Usher in the cool comfort of autumn any time of the year, with freshly baked pumpkin cinnamon rolls, piping hot, and just dripping with cream cheese icing.
Comfortably Domestic Confession: I’ve been a a certifiable Cinnamon Roll Bender lately! I’ve rolling just about anything tasty that I can possibly think of into the pillowy morning pastries–primarily as a vehicle to increase the quantity of cream cheese icing in my diet.
E’rybody needs more cream cheese icing in their diets, amiright?
Since Pumpkin is the Official Flavor of Fall around these parts, and given that pumpkin and cream cheese icing are made for each other, then why wouldn’t I combine a warm, pumpkin-infused cinnamon roll with a hefty layer of creamy goodness? It’s the right thing to do.
Baking cinnamon rolls from scratch couldn’t be easier. The yeasty dough is made ahead of time, requires absolutely no kneading, and rolls out like a dream–it practically begs for a the creamy layer of sweet, cinnamon butter to be slathered over it. Roll the dough up & over the cinnamon filling, slice the rolls, and lay them in the buttered baking vessels of your choice.
After a few minutes in the oven, your house will smell so wonderful that you’ll actually step out onto the porch to check your address to verify that you are, in fact, standing in your house.
But be prepared! The scent of cinnamon wafting through that open door will bring the neighbors running to your yard, forks and glasses of milk in hand, hoping for a bite of warm Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!
Consider yourself warned.
But, if the thought baking cinnamon rolls from scratch has you a bit weak in the knees, I’m here to tell you that you can do it!
Cinnamon rolls are not exceedingly difficult, but they do take time. I like to make the dough the night before, pop it in the ‘fridge, and leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter overnight to soften before getting a good nights sleep. Sometimes, I even make the filling and the icing ahead of time and leave them on the counter, too.
I’m sassy like that. Some (Read: Bacon Slayer) may call me impatient in the morning.
The next day, I get up a little early to assemble the pastries, and my family wakes up to the luxurious smell of fresh Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls baking in the oven. I am then greeted with big bear hugs, and groggy promises of undying love and affection from Bacon Slayer and the Sons. I adore cinnamon roll mornings!
If that kind of reception still doesn’t cure the jitters of the idea of making cinnamon rolls from scratch, then I don’t know what will! Actually, I do. Click on another favorite cinnamon roll post of mine for step-by-step directions–it’ll be like I’m baking them right there with you in your kitchen. You’ve totally got this!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 22-24 cinnamon rolls
Usher in the cool comfort of autumn any time of the year, with warm pumpkin cinnamon rolls just dripping with cream cheese icing.
For the Dough:
1 ½ C. 2% milk
¼ C. Half & Half
½ C. granulated sugar
½ C. canola oil
2/3 C. pumpkin puree
4 ½ C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 ¼ tsp. active dry yeast
For the Filling:
1 C. unsalted butter, softened
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (Or 2 ½ tsp. cinnamon, ½ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. nutmeg, ¼ tsp. cloves, ¼ tsp. ginger, ¼ tsp. mace)
¾ C. light brown sugar, packed
1/8 tsp. salt
For the Icing:
2 ½ C. (1 pound by weight) powdered sugar
3 Tbs. half and half
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Dough:
Before applying heat—pour the milk, half and half, canola oil, and sugar into a Dutch oven, whisking to combine. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until it begins to simmer and bubble around the edges, whisking occasionally. (Do not allow the mixture to come to a rapid boil.) Turn off the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm (warm, but not hot to the touch.)
Whisk the pumpkin puree into the cooled mixture until blended. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and nutmeg over top of the wet ingredients. Sprinkle the yeast over everything, and stir with a wooden spoon to form a smooth, yet sticky dough.
Cover the Dutch oven with a clean towel, and allow mixture to rise until it doubles in bulk–about 2 hours. After the initial rise, place a lid on the pot, and refrigerate overnight. The dough is quite sticky, and will be easier to work with after being refrigerated. Refrigeration also slows the yeast activity while still allowing the dough to rise.
At this point, I usually take the butter for the filling, and the cream cheese for the icing out of the ‘fridge and set it on the counter so that it is ready to use in the morning. (You do what makes you comfortable.)
