Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – Fluffy cinnamon rolls are made with pumpkin dough filled with brown sugar and cinnamon and then topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
My fall baking is in full swing, y’all! I made these sweet potato biscuits last week, butterscotch pear turnovers a couple weeks ago, and recently perfected my favorite fall pie of all time (not on the blog yet, but coming soon!). I just can’t get enough of fall treats!
The latest fall baking dish was a treat I developed on a whim. I really had no intention of making these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls but I felt a little creative block a few weekends ago and really racked my brain for something new I could make that tasted, looked, and smelled like fall.
And voila! These pumpkin cinnamon rolls were the end result. With lots of pumpkin and spices throughout these rolls, I think you’ll agree that they are just what you need to get you into the fall spirit!
My best cinnamon rolls, yet!
Cinnamon rolls have always been super popular on my blog. It all started with these apple pie cinnamon rolls. They became my family’s favorite (and yours too) so I make them constantly. But sometimes, peeling, dicing, and cooking apples seems like too much so I’ve been making them less frequently.
I’ve made these banana nut cinnamon rolls and they were also a hit, but nothing could replace the apple pie cinnamon rolls. Until now. I made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls and from the first bite, my husband was hooked.
They’re fluffier than any of my previous version and loaded with flavor because of the pumpkin and spices. And the cream cheese icing on top really brings these babies on home (and into my tummy!).
So how did I make them?
How to make these cinnamon rolls
For this recipe, I used a new sweet dough recipe. It is similar to the dough I use for yeast doughnuts but I changed a few things.
First, I replaced some milk with pumpkin puree. I can’t simply add the pumpkin puree to my recipe because the dough will be too wet. So when adding pumpkin puree, I had to remove some milk. I also removed one egg because I don’t need as much fluffiness in cinnamon rolls.
Lastly, I added in pumpkin pie spice, which consists of a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Now the dough is ready for mixing and kneading. After that’s done, set it aside to rise for an hour and a half.
Once the dough has risen, it’s time for rolling. Roll the dough out to a large rectangle. Then, spread the softened butter over it and sprinkle the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg evenly over the top.
Next, it’s time to roll up the dough and form the rolls. If you’re mouth isn’t watering by now, it’s gonna start once you form these little babies.
The rolls need to bake for another 30 minutes to make them nice and fluffy and then they finally get to bake in the oven until golden brown on top.
For the icing, I requested the opinion from the icing expert – my husband. I asked him what kind of icing he thought would go great on these cinnamon rolls. Without hesitation he says “Cream cheese!” So cream cheese icing it was! I used my cream cheese icing recipe from the apple pie cinnamon rolls and added a little ground cinnamon to ensure the icing paired perfectly with the pumpkin.
I like to add icing to the cinnamon rolls after they’ve come out of the oven so that the icing melts into all nooks and crannies of the cinnamon rolls. If you like it to stay on top, make sure the cinnamon rolls cool for at least 20 minutes before icing them.
Tips & Tricks
- I used a glass baking dish to bake these cinnamon rolls. This ensures even baking and no browning on the bottoms before the rolls finish baking. If you only have a metal pan available, reduce the temperature of the oven by 25 degrees.
- To ensure the cinnamon rolls are their fluffiest, knead the dough for the full time and let it rise for the full time. I know how hard it is to be patient and you’ll want to cut corners to get these done faster. But don’t! I promise you all the time and effort will be worth it in the end.
- For evenly sized cinnamon rolls, make sure you spread the filling evenly over the rolled dough.
- For the icing, it’s so important to have room temperature cream cheese and butter to make them easier to whisk together. Also, using room temperature cream cheese ensures you won’t have lumps in the icing.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
For the dough:
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- ⅔ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
For the filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter softened
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the icing:
- 4 tablespoon butter unsalted, softened
- ¼ cup cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon milk
For the dough:
- First we will begin making the dough. Heat up milk in a small sauce pan until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add salt and stir. Let it cool down to lukewarm to the touch. While milk is cooling, proof the yeast by adding the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and stirring together. Let it activate by setting it aside for 10 minutes.
- Once milk is cool, add to a large bowl, along with 3 ½ cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, spices, and yeast mixture. Stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be very thick.
- Place dough on clean counter surface and begin kneading the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it starts to stick to the counter, add a little flour. Once you finish kneading, shape into a ball. Lightly grease another large bowl and place the ball of dough into bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 ½ hours, where it will be double the size. I like to place mine in the microwave to keep it away from any cool draft from the A/C.
- When dough has finished rising, remove cover and, using your fist, punch the dough down and remove from the bowl. Roll out on a well-floured surface into a 18x24 inch rectangle and spread 3 tablespoons of softened butter to the edges. Mix the brown sugar with the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle evenly across the butter.
- Roll the dough into a log, starting from one end to the other, lengthwise, so the log is 24 inches. Using a serrated knife, gently cut 15 slices with a sawing motion (try not to push too hard to pinch the dough), this will give you 15 cinnamon rolls. Quick tip: to make sure the slices are even, cut the log in three even sections, then cut each section into 5 even slices.
- Grease a 9x13 baking pan. Add the cinnamon rolls to the greased pan in three rows of five. The cinnamon rolls will be slightly touching. Cover with a towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Once the cinnamon rolls have risen, bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the tops have turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let them cool while you make the icing.
For the icing:
- Whip butter and cream cheese together with a whisk until smooth. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and milk and whisk together until smooth. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls and spread with a spatula. Serve immediately,
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