Wake up to pumpkin cinnamon rolls on chilly fall mornings. Made with pumpkin in the dough and filled with a gooey pumpkin spiced cinnamon swirl, they’re topped with a generous drizzle of maple cream cheese icing. This is a great make-ahead breakfast treat– see my overnight instructions in the full recipe below.
These aren’t your classic cinnamon rolls with pumpkin spice in the filling, these are pumpkin cinnamon rolls with real pumpkin puree IN the dough! These incredibly ooey gooey cinnamon rolls might be my favorite breakfast indulgence– ever. Unraveling each doughy pumpkin coil and tasting the melty pumpkin spices inside is my definition of “autumn heaven.”
Why You’ll Love These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Soft and fluffy
- Real pumpkin in the yeasted dough
- Filled with warm and cozy fall spices
- Topped with maple cream cheese icing
- Perfect for crisp fall mornings
- Total comfort food
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough
Before we walk through each individual step in this pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe, let’s talk about the dough. We start with a rich, homemade dough, and I use the same base recipe when making apple cinnamon rolls and maple cinnamon rolls. You’ll be surprised how quickly the dough comes together– you can even get started on the dough the night before! I do this all the time when I make overnight cinnamon rolls and include overnight instructions in the recipe below.
This is a rich dough, which means that it’s prepared with fat like milk, butter, and eggs. Rich doughs make soft breads such as monkey bread and giant cinnamon roll cake. Lean doughs, on the other hand, are made without much fat and produce crusty bread such as artisan bread, bagels, and pizza dough.
You need 9 ingredients for pumpkin cinnamon roll dough:
- Milk: Liquid activates the yeast. Nondairy or low fat milks are fine, but whole milk produces phenomenal flavor and texture.
- Butter: Butter promises a flavorful dough.
- Pumpkin: Pumpkin puree adds real pumpkin flavor and lots of moisture for incredibly soft rolls.
- Sugar: We use brown sugar for deeper flavor. Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
- Nutmeg: A pinch of ground nutmeg enhances the pumpkin flavor and adds a little something extra to these rolls.
- Salt: You can’t make flavorful bread without salt!
- Egg: 1 egg provides structure and flavor.
- Yeast: You can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. I recommend Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast, which is an instant yeast blended with natural dough improvers.
- Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the dough.
Baking with Yeast Guide
Overview: How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Make the dough. Warm the milk and butter together until the butter is *just* melted. In another bowl, beat the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt together. Add the warmed milk/butter and beat until combined, then add the egg and yeast. Add 1 cup of flour and mix for 1 minute. Add 1 and 1/4 cups more flour and beat for 1 more minute. The dough will be very soft. Place the dough into a greased bowl and turn the dough around in the bowl so all sides of the dough are coated. Cover the dough and let it rise.
- Knead the dough. Gently punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times so it is smooth. Knead in a little more flour if it’s too sticky.
- Make the filling. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices.
- Add the filling & slice into rolls. Roll the dough out into a 18×10 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter and filling evenly on top. Roll it up tightly and use a sharp knife to cut into 11-12 pieces. Arrange rolls into a greased 9-inch or 11×7 inch pan.
- Let the rolls rise.
- Bake. These rolls take about 22-28 minutes to bake, or until golden brown. Cover them with aluminum foil after 15 minutes to prevent browning.
- Make & drizzle the icing. Beat the icing ingredients together. Drizzle onto warm cinnamon rolls.
Toppings for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
I love topping these cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese icing– just 4 ingredients: cream cheese, maple syrup, milk, and some confectioners’ sugar. So simple yet so good!Print
Soft pumpkin cinnamon rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing.
- 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)
- 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
- 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. 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 2/3 cups more flour and beat for 1 more minute. 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. *If you do not have a stand-mixer, mix the dough together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.*
- Cover dough 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: Rising at room temperature is usually fine, but on a particularly cold day, heat your oven to 150°F (66°C). Turn the oven off, place the dough inside, and keep the door slightly ajar. This will be a warm environment for your dough to rise. After about 30 minutes, close the oven door to trap the air inside with the rising dough. When it’s doubled in size, remove from the oven.)
- 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 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 11-12 pieces, about 1.5 inches each. Arrange rolls into a greased 9-inch or 11×7 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 Instructions: Prepare the rolls through step 4. Instead of allowing the cut rolls to rise in a warm environment in step 5, 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.
- Milk: For softest rolls and richest icing, I suggest a milk with fat in it, such as 2% or whole milk.
- Yeast: If using active dry yeast, not an instant, your rise times may be a little longer.
- Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
Keywords: pumpkin cinnamon rolls