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Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve loved playing around with my quick yeast cinnamon rolls recipe, and this week I wanted to make pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls!

Warm spices and a bit of pumpkin puree give this recipe such fun Fall spin!

image of a pumpkin pie cinnamon roll that's been cut into to show how soft and tender it is

How Much Flour Am I Supposed to Use??

The amount of flour this recipe starts with is set at 4 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour.

But as you add in your wet ingredients and the eggs, a sticky dough ball forms and you might need to add in additional flour.

I find kneading an additional 3-4 Tbsp of flour into the dough at the stage is the perfect amount. It makes it easier to handle and knead by hand, but it’s still a tiny bit tacky and soft. You need just enough flour to make the dough workable.

image of milk being poured into cinnamon roll dough

If you add too much flour you can end up with dense, chewy cinnamon rolls that are difficult to roll.

This is why you want to be careful with how much flour you add. We want these to turn out fluffy and soft!

Making these Cinnamon Rolls By Hand vs.Stand Mixer

This recipe can be made by hand or with a dough hook / stand mixer.

My first couple batches of cinnamon rolls were made when I was home for the holidays and I didn’t have a stand mixer.

It is definitely easier to make using a stand mixer, but a little elbow grease never hurt anyone. I also find it’s easier to get the consistency of the dough right if you knead by hand.

I’ve found that starting the dough in my stand mixer and finishing the kneading process by hand gives me the best results. The dough should be a bit tacky but not sticky once it’s ready to be rested.

Whichever method you use to make the dough, just be sure to knead or mix the dough until it gets an elastic texture and pulls away from the bowl or counter.

Once you get to this point, stop and let the dough rest for about 10-20 minutes. This little break allows the gluten to relax bit and makes the dough easier to roll out.

image of pumpkin cinnamon roll dough

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls – Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this recipe just the way it is, I know you might not have all of these ingredients on hand!

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe.

  • All Purpose Flour – I haven’t tested this recipe out with gluten free flour, but it should work as long as you use a good blend like King Arthur’s GF flour. Just be sure to knead the dough a bit longer to help give it structure.
  • Instant / Rapid Rise Yeast – You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe, just allow the dough to rise for a bit longer (active yeast takes longer to rise than instant).
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Whole Milk – Most alternative milks work fine in this recipe, including soy, oat, and almond milk.
  • Granulated Sugar – I don’t recommend changing the type or amount of sugar used in the dough.
  • Large Egg – This is an enriched dough, so the recipe uses an egg. You can try using a vegan egg replacer or use an extra 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree to make eggless pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls.
  • Brown Sugar – You can use light or dark brown sugar to make the filling for these cinnamon rolls. I prefer using light in this recipe!
  • Pumpkin Puree – Use unsweetened pumpkin puree, NOT pre-made pumpkin pie filling. I use the canned kind, but you can also make your own if you feel like it!
image of ingredients laid out to make pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls

Topping these Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

The finishing touch on any cinnamon roll has to be its topping!

A cinnamon roll isn’t complete without some type of melty glaze or frosting. I decided to top these pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls with a delicious vanilla glaze and a dusting of ground cinnamon.

While I was tempted to use my cream cheese buttercream or my American buttercream, for some reason a vanilla frosting just felt right.

You can use a more traditional frosting if you prefer your cinnamon rolls that way though!

image of pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls that have been baked and glazed with vanilla cinnamon roll glaze

Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Use a ruler to make sure your dough is rolled out to the right size (14in x 18in) and cut into even pieces.
  • Use dental floss to easily cut each cinnamon roll rather than a knife.
  • Cut 12 equally sized cinnamon rolls from your log to make sure they all bake evenly.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls in a greased rectangular pan (mine is 9 in x 13 in)
  • Try to let the cinnamon rolls cool for about 10 minutes, then add the glaze. This will allow it to perfectly melt over your cinnamon rolls!
image of pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls that have proofed and are ready to be baked

Making these Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls in Advance

If you want to make these pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls ahead of time, by my guest! I’m all about working ahead and making life easier.

This recipe can be made the evening before, and baked the following morning.