Take the dough out of the refrigerator the next morning, and allow it to stand at room temperature while preparing the filling and icing.
For the Filling:
In a small bowl, beat the softened butter, ground cinnamon, and brown sugar together with an electric mixer until it is fluffy and lightens in color; set it aside while whipping up the icing.
For the Icing:
In a medium bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, softened cream cheese, half and half, melted butter and vanilla extract. At this point, the icing is thick, soft, gooey, and pourable—perfect
To Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease four 9-inch (glass or aluminum) pie plates (or two glass 9” x 13” baking dishes) with butter; set aside. (I normally use about a tablespoon of cold butter to grease all of the pie plates. I, however, do not recommend using dark and/or nonstick pans as they cook the outside of the rolls too quickly, darkening/crisping the outsides before the centers are done.)
Turn the dough out onto a clean, well floured work surface. If possible, have a bench scraper handy when working with the dough. Lightly flour the top of the dough, and roll it evenly into a 24” x 8” rectangle. Dough should be about ¼ inch thick. If at any time the dough sticks to the rolling pin, sprinkle the dough with a little more flour.
Use an offset spatula to spread the filling over the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edges.
Beginning with the long side farthest from you, tightly roll the dough over the filling towards yourself. Take your time to roll it tight—we don’t want any loosey-goosey cinnamon rolls! If at any point the dough is sticking to the work surface, gently run a thin bench scraper under it to loosen without tearing the dough. Once the dough has been rolled, pinch the edges and seams together to seal the buttery goodness of the filling inside.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into twenty four 1-inch pieces. Place the pieces (cut side up) into the prepared pie plates, about an inch or so apart. I usually place 6 rolls in each pie plate—one in the middle, and five around the perimeter. (Or when 9” x 13” baking dishes, place 12 rolls in each dish—3 rows of 4 rolls.) Once all the rolls are cut and nestled in their pie plates, allow them to rest for about 10 minutes.
Now is an excellent time to preheat the oven, if you haven’t already. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 17-20 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown around the edges, and the centers are set, but haven’t browned. Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
After the 10 minute rest, pour icing over the still warm cinnamon rolls—you will have more than enough icing to cover 24 rolls. Pouring the icing while the rolls are still warm will allow it to seep into the creases of the rolls–this is a very good thing. Use an offset spatula to ensure that the icing is covering every exposed inch of the cinnamon rolls.
Allow rolls to cool for another 10 minutes, if you desire to serve them warm; or, allow rolls to cool completely before eating, depending on your preference. Store leftover cinnamon rolls tightly wrapped at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Worth Noting: Once baked, iced, and cooled, these cinnamon rolls freeze beautifully! Just tightly double-wrap the pie plates with plastic wrap, and then wrap them again with aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, allow rolls to thaw on the counter overnight, remove the plastic wrap from the pie plate, replace the foil, and reheat at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes to warm.
Friends, this week my Bloggy Besties and I are dedicating this entire week to the Official Squash of Autumn–the Pumpkin! We’ve got a great line up of pumpkin-themed treats–both sweet and savory!
Here’s what we have to look forward to:
~ Monday ~
~ Tuesday ~
- Jeanne @ Inside NanaBread’s Head – Pumpkin Hazelnut Waffles with Cinnamon Honey Butter
- Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama – Pumpkin Pie Macarons
~ Wednesday ~
- Megan @ Country Cleaver – Mini No-Bake Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Crumble Topping
- Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World – Pumpkin Marshmallows & Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- Shanna @ Pineapple and Coconut – Creamy Maple Bacon Pumpkin Risotto
- Anne @ From My Sweet Heart – Pumpkin Donuts with Cream Cheese Icing & Candied Pepitas
- Kat @ Tenaciously Yours – Marbled Pumpkin Gingersnap Tart
- Mads @ La Petite Pancake – Pumpkin Spice Cake with Maple Frosting and Pumpkin Oat Puppy Treats
~ Friday ~
- Madeline @ Munchin’ in the Mitten – Savory Pumpkin Tart
- Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain – Pumpkin Mousse with Candied Squash
- I’m back with Pumpkin Kiss Cookies!
~ Saturday ~