Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the next big thing. We're talking about cinnamon rolls, a comforting breakfast icon, under a seasonal light with all the fall spices we love. Soft pumpkin dough is rolled up with warm spices like nutmeg, clove, allspice, and cinnamon. The maple cream cheese icing is the final touch for a baking treat with all the holiday's spirit. Read on to learn some cinnamon roll history, step-by-step photos, and some pro tips.
Hello my friends. With the holiday season upon us, I thought we should revisit a breakfast staple, the cinnamon roll. You'll find plenty of recipes and articles about how to make cinnamon rolls. Still, our contemporary fusion with pumpkin puree turned the popular coiled up treat into a new seasonal classic. Pumpkin spice meets sticky buns for a fall recipe ideal for those chilly mornings.
The secrets behind this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe are, one, the rich pumpkin cinnamon roll dough, and two, the sticky sweet filling. We'll use solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) for the pumpkin cinnamon roll dough, a fair amount of brown sugar, good instant yeast, butter, an egg, and some all-purpose flour. We want a bouncy, airy dough that will lend itself to be rolled up into buns.
The filling for this cinnamon roll recipe is where all the flavors come in. The season's dream team: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and brown sugar come together once again for that awesome pumpkin spice seasoning topping the soft spread butter.
The maple cream cheese icing is not to be understated. It contrasts the spices with some creaminess in every nicely balanced bite. We are using pure maple syrup, and we're using the good stuff, Vermont Maple Syrup, which you can get with 15% off from our gracious food products supplier!
If you've never rolled up your own cinnamon rolls, I guarantee you'll have a blast. They're so hands-on and crafty, especially today's pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Your whole kitchen will smell like the very essence of the season, like Starbucks in the morning, but better.
Before we start, I thought we could pay homage to cinnamon rolls, which, interestingly, have a very long history.
Where do Cinnamon Rolls come from?
Dr. Ronald Wirtz, from the American Institute of Baking (yes, that's a thing), spent quite some time looking for the origin of the famous breakfast sticky buns. The expert followed the spice trade from cinnamon's ancestral home in Sri Lanka to Medieval Europe.
His findings took him to Germany, and eventually to a small Philadelphia suburb called Germantown. Immigrants there baked a treat called "Schnecken," which means "snail" as early as the 1900s. A schnecken was a rolled-out coffee cake covered in sugar, cinnamon, currants, and almonds, covered with melted butter. This recipe goes back to over one hundred years! And don't tell me this doesn’t sound like cinnamon rolls to you. Geoffrey is originally from the Philadelphia area and his aunt has her original "sticky buns" recipe which we'll be bring you here soon too.
Pumpkin bread goes back further in time as it was a Native American staple. Who invented pumpkin cinnamon rolls? That's hard to tell, but I'm proud to say we've done a pretty good job with our own recipe.
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How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Before you start making the pumpkin dough, take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften to room temperature.
Making the Pumpkin Dough
- Warm the milk and butter just until the butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment add the pumpkin puree, nutmeg, brown sugar, and sea salt. Beat at medium speed.
- Add the warm milk-butter mixture, and mix until combined. Then add the egg and instant yeast. Keep beating at low speed. PRO TIP: If you use active dry yeast the rolls may take longer to rise.
- With the stand mixer at low speed add the flour, and mix until combined. The pumpkin dough will be very soft.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and make sure the dough is coated with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the pumpkin dough rise in a warm place.
PRO TIP for raising your dough in a warm place: Turn on the oven light and place the pumpkin dough inside with the door slightly open. I use an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature doesn’t go over 75 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, don’t worry. If you keep the door slightly open, the temperature will not go over 75 degrees.
Knead and Shape the Pumpkin Dough
- After the dough has risen, uncover the bowl and gently punch the dough down to deflate it.
- Turn it onto a lightly oiled surface, and knead with a rolling pin to form a 18x10 rectangle. It took me around 10 minutes to get it to the right shape. The dough will be quite elastic, and it will contract back a few times until you get it to the right shape.
PRO TIP on kneading the dough: I prefer to have an oily surface than flour. With the oily surface your dough will never stick to the surface or the rolling pin.
Add Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Filling & Roll Up the Dough
In a small bowl, mix to combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice.
PRO TIP: You can make the filling while the dough is resting and have it ready for this step.
Spread the softened butter evenly on top of the shaped pumpkin dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar spice mixture all over the top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the shorter side. Follow the picture instructions. Using a sharp knife, cut 11-12 pieces.
Cutting PRO TIP: Measure out the rolls with a measuring tape and mark the dough with a knife. Then, you don’t have to worry about uneven rolls.
In a greased baking dish, arrange the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and leave some space in between. If you see the photo, it looks pretty spacious but after they rise they will be tight. Baking dish size: Anything around 11”-13” length and 7”-8” width.
Letting the Pre-Baked Rolls Rise
- Same day: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place in your kitchen. Set the timer to 1 hour. See PRO TIP above for finding a warm place in your kitchen.
- Overnight: Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight or at least for 14 hours. The next day pull the pumpkin cinnamon rolls out of the refrigerator a least one hour before baking to allow the rolls to come up to room temperature.
Baking and Storing your Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake uncovered for 13 minutes and then cover with aluminum foil for 15 minutes. Total baking time 28 minutes. We cover with tin foil to prevent over browning.
- Storage: The unglazed rolls are freezer friendly up to two months. The icing is not freezer friendly. If you leave it outside on the counter, cover tightly and just for one day.
These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are amazingly fluffy, soft, and delightfully delicious, filled with a gooey cinnamon pumpkin spice swirl, and topped with maple cream cheese glaze. Your family will love this as breakfast during a cozy fall morning, a "hope nobody catches me" snack, and a special autumn dessert. This is real comfort food at its best.
Make the Maple Cream Cheese Icing
- In a glass mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth.
- Add Pure Organic Vermont Maple Syrup and milk. Beat on high until it becomes smooth. PRO TIP: use whole milk for a richer icing and softer roll.
- Add the powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until gets creamy and velvety. Drizzle or spread over the warm pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
The maple cream cheese icing is a joyful, sweet treat with a beautiful combination of creamy, sweet, and tangy taste. You can use it as icing, glaze, or frosting (with a few adjustments😊) on cupcakes, cakes, and cookies.
I couldn't wait for you to try making these pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple cream cheese icing. Did you make this or another recipe? Tag @Spoonabilities on Instagram or add a comment or photo on Pinterest, so we can find you! And we love to hear from you in the comment section below.
Your Recipe Concierge
Check out our most recent Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:
- Pumpkin Bread with Brown Butter, Hazelnuts & Dates
- Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
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