So I’ve been excited about this recipe for a long time. I know its been done many times before and in many different ways, but I still wanted to make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.Cinnamon rolls are a family favorite and after my mom taught me how to make them, they were one of my favorite things to make. Probably because I love working with yeast breads and also love sweet treats. Adding pumpkin to them just seemed like a fantastic idea!
The pumpkin in the rolls turns them a beautiful yellow color the makes them seem so perfect for fall. I will admit there is only a faint pumpkin flavor to the rolls, so if you’re searching for a treat packed with pumpkin flavor, check out my cheesecake or cookies instead 🙂 Pumpkin has a tendency to make everything it touches ultra soft and moist and it surely worked its magic in these cinnamon rolls. They are probably the softest and moistest cinnamon rolls I have had (all the butter probably helps things out too :).
This pumpkin version is adapted from my family’s favorite cinnamon roll recipe with just a few tweaks to make up for the addition of the pumpkin. One key thing to note is the use of bread flour in this recipe. Please promise me that if you are going to all the work to make cinnamon rolls, that you will pick up some white bread flour from the store. Bread flour has more gluten in it that regular, all purpose flour. Gluten is essential for providing the structure to the dough that will hold all that lovely air in that the yeast produces and make them fluffier. Using bread flour is essential for fluffy rolls in the recipe, especially with the addition of pumpkin.
When I made these cinnamon rolls, I made them two ways. Once with the traditional cinnamon filling and the second time with Nutella. The classic Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll is perfect for anyone that loves traditional cinnamon rolls, whereas the Nutella filled ones are for all my fellow chocolate, pumpkin and Nutella lovers.
If you’re as crazy as me about pumpkin and Nutella, make this version. You won’t be disappointed! However, which ever way you choose to make them, these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are amazing!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - Two Ways
For the Dough
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 2/3 cup pumpkin
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 and 1/2 cups white bread flour
For the Filling
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 T butter softened
- 3/4 cup Nutella
For the Frosting
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 and 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 oz cream cheese
- 2 Tablespoon heavy cream or milk
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Stir in sugar, melted butter, pumpkin, salt and eggs. Add enough of the flour for the mixture to forms a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let rise until double in size.
- Prepare the filling ingredients by stirring together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll out the dough into a rectangle 20 inches x 15 inches. Spread the butter on the dough with a butter knife and then sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture. (For the Nutella version, skip the butter and cinnamon mixture and spread the dough with Nutella spread. Microwaving it for 10 seconds will help it spread better.)
- Roll the dough up lengthwise and pinch to close. Cut the log of dough into 1 inch slices with a knife or thread. Place the the rolls 1 inch apart in a greased pan. Let rise until double.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes. Immediately prepare the icing. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, beat in the vanilla, powdered sugar and cream. Immediately spread onto warm rolls or drizzle with more Nutella. They are best when warm, straight from the oven.
If you like to bake with pumpkin, check out these other recipes!