This mesmerizing Cinnamon Roll Apple Rose Tart or Rose Apple Pie is absolutely one of my favorite desserts. You won’t believe how beautiful the apple roses look and how delicious they taste.
All you need is only a few ingredients — cinnamon roll dough, red apples, lemon juice, brown sugar and butter — along with about 20-30 minutes of preparation time to make this gorgeous rose apple.
This recipe is definitely a crowd pleaser for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and autumn parties. The presentation is so impressive and it’s easy on the waistline too.
While it can look complicated at first, a few hacks make this recipe doable by anyone. It’s more work than brownies, but much easier than making an apple pie.
Apple selection for an apple rose
Before you start cooking, try to pick the best apple possible. I have tested many apples and my fave for this recipe are medium-large size Red Delicious apples, available year-round in most supermarkets.
It lends a bright red color to the apple rose, and is study enough to hold its shape. There are other more flavorful varieties like Honeycrisp or Fuji, but the color often pales after cooking.
How to prevent browning when making an apple rose
Since making apple roses means making thin slices of apple, there are a few hacks to prevent them from browning during preparation.
Traditionally fresh lemon juice is squeezed onto the slices, sometimes with water as well. While this approach is easy enough and works just fine, it can impact a sour taste to the apples.
Our preferred approach is to use lemon juice combined with brown sugar and melted butter. Adding this mixture prevents browning and adds flavor.
How to make pliable apple slices for an apple rose
After coring, the apples should be sliced to about 1/8″ thickness. A mandolin can be helpful for this task, but failing that a sharp paring knife will do the job just fine.
Once you’ve coated the apple slices with the brown sugar mixture, they need to go into the microwave for 2 minutes to become pliable. Alternatively you can put them in a pot over low heat for 5 minutes to achieve a similar effect.
How to make apple roses
To make an apple rose, first arrange about 8 apple slices in a straight row with an inch of overlap on each. Starting with one end, gently roll the slices together with your fingertips:
You can layer on more slices around the outside if you want to create a bigger rose. In this recipe, the bigger the rose, the more beautiful the dessert.
Once you’ve made the rose, it should hold itself together. If you’ve arranged the cinnamon roll in the pan already, then you can insert the rose into the middle.
How to make a cinnamon roll spiral
This is it – the final assembly before baking! Grab a 9-10 inch pie plate or cake pan along with a package of refrigerated cinnamon roll dough. It’s basically a process of unravelling a few cinnamon rolls in a spiral pattern in a pie plate.
Once you have a spiral, simply insert apple slices in between and pull the dough slightly to tighten it up. It may look challenging, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.
And don’t worry about any imperfections because the dough puffs up during baking fills any gaps or wobbles. Watch this video tutorial to see how to make it:
Easy Cinnamon Roll Apple Rose Tart (With Video)
- 2 red apples We used red delicious
- 1 can cinnamon roll dough
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- powdered sugar for serving
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a 9-inch round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Open the can of cinnamon rolls. Unwind several rolls and arrange into a large spiral to fill up the dish, following the video.
Halve each apple lengthwise. Remove the core and seeds.
Using a sharp paring knife, slice the apple halves lengthwise to 1/8-inch thick pieces.
In a large bowl, add apple slices and lemon juice, mixing well.
In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and melted butter together. Then add to the apple slices, stirring to coat.
Microwave for about 2 minutes or until the apple slices are pliable. Strain out any accumulated liquid.
Arrange about 8 apple slices in a straight row with an inch of overlap on each. Starting with one end, gently roll the slices together to make a rose. Place rose in the middle of the cinnamon dough spiral.
Insert apple slices to fill the gaps between the cinnamon rolls in the spiral.
When the dish is full, bake for 20-25 minutes until the dough is browning.
Remove from oven and dust with powered sugar. Serve and enjoy!
Also check out our delicious Apple Pie Tacos …