A tasty twist on classic cinnamon rolls

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

After making the cheesecake and cupcakes the other day, I had a container full of leftover pumpkin. I kept trying to think what I could do with it, I was thinking about making Pumpkin Smash smoothies but that called for soy milk and vanilla frozen yogurt, which I didn't have on hand. Then I remembered that a few weeks back I had wanted to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls and that they just happened to call for the amount of pumpkin I had left over. So I adapted a recipe and gave them a shot. Both Stephen and his friend Eric agreed that although they didn't scream pumpkin, the subtlety was nice.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 c. warm water
1 package (or 2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast (at room temp)
1/3 c. whole or 2% milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 c. solid-pack pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. butter, melted
3 1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4. c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/3 c. (1 stick) butter
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2-3 tbsp. solid-pack pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter (optional)

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. whole or 2% milk
2-3 c. powdered sugar

1. Stir yeast into water in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before stirring to combine (it should get thicker and begin to bubble). Stir in the milk, egg, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 c. flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. Beat vigorously with paddle attachment for 2 minutes.
2. Attach dough hook to mixer. Slowly add the rest of the flour, a little at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead.
3. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough into a greased bowl (olive oil is fine), turn the dough to coat the entire ball. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, approximately 1 hour. If the dough is has not doubled by then, allow it to rise for an additional half hour.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Set aside.
5. Transfer the risen dough to a floured surface and roll into a 16"x 12" rectangle. Spread butter and pumpkin over dough. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Roll into log and cut into 15 slices using a sharp knife or dental floss. Place slices into a 9x13 or two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake the for 20-25 minutes or until rolls are golden brown (don't worry if the filling rises and bubbles, it will go down once the rolls have been removed from the oven).
7. While rolls are baking, prepare frosting by beating the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, salt and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl until smooth. Add the powdered sugar one half cup at a time. If the mixture becomes too thick, slowly add milk one half tablespoon at a time.
8. Remove rolls from oven and let cool on wire rack. Frost 5-10 minutes after removal.
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour and bakedbree | Makes approximately 12-16 rolls


  1. I would like to tell you I made the Cream cheese frosting and I loved it. I also gave you credit on my own blog.Thank You!

  2. I am making these right now, I am very excited, I never attempted to make any kind of cinnamon roles before! :-)

  3. Just found this on Pinterest you are amazing super talented excited to follow you on Twitter and GFC!

  4. can you make these and let them rise overnight and then cook them in the morning? Just trying to figure out how to make these without having to wake up at 5am for the rising process!

    1. I've never tried letting it rise overnight, but I would assume that it would do just fine in the refrigerator. I know when I make pizza dough I let it rise first and then store the leftover dough in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. When I'm ready to use it I let it stand for 30 minutes on the counter before rolling it out. Maybe that would work?

    2. Did you try doing this the night before? I also want to try these but do not want to get up at 5 in the morning:)

    3. I just tried them doing the night before thing. I made the dough, let it rise the first time, made the actual rolls, put them in a 9x13 and then covered it in the fridge overnight. I took them out and put them in the oven on the 'warm' setting until they had doubled - it took about an hour - then turned the oven on 375 and baked them. They look beautiful. I think they turned out fantastically. I am taking them to a Bible study this morning, hopefully everyone else thinks so, too!

  5. For quick and easy rolls, I will use crescent rolls as my base.

  6. Oh my gosh, I've been totally trying to figure out how to put pumpkin IN the roll. THANK YOU. :)

  7. This looks soooooooooooooooo good!
    I love working with yeast, but I've never tried pumpkin rolls
    This is something I just have to try!
    I'm pinning it.
    Thanks so much for sharing

  8. I made these over the weekend, and they were a HUGE hit. A perfect recipe to kick off "pumpkin season." I want to thank you for sharing it, and I look forward to following your future posts!

    1. Thanks for giving it a try! I'm glad it was such a hit!

  9. Found this recipe on pinterest. I made them tonight and they were sooooo good! Definitely going in the family favorites recipe box. Thank you for sharing! Yummmmmm!!

    1. Thanks Dina! I'm happy to hear that you liked them!

  10. Do you store left overs in the fridge or can you leave them out?

    1. You can store them at room temperature for 2-3 days, but if you prefer, you can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days.


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