Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing.

Photos updated in 2016.

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-6

Honestly, don’t skip that second rise! Look at the difference:

pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls-5

They’re huge! And oh-so-fluffy.

Bake until golden brown. The brown sugar cinnamon filling paired with the pumpkin dough smells divine!!

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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…!

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Dough

  • 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)

Filling

  • 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 

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

Recipe Notes:

  1. For the milk: For softest rolls and richest icing, I suggest a milk with fat in it, such as 2% or whole milk.
  2. If using active dry yeast, not an instant, your rise times may be a little longer.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

184 comments

  1. Did you use your dough hook for this recipe?

  2. Sally, You are my “go-to-gal” now! I never comment online, but I HAD to write and say that you have made me into a cinnamon bun chef! I’m not exaggerating when I say that over the years of my marriage I have tried close to a dozen cinnamon bun recipes and I have always managed to make them flop! They are too hard, or yeasty, or just bland. I had honestly given up on making them, but then I saw your Caramel Apple Cinnamon Bun recipe and decided to try one more time! I can’t tell you the ooo’s and ahh’s I got from my husband! He doesn’t easily hand out those kinds of compliments, but he told me that was the best thing he had ever eaten – it was his new favorite! Now today (since it is Thanksgiving in Canada) I made these pumpkin cinnamon buns, and as my husband bit into one he closed his eyes and smiled a huge smile! Home run again! I hope I can encourage any other ladies out there who are hesitant to try making cinnamon buns, to boldly take the plunge! Sally’s recipes are so well laid out – and the pay-off is huge! Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful tips and secrets and mostly the amazing recipes!

    • Keri, this comment made my night! I am so happy that you’ve learned so much about making cinnamon rolls from my recipes! I had to learn from a lot of mistakes myself. Trust me, I went though my flop recipes just like you. The two recipes you’ve tried so far – these pumpkin cinnamon rolls and the caramel apple – are two of the best in my opinion!

      You are so kind to take the time to leave this comment. Truly, it means a lot to me. Thank you very much Keri! Let me know anything you make next 🙂

  3. These look sooo good sally! I will have to try them!

  4. Hi Sally! Do you think I could use maple sugar (purchased from Trader Joe’s) in the icing instead of syrup? Just curious because I have some in the pantry and need to use it!

  5. Sally, I made these tonight and oh my goodness!!!! You are such a talented baker! They were a huge success as is everything I make of yours! I loved the frosting *sigh* I can NOT thank you enough!

    • Hey Kelly! I am so happy that you enjoyed these cinnamon rolls. I am making them again this weekend! I can’t get enough. Thanks for reporting back!

  6. Hi Sally

    I’m a long time follower of your blog, and more recently your instagram feed. I love the way you bake with love and put a stamp of your personality into everything you make. I get such a clear sense of your love of the changing season, and pumpkin!

    This time of year always makes me feel so much part of a global baking community – as you and other US bloggers are relishing in the autumn (fall) cool change and comfort food galore, here in Australia we are slurping on the first Mango’s of summer and searching out the late season citrus.

    It is interesting the product differences between the States and Australia – some things just don’t exist here. Pretzel M&M’s for one! Also, it is very hard to find pre-made pumpkin puree in Australia. I think I will need to make my own. Do you recommend a particular type of pumpkin for this? Butternut? I can’t wait to give these gorgeous rolls a try.

    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous recipes and photo’s. I can’t wait for your book!

    Sarah

    • Hi Sarah! It is always so nice to hear from Australian readers this time of year. All of the ingredients I’ve been using aren’t exactly summery, so it makes my day to hear from those across the world who aren’t relishing the same flavors that we are in the states. I’m so happy you enjoy my blog, no matter what time of year for either of us!

      For these rolls, I suggest making pumpkin puree from a sugar or pie pumpkin. That will give you the best results.

  7. These look amazing! Pumpkin and cinnamon? Count me in!

  8. Wow! Can I say delicious? These rolls were a delightful combination of pumkiny fall deliciousness and spices tasted like an October morning, yumm! I have to admit that before I put the dough to rise I seriously doubted this recipe but when I pulled out the fluffy dough and it had actually risen, I couldn’t believe it! I used al lpurpose flour and they turned out just fine, also i battled the second-day blues by 30 seconds in the microwave, they were warm, gooy and soft, so devine! What a yummy treat, can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

    • I’m glad these pumpkin cinnamon rolls were a hit, Jaedyn! I’ve made them twice since posting this recipe. Everyone loves them. So fluffy, you are right!

  9. do you think these would be yummy with an apple cinnamon filling?

  10. I thought I was supposed to knead it on a floured surface and then roll it out on a non-floured surface. Whoops!

  11. How does sweet potato sound, still using the same spices ? In Mexico right now, have to bake for a bake sale. For Saturday

  12. Oh, Sally, thanks a lot for your quick response and the info! I really appreciate it 🙂

  13. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe! The rolls were a huge hit with my family. I used bread flour and the overnight method, they turned out perfect!

