Soft and fluffy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are filled with a gooey cinnamon/pumpkin spice brown sugar filling and topped with a yummy browned butter cream cheese icing! These are a MUST add to your fall baking list!
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Starting with my favourite: Cinnamon Rolls! Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, that is!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
So I can tell you with full confidence that out of all of the cinnamon roll-y type recipes I’ve created and shared, THESE pumpkin cinnamon rolls are my new favourite!!!!
Guys, there’s pumpkin IN THE DOUGH! I didn’t even think it was possible. Honestly, I tested this recipe with 0 confidence because I didn’t think I’d be able to get away with adding pumpkin to the dough without messy consequences.
But I DID IT, so here we are with my new favourite cinnamon roll recipe. Even with the added pumpkin, the dough is still super soft and fluffy and the fall spices just make the gooey cinnamon filling even better!
And don’t even get me started on that silky browned butter cream cheese icing! Okay, I’m getting way ahead of myself.
Fluffy Pumpkin Dough
Alright, let’s break down each component of the recipe, starting with that beautiful pumpkin dough!
The dough starts off just like my other cinnamon roll recipes, by proofing the yeast in warm milk and a tiny bit of sugar. Then to the yeast mixture, we’re gonna add melted butter, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs.
I originally only added 1/3 cup of pumpkin purée to the mixture in fear of messing up the dough’s texture, but I really didn’t want that “barely there” pumpkin flavour so I sucked it up and added another 1/3 cup. And boy am I glad I did! The dough kept its soft texture while giving us all the delicious pumpkin flavour we could ever ask for!
I chose to use brown sugar instead of white sugar in this dough because the brown sugar enhances the pumpkin flavour and fall spices so, so well. For the spices, I added a tablespoon of pumpkin spice, but if you can’t find any, I’ll include the substitute spices and measurements in the notes below the recipe.
I found the dough to be a bit stickier than it usually is, but instead of adding too much flour, I just scooped the dough onto a floured surface and kneaded it a few more times using generously floured hands. I already kneaded the dough in the stand mixer, so the purpose of this was mainly to be able to easily shape the dough into a ball so I can put it in the bowl to rise.
When that dough rises, it is far easier to handle! Gently punch it down, then roll it into a rectangle. It doesn’t have to be an exact rectangle, because Lord knows I can’t roll dough into a perfect rectangle to save my life. Once the dough is rolled out, brush on melted butter (far easier to spread and doesn’t rip the dough) then sprinkle on the filling.
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Filling
For the filling, I replaced some of the cinnamon with a full tablespoon of pumpkin spice. Guys, the flavour in these rolls is unbelievable! The way the spices blend into the gooey brown sugar/cinnamon mixture so when you take a bite, you get to enjoy that classic cinnamon roll flavour with an extra delicious explosion of fall flavours all dancing together on your tongue.
I’m drooling. And my family and neighbours already finished these rolls off so all I can do is fantasize about them now.
Sprinkle on the brown sugar filling, roll tightly, pinch the seams and divide into rolls. I usually divide the log into 8 large rolls, but I thought I’d try making 12 smaller rolls this time around.
Another new thing I tried was to bake the rolls in a round pie dish rather than my usual 9×13 baking dish. I think I prefer the rectangular dish more, because all the rolls are the same size and it’s far easier to take a roll out since it isn’t too crowded.
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Icing
I finally did it! I finally made something using browned butter! I’ve been wanting to make a browned butter recipe for so long now, just to see how it affected basic flavours.
So cream cheese icing is usually sweet and tangy, but when we use browned butter instead of regular softened butter, it adds a nutty, caramelized to the icing!
How to Make Browned Butter Cream Cheese Icing
To make one of the most delicious cream cheese icings ever, start by browning the butter. Add the softened butter to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it’s melted. At this point, it’ll begin to bubble and foam. Let it cook, stirring continuously until it begins to brown.
This can take anywhere between 3-5 minutes or even as long as 8-10 minutes. But since we’re only using 1/4 cup of butter it should take less time, so keep your eyes on it at all times!
I recommend using a saucepan that has a light bottom so you can easily see the colour of the butter. It’ll be harder to tell what colour the butter is if you have a dark bottomed pan, so you’d most likely end up burning it. Once the butter is golden brown, immediately pour it into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process.
Now let’s make the icing!
