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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are light, fluffy, and creamy. They have a rich cream cheese frosting, and a filling that’s full of autumn spices. Plus, they’re quicker and easier to make than most cinnamon roll recipes! 

A baking dish of cinnamon rolls, mostly covered with frosting, with a frosting covered spoon on top, next to some pumpkins and cinnamon sticks

I’m a huge fan of cinnamon rolls. They can be served as a decadent breakfast food, a fun afternoon treat, or as a special dessert. And these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are some of the yummiest and fluffiest ones I’ve found.

This recipe has all the comfort of traditional cinnamon rolls. But with pumpkin dough, and pumpkin pie spices, it brings a lot of new flavors to the table. One bite of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls and you’ll be hooked … trust me!

Why These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Are Special

My favorite thing about this cinnamon roll recipe is that it uses all kinds of fall flavors. Not only is the dough full of pumpkin, but it also has cinnamon and nutmeg. In the filling you’ll find some more of those spices, as well as ginger, allspice, and cloves. And the smooth cream cheese frosting is full of maple syrup. In other words, these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the perfect sweet treat for a cold autumn day, or a holiday morning. 

I also love how easy this recipe is. It takes less than an hour and a half to make, even with rising and baking. And the recipe is straightforward and easy to follow. 

Close up of a pumpkin cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork, with another cinnamon roll on a plate in the background

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make these fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact quantities for each ingredient.

For the Dough:

  • Milk – Use whole milk, and let it come up to room temperature before baking.
  • Butter – Make sure the butter is unsalted, and at room temperature.
  • Yeast – Look for instant rapid rise yeast.
  • Pumpkin puree – Be sure to use pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Egg – The egg should be at room temperature. 

For the Filling:

  • Brown sugar – I like to use dark brown sugar for the caramel flavor, but you can also use light brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground ginger
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Butter – The butter should be unsalted and at room temperature. 

For the Frosting:

  • Cream cheese – Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before making the frosting.
  • Maple syrup – You want to use pure maple syrup, not a syrup that’s diluted or has artificial flavors.
  • Milk – Whole milk is preferable, and it should be room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon

How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

This is an easy recipe to make, and it’s fun, too!

  • Warm the wet ingredients. Put butter and milk in a saucepan and heat over medium heat, while whisking. Once the mixture reaches 110F, remove it from the heat.
  • Add the yeast. Add yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer, and then pour the milk and butter mixture into the bowl. Whisk until combined, then let sit for 1 minute.
  • Finish the dough. Add the flour, pumpkin, sugar, egg, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the stand mixer bowl. Mix with a dough hook on medium speed until the dough is elastic. This should take 5-7 minutes. 
  • Proof the dough. Grease a mixing bowl, and place the dough in it. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm place for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Make the filling. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves to a bowl, and whisk together. 
  • Heat the oven. Preheat your oven to 350F, and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. 
  • Roll out the dough. Working on a floured surface, roll out the dough in a rectangle until it’s roughly ½-inch thick. 
  • Add butter. Spread butter across the dough, leaving the edges dry.
  • Add the filling. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the butter.
  • Assemble the cinnamon rolls. Roll the dough into a log. Use a sharp knife to cut the cinnamon rolls into 12 pieces. 
  • Rise. Put the rolls in the baking dish and cover with a towel for 20-30 minutes. 
  • Make the frosting. Add cream cheese, milk, maple syrup, sugar, and cinnamon to a bowl. Beat until fluffy, which should take 3-4 minutes. 
  • Bake. Bake the cinnamon rolls in the oven until they’re lightly browned. This should take about 25-28 minutes. 
  • Frost. Spread the frosting over the top of the cinnamon rolls, and serve while they’re still warm. 

Tips for Success

Here are a few tricks for making perfect pumpkin cinnamon rolls. 

  • Cut the pieces evenly. You’ll have the best results if all of the cinnamon rolls are similar sizes. But it can be hard to cut a log into 12 evenly-sized pieces. Rather than eyeball what 1/12 of the log looks like, cut it in half. Then cut the halves in half. That will leave you with four much smaller logs, which you can easily cut into thirds. Now all your cinnamon rolls will be a similar size. 
  • Use floss. Sometimes it’s hard to cut cinnamon rolls without squishing the soft dough. If your knife isn’t sharp enough to easily cut through the dough, you can use dental floss. Just make sure it’s unflavored!
  • Tent if necessary. Keep an eye on the cinnamon rolls in the oven. If they’re getting too brown before they’re finished cooking all the way through, cover them in aluminum foil. 
Close up of a some cinnamon rolls in a baking tray, covered in frosting, with a serving spoon

Variations 

If you feel like customizing your pumpkin cinnamon rolls, you can do so easily. Here are some of my favorite variations for these sweet treats. 

