You’ll love these seasonal cinnamon rolls made with pumpkin and filled with spices, brown sugar, and chopped nuts.
There are a few dishes everyone loves. Like, pizza and tacos. And cinnamon rolls. You could probably even argue that cinnamon rolls are the #1 morning treat of choice, especially during this time of year when you want something warm and cozy on a chilly morning.
So how can you possibly make an already beloved treat even better? Mix a little pumpkin purée right into the dough, fill it with plenty of butter, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and chopped pecans, and then frost the rolls with cream cheese icing. Naturally! These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are just what you need this weekend.
- If you have a cold kitchen (like me), place the dough in the oven to rise. Turn the oven on to 350°F for just a few minutes, then turn it off and put the dough inside. DIY proofing oven!
- I used a heavy dose of pumpkin pie spice in the filling to match the canned pumpkin in the dough, but if you don’t have any you can always make your own by combining 4 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Or, you can substitute the full amount for cinnamon if you want a more traditional taste.
- You can use either chopped pecans or chopped walnuts in this recipe.
- If you don’t have a very sharp serrated knife, the best way to slice cinnamon rolls is with unscented floss. Pull the floss underneath the dough, cross the two ends of the floss over the top of the dough and pull them in the opposite direction.
- This recipe uses only some of a can of pumpkin puree. If you’re looking for other ways to use the rest, see my pumpkin cheesecake brownies, pumpkin caramel poke cake, and pumpkin cranberry bundt cake.
baking tip:Make-ahead cinnamon rolls
No one wants to wake up extra early to get cinnamon rolls ready in time for breakfast. The good news is, you can prep them ahead of time!
In the fridge: Prepare as directed and place cut rolls onto the baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the fridge overnight (about 12 hours maximum). While in the fridge, rolls will continue to slowly rise. The next morning, pull them out and let rolls rest at room temperature while the oven preheats. Bake as directed, rolls may need an additional few minutes of baking time.
In the freezer: Cinnamon rolls also freeze well! Freeze unbaked cut rolls on a lined sheet pan until frozen, then transfer to a heavy-duty plastic bag and freeze for several months. When ready to bake, remove from freezer and place on lined sheet pan. Let thaw completely at room temperature, then bake as directed.
You can also freeze baked, un-iced cinnamon rolls. Double wrap with foil or plastic wrap and freeze for several months. Remove from freezer and thaw. Warm rolls wrapped in foil in a 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
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Note: This recipe was created originally for Go Bold With Butter. You can find the original post here.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 honey
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 envelope active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup butter , melted
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- 8 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar , sifted
- 2 tablespoons butter , melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the rolls:
- Warm the honey, butter, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes, till about 120-130°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, or in a large bowl if mixing by hand, add 3 cups of the flour, active dry yeast, and salt.
- Add the milk mixture, eggs, and pumpkin puree and combine to form a wet dough.
- Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough pulls away from the bowl and it’s smooth and elastic. You may not need all 4 1/2 cups of the flour.
- Cover with plastic and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Gently punch down the dough to release any air bubbles and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a large rectangle about 18x10-inches.
- Spread melted butter over dough and sprinkle with the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, and nuts.
- Starting with one long end, roll up tightly into a log. Using a sharp knife or unscented floss, cut into 12 rolls.
- Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and arrange rolls in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake rolls until golden, 18-20 minutes.
To make the icing:
- Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add powdered sugar, butter and vanilla and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl once or twice.
- Spread icing onto warm rolls.
- Rolls are best enjoyed the day they are baked, but can be stored for 1-2 days at room temperature.