Some people refrigerate the butter at this point so it could solidify again before they make their frosting, but I want the cream cheese to melt into the butter, so go ahead and combine them together in a mixing bowl. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt.
Just look at those little brown flecks in the icing! So gorgeous, I love it!
Follow my rule of spreading on half of the icing immediately after removing the rolls from the oven, then spreading on the remaining half after they’ve cooled a bit. That first half of frosting will melt into every crevice of the roll, making them even more sinful!
Happy Fall Baking!
Did you make these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls? Let me know how they turned out in the comments below! And don’t forget to leave a rating!
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Let’s get baking!
- 1 cup warm milk (110-115˚F)
- 1 package (2 and 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 - 4 and 1/2 cups All purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice (see notes)
- 1/2 tsp salt
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Filling:
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Spice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted
Browned Butter Cream Cheese Icing:
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 4 oz. package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
For the Pumpkin Dough:
- In a medium heat-proof bowl, heat the milk in the microwave until warm, about 50-60 seconds. It should be around 110-115˚F. If you don't have a thermometer, test it out by sticking your finger inside. The milk should be warm enough for you to hold your finger inside comfortably. It should not be too hot, if it is, let it sit for 5 minutes to cool.
- Sprinkle the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar into the warmed milk, do not stir. Allow to sit for about 5-10 minutes or until frothy. If yeast doesn't foam up, your yeast is either dead or the milk is too hot, which means you have to start over.
- Add melted butter, pumpkin purée, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs to the milk and yeast mixture and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment, add 4 cups of flour, pumpkin spice (see notes) and salt. Mix on low to combine. No Mixer: add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Create a well in the middle of the flour, then pour the liquid mixture into the centre. Mix on low until just combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-low "2 on a kitchenaid mixer" and knead dough until it's smooth, elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 7-10 minutes. If the dough is still sticky after 5 minutes, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time, but don’t add too much. The dough will be a lot smoother after rising. No Mixer: mix the dough with a wooden spoon, then transfer it to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for about 7 to 10 minutes until dough is smooth. If the dough is too sticky after 5 minutes, add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time until dough is smooth.
- Lightly oil a separate large bowl with olive oil or cooking spray. Using floured hands, shape dough into a ball, then place inside and turn to cover both sides. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and let it rest in a warm place for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size. I usually place my bowl in a turned off oven.
For the Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Filling:
- In a small bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice and stir with a fork to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
Assembly of the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or an 11”-inch pie dish with cooking spray and place a piece of parchment on the bottom. Set aside.
- Once dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down and turn onto a floured work surface.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a large rectangle (about 10x20-inch).
- Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top, leaving about 1 and 1/2 inches of the border uncovered. Lightly press mixture into the dough.
- Starting on the long side, roll the dough into a tight log and pinch the seams to seal. Slice the log into either 6 jumbo rolls, 8 medium rolls, or 12 small rolls and place in prepared baking dish.
- Lightly cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled in size. While rolls are rising, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Once rolls have doubled in size, bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. Meanwhile, prepare the icing.
For the Browned Butter Cream Cheese Icing:
- Add the softened butter to a small saucepan, preferably one with a light bottom so you can easily see the colour change.
- Heat over medium heat until butter has melted.
- Once melted, the butter will begin to bubble and foam. Continue to stir, cooking until the butter turns a golden brown. This can take about 3-5 minutes, but don’t rely on time. Keep your eyes on the butter to see when it starts to turn brown.
- Immediately remove the browned butter from the stovetop and pour it into a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the softened cream cheese and whisk until it’s combined. Add powdered sugar, vanilla and salt and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Once the rolls are baked, remove from the oven and immediately spread half of the icing on top so the glaze can melt into the rolls. Allow rolls to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then spread remaining icing on top. Serve warm.
- If you don’t have pumpkin spice, you can substitute by using:
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
This will make enough for the dough and the filling.
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Set of 2 Pastry Brushes, 1-Inch and 1 1/2-Inch Width Natural Boar Bristle Pastry Brushes, Lacquered Hardwood Basting Brushes, Cooking / Baking Brushes
Non-slip Silicone Pastry Mat Extra Large with Measurements 28''By 20'' for Silicone Baking Mat, Counter Mat, Dough Rolling Mat,Oven Liner,Fondant/Pie Crust Mat By Folksy Super Kitchen (2028, red)
Farberware Classic Wood Rolling Pin
KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red
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