September 19, 2019



There is nothing like pulling a batch of these light and fluffy apple walnut buns out of your oven. And there's nothing like biting into a warm one with buttery, nutty, and sweet glaze on top! They will start your morning or end your day deliciously!

Apple Walnut Buns With Maple Brown Butter Glaze
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One thing I like about the town where I live is that our mayor puts great effort into coordinating events that bring the community together. We can expect a certain number of festivities on Main Street and in the town common every year. We have the Summer Stroll, Winter Stroll, Ladies Night Out, Restaurant Week, Halloween Parade, an apple festival and a beer festival. I am sure I'm missing some. Technically, where I live is considered a city, but these events create such a nice small town feel, especially when you run into old friends and acquaintances you have not seen in awhile.

Apple Walnut Buns With Maple Brown Butter Glaze

Not mentioned on my list, but probably my favorite, is the Food Truck Festival. It was a hit a from the get-go three years ago. Once again, the town common and Main Street was buzzing with activity this past weekend with the latest installment of the popular extravaganza. As usual, there was an array of delicious options to choose from—empanadas, gourmet grilled cheese, pulled pork, ice cream, cupcakes, fried dough, on and on...

Everytime I attend a food truck festival, it makes me wish I had a food truck too. One of the things I would offer (and I had not seen in the lineup) are these tender, warm, sweet and delicious apple walnut buns. They are topped with a sticky and nutty maple brown butter glaze. Biting into a warm bun is like biting into a edible cushion of pure yumminess! The smell alone of hot apple, maple, brown sugar, and cinnamon will draw the crowd in! 

I always thought my cinnamon buns types of baked goods were yummy, but once I started adding one simple ingredient, they were elevated to another level. What is the game changer? Mashed potato! It takes the buns from good to divine. The bread is extra light, fluffy, tender, and glorious!! 

Apple Walnut Buns With Maple Brown Butter Glaze

If you don't already add mashed potatoes to your batter, try it out and discover the glory of the spud!
If you are apprehensive about making yeast bread, give it a chance. With a little practice, you will feel more comfortable with yeast dough. They are really not hard to make. The results are so worth it!

How to activate yeast:
Yeast is used as a leavener in baked goods. It releases carbon dioxide and alcohol during fermentation causing the dough to rise as well as enhancing the flavor. It is imperative to use yeast that is alive and active. Proofing is a way of determining if the yeast is alive. To do so, add it to warm (105°-110°F degree) water or milk for 5 to 10 minutes. If it becomes a foamy mass during this proofing period, it is good to go! Purchase new yeast if there is little or no foaming action.

What kind of apples to use?
I like to use firm (but not tart) apples like gala or braeburn. They can be cooked down until tender yet hold their shape. 

Can I assemble the buns the night before?
Yes you can! You can go as far as cutting the assembled buns into shape and placing them into the baking pan. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. Allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour for the second rise the next morning before baking.

Apple Walnut Buns With Maple Brown Butter Glaze

How to freeze unbaked buns?
Unbaked buns can be frozen and stay fresh for about 2 months. Method one is to place the buns in the pan they will be baked in, allowing space in between each. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Method two is to flash freeze the buns individually. When they are firm, wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place wrapped buns in plastic storage bags. The second method should keep the buns a little fresher as there is less exposure to air, but either method is fine.

To bake pre-frozen buns—if method one was used for freezing, transfer the buns to the refrigerator the day before or overnight. Allow to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil. Bake. If method two of freezing was used, prior to transferring the buns to the refrigerator, unwrap buns and place in a baking pan, spaced apart. Cover loosely covered with plastic wrap or foil. Allow to rest and bake as with method one.  

This is the part where I to fess up guys. The ONE batch that I forgot to brown the butter had to be the one I used for the photo shoot. Just my luck! I have come to accept that sometimes things don't turn out right no matter how hard you try. Don't sweat the small stuff, right? The glaze would be slightly darker and with little brown specks in these photos had the butter been browned. Needless to say, nobody complained when they ate them! All's well that ends well :)

Enjoy your last few days of summer!

