Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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.

overhead image of pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese icing in a glass baking dish

These aren’t just classic cinnamon rolls with pumpkin spice in the filling. Rather, these are pumpkin cinnamon rolls with real pumpkin IN the dough. These ooey gooey cinnamon rolls might be my favorite breakfast indulgence– ever. Unraveling each doughy pumpkin coil and tasting the melty pumpkin spices inside is the definition of fall breakfast heaven.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese icing in a glass baking dish

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 rolls in a glass baking dish before rising

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

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, regular cinnamon rolls, and cinnamon roll cake. Lean doughs, on the other hand, are made without much fat and produce crusty bread such as artisan breadbagels, and pizza dough.

You need 9 ingredients for pumpkin cinnamon roll dough:

  1. Milk: Liquid activates the yeast. Nondairy or low fat milks are fine, but whole milk produces phenomenal flavor and texture.
  2. Butter: Butter promises a flavorful dough.
  3. Pumpkin: Pumpkin puree adds real pumpkin flavor and lots of moisture for incredibly soft rolls.
  4. Sugar: We use brown sugar for deeper flavor. Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
  5. Nutmeg: A pinch of ground nutmeg enhances the pumpkin flavor and adds a little something extra to these rolls.
  6. Salt: You can’t make flavorful bread without salt!
  7. Egg: 1 egg provides structure and flavor.
  8. 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.
  9. Flour: All-purpose flour is the structure of the dough.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish after rising

Overview: How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Make the filling. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices.
  4. 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.
  5. Let the rolls rise.
  6. 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.
  7. Make & drizzle the icing. Beat the icing ingredients together. Drizzle onto warm cinnamon rolls.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish after baking

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

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!

You could also try plain cream cheese icing from my giant cinnamon rolls, maple icing from my maple cinnamon rolls, caramel icing from my apple cinnamon rolls, or vanilla icing.

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pumpkin cinnamon rolls in a glass baking dish

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


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


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)


  • 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 


  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. 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.*
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


  1. 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.
  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.
  4. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: pumpkin cinnamon rolls

pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese icing on a white plate


Comments are closed.

  1. ahhhhh!!! i refer to this season as pumpkin madness too!! 🙂 love it…
    (heres my proof—> http://deliciousbydre.com/pumpkin-spice-glazed-almonds/)

    1. Dre, omg those almonds look incredible!!

  2. I am ALL about the pumpkin cinnamon rolls this year! These look incredible Sally! And I love the maple in the cream cheese glaze!

    1. I know you love pumpkin cinnamon rolls too Ashton! Yours looked dee-lish.

  3. Ari @ Ari's Menu says:

    Pumpkin in the dough + maple cream cheese?! SIGN ME UP!

  4. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says:

    We are on the same cinnamon roll wavepath because I just made some of these a few days ago and boy aren’t they delicious? Yours look wonderful! I can’t wait to make yours and eat away! Breakfast in bed! 🙂

    1. Ummm YES. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls in bed. Pretty sure they would taste better snuggled in bed on a chilly morning!

  5. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner says:

    Oh wow, I’m drooling! Cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite breakfast treats and these are perfect for Fall!

  6. Abbie @ Needs Salt says:

    I knew it would only be a matter of time before you posted a pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe – all your rolls always look so decadent and delicious! I’ve seen many variations of pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and these ones look the best. I’ve never tried them, though.
    That maple cream cheese glaze is GORGEOUS. Again, I want a bowl of it. 🙂 haha!

    1. Abbie you know me too well! I hope you try pumpkin cinnamon rolls one time. They’re simply divine!

  7. YoungMild&Free says:

    Oh. my. gosh. Girl, these look amazing! I’ve been wanting to try making cinnamon roles from scratch for a while now, and this is the perfect time of year for this recipe! Thank you for sharing!


  8. Hi Sally!
    These look amazing, and we are so excited to try this recipe this weekend. My mom is over, and she is asking about making the dough the night before. To make the night before, you let rise the second time, then cover airtight and leave at room temperature – or rise second time and put in fridge, then next morning let the dough return to room temperature before baking? Please let us know…
    Thank you!

