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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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This post first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a perfect fall version of your favorite homemade cinnamon rolls. Made with real pumpkin in the dough, filled with a gooey pumpkin spice cinnamon filling, and topped with a maple cream cheese frosting, these definitely hit the spot on a chilly fall day.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in white dish with hand removing piece

Irresistibly soft and fluffy pumpkin flavored, these cinnamon rolls are easy to make and are a great treat to enjoy. Homemade cinnamon rolls are always a special treat, but extra fun seasonal ones are even more fun! Slightly spiced, and full flavored, your family will adore these!

spatula lifting cinnamon roll from pan

Try these other awesome cinnamon roll recipes:

two plates with pumpkin cinnamon rolls with dish behind

How to make these

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are no different to make than regular homemade cinnamon rolls, except for the addition of the pumpkin puree. For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below:

Make the dough

This is a rich dough made with milk, butter and eggs. The result is a soft, fluffy, and tender dough.

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk for about 45 seconds, until about 110 degrees F. The temperature is important because you don’t want it to be too hot or it could kill the yeast.
  2. Add the warmed milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of the electric mixer and stir gently to combine. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and you can smell the yeast.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter. The mixture should be smooth and creamy.
  4. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the bread flour and salt until a rough dough begins to form.
  5. Place the dough hook on the electric mixer and mix on low speed for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball around the hook. It should be slightly tacky to the touch but not really stick to your fingers. Don’t overmix or your rolls will turn out tough.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled.
pumpkin dough for sweet rolls

Mix the filling

This filling is extra special because it uses pumpkin pie spice (affiliate link) instead of just plain cinnamon. Dark brown sugar also adds to the deep flavor profile.

  1. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the spices until combined. Set aside.
mixing cinnamon roll filling

Assemble the rolls

These rolls assemble just like regular cinnamon rolls. A lot of recipes use melted butter on the dough, but I like to use softened butter because it helps the filling not to ooze out of the rolls so much.

  1. Grease a 9×13 sized baking pan and set aside.
  2. Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and roll out to a rectangle about 14”x 16”, with the longest section running parallel to the counter.
  3. Use your hands to gently spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving about ¼” of the edge. 
  4. Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the softened butter, and use your hands to gently press/rub the spice mixture into the butter. 
  5. Tightly roll the dough up into a spiral, starting with the longest edge closest to you and continuing until the entire dough is rolled up in a tube. 
  6. Gently press the seam to help seal it, and then place it seam side down on the counter.
  7. Use a serrated knife to gently cut off the very ends of the roll on either side (where there might not be as much filling and the dough is uneven). You don’t need to cut off much, just to even the roll up.
  8. Use the serrated knife to segment the roll into 12 equal pieces. I like to use the knife to make a small slice in the middle, and then again to divide each half in half (to create 4 equal sized pieces). You can then divide each fourth into thirds. Now you have guide markers to create 12 equal sized cinnamon rolls.
  9. Use the knife to cleanly cut each piece. Use a sharp, serrated knife and gently slice each piece in one fluid motion so you don’t squash your rolls. 
  10. Place each roll into the prepared baking dish.
  11. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot on the counter. 

*Optional: You can place the cinnamon rolls in the fridge overnight to bake the next day instead of doing the second rise. Place the rolls in the prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap, and immediately place in the fridge. The next day, allow the rolls to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.

assembling cinnamon rolls

Baking

Make sure not to overbake your cinnamon rolls to ensure they are soft and fluffy. If they start to brown too fast, cover them with aluminum foil after 15 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the baking dish.
  3. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown on top.
  4. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.

Frosting

If you want a really pronounced maple flavor in your frosting, add ¼ teaspoon of maple extract in addition 

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and salt until it is smooth and blended.
  2. When the rolls are mostly cool, evenly coat with the frosting.
  3. Enjoy!
baking cinnamon rolls

Questions you might have:

Can I use all purpose flour? You can, but bread flour has a higher protein content, which helps to develop more gluten in the dough, which lightens the cinnamon roll texture and results in soft and fluffy rolls! It’s worth it, trust me!

How to store cinnamon rolls? These cinnamon rolls are best warm and fresh, but they will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can reheat them in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds to reheat and soften as desired.

overhead view of pumpkin cinnamon rolls on plates with pumpkins and dish beside

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

Yield: 12 servings

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

pumpkin cinnamon roll on plate with fork and pumpkins behind

Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a perfect fall version of your favorite homemade cinnamon rolls. Made with real pumpkin in the dough, filled with a gooey pumpkin spice cinnamon filling, and topped with a maple cream cheese frosting, these definitely hit the spot on a chilly fall day.

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

Dough

  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon yeast
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Filling

  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice mix
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Make the dough

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk for about 45 seconds, until about 110 degrees F.
  2. Add the warmed milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of the electric mixer and stir gently to combine. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and you can smell the yeast.
  3. Add in the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter to the yeast mixture and stir until it is smooth and creamy.
  4. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the bread flour and salt until a rough dough begins to form.
  5. Place the dough hook on the electric mixer and mix on low speed for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball around the hook. It should be slightly tacky to the touch but not really stick to your fingers.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Mix the filling

  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar and the spices until combined. Set aside.

Assemble the rolls

  1. Grease a 9x13 sized baking pan and set aside.
  2. Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and roll out to a rectangle about 14”x 16”, with the longest section running parallel to the counter.
  3. Use your hands to gently spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving about ¼” of the edge. You want the dough evenly coated, but be gentle not to smash the dough.
  4. Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the softened butter, and use your hands to gently press/rub the spice mixture into the butter.
  5. Tightly roll the dough up into a spiral, starting with the longest edge closest to you and continuing until the entire dough is rolled up in a tube.
  6. Gently press the seam to help seal it, and then place it seam side down on the counter.
  7. Use a serrated knife to gently cut off the very ends of the roll on either side (where there might not be as much filling and the dough is uneven). You don’t need to cut off much, just to even the roll up.
  8. Use a serrated knife to cleanly cut each piece. Use a sharp, serrated knife and gently slice each piece in one fluid motion so you don’t squash your rolls. I like to pre-measure by making indents before I actually slice.
  9. Place each roll into the prepared baking dish.
  10. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot on the counter.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the baking dish.
  3. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown on top.
  4. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.

Frosting

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and salt until it is smooth and blended.
  2. When the rolls are mostly cool, evenly coat with the frosting.
  3. Enjoy!

Notes

These cinnamon rolls are best warm and fresh, but they will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can reheat them in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds to reheat and soften as desired.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 194mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

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Dana

Thursday 13th of September 2012

I'm definitely going to make these! I'm so excited for autumn too. Yay cardigans!

lena

Thursday 13th of September 2012

hi, thanks for coming by my blog earlier on the cranberry muffins. Very nice to know you and these cinnamon rolls look marvelous, so comforting eating them! i know i got to try making some pumpkin cinnamon rolls too. happy to be your latest follower :)

Hannah Grunzke

Wednesday 12th of September 2012

This looks amazing! Love the use of squash in there :) Bet it's really tasty!

shelley c.

Wednesday 12th of September 2012

Oh. Wow. Pinning now. Making soon. YUM!!!!

[email protected]

Wednesday 12th of September 2012

Yum! I love how these have squash in them! I can't wait for cooler weather to arrive here, I'd love to enjoy one of these wrapped up in a blanket with a cup of coffee. :)

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