Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Jack Daniels-Cream Cheese Frosting {Guest Post}

I have a special treat for you today. The very talented Shawnda of Confections of a Foodie Bride made a boozy apple breakfast treat! I think she was secretly trying to torture me with this post. I’m a sucker for cinnamon rolls, especially when they’re dripping with icing. If these pictures don’t leave you craving sweet apple cinnamon rolls, I don’t know what will!

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Jack Daniels-Cream Cheese Icing

What do you get when cinnamon roll meets apple pie meets a bottle of Jack? All the warm, comforting flavors of fall, enriched with the rich molasses and vanilla notes from the brown sugar and whiskey. In breakfast form.

For Baked by Rachel’s An Apple A Day party, I wanted to contribute a breakfast-dessert hybrid that was part comfort food, part dessert, and borderline irresponsible. 

Nailed it. Although it might be slightly more than just “borderline” irresponsible.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Jack Daniels-Cream Cheese Icing

The apple-cinnamon combination is a solid classic so I dressed up our favorite overnight cinnamon roll dough with pretty flecks of vanilla bean, stuffed the dough with a brown sugar-cinnamon-Jack Daniels-apple mixture, and then topped with a Jack Daniels cream cheese icing.

It’s part breakfast, part dessert, and completely magical.

Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Jack Daniels-Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time3 hours 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple
Servings: 12



  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 C buttermilk
  • 4 C all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium apples peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 C dark brown sugar divided
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp Jack Daniels optional
  • 1 tsp vanila extract
  • 1 pinch salt


  • 2.5 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 2-3 tsp Jack Daniels optional, replace with milk if desired
  • 1 C powdered sugar



  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, buttermilk and half the flour together until well combined. Add yeast, salt, and the next 1 1/4 cup flour (leaving about 3/4 cup remaining) and knead on low for 5 minutes.
  • Add additional flour by the spoonful if necessary - you want the dough soft and moist but not overly sticky. Knead another 5 minutes until the dough clears the sides of the bowl (but might still stick to the bottom a bit). Transfer dough to a lightly greased, large bowl and let double, 2-2.5 hours.
  • Just before the dough is finished, make the filling. Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the diced apple. Crumble 1/2 cup of brown sugar over top and stir in the cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and Jack Daniels. Simmer for 10 minutes, until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and set aside to cool.
  • Spray or butter a 9-inch pan. Turn out the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Stretch and roll the dough into a ~12x18 rectangle with the long edge nearest to you.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar over the dough, leaving the top 1-inch bare. Spread the cooled apple mixture over the dough. Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the the seam to seal. Gently press, squeeze, and stretch the roll to get an even thickness.
  • Cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch slices and place in the baking dish (you'll get 12 rolls). Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Place the rolls in the oven with the heat off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and place it on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven and let the rolls rise for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the water pan and rolls from the oven and preheat the oven to 350F°.
  • Bake rolls on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • While the rolls are cooling, beat the cream cheese, milk, Jack Daniels (to taste, 1-2 tsp at a time), and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls and serve.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered. Rewarm in the microwave for best results.

You can find Shawnda on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Check out some more of Shawnda’s amazing recipes: Meatball sub pizza, Braided pesto bread and Frito pie burger.

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24 Responses to “Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Jack Daniels-Cream Cheese Frosting {Guest Post}”

  1. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Oh my, these look outrageous!

  2. #
    Tracey — September 12, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Wow, talk about the perfect fall breakfast – these look fantastic!!

  3. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — September 12, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Perfect start to the day! Cheers! ;)

  4. #
    Laura @ WyldeThyme — September 12, 2012 at 8:30 am

    Wow, these look fantastic! What a great fall treat!

  5. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — September 12, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Wishing I had one of these this morning!

  6. #
    TheFoodGospelAccordingtoRuth — September 12, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Kind of thinking about giving these away as Christmas presents, they look THAT good! Thanks for sharing!

  7. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Dessesrts — September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Talk about heaven on a plate for breakfast!

  8. #
    Erin — September 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

    They look like a bit of work, but sound totally worth it!

  9. #
    Tracy — September 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I seriously need these to happen in my kitchen. They look sinfully delicious!

  10. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee — September 12, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    I am so excited to go apple picking this weekend! I can’t wait to make this. And then eat it all. jk, sorta

  11. #
    claire @ the realistic nutritionist — September 12, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Um. AMAZING.

  12. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — September 12, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Freaking amazing. I need to make these ASAP and eat the entire pan :)

  13. #
    Cassie — September 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Nothing beats a boozy cinnamon roll. This is brilliant!

  14. #
    Barbara | Creative Culinary — September 12, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I want these. Bad. Now I just need some apples!

  15. #
    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking — September 12, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    i’ll have to send everyone to the park so I can make these just for me! I love cinnamon rolls but these are over the top delicious

  16. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — September 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    booze in a cinnamon roll? uh, count me in!

  17. #
    Jen @ Savory Simple — September 13, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Booze makes any dessert (or breakfast bun, ha) better! Love this.

  18. #
    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — September 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Jack Daniels shouldn’t be optional– required in all my frostings from now on :)

  19. #
    Patti T. — September 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    These sound like the perfect thing to appear on a breakfast table, any one willing to make them for me, I am sure will wake up when I smell them baking! Seriously though, did you say you can start the dough the night before?

  20. #
    Carla's Confections — September 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Any dessert with booze in it is a winner for me, so yes please!

  21. #
    Paula — September 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    These rolls sound like they would be amazing on their own but topped off with that frosting really takes them to new heights of deliciousness.

  22. #
    Susan in England — September 16, 2012 at 3:41 am

    Made these last night and left them to rise at room temperature over night (so missed out the water in the oven stage)- they’re fantastic- my ten year old has eaten three so far! I did a icing sugar and lemon juice glaze instead of the one in the recipe as I don’t have any cream cheese.

  23. #
    Bekah Shea — September 18, 2012 at 11:02 am

    I just pulled these guys out of the oven. They are fantastic & worth the effort :)

  24. #
    Debra — September 28, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Stopping by from Confessions of a foodie…mmmmm…:D

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