When fall rolls around, there seems to be no shortage of pumpkin-flavored recipes. From coffee to desserts to even main courses and sides, pumpkin shows up everywhere on the table this time of year. Some of these recipes, unfortunately, seem to be lacking in subtlety of flavor. Many are overly heavy on spice, sweetness, and the pumpkin itself. Thankfully, this cinnamon roll recipe is quite unlike those mentioned. The amount of pumpkin is perfectly balanced, the dough soft but not too sweet, and the maple cream cheese frosting a perfect complement.
Because the dough is handmade, the process proves a little more labor-intensive, but the results are well worth it. My favorite trick is to use a string to cut the rolled log so the individual pieces stay nice and round when rising. Don’t forget to slightly under-bake them as that leaves the center perfectly soft. The rolls can be made ahead, left in the refrigerator overnight, and baked the following morning, so they’re perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or brunch. Just make sure to enjoy them slightly warm, as that puts them at their best advantage. The maple in the frosting is a far more subtle nod to fall than pie flavoring, so ultimately, this recipe is perfect if you’re tired of all the pumpkin spice but still want to eat something that reminds you of autumn. Try these out the next time you have an itch to bake and are craving something seasonal!Print
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Time: 2 hours 45 minutes (45 minutes active)
Makes 12 cinnamon rolls
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- ¾ cup milk ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 4 cups bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter, at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- Warm milk slightly in the microwave until it is the temperature of warm bath water. Place the warm milk and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir pumpkin puree, room temperature egg, and melted butter, mixing until smooth and well combined and creamy.
- Stir in bread flour and salt until dough forms. Kneed the dough with your hands and add more flour if needed until a smooth, elastic ball forms.
- Transfer the dough ball to a large, greased bowl, then cover with a warm towel. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Once the dough has doubled, transfer it to a well-floured surface and roll it out into a 14×16-inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over the dough evenly.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the buttered dough.
- Roll the dough tightly, beginning from the shorter side, and position it with the seam facing downward, ensuring a secure seal along the edges. Next, slice it into 1-inch segments using a piece of string, pulling it taut in a loop for a clean cut. This process should yield 12 rolls. To maintain uniform roll sizes, you may opt to score the dough with a knife before cutting.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9×13-inch baking pan that’s been lined with parchment paper to catch any potential filling overflow. Cover them with a warm towel and allow the rolls to undergo a second rise for approximately 30 minutes, all the while preheating your oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the cinnamon rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. It’s best to slightly under-bake them to maintain a soft center, hence the preference for just a slight golden brown appearance. Let them cool for 10 minutes before applying the frosting.
- For the frosting: Take a medium bowl and use an electric beater to blend cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt until the mixture is smooth. Spread over the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and serve! Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon for garnish and savor them while they’re still warm!