  14. Hi Sally!
    I’ve baked your Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns a couple times now and my family LOVES them! This time when I baked them they turned out dry and I was so sad! I know it’s not the recipe because like I said, I have made them before and they were melt in your mouth fluffy – yummy! I’ve tried to look through some of your other articles for tips but couldn’t find anything. I was hoping that perhaps this has happened to you and you could give me some hints as to what I did to make them turn out dry…. probably lots of factors, but hopefully you have some of your wonderful wisdom to help me out! I’ll list a few things I did different this time and maybe one will strike you as wrong! I use a convection oven (some other articles say this can be bad). Because of my busy day I proofed them a lot longer both times they rested. Also, my pumpkin puree had been frozen and I thawed it before using it (which changed the texture of the puree). Or maybe I just simply cooked them too long (24 min. in my oven). They looked beautiful, but were a bit dry 🙁 I know it’s an awesome recipe so I will definitely be trying them again, but was just hoping you have learned some tips for these things in all your baking experience! Thank you so much if you have time to answer this with all your busy-ness and the Christmas season!

    • Hey Keri! I am SO glad you love these cinnamon rolls. They are a favorite here – my fiancé doesn’t even like pumpkin and he happily eats these.

      It sounds like a few factors led to this batch being a bit dry. First, make sure you use fresh (not frozen) or canned (not frozen) pumpkin puree. That’s so important! Texture is everything when it comes to yeast doughs and that likely had a lot to do with the changed texture in this batch. And bake time- so important! Maybe a few minutes less next time.

      • Thanks so much for the help! I”m actually trying your raspberry ones next – (mmm, they’ve been tempting me for months) and I will keep all these tips in mind!

  15. Hi Sally!
    i just made these rolls for Christmas yesterday (and got up at 4:30 to make sure they would be ready for my early-riser family 🙂 )But man, it was worth it! These cinnamon rolls were an absolute hit! They turned out perfectly and were soft, gooey, and oh so addicting! Thank you so much for this recipe-I think I’ve finally convinced everyone that homemade cinnamon rolls are so much better than the ones that come in a tube!
    Love your site!

    • Maggie, these cinnamon rolls are SO worth it! So happy you tried them out. And yes, so much better than any of that fake stuff in a tube. 😉 I am so appreciative you reporting back to me about these – thank you!

  16. I made these today, and they were just so freaking delicious 🙂 My family loved them, right after they took a bite they immediately said that they were amazing. It was a hit 🙂

  17. Well, it’s done! They turned out spectacularly rich, soft, incredibly scented, and full to the brim with flavour. Definitely a keeper!
    Thanks again for another fabulous recipe, Sally 🙂
    xx
    PS I’m so glad to see you’re starting to sorting all out with the new home…

    • Thanks Rosa. We are certainly getting settled into the new apartment. You are so kind, I appreciate that! And I’m glad you loved these. Their smell as they bake is almost as good as their taste!

  18. Hi,

    I am going to make these rolls this weekend, but I do have a question: I only have a hand mixer so I don’t think I have the paddle attachment. So what else I can do to mix the dough? I can use the hand mixer but I think it’s too heavy for it to mix?

  19. I love pumpkin and maple together! Thank you Thank you Thank you for doing the maple frosting! I am making these this weekend!

  20. Hi Sally,
    These are yummy! I have a tip from another recipe that makes the overnight version even easier. Put cinnamon rolls straight from refrigerator into a COLD oven then turn on to 350 and bake for same time. Also, cover with foil as you recommend to prevent over browning. The rolls rise while the oven is preheating. Worked so well for me and you don’t have to wait as long in the morning!

  21. I answered my own question … Bread machine worked great and I let the dough rise in there for a while. 🙁

  22. Would the dough work in a bread machine? Thanks!

  23. I’ve made these four times now. Each and every time they’ve come out amazing. I’ve had two people who are self-proclaimed “not a fan of pumpkin” try these and love them, which lets you know what the rest of those who’ve tried them think. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I’ll be making them again and again and again!

  24. These cinnamon rolls are beyond awesome! Made these last night. Had to wait though for a couple of hours for the dough to rise before putting the filling. Did put them in a warmed oven. They came out so soft and fluffy. They’re so addictive, I could finish a whole batch. This is the first recipe of yours that I tried. Will definitely try your other recipes. Thanks heaps!

  25. Hi Sally! I plan to make this for my friends, but I guess these are too many of the. So, I plan to halve the recipe. But, is it okay to halve the recipe? I’m not so sure because it only calls for 1 tbsp of butter in it. Thanks 🙂

  26. I’ve made this a couple of times, and I think it bears mentioning that although you don’t specify in the recipe, it’s really important to use Grade B maple syrup rather than Grade A. The Grade A doesn’t really have much flavor to it.

  27. Hi 
         Sally I just wanted to let you know that I had ran across your recipe for pumkin rolls. Let me tell you something they are the bomb .I will always make this recipe I loved the flavor texture and every thing about it. Thank you for sharing it with every one. 

  28. I just made these …OMGosh they are AMAZING thank you so much for this recipe I will be making these a lot ! 

  29. Hi!  Yeast is very intimidating to me.  Help!  For this recipe, do I need to proof the yeast first? Or do I just toss it in and start beating with the other ingredients? 

  30. hi sally! basically it’s fall and i wanted to try something new because i just bought this awesome pumpkin puree in the store and i’ve never made something with pumpkin mainly because i’m not really fond of them. so i stumbled upon your recipe since it popped up first, and i tried it, fearlessly.. and it came out wonderfully!! i’m 14 years old and i cant thank you enough for coming out with this recipe. the only thing that bugs me is the glaze, which seems too sweet for me, maybe decrease the sugar amount a little bit? Overall, i adore this recipe and everyone must try this!

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