Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing.
Photos updated in 2016.
I have gotten so many requests for pumpkin cinnamon rolls this year. I just love the way you all think. Pure geniuses, I tell ya. It was only a matter of time before I dove into the world of yeasted pumpkin dough. That’s right, pumpkin IN the dough. And I am so thankful I took the plunge.
These incredibly gooey cinnamon rolls have to be my favorite breakfast indulgence… ever. Unraveling each doughy pumpkin coil and tasting the melty pumpkin spices inside is my definition of “autumn heaven.” Look that phrase up in the dictionary; a picture of THESE rolls will be shown.
Drenching today’s glorious pumpkin pastries is a homemade maple cream cheese glaze. I love maple and pumpkin together and am dying to make a batch of pumpkin pancakes just so I can drown them in maple syrup. Total comfort food, am I right?
I made today’s spiced-pumpkin rolls late yesterday morning so I could get some good pictures of them in the afternoon light. I tasted one and vowed to save the rest for breakfast today. But I couldn’t hold off! I had a pumpkin cinnamon roll for dinner. With a salad. Life’s all about balance, right?
Here are a couple main steps. After preparing the dough and allowing it to rise, you’ll roll it all up then cut into rolls. Line them up in a pan and allow them to rise once again.
Honestly, don’t skip that second rise! Look at the difference:
They’re huge! And oh-so-fluffy.
Bake until golden brown. The brown sugar cinnamon filling paired with the pumpkin dough smells divine!!
The pumpkin cinnamon rolls taste best when they are warm. The gooey filling will get all over your fingers. The sticky maple cream cheese glaze will melt into every crevice. The soft insides of the pumpkin dough will make you wish it was pumpkin season all year (in my world, it is). I’m on a total pumpkin binge right now and this is only the beginning of Sally’s 2013 Pumpkin Madness. Fellow Baltimorians: if pumpkin is sold out of your grocery store, I am likely the culprit…!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/3 cup (80ml) milk1
- 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (120g) canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard package) instant yeast2
- 2 and 2/3 cups (335g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 6 Tablespoons (86g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Maple Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz (114g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) milk1
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Make the dough: warm the milk and butter together over the stove or in the microwave. Warm the two together until the butter is *just* melted. A few butter specks is OK. You want the mixture lukewarm (105-115F degrees), not scorching hot. Set aside. Using your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt together on medium speed. Add the warmed milk/butter and beat until combined, then beat in the egg and yeast. With the mixer running on low speed, add 1 cup of flour. Mix for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently. Add 1 and 1/4 cups more flour and beat for 1 more minute. The dough will be very soft. Place dough into a greased bowl (a bit of olive oil or nonstick spray to grease works). Turn the dough around in the bowl so all sides of the dough are coated. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free environment until doubled in size. This will take about 1 - 1.5 hours. Here's what I do: turn the oven on to 250°F (121°C). Turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment. *If you do not have a stand-mixer, use a hand mixer or mix by hand.
- Gently punch the dough down to deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times so it is smooth. If it is too sticky, knead in a little more flour.
- Add the filling: Roll the dough out into a 18x10 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter evenly on top. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices into a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the top. Roll it up tightly. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 101-12 pieces, about 1.5 inches each. Arrange rolls into a greased 9-inch or 11x7 inch pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise again in a warm, draft-free environment until doubled in size. This takes about 1 hour (or use my overnight option, detailed below).
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Bake the rolls for 22-28 minutes, covering with aluminum foil at the 15 minute mark to prevent heavy browning. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the icing.
- Make the icing: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl on medium speed until smooth. Add the maple syrup and milk and beat on high until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat on medium speed until creamy. Drizzle over warm cinnamon rolls. Rolls taste best served on the same day, though they remain fresh for one day covered tightly at room temperature. Unglazed rolls freeze well up to 2 months.
Overnight: Prepare the rolls through step 3. Instead of allowing the cut rolls to rise in a warm environment in step 4, place the pan into the fridge and allow the rolls to rest for up to 14 hours before baking. When it’s time to bake the next day, allow the rolls to come up to room temperature and rise for 1 hour on the counter, or until almost doubled in size. Then bake as directed.
- For the milk: For softest rolls and richest icing, I suggest a milk with fat in it, such as 2% or whole milk.
- If using active dry yeast, not an instant, your rise times may be a little longer.
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