To start, warm the milk in the microwave for 40-45 seconds. It should be warm to the touch, but not too hot. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of your electric stand mixer.
Add instant yeast and allow the two to sit together for approximately 1-2 minutes to activate the yeast.
Next, add sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter to the same mixing bowl. Using your stand mixer and wire whip or flat beater attachment, mix all of the ingredients together on low until well combined.
Now, slowly add in salt and flour and continue to mix together until dough begins to form.
Once the dough begins to form, replace the flat beater attachment with the dough hook attachment and continue to kneed the dough on medium speed for 5-6 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch and form into a nice round ball.
Next, transfer the ball of dough to a large glass or mixing bowl that is coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Set aside allowing the dough to rise for 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, move the dough to a lightly floured surface.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is approximately 14x9 rectangle. Keep in mind, it does not have to be perfect by any means.
Using a knife or your hands, spread softened butter over the dough.
Mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl until well combined. Using your hands, spread the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the layer of butter gently pressing into the dough.
Now, add finely chopped apple chunks and a light caramel glaze with sauce (both are optional).
Starting from the shorter end of the dough (the 9-inch side), start to carefully roll the dough as tightly as you can and place the end seam down on your floured surface.
Before making any cuts in the dough, carefully measure out 1-inch sections to ensure you will have 9 individual cinnamon rolls. Take into account, you will likely want to cut off the last half-inch to an inch at each end of the roll as they are often not filled with as much of the cinnamon roll filling.
Once you have measured out 9 1-inch rolls, begin to cut gently with a serrated knife.
Place each cinnamon roll into a greased 9x9 baking dish. NOTE: you can also add a layer of parchment paper to the bottom of your baking pan if preferred.
Next, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and a warm towel and set aside for approximately 30 minutes to allow the apple cinnamon rolls to rise once more.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and warm towel and bake the cinnamon rolls for 12-15 minutes or until slightly browned. Be sure not to overcook the cinnamon rolls to ensure they remain light and fluffy inside.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking nicely in the oven, begin to make the cream cheese frosting.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, add softened cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Mix all of the ingredients together until well combined and the frosting is fluffy.
Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes.
When the cinnamon rolls have cooled slightly, spread a layer of homemade cream cheese frosting over the top. Want even more decadence? Don't miss the chance to add a creamy scoop of Hudsonville Seasalt Caramel Ice Cream to the top of your warm cinnamon rolls.
Serve & enjoy!