Apple Hawaii Challah Rolls –

Spice up your breakfast with Hawaij.

Cinnamon rolls are the ultimate comfort food. There’s nothing better than a soft spiral pastry with a cinnamon and brown sugar filling, topped with a sticky sweet frosting. It’s the perfect weekend morning treat. Challah batter makes beautifully fluffy cinnamon buns for a lazy weekend morning. Unlike traditional cinnamon rolls, these are made with honey-sweetened challah batter and stuffed with juicy, spiced apples before being baked to perfection. The secret ingredient to these addictive morning rolls? Hawaii.

What is Hawaii?

Hawaij (hawayej or hawayij) is a Yemeni spice blend that tastes like a warm hug…with a kick. Hawaij is unique in that it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes depending on the mix you find. There’s one for soup and this one for coffee. Hawaij for coffee is usually a mixture of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and is a key ingredient in Yemeni coffee. Think pumpkin pie spice’s fashion-forward cousin and is perfect for baked goods. It lends the perfect warming spice (with a little something special) to these Rosh Hashanah-worthy challah rolls.

Where to buy Hawaj?

I love using Jamie Geller Hawaij for Coffee for this recipe. It lends the perfect amount of spice, without being overwhelmingly flavorful.

Why is this the perfect Rosh Hashanah recipe?

During Rosh Hashanah it is customary to dip apples in honey to signify a sweet new year as well as to tear them into a round challah. This year, we’re putting it all together for a honey apple challah roll, swirled in your challah!

When making your challah this week, double the dough and make it into brunch rolls – you won’t regret it! These cinnamon rolls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Food4Thought: Did you know that it is customary to serve around Challah instead of the traditional braid which symbolizes the “circle of life?” Get more thoughts on Jewish food here.

Yield: 12 rolls
Active time: 30-45 minutes
Rest time: 2h30
Cooking time: 50 minutes



  • 1 packet of instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • ¼ cup melted butter or vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ½ – 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Jamie Geller Hawaii seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 4 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter or vegan butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Jamie Geller Hawaii seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional icing:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk


1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. If the mixture is bubbly and/or frothy, continue. If not, you may need to get fresher yeast!

2. Add eggs, honey and butter. Mix to combine. Replace the paddle with the dough hook.

3. On low speed, add the flour, one cup at a time, along with the Hawaij and sea salt

4. Stir over medium heat until a soft dough forms, about 6-7 minutes. The dough will be a bit sticky!

5. Transfer to a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes, or until doubled. You can also cover and store in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

6. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish : In a large bowl, combine apples, butter, brown sugar, Hawaij and cinnamon.

7. Generously grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter.

8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 12 x 28 inches, with the long edge closest to you.

9. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough.

10. Starting with the long edge closest to you, tightly roll the dough into a log.

11. Cut into 12 equal pieces using a sharp knife or use unflavored dental floss!

12. Arrange them in the greased baking dish and cover with a kitchen towel.

13. Let rise for another 45-60 minutes.

14. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

15. Bake rolls for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping halfway through. If they start to brown too much, lightly cover with foil.

16. While the buns are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk (1 tbsp at a time) until the consistency of heavy cream is achieved.

17. Water the cooled rolls.

18. Enjoy!

#Apple #Hawaii #Challah #Rolls

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