I’m laying in bed on the web and seeing this right now just isn’t fair! My sweet tooth has kicked into full effect and its late. Filing under “will make tmrw!” Looks fantastic.

  40. WAAANNNT!! Especially for breakfast. Yum.
    Joanne recently posted…Gnocchi with Summer Squash, Corn, Basil, and Feta

  41. These sound so warm and inviting – perfect for this time of year!
    Jeanette | Jeanette’s Healthy Living recently posted…Slow Cooker Island Pulled Chicken Recipe {Slow Cooker + Cookbook Giveaway}

  42. Kelly, I am loving how you made these… love the gluten free action! I’m sharing this on FB and pinning this delicious recipe!
    Gloria // Simply Gloria recently posted…Fusilli Caserecci with Peppered Bacon Clam Sauce

  43. I love everything about this! The perfect combination of flavours. I am going to be all over this at Christmas.
    Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy recently posted…Comment on How To Get Back On Track With Healthy Eating and Exercise by Dannii

  44. Kelly, can you pretty please send me some leftovers (not that you probably had any left, these are so gorgeous)! I bet your house smelled amazing after baking these!
    Amy | Club Narwhal recently posted…PUMPKIN CHALLAH SWIRLED WITH CHOCOLATE

  45. I didn’t realize it until you shared these that my no-back series has totally been a seasonal summery thing. I’m so excited to get baking again, too! I looove these fall flavors so much, Kelly! Can’t wait to turn the oven on!
    Ala recently posted…Pumpkin Pie Layer Cheesecake Bars for #SundaySupper

  46. WOW Kelly, these look out of this world amazing. Pinned!!!
    Kathy @ Olives & Garlic recently posted…Farmers Market Rustic Rice Soup

  47. WOW! Best cinnamon rolls EVER!
    Jessica @ Sweet Menu recently posted…Homemade Twix Bars

  48. This is one genius recipe girl!! Brilliant and I can have 2-3 for breakfast with black coffee!!
    Ami@NaiveCookCooks recently posted…Sweet Potato Waffles with Strawberry-Vodka Sauce

  49. These look to die for – I love that you combined apple pie and cinnamon buns into one — Amazing!! And you are so right – cinnamon buns always take a bit of planning but they are always worth it in the end (especially after taking a bite of the warm center!!) :)
    Ceara @ Ceara’s Kitchen recently posted…Move it Mondays – 10.5k Races for Fun & Coming in Last?!?

  50. Look at these PERFECTLY rolled cinnamon rolls. And then you added apples? This is fall incarnate here. And it looks sticky and DELICIOUS. You’re making me quite excited for the fall recipes to roll in:)
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen recently posted…Sweet and spicy curry cracker jack

  51. Oh dear! I can’t believe those are gluten free! They look fabulous! Cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling and salted caramel sound absolutely perfect to me! Pinned!

  52. Oh Em Gee, Salted Caramel Apple sounds so delicious. I had my first apple pie at my nephew’s Christening last weekend. Crazy, huh? My kids love cinnamon rolls and I love salted caramel so this is a perfect combination of things we all like. I can’t wait to try this! And the scent that would fill my house sounds divine, even if it’s still 99 degrees outside. xo
    Chastity recently posted…What I’ve Learned From Joan Rivers

  53. I’m a bit embarrassed to say I’ve only had cinnamon roll once, maybe twice?! It was way too sweet for me (at the store) so I have been meaning to try making it at home by myself… and that hasn’t happened yet. I would LOVE to try this apple pie pecan cinnamon roll… sounds so good. I love apple pie and it sounds so much better than typical frosting (in my opinion). :)

  54. Kelly these look incredible!!! Oh man – talk about combining so many of my favorite things in one. Apple cinnamon (plus caramel, pecans…) just scream fall to me. Love it! I think these would be the perrrrfect weekend treat for us! :)

  55. Oh wow. It’s official. I’m not doing anything this weekend but staying in and baking fall-flavored treats. These are at the TOP of the list!

  56. Oh how I wish I had a few of these glorious rolls to enjoy in the morning with my coffee!! I adore everything about them! :)
    Jocelyn@Brucrewlife recently posted…Butterfinger Apple Tart

  57. You combined two very wonderful treats!! These look fabulous. I could certainly dive into one right now!
    Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) recently posted…White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Toffee Blondies

  58. Wow! Those look absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to share them with my followers. :-) Came over from Saturday Night Fever on Laura’s blog.

    Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts recently posted…GFW: Top 10 Gluten-Free Cake Recipes, Gluten-Free Baking Mix, Crescent Rolls & Vegan Mug Blondie


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