Hello everyone! I have such an amazing recipe to share with you today! These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are so good. I scoured the internet looking for a good recipe for pumpkin-infused cinnamon rolls, but none of the recipes had just what I wanted – real pumpkin puree – in them, so I did what any perfectionist baker would do… I made my own recipe. And I have to tell you, these are the real deal.
With autumn in full swing and the mornings getting darker and darker, I wanted to make something to brighten up those depressing mornings when I’m driving to school in the dark. These cinnamon rolls combine the happy taste of autumn pumpkins and the warmth and comfort of a cinnamon roll into a sweet that feels like you’re getting a hug. Seriously. When these babies are right out of the oven, toasty and warm, they’re like little bundles of happiness.
If you’ve never made cinnamon rolls or a bread-type sweet before, have no fear! This is a really basic recipe, and the step-by-step directions should steer you away from making any mistakes. A lot of people are too afraid to make bread or bread-type sweets their whole lives for fear of messing it up; the anxiety around bread making is so strong. But there’s no reason it should be! Even if you do end up with some funky lumps of dough, it’s usually easy to retrace your steps and see where you went wrong. Maybe you didn’t proof the bread in a warm enough environment or for long enough… there is a host of ways to fix any mistakes you might encounter. But please, I beg of you, don’t go out and buy Pillsbury canned crescent roll dough. That stuff has such unnatural chemicals in it, and it will never have that loving, homemade taste that makes sweets really stand out. The only time I use store-bought dough is when I’m using phyllo dough, which is near-impossible to roll out thinly enough by hand. But for these rolls, definitely try to make them yourself – I believe in you!
To top these rolls, I made a simple syrupy glaze out of powdered sugar and milk. Just whisking those ingredients together gives the rolls a nice sheen on top one they’re out of the oven and cooled a little. However, you can definitely make other toppings… in fact, I recommend it! In the variations that I’ve seen of these rolls around the internet, many of the rolls are topped with a cream cheese frosting, which I’m sure would go wonderfully with the pumpkin flavor. That can be made with some butter, cream cheese, a little milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Just put in equal amounts of butter and cream cheese, a splash of vanilla and milk, and enough powdered sugar to make a frosting that holds on its own. Let me know how that goes if you try it!
As you can see from the picture above it, my little puggle, Lulu loves to hang out in the kitchen when I’m baking. Although she looks skeptical in this picture, I can assure you that when I drop a bit of pumpkin, she is the first one to jump and clean it up. Enjoy this recipe… maybe as a Thanksgiving morning breakfast?
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Cook time: 30 minutes
Prep time: 2(ish) hours (this includes proofing the dough)
Yield: 12 rolls
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package instant yeast (2 and 1/4 teaspoons is in one packet)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk (skim, whole, 2%, soy, almond… whatever!)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Set aside 1/2 cup of flour. In a the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 2 and 1/4 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast, and set aside.
- Heat the water, milk, and butter together in the microwave until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot to touch. It should take about 2-3 minutes, but make sure to do it in 30 second intervals. We don’t want any burning!
- Stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and the rest of the flour. Using a dough hook attachment to the mixer, when the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and appears springy, it’s ready.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, just to work through it a little. Put it a lightly bowl, greased lightly with cooking spray, let it rest for about 10 minutes. This prevents it from springing back to a small size when kneading.
- After the 10 minutes of rest, sprinkle flour on your kneading surface, and roll the dough out in a large rectangle (aim for about 14 by 8 inches). Brush the dough evenly with the melted butter, so that the filling sticks.
- Combine the pumpkin puree, milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl, and spread the mixture evenly across the buttered dough. Roll up the dough from the larger side, so that the log of dough is around 14 inches, not the 8 inch side.
- Cut it into 12 rolls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place a kitchen towel or some aluminum foil over the rolls, and let them rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. This could be on top of the oven, or even in the oven. You can let the oven heat to 100*F, turn it off, and then place the rolls in side to proof.
- When they’ve doubled in size, preheat the oven to 375*F. Bake for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned. Pop them out, let them cool, maybe top them with a glaze, and enjoy!