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

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 11-12 rolls
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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


Ingredients

Pumpkin Dough

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk*
  • 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 ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard package) instant yeast*
  • 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) milk*
  • 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 

Instructions

  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°F (41°C)-115°F (46°C)), 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 18×10 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 11×7 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.

Notes

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

Keywords: pumpkin cinnamon rolls

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

213 Comments

    1. Hi Julie! I did not have luck using almond milk for these rolls and my easy cinnamon rolls (from which this dough was adapted). I always urge readers with a lactose intolerance to search for a vegan or soy milk based yeast dough recipe to achieve the best results (fluffy, soft texture).

      1. thanks so much! so, if i bake the rolls with a vegan based yeast dough and follow your directions, they should turn out?

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes for rolls.. I have tried two so far and they turned out amazing.. Now I have a cinnamon roll recipe my husband loves! Anyways… I have seen you use what I assume is a pastry mat on several of these recipes to roll out your dough. I was wondering where I could find one similar to yours?

  2. Sally they’re gorgeous! I tested and retested pumpkin cinn roll recipes when I was writing my book and finally settled on one I loved – I can’t remember what I did….need to go re-read my manuscript 🙂 Yours are gorgeous!

    What you said ‘Because of pumpkin’s dense nature, the rolls aren’t as pillowy..” Yes, I found this to be true of any yeast dough I made with pumpkin. Your pretzel recipe recently where you didnt actually put puree into the dough but relied on the spices/praline instead is a smart move for a truly lighter dough. I just couldn’t fully overcome it either. And boy, did I try!

    Pinned!

    1. Pumpkin is just so finicky to work with, especially when yeast is involved as you know. I made two batches of these rolls, altering the pumpkin and milk and butter slightly and this recipe was the true winner. 3/4 cup was just the right amount of pumpkin. I bet your rolls are incredible. Thank you so much for pinning!

  3. Gorgeous pumpkin cinnamon rolls, girl! I’m working on a pumpkin roll recipe, too. But, it’s totally different. Pumpkin can definitely be a challenge…either from the dense pulp or with the moisture content (as is the case with cookies). So happy you nailed it! Thanks for sharing, Sally. Will be pinning everywhere! xo

    1. Stacy, I agree. Pumpkin is SO challenging to work with sometimes. Especially with baked goods like cookies and yeasted dough recipes. Much easier and more forgiving with muffins, quick breads, and such. Thank for pinning!

  4. Girl, you’re making my mouth water! I’d totally have one (or three) of these for dinner tonight… they look scrumptious!! I definitely have to start baking with pumpkin soon, because I have never tried ((it’s not popular where I live)) and you make it look awesome ;D

    1. These pumpkin cinnamon rolls make an EXCELLENT dinner, I can speak from experience! I hope you try a few baked pumpkin recipes, Consuelo!

  5. I have to work Thanksgiving night; these might just be in order for breakfast that morning! They look so soft and scrumptious! I love that the pumpkin is actually in the dough, not just spread out on top of the dough like most pumpkin cinnamon rolls. (Although that’s always wonderful too!)

    1. I agree! This is actually my first time working with pumpkin in a yeasted dough. Well, I had to make a couple batches to experiment. I’m certainly glad it was a success!

  6. I do want to reach right through the screen!! I can’t get over how amazing these look!! You can see how soft they are, and I love how much filling is in there! Also I love your dinner of salad and cinnamon rolls – I had a green juice and a brownie for lunch yesterday! Sometimes you just need to do that…

  7. Sally, I love you for loving pumpkin even more than I do. 😀 Every time I read you saying it is pumpkin season all year round I regret living in Germany – where there is no canned pumpkin to be bought. Absolutely none! I’ll go back to making pumpkin puree and freezing it now.

    1. Haha Obsti! Yes, I have a strong, strong love for pumpkin. And I’m so sorry you don’t have easy access to it! I usually bake with the canned stuff, but homemade is certainly tasty.

  8. Sally, these look AMAZING!!! I def want to reach through the screen and grab one 🙂 Just wanted to share a tip I learned from some other smart blogger–I’ve tried that trick of preheating my oven, turning it off and putting a bowl of dough inside to rise. But I’ve also made the mistake (twice) of later preheating the oven and forgetting the bowl + dough were inside! My two favorite bowls = melted. Ugh. This other blogger mentioned putting her bowl of dough inside the microwave with another bowl of hot water, which helps create warmth inside the space. Works like a charm and no fear of melting bowls! 🙂

    1. Erika, I have almost done that before! Luckily my oven light had been on so I saw the bowl of dough still in there. But that idea for the microwave and hot water – excellent! So helpful! Thank you. 🙂

      1. What also works for me is boiling water in the microwave, removing the boiled water then placing the bowl with the dough in. Once the door is closed it remains warm enough.

  9. These look fantastic, Sally! I can’t wait to try these — especially topped with the maple cream cheese glaze. Maple and pumpkin just go so perfectly together! I’m a little sad we used the last of our pumpkin last night for dinner (made a savory pumpkin bread pudding) or else I’d totally be making these right now!

    1. Sounds like you need to go grab some more pumpkin Jamie! I bet that bread pudding was delicious. I love cooking/baking savory items with pumpkin.

  10. Sally, your cinnamon-roll recipes are always some of my favorites! All your recipes are beautiful and look delicious, but I absolutely love your spiral pictures whenever you do rolls! 😀 They are so gorgeous, and I am so amazed by the photographs capturing the cinnamon on the inside of the roll when you peel (or whatever 😉 ) them. Thanks for all the process shots! You do such great work. 🙂

    1. Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite things to shoot, Caley! But boy these bright orange rolls were tough – they looked SO bright in photos, but not in real life – so I had to tone them down. I’m happy that you appreciate my little in-process photos every now and then. I’m working on that! Thanks for the sweet comments. 😉

  11. Sally! What is step four?! If I need to make these overnight? I am a little confused!
    I ADORE you and your recipes and can’t wait to get the book(:

    1. Yep! That is step 4. Cover the sliced rolls tightly and allow them to rise at room temperature overnight, then bake in the morning. Enjoy, Caitlin! Happy you’re excited about my book!

  12. You just combined my absolute favorite things all in one: pumpkin, cinnamon rolls, and maple. Those pictures made my mouth water…I will be making them very soon!

  13. Sally, if I was not knee deep in my own recipe development I would SO be making these tomorrow! Unfortunately, I am behind a bit do to some photos issues, my light is being so weird, I just cant figure it out! UGH! So it has been crazy in the kitchen the last week, but these are on my list! The glaze, the rolls, the spices? LOVE them all! Gorgeous!

    1. Oh dear! I hope things get a little easier for you Tieghan. I know how stressful photo shoots can be. They take the most time for me. I am so particular about the photos and I know you must be too. Hopefully it will pass!

  14. I knew these were coming! I’ve been on a cinnamon roll kick lately and my office has been asking when the next round of rolls will be coming! They’ll be happy to test these out Monday morning!

  15. Yum, these look even better than on instagram! 😉 I have a feeling these are amaziiiing. Definitely on my list to make for people. Thanksgiving morning? Perfect. Have a great weekend, Sally!

      1. Ok Sally, you’ve convinced me. I actually bought yeast the other day. Will let you know how things go. Keep the pumpkin recipes coming. There is no such thing as too much pumpkin!

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