  • Add nuts. Nuts are a very common addition to cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle on some chopped pecans or walnuts when you add the filling, and you’ll give your cinnamon rolls some additional texture.
  • Add raisins. Raisins are also quite common in cinnamon rolls, but not everyone likes them. If you’re a fan of raisins in your cinnamon rolls, just add some to the filling. 
  • Add a little citrus. Citrus goes really well with cinnamon rolls, as it can cut through the richness of the sweet dough and the cream cheese frosting. My favorite way to add citrus to this recipe is by grating some orange zest into the filling. You can also add orange or lemon extract to the frosting. 
A pumpkin cinnamon roll on a plate, with frosting on top, and a fork on the plate, with pumpkins in the background

Common Questions

Here are the answers to some common questions about this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe.

Why use instant rapid rise yeast? 
Instant rapid rise yeast is the fastest type of yeast, so it helps make this recipe quick. This type of yeast doesn’t need to be bloomed in liquid, and it reduces the time that the recipe needs to rise. 

Can you use other types of yeast?
I strongly recommend using instant rapid rise yeast, as it’s really easy, and makes the recipe quicker. However, you can also use dry active yeast if that’s what you have. Just let it sit in the warm milk mixture for about 5 minutes, and add 10-15 minutes to the dough rising time. 

Why are so many ingredients room temperature? 
You might have noticed that the butter, milk, cream cheese, and eggs are all room temperature in this recipe. That’s because room temperature ingredients mix together much more smoothly. If you use cold ingredients, they’re less likely to emulsify. You might end up with dough and frosting that is lumpy, or separated. Room temperature ingredients help this recipe be smooth, creamy, and fluffy. 

Can I Make This Cinnamon Roll Dough Ahead of Time?

If you’re making these pumpkin cinnamon rolls for breakfast, you can assemble them the night before. If you do that, just cover the cinnamon rolls in plastic wrap, and leave them in the fridge. Take them out of the fridge 15-30 minutes before baking, then bake according to the directions. 

Close up of cinnamon rolls in a baking tray, some covered in frosting and some not

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers 

You can store these cinnamon rolls in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure that they’re in an airtight container. To reheat, add a little butter on top of the cinnamon rolls for moisture. Cover them in aluminum foil, and bake in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes. Bake them only until they’re warm all the way through, as you don’t want to dry them out.

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Let them thaw completely before reheating. 

More Pumpkin Sweets to Try  

I hope you loved these pumpkin cinnamon rolls as much as I do! If you did, then check out these other delicious, sweet pumpkin recipes.

Close up of a pumpkin cinnamon roll on a plate with a fork, with another cinnamon roll on a plate in the background

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are light, fluffy, and full of fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, and maple syrup. They're quick and easy to make, and perfect for breakfast or dessert!
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 12 cinnamon rolls
Author: Julie Chiou
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Ingredients 

For the Dough

  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant rapid rise yeast
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature

For the Filling:

  • cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • teaspoon allspice
  • teaspoon cloves
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

For the Frosting:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

Instructions

  • Add the butter and milk to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk or stir until the butter is melted and the mixture reaches 110 °F on a thermometer. If it’s too hot, let it cool until it reaches 110 °F.
  • Add yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Pour butter/milk mixture over top, whisk and let sit for 1 minute.
  • Add the pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt and egg to the bowl. Using the dough hook, turn the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5-7 minutes, until the dough is elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. It shouldn’t stick much to the bowl or your hands.
  • Lightly grease a bowl and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves for the filling.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Flour a clean work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle until it’s about ½” thick.
  • Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a small border around the edges. Sprinkle with the sugar/spice mixture filling. Roll the dough tightly into a log, then use a sharp knife or unflavored dental floss to cut into 12 evenly-sized rolls.
  • Place the rolls into the baking dish. Cover with towel and set in a warm place for another 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the cream cheese, maple syrup, milk, sugar and cinnamon until light and fluffy – about 3-4 minutes.
  • Bake cinnamon rolls for 25-28 minutes, until lightly browned. Spread the frosting over the rolls and serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 4 months. Reheat in a 350F oven, covered in foil, for 10-15 minutes. 

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 cinnamon roll | Calories: 455 kcal | Carbohydrates: 65 g | Protein: 7 g | Fat: 19 g | Saturated Fat: 12 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 64 mg | Sodium: 211 mg | Potassium: 163 mg | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 31 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best cinnamon rolls, homemade cinnamon rolls, how to make cinnamon rolls, pumpkin dessert recipes
Recipe Rating




Kim

Friday 18th of November 2022

Can you use non dairy ingredients?

Julie Chiou

Monday 21st of November 2022

you absolutely may!