Apple Juice Is What Your Cinnamon Roll Icing Has Been Missing

Let's be honest: Nothing beats a warm cinnamon roll in the morning, especially if you've taken special measures to make a homemade batch as irresistible as possible. However, there's another, even easier twist you could give to your glaze that might be worthwhile. As it is, the cinnamon roll glaze exists as a sweet addition to your golden spiced rolls. But, when you add a bit of apple juice to the mix, the icing transforms into a fruity, tangy accent that complements the warm spices and caramel-like brown sugar within the pastries.

This apple update is easy to accomplish, and a great gateway to incorporating more fun flavors into the under-appreciated glaze. You have two choices, both of them ridiculously easy: Either make your own two-ingredient glaze or add apple juice to your favorite icing recipe. Once you get a taste of it on your cinnamon buns, you may be tempted to apply the trick to even more of your baking endeavors. 

How to make the fruity, tangy glaze

To add apple juice to any cinnamon roll glaze recipe, first consider what liquids are called for in the original ingredient list. Most glazes use either milk, cream, or water to thin out the sugary glaze. In this case, you would just use an equal amount of apple juice in place of the other liquid. The golden-hued juice may affect the overall color of your glaze, but otherwise, it should turn out roughly the same in consistency. 

You can use one of three options to make your jazzed up glaze: traditional store-bought apple juice, unsweetened/homemade apple juice, or apple cider. The first two will just affect the level of sweetness, with the regular apple juice adding an extra dose of sugar where the unsweetened (and homemade apple juice) would not. Apple cider on the other hand is usually an unfiltered, unsweetened option. It'll have a cloudier appearance and more intense flavor, but it should work much in the same way, just with less sugar. 

More ways to use the apple juice glaze

Beyond cinnamon rolls, there are plenty of other ways to use this apple juice-infused glaze. Any plain pound or loaf cake would taste great with a creamy apple icing, but it lends itself particularly well to warmly spiced cakes. Case in point, drizzle it onto your favorite streusel-topped coffee cake for unbeatable results as the slightly acidic icing will help brighten the whole dessert up. 

Other cinnamon or nutmeg-rich breakfast favorites, like baked apple cider doughnuts or snickerdoodle scones, would embrace a coating of the apple juice glaze as well. Or, go truly decadent and use it as a dipping sauce for freshly fried churros. 

The apple juice flavor complements more than just spiced baked goods, too. Use it on other fruit-forward baked goods, like blueberry corn muffins or a lemon curd-filled Danish. One final tip: Play with other juices, like grape, peach, guava, or pear juice. Each flavor will offer its own sweet charms to your chosen desserts and is worth its own exploration.