    1. Hi Ellie! Yep, place the rolls into your pan, cover tightly and let rise at room temperature overnight. Then bake in the morning. Hope this helps! Enjoy 🙂

  9. Mimi @ Culinary Couture says:

    These look amazzzzing! I love that maple cream cheese glaze! I would TOTALLY have these for dinner 😉

  10. vanillasugarblog says:

    Pumpkin is so hard to get “just right” in these kind of rolls.
    Sally you totally nailed it!

    1. Thank you!

  11. Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen says:

    I do want to reach through the screen!! I have made about 8 pumpkin/maple recipes in the past week and a half and pumpkin cinnamon rolls are on the to do list!! Honestly maple and pumpkin belong together, your cinnamon rolls look absolutely stunning, as per usual!! Love that you had one for dinner and a salad something I would totally do!!

  12. Oh how dreamy 🙂 I am dying to taste these beauties!!

  13. Wow Sally!I DEFINITELY want to reach through the screen

  14. WOW!!! I need these in my life!

  15. I just made a semi-similar recipe, and I’m smitten. I have got to try your version!!

  16. You have captured fall in these cinnamon rolls!!

    1. Oh thank you Marla! 🙂

  17. Every year for Columbus Day weekend I have a group of people over for some Welcome to Fall fun – apple picking, pumpkin carving and LOTS of eating!
    I am going to make these for my post half-marathon snack and breakfast Sunday morning (If any are left after Saturday afternoon!!)

    1. Anne, your Columbus Day celebration weekend sounds like my kind of fun. I love doing special fall activities like that! Good luck in the half marathon! Knowing there’s a pumpkin cinnamon roll waiting for you at the end is awesome motivation!! 😉

      1. Well, I prepped these last night and stuck them in the fridge! They’ve risen even a bit in the cold — about to take them out and let them get to room temp before the fabulous BAKING and ICING steps!!!
        So far they smell delicious — thanks for an easy step back to yeast baking. I haven’t worked with yeast in ages!!

  18. Tamara Coleman says:

    Bring on the pumpkin! 🙂 I’m pumpkin crazed this time of year!

  19. Nina McLachlan says:

    This is my first time on your blog, and I already have a list of things I want to try from here! But first I need to ask, where did you get that awesome mat with all the measurements? It must make rolling things out ridiculously easier!

    1. Hi Nina! So glad you stumbled upon my website. I hope you make a lot of delicious goodies from it. 🙂 I actually linked to that pastry mat in this post. If you read the post and follow the link, you’ll see where I ordered it from. I love it – it makes rolling so much easier!

  20. Hi Sally! I totally want to reach through the screen, so I’ll be making these asap! I’ve meaning to try these rolls and the pumpkin cookies too, but have one technical doubt related to the pumpkin puree. In Spain this is not sold ready-made like in the US, so I’ll be making my own. We’re in pumpkin season, so no problem, there. Should I just bake the pumpkin either in the microwave or in the oven or should it be boiled? Any timings and heat settings recommended? Thanks a bunch, keep up the great work lady, the book is sure going to be awesome! Already pre-ordered it;)

    1. Hi Ana! I have never tried either recipe with pumpkin made from scratch. So I’m not the best to give advice on how to make it 100% homemade. However, I usually refer my readers to this very detailed post from the Pioneer Woman (she’s great). I would read up on how she makes her pumpking puree and then use that in my two recipes. Enjoy! http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2008/10/make-your-own-pumpkin-puree/

      1. Thanks a bunch! The link is great, hopefully will be baking the cookies this afternoon or tomorrow and will let you know hoy it turned out with homemade puree!

  21. I am undecided on whether or not I like pumpkin, but these look absolutely delightful. I do like cinnamon rolls. I may have to bake these and further test my pumpkin palette.

    Beautiful photography as always too! 🙂

    1. Thank you Sarah! I hope you try them.

  22. Emily @ Life on Food says:

    I wanted to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls last fall and never got around to it. This year these are definitely happening.

    1. I hope you enjoy them, Emily! I meant to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls last year too and these were worth the wait!

