Super soft and fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a perfect fall breakfast! These are topped with a smooth and silky cream cheese frosting.
Is there anything better than a fresh cinnamon roll in the morning? I think not. It had been months (maybe even years – gasp!) since I last baked cinnamon rolls. While I love eating them, I know that they aren’t that healthy. But every once in a while, it’s good to indulge in some cream cheese frosting. Am I right?
During a recent trip to the grocery store, my husband and daughter were unable to find a regular can of pumpkin. Instead, they found a giant can of pumpkin. So that meant that I had to make ALL of the pumpkin things in a short period of time. Since there was a clear lack of cinnamon rolls in the house, I thought that it would be fun to try a pumpkin version of them. So here we are.
The dough itself calls for pumpkin and pumpkin spice. As a result, the pumpkin rolls turned out soft, fluffy and fall-like with the various spices. We served our rolls with a luscious cream cheese frosting on top, and some of us (AHEM) even had some frosting on the side.
Addie fell in love with these rolls since she has a sweet tooth like me. My husband, who isn’t a huge pumpkin OR cinnamon roll fan (yes, apparently that is a thing), said that these were OK. No problem though – more for me!
Husband’s rating: 3.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- ¾ cup milk of choice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup (½ a stick) unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 4 cups bread flour can substitute with all-purpose if needed
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 and ½ Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter room temperature
Cream cheese icing
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- pinch salt
Make the dough
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat up the milk so it is slightly warm. I heated it up for about 45 seconds or so. Pour the milk and the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Alternatively, you can pour it into a large bowl if you're mixing with a hand mixer or by hand.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes to get frothy.
- Add the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter. Stir by hand with a spatula.
- Then add in the flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt with a spatula. Turn the mixer on low and knead until a ball of dough forms, about 2-3 minutes. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth and tacky. It should not be sticky - if it is, add a little bit of flour.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in a well-greased large bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm spot for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Make the filling
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and the ground cinnamon. Set aside.
Shape the rolls
- Once your dough has doubled, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to form a large rectangle, about 14" x 16".
- Spread the softened butter on top of the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border on all sides. Sprinkle the cinnamon/brown sugar filling on top (again, leaving a 1 inch border untouched).
- With the long side of the dough facing you, roll the dough away from you. Roll the dough up as tightly as possible. Make sure you end up with the seam side down.
- Using a sharp knife or a bench cutter, cut the cinnamon rolls into 12 equal parts. You may want to discard about 1 inch of the rolls on either side since there isn't much filling in the end pieces.
- Place the cinnamon rolls in a well-greased 9"x13" baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes.
- At this stage, you can either bake the rolls or put them into a refrigerator overnight (to bake the next day). If you are refrigerating the rolls, make sure you thaw them to room temperature in the morning before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Take the plastic wrap or aluminum foil off of the pan and bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. It's best to slightly underbake them so they are soft and gooey rather than hard as a brick.
Make the frosting
- While the rolls are baking, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, mix the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. If the cream cheese appears too thick, add a splash of maple syrup if desired.
- Allow the rolls to cool slightly before frosting with the cream cheese. If desired, you can sprinkle on additional ground cinnamon on top of the frosting. You may have leftover frosting, which you can serve on the side for anybody that likes the extra frosting. Or you can eat it with a spoon. I'm not judging.