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

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.
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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 11-12 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.
  4. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

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

220 Comments

  1. Just made these and they’re amazing! I would prefer the pumpkin flavor was a little stronger but they were good all the same. Dough is sooooo sticky! Came out amazing though…love them.

  2. How would you recommend mixing the dough if you don’t have a mixer with a paddle attachment? Just with a spoon or hands? I have a hand mixer with the little beaters too…would that work? Going to make these when my fiancé comes to visit me this weekend! He LOVES cinnamon rolls and pumpkin things, so this sounds like the perfect combination for fall!! 

    1. She means pumpkin puree, you can buy this in a can. Or, you cut open a pie pumpkin, scrape out the string and seeds, bake until tender, scrape pulp out of skin and puree in a food processor.

  3. Why does your ingredients list say to use 2 and 2/3 cups (335g) all-purpose flour; but your recipe states to put a total of 2 1/4 cups of flour into the dough? I’m a little confused. Thanks!!

  4. Hi Sally! My brother in law is lactose intolerant, so do you think I can use soy or almond milk? Also, can this recipe be doubled? I like baking extras to fill my freezer

  5. As I am not the only one who found this confusing- I suggest changing the recipe here to “2 1/4 cups flour, more if needed”. I just added the full amount written in the ingredient list and managed to save it at the last minute and dump excess flour out. So I hope these turn out ok.

  6. Hi Sally,

    Do you think these could be made in the slow cooker? I’ve been wanting to try your other recipe for slow cooker cinnamon rolls, but love the idea of pumpkin ones!

      1. Sally- I was wondering the same thing! I just made your slow cooker rolls a week or two ago, and was wondering about modifying these for the slow cooker. Would we follow the same instructions from the slow cooker recipe, just using the ingredients list from this recipe? I’m particularly curious about cook time.

  7. Sally, I’m very confused. I’ve made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls twice before, they are so delicious. However, i made your pumpkin pie to have today as it’s Canadian thanksgiving and have leftover pumpkin purée so I wanted to make these again with what’s left but I swear the last two times I made these, when I read the recipe you recommended bread flour for the softest rolls but now the recipe says all purpose? Am I going crazy or did you change it? Like I swear you called for bread flour! 

    1. Hi Stephanie! I’ve never made cinnamon rolls with bread flour before. I only use it to make bread and sometimes bagels. Are you thinking of a different recipe online? It wasn’t mine!

      1. It’s definitely Ambitious Kitchen she’s thinking of haha, I know this because it’s my go to recipe for classic cinnamon rolls! 🙂

  8. Hi Sally, do you think you could leave these in the fridge for 2 nights? For example, prepare everything Thursday night but take out to bake Saturday morning?
    Let me know if you can 🙂 Thanks!

  9. I did the overnight rise and made these this morning, they are amazing! I also used homemade pumpkin purée rather than the canned. Came out lovely! 

  10. Thanks for sharing the receipe , Sally. I used homemade pumpkin puree.   I made this yesterday morning n the rolls are still soft this morning.  Great receipe!

  11. Hi Sally,

    I love all your recipes. Would love to try this recipe for a breakfast get together. Am I correct in stating that rolls should be baked then frozen? What is your recommendation on defrosting the frozen rolls?

    Thank you!
    Reshma

    1. Hi Reshma! I suggest freezing the baked rolls, yes. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter, then bake at 350°F (177°C) until warmed throughout, about 15 minutes.

  12. These look and sound amazing!! I know cinnamon rolls aren’t exactly a health food (ha!) but this recipe has a lot more sugar than I expected, with it being in the dough, in the filling,and inthe frosting. If I leave the sugar out of the dough, or use less sugar in both the dough and the filling, will these still bake up the same or will it alter the texture or anything?

    1. Hi Erin! You can slightly reduce the sugar in each component, but I don’t recommend leaving the sugar out of the dough completely. The yeast needs it.

  13. Could I bake these in a glass pan if I turned the oven temperature down 25 degrees? If I split one batch into two 8 x 8″ glass pans, do I need to adjust the baking time? (I need to take 2 pans of rolls to church this coming Sunday)

    1. Hi Nancy! I bake these pumpkin cinnamon rolls in glass pans at the instructed oven temperature. The bake time will be similar, if not exactly the same, if you split the recipe in 2 pans.

  14. Hey, this is a really great recipe! However, after reading the reviews I made some changes. For the filling, I reduced the softened butter and added some extra pumpkin puree. That may be enough for some, but during autumn I basically bleed pumpkin puree. So for the dough I made a tangzhong with 2-3 tbs of pumpkin puree, 5 tbs of flour, and a scant 1/2 cup of whole milk. I then added some cinnamon to the dry ingredients, as well as a handful of nonfat dry milk. I had to add some extra flour while kneading to further compensate for added moisture, and added a small amount of pumpkin puree to the icing. The extra work was worth it! These cinnamon rolls are teeming with pumpkin flavor!

  15. When ever i make my cinnamon rolls i always use Bread flour that is the only kind of flour i use. They are so tender they always turn out like pillows.

  16. Hi Sally,

    I made this pumpkin roll today. It was delicious but I wish it was a bit more fluffier. (I’m sure I didn’t have a good skill to make this!) My questions is what would be the outcome if I use bread flour instead of all purpose flour? Please let me know your advice.
    Thank you,
    Akiko

  17. This sounds delicious! I don’t have any allspice. Can I substitute with a different spice or use pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices listed in the recipe for the filling?

    1. Hi Jessica! I’m happy to help. You can skip the nutmeg, cloves, and allspice and use 1 and 1/4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead.

  18. If I made these rolls on Saturday morning and put them in the fridge until Sunday morning, would that be ok? Or is the 14 hours a firm number?

  19. Just took them out of the oven, all house smells soo good, they are so fluffy and delicious, thanks for recipes!!!

  20. After baking & cooling these, would they keep fresh for more than 1 day if put in an airtight container l.p. & then put in the refrigerator?

    1. Hi Mary, These rolls taste best served on the same day, though they remain fresh for one day covered tightly at room temperature.

  21. In step three, I think there’s a typo. It says that this recipe makes 101-12 cinnamon rolls. Is it 10-12 or is it 11-12? Does anyone know?

  22. Last year for my birthday I made your apple cinnamon rolls, and this year I made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls and oh my! They are absolutely delicious! I forgot to buy cream cheese for the icing, but I just mixed maple syrup, powdered sugar and milk and it still was fantastic! A really great recipe! My problem for next year’s birthday breakfast: these pumpkin cinnamon rolls or your apple cinnamon rolls?

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