Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the epitome of fall treats.
They’re soft, sweet, lightly spiced, and deliciously earthy. Serve them with cream cheese glaze, and I promise you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Perfect Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze
If you’re a fall girlie like me, you need to make these indulgent pumpkin cinnamon rolls ASAP.
I mean, what’s more emblematic of fall’s warm embrace than fluffy spiced cinnamon rolls infused with pumpkin?
The smell alone is enough to get you in the right mood.
Notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, and, of course, pumpkin, will waft through the house as they bake, drawing everyone to the kitchen.
Serve them with sweet glaze, and they’re the perfect love letter to autumn.
Imagine sinking your teeth into a cinnamon roll so soft it practically melts in your mouth. Now imagine that roll is brimming with pumpkin spice.
Sounds dreamy, huh?
The dough is pillowy, and the filling it sweetly spiced.
In other words, it’s the perfect fall breakfast or snack.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Dough:
- Warm Milk (about 110°F)
- Active Dry Yeast
- All-Purpose Flour
- Melted Butter
- Whole Egg
For the Filling:
- Pumpkin Puree
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon & Nutmeg
- Melted Butter
For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
How to Make Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls
Make these once, and they’ll quickly become your new obsession. They’re just that good.
The recipe makes 12 regular cinnamon rolls, but that depends on how big you slice them.
Still, I suggest doubling the recipe! Here’s how to make them:
- Mix the yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and warm milk, then leave it to bubble for 5-10 minutes.
- If the yeast doesn’t bubble, it’s gone bad, and you’ll need to get new yeast and start again.
- Put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast mixture, melted butter, and the egg into a large bowl.
- Mix with a wooden spoon by hand or with a dough hook on low until the dough starts to come together.
- Knead until smooth and elastic, then rest until it’s doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, mix the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices in a bowl.
- Press the air out of the dough and roll it into a rectangle.
- Brush the dough with melted butter, then spread the pumpkin mix over that and carefully roll it into a thick, long log.
- Cut the log into 12 evenly sized pieces and arrange them in a greased baking dish.
- Let the rolls rise again, then bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.
- While the rolls bake, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
- Let the rolls cook slightly, then drizzle the glaze over the top and serve.
Tips for Working with Yeast and Dough
I have a few recipes for cinnamon rolls because I make them a lot.
(Psst! Check out these gorgeous blueberry cinnamon rolls if you want something fruity!)
Anyway, they’re not that hard to make. And they don’t have to be intimidating.
But if you’ve never worked with yeast before, I get the hesitation. So, I have a few tips for you:
- Check the Expiry Date: If the yeast is out of date, it won’t be as potent, or have any effect on the rise of the dough in many cases. That’s why you have to “bloom” it in warm milk - to check that it’s still active. If it’s out of date, don’t waste your time. Just get a new pack!
- Temperature Is Key: You need warm milk to activate the yeast. But if it’s too warm, it will kill it. If you have a thermometer, aim for about 100°F (38°C). If you don’t have a thermometer, think of a warm bath.
- Don’t Skip the Kneading: If you don’t have a mixer, you’ll either need to let this dough rest for a long time (like, overnight in the fridge), or do it by hand. Kneading is essential for the development of gluten, so you need to knead until it’s smooth and elastic.
- First Proofing: When we ‘proof’ yeast dough, we’re essentially resting the dough and allowing the yeast to do its thing. During this time, the yeast produces gas, which is what gives the dough lift.
- When Is the Dough Ready?: It’s definitely possible to over-proof dough, so you can’t just leave it all day and hope for the best. Instead, check it after an hour then every 20 or so minutes. It should double in size.
- Second Proofing: After the first proof, you have to punch out the air and prep the rolls. But then, you need to proof them again before baking. This is so they get nice and fluffy. If you skip this, they’ll taste fine, but they won’t be the same.
The beauty of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls is that you can so easily modify the recipe to make it your own.
Heck, you can leave the pumpkin out altogether and make something completely new with the dough if you like.
But if you’ve got your heart set on rolls and need some inspiration, check out these fun variations:
Pumpkin Latte Cinnamon Rolls with Coffee Glaze:
- Filling: Add 1 teaspoon of espresso powder.
- Glaze: Skip the cream cheese and just mix brewed coffee with powdered sugar.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:
- Filling: Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips over the pumpkin filling before rolling.
Pumpkin and Candied Ginger Cinnamon Rolls:
- Filling: Sprinkle 1/4 cup of finely chopped candied ginger over the pumpkin filling.
- Glaze: Add the zest of 1/2 orange to the glaze.
Pumpkin and Pecan Cinnamon Rolls:
- Filling: Sprinkle 1/2 cup of chopped pecans over the pumpkin filling.
Pumpkin and Orange Zest Cinnamon Rolls:
- Dough: Add the zest of 1 orange to the dough.
- Glaze: Add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the cream cheese glaze.
Pumpkin and Maple Cinnamon Rolls:
- Glaze: Mix maple syrup with powdered sugar for the glaze.
Apple Cinnamon Rolls (Without Pumpkin):
- Filling: Substitute the pumpkin puree with 1 cup of finely diced apples. Cook them with butter and cinnamon, then cool before use.
S’Mores Cinnamon Rolls (Without Pumpkin):
- Filling: Mix crushed Oreos with melted butter, mini chocolate chips, and mini marshmallows.
- Glaze: Mix marshmallow fluff with cream cheese and spread it over the rolls.
The BEST Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- For the Dough:
- 240 grams of Warm Milk (1 cup)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast
- 50 grams of Sugar (1/4 cup)
- 480 grams of All-Purpose Flour (4 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
- 60 grams of Melted Butter (1/4 cup)
- 1 large egg
- For the Filling:
- 240 grams of Pumpkin Puree (1 cup)
- 100 grams of Brown Sugar (1/2 cup)
- 2 tablespoons of Ground Cinnamon
- 60 grams of Melted Butter (1/4 cup)
- For the Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 115 grams of Cream Cheese, softened (4 ounces)
- 120 grams of Powdered Sugar (1 cup)
- 2 tablespoons of Milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
- Mix the yeast with 1 tablespoon of sugar and the warm milk. Leave it for 5-10 minutes or until it’s frothy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and milk mixture, melted butter, and the egg.
- Mix on low with a dough hook for 5 minutes, then turn it up to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic ( 5-10 minutes).
- Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and leave it somewhere warm until it’s double in size.
- While the dough rises, make the filling.
- Mix the pumpkin puree with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter. Cover and set aside.
- Press the air out of the dough, turn it onto a lightly floured surface, and roll it into a rectangle. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread the filling over the dough, then roll it into a long log.
- Use a sharp knife or dental floss to cut the log into 12 evenly sized portions.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish, then arrange the rolls in the pan.
- Cover and leave the rolls to rise for 30-60 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) after 25 minutes.
- Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden.
- Take the rolls out of the oven and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle the glaze over the rolls, serve, and enjoy!