These are also great breakfast ideas:


Apple Walnut Buns With Maple Brown Butter Glaze


For the dough:
1 large russet potato, prebaked or microwave cooked and cooled
1 cup whole milk, divided
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
4 cups peeled apple, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick then chopped to 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoon water
1 1/4 packed cup dark brown sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted  
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 1/2 tablespoon water for slurry
1 heaping cup chopped walnut

For the glaze:
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole milk + more to thin glaze if needed
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered sugar


Peel skin off potato. Mash with a potato masher or ricer. Measure out one cup. Set aside.

Warm milk on the stovetop or in the microwave to 105° to 110°. Be careful not to overheat the milk. It will kill the yeast. Pour 1/4 cup into a small bowl. Stir in yeast. Set aside 5 to 10 minutes to proof.

Heat the remaining milk until hot to the touch but not boiling. Add milk and sugar to the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with a paddle attachment. Beat slowly for one minute to combine. Add mashed potato, butter, and salt. Mix well. Beat in egg. Change to the hook attachment.

Add yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for a few seconds to incorporate. Add 2 cups of flour. Mix on low and increasing to medium low for one minute to combine, stopping the mixer and scrape sides of bowl with spatula. Add a heaping 1 cup of flour. Slowly increase heat to medium. The dough should ball up around the hook and pull away from the sides of the bowl. If there is a large pool of dough on the sides of the bowl, add more flour, a couple tablespoons at a time. The desired dough consistency should be slightly tacky when touched but should not stick to your fingers. At this consistency, it is fine if there is a small pool of dough at the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer down to medium low. Mix for 8 minutes. 

Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute by hand. Place in a large greased bowl cover with a plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 1 to 1 1/2 hour or until it dough doubles in size.

To make the filling
Add water then apple to a medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Cover and cook on medium high for a minute or two, or until the water and juices begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until the apples are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Shake the pan to mix or manually stir a couple times during cooking.

Combine the 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoon water to form a milky slurry. Turn the heat to medium. Stir half of the slurry into the apple mixture. If the juice does not thicken, add a little more slurry. The juices should be thick and non-pourable.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract. Allow to cool.

Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly punch down with fist. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Roughly shape into a long log. Roll to a rectangle 18-inches in length and 1/4-inch thick. 

Brush dough with butter. Avoiding the outer 1/2-inch edges, add: brown sugar, walnuts, and apple filling. Starting at the one of the 18-inch sides, roll dough into a log. Pinch the seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, trim the uneven ends. Cut log into equal 12 sections. Place into a prepared 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Cover loosely and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the buns are lightly browned. Cool slightly prior to adding glaze.

While the buns are in the oven, prepare the glaze. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat. Butter will bubble, foam, and develop a nutty smell about 4 minutes. Stir frequently. Be cautious as there might be a little splashing. When the milk solids turn golden brown, remove from heat. Stir in maple syrup and salt. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add milk. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth and easily spreadable. Add additional milk by the teaspoonful if it is too thick.

Store buns in an airtight container for up to 3 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days. Microwave for about 15 seconds before eating.

Makes 12 buns. 

Recipe Notes:
  1. To create a warm environment for the dough to rise, turn oven on for 1 to 2 minutes, to bring the temperature between 100°-110°F. Shut oven off. Place the dough in the oven to rise.
  2. If the glaze sits out a little too long and becomes too thick to spread onto the buns, microwave for a few seconds to warm. It should thin out.

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Apple Butter Cookies

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  1. This would totally start my day out right! What a great idea to add apple to a classic! (And I've occasionally thought a food truck would be cool too ;-) )

    1. I can't have enough of apple these days! My kids are on board with the idea of food truck, but it's too much of a gamble for the hubs who likes to play it safe. But maybe one of these days....