  23. I usually am a big fan of your recipes…. but I made these twice, and both batches went in the trash 🙁
    The remainder of the pumpkin went into your delicious lightened-up pumpkin bars, which turned out wonderful, as always!

    1. Good morning M! Could you let me know what you didn’t like about the rolls? I would love to work on the recipe so I can improve it for you. I love those lightened up bars!

      1. Hi Sally!
        I am 100% confident you would not have posted the recipe if they turned out the same for you! 🙂
        Just so disappointing to have such poor similar results for both batches.
        Both times, the rolls had very little flavor and were rather dry. The first time, the dough was so sticky and moist that it absorbed every drop of flour it could find – including any I added plus any that was on the board. The results of that batch were extremely dry and cakey (I assume because of the flour it absorbed). The second time I was more cautious to avoid that, so they were slightly better, but still very dry and very bland.
        I am definitely not a real baker, but I have generally had success with your recipes and most others that I follow. I just don’t know what went to wrong for me with these. =(

      2. I appreciate your feedback! I’ve been working on a few changes to the recipe since I woke up this morning. I’m a very determined baker. 🙂 Anyway, I used a few tricks from another sweet roll recipe of mine that produces super soft rolls. I think that you (and my other readers!) will find this updated recipe even better. I think they are much softer and have more flavor. I’m going to add updated photos to the post today as well. I always love getting feedback. Thanks M!

      3. Oh my! You are amazing!!
        I hope you didn’t redo the recipe only because of my feedback, but I’m definitely excited to give it another try soon! The revisions make sense to me; I’ll report back when I give this one a shot.
        I have made your original cinnamon rolls (w/yeast, can’t remember the name), and those were fantastic! Hope these will now fall into that category. 🙂
        ~ Marsha

      4. I had second thoughts about the dough for the past few days. Luckily, I had a free morning and was able to work on improving. You gave me the push to revise the recipe. 🙂 Thank you Marsha!

  24. Katie @ Veggie and the Beast says:

    These are SO beautiful! I love pumpkin in my everything this time of year, so why not cinnamon rolls? They sound like a lovely project for a rainy fall weekend 🙂

    1. “pumpkin in my everything” haha! I love it. I’m the same way.

  25. I can’t wait to make these! One question though. I need to use instant yeast, instead of regular active dry yeast?

    1. Hey Katherine! You may use regular active dry yeast. Your rise times may be a bit longer though. Hope you enjoy!

      1. Would u still ad the non instant active dry Yeast in at the same time? Or would u activate over the warm milk first?

      2. Yes, you can still add it in at the same time as the recipe calls for.

  26. Having never used yeast outside of my bread machine, I was terrified. But, they turned out amazing. I’m not a big maple fan, nor did I have any.. So I just did a little more cream cheese and some pumpkin pie spice.. yum. Although… I didn’t see the note at the bottom until the end.. Only keeps up to one day… hmmm.. I think we can handle that. 😉

    1. Thanks Alisha! I’m so happy you enjoyed these fall cinnamon rolls. A new favorite of mine.

  27. Sally, I just wandered upon your blog a few weeks ago and I have used a few of your cookie recipes (THE chocolate chip, birthday cake and pumpkin chocolate chip) and had great success! I will definitely be buying your cookbook and trying out these babies this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing all of your awesome recipes!! You rock!

    1. I hope you enjoy these cinnamon rolls, Mandalyn! Let me know how they go.

      And I’m happy you found my blog! And that you’re loving my cookie recipes so far. You have chosen some amazing ones to try first. I’m glad you’re excited for my cookbook!

      1. I had some free time last night, so I decided to make your pumpkin cinnamon rolls. They are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!! And, so big, soft, and fluffy. I used pumpkin pie spice instead of nutmeg, cloves and allspice, but other than that, I followed your recipe exactly. Thanks again for creating these!!

      2. I’m glad you made them, Mandalyn. And even more glad that you loved them! 🙂

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

    1. The paddle attachment.

  29. 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!

    1. 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 🙂

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

    1. Let me know how you like them, Kelly!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally