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Jan 3, 2024

Apple Buns

These apple buns, made with an enriched dough, are filled with a dollop of sweet cinnamon apples. 

Apple Buns with one on a plate showing the apples inside.

These apple buns are wonderful for breakfast or as a treat with soup for lunch. They'd also be wonderful as part of a spread for an afternoon tea. 

They are slightly sweet, similar to a brioche or babka, and filled with chopped and cooked apples, similar to apple pie filling. In fact, I wavered between calling them apple buns or apple pie buns. 

Because these are more bread than apple filling, I went with "apple buns," although the filling would be amazing in dumplings, hand pies, and as a filling for cinnamon buns

Apples for apple buns in a bowl.


For the filling, you will need about two apples. I used Envy apples, but any tart or sweet crisp apple will work. You could also use a mixture of both. 

In addition, the filling includes brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground clove. If you have some apple pie spice, you could substitute it for the combination of spices. 

For the bread, you will need flour, sugar, instant yeast, milk, water, salt, egg, and butter. 

For the egg wash and topping, you'll need an egg, water, a bit of salt and sugar, plus Swedish pearl sugar, which I like using because it is non melting, bright white, and super decorative. It will stay nice even during freezing, thawing, and reheating the buns. 

I've used it as a decoration on the edge of sandwich cookies, on Swedish saffron buns, Finnish Pulla bread, braided lemon bread, and chocolate gingerbread cookies

You could also substitute sparkling sugar or cinnamon sugar as a topping as well. 

Apple Buns in a bowl.

How to Make These Apple Buns:

Combine the dough ingredients, except the butter, in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead for ten minutes on low. Next, add the butter and knead with the dough hook for ten minutes more. 

That's alot of kneading! You can definitely do it by hand, but the dough is super sticky so doing it by machine is so much easier. My favorite mixer is the Kitchenaid 7-quart Pro. If you're a total bread head, a Bosch mixer or, if you're a real geek, I hear an Ankarsrum will work even better (the Ankarsrum is on my dream list. I just can't figure out how to sneak one into my house). 

Once you've kneaded the dough, set it aside to rise while you make the apple filling. 

To make the filling, cook some chopped apples with brown sugar, butter, and spices until they are softened and then set them aside while the dough is rising. 

Once the dough is ready, divide it into 16 pieces and drop a spoonful of apples into the center of each piece, wrap the filling up with the dough, and let the shaped dough rise, seam side down. 

Finally, brush the shaped dough with the egg wash, sprinkle with the Swedish sugar, and then bake the rolls for about 20 minutes. 

Apple Buns in a blue bowl.

Tips and Tricks:

The dough for these buns is super sticky so generously flour your work surface and oil your hands while shaping the dough. 

Once you've divided the dough, gently press the filling into the top of the piece of dough and then pull the sides of the dough over the filling and pinch everything together. Place the shaped bun on a parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down.  Fortunately, even if the dough is sticky, as long as you handle the dough gently, the rolls will stay rounded and will rise. 

Apple Bun on a black plate.

Make-ahead and Storage Tips:

These buns can be individually wrapped and frozen for up to two months. Defrost them at room temperature and then rewarm them for about 15 seconds in the microwave before enjoying. 

If you have any leftover apple filling, rewarm it at the same time to serve with the buns. 

More Apple Bread You May Also Enjoy:

No Knead Apple Bread

Sourdough Apple Bread

Normandy Apple Bread

Apple Buns in a bowl.

This year, a bunch of us are cooking our way through the alphabet. Our organizer is Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm. Today's theme is foods beginning with A:

Apple Buns with one broken one in front on a black plate.


Apple Buns

Apple Buns
Yield: 16 Buns
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
Prep time: 45 MinCook time: 30 MinInactive time: 2 H & 45 MTotal time: 4 Hour
These apple buns, made with an enriched dough, are filled with a dollop of sweet cinnamon apples.


For the Dough
  • 500 grams (4 3/4 cups plus three tablespoons) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons milk, brought to a boil and cooled
  • 275 grams (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 egg
  • 50 grams (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
For the Filling
  • 2 to three apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces (about 250 grams of apple pieces)
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • Pinch of salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 50 grams (3 tablespoons) butter
For the Glaze and Topping
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Tablespoon of Swedish pearl sugar


  1. Place all of the dough ingredients, except the butter, into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the dough hook on medium low for 10 minutes. Add the butter, and mix for 10 minutes more.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold it into a log. Cut it into 16 pieces.
  4. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper and cover each with oiled plastic wrap.
  5. Drop a tablespoon of apple filling into each dough piece (pressing into the dough with the spoon) and pull up the sides of the dough around the filling and pinch the dough together to form a ball. Place each shaped bun, seam side down, onto a parchment lined baking sheet (eight per sheet) under the oiled plastic wrap.
  6. Let rise for 45 minutes while heating the oven to 425 degrees F.
  7. Whisk together the glaze ingredients (except the Swedish sugar) and brush it over the buns. Sprinkle each bun with some of the Swedish sugar. Bake the buns, one baking sheet at a time, for about 20 minutes, until browned.
  8. Cool the buns to room temperature on a wire rack.
To Prepare the Filling
  1. Place the filling ingredients into a saucepan and cook over medium low heat until the apples are tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

4 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

2 g

Carbs (grams)

34 g

Fiber (grams)

2 g

Net carbs

33 g

Sugar (grams)

9 g

Protein (grams)

4 g

Cholesterol (grams)

18 mg
apple pie
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Recipe inspired by The Book of Buns by Jane Mason (no longer in print but worth hunting down). 

Would you like to comment?

  1. I wish I had one now for breakfast, they look delicious!

  2. Oh my, Karen.....these look amazing. I love envy apples. Great choice.

    1. Thanks Carlee! I've loved them ever since we got them for an Apple Week, probably 2019!

  3. Apple buns sound so delicious and I could eat them anytime!

  4. Oh, Karen, these look amazing! I can't wait to try them...or if we lived closer, I would show up on your doorstep and beg for one. LOL.

    1. I wish we did live closer so we could share food!

  5. No crust apple pie! Just a soft bun outside? I am so in! What a fabulous idea, Karen!

  6. Mmmmmmm...soft pillowy sweet buns...and apples...oh so yummy! And yes, I am now going to be ordering Swedish Pearl Sugar!!!

    1. You won't regret it! There are so many fun ways to use it.

  7. I don't know how I'm going to keep from just eating the filling by the spoonful, it looks so good. As always, your post is written so that even yeast phobic people like me have confidence that I could make these too!

  8. Karen these apple buns are so inviting. Perfect for brunch. Love anything with apples in it. Your baked goodies are always super tempting.

  9. These buns look soft and fabulous with cinnamony apple filling.

  10. You mention egg, but I don't see it in the ingredient list. Am I to understand that the only egg in this recipe is for the egg wash at the end?

  11. Also...5 grams of butter? 3 T of butter is 45 grams, is that what you meant?
    Do you edit before you post...?


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