You can refrigerate these cinnamon rolls after they have been cut in a greased or lined pan.

Cover the cinnamon roll pan tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the seal is airtight. If the cinnamon rolls are exposed to air, they can dry out and no one wants dry cinnamon rolls!

The morning you want to bake them, take them out 1 hour before you plan to bake them, then follow the recipe instructions to bake.

image of pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls

You can also bake the cinnamon rolls, then let them cool and freeze them individually.

This is what I do with our leftover cinnamon rolls. I leave the leftover rolls unfrosted, then tightly wrap each roll in a layer of plastic wrap then foil.

I move individual cinnamon rolls from the freezer to the fridge the night before I want to eat them. Then in the morning, I unwrap the cinnamon roll and heat it up in the microwave until it’s warm and gooey (usually about 30 seconds!).

You can also store them in an airtight container! I like to do this when I plan to reheat a bunch of them together, or am sharing them with friends or family.

image of pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls that have been place in an airtight container to be frozen and eaten later

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls, I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a rating and a comment with your thoughts.

You can also tag me on social media @chelsweets or use #chelsweets, so I can see you creations!!

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 12

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

image of a pumpkin pie cinnamon roll that's been cut into to show how soft and tender it is

These pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls are made from scratch and bake up soft, fluffy and are packed with warm spices and pumpkin flavor!!

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Additional Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 38 minutes

Ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Filling

  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (150g)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (113g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (112g)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour + about 1/2 cup (550g-615g)
  • 4 1/2 tsp or 2 packets instant dry yeast (14g, 1/2 oz.)
  • 1 tsp salt (6g)
  • 1 cup whole milk (245g)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (112g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113g)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100g)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (56g)

Cinnamon Roll Glaze

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (56g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (190g)
  • 3 Tbsp whole milk (45g)

Instructions

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Roll Filling

  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2 tsp cornstarch, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/4 tsp allspice and 1/4 tsp salt and set aside. Cover and set aside.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 4 1/4 cups of flour, 2 packets of instant dry yeast and 1 tsp salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Heat for 1 minute in the microwave and stir to combine the ingredients. The butter should be fully melted.
  3. Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix on medium speed with a dough hook or by hand. Scrape around the edges with a rubber spatula to make sure all the flour gets incorporated.
  4. Add in 1 large egg. Mix on low speed at first, then increase to a medium speed until a sticky dough ball forms.
  5. Continue to mix the dough on a medium-low speed for 2-3 minutes until the dough becomes more elastic.
  6. Keep mixing the dough and add additional flour 1 Tbsp at a time until the dough is tacky but no longer sticky (usually takes me 3-4 additional Tbsp of flour). It should pull away /no longer stick to the sides of your mixing bowl once it's ready to rest. Another way to test the dough is to tap it with your finger. It should be tacky, but shouldn't stick to your finger or leave any residue on your finger.
  7. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to allow the dough to rest for 10-20 minutes to allow the gluten to relax. This will make it easier to roll out.
  8. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle that's about 14 in x 18 in. It should be about 1/2 cm thick. 
  9. Spread 1/2 cup of softened butter evenly across the dough, leaving 1/2 inch of dough on the long side of the rectangle uncovered (this will help you seal off the roll and keep it tight).
  10. Spread 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree on top of the buttered section, then sprinkle the brown sugar filling over the buttered section.
  11. Roll the dough horizontally, toward the uncovered strip.
  12. Cut 12 equal pieces and place in a greased 9 in x 13 in pan using dental floss. It sounds weird but it gives you super clean cuts!
  13. If you are making these cinnamon rolls the night before, cover the cinnamon rolls with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  14. If you make these the morning of, at this stage you can let them proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes. I like to preheat my oven to 200 F, turn it off, then place my cinnamon rolls into the oven to proof because my apartment is always cold.
  15. If you make these cinnamon rolls the night before, take them out of the fridge 1-2 hours before you want to bake them. Place the rolls in a warm place to thaw and proof.
  16. Once they have risen, preheat your oven to 350 F / 175 C. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through to help them bake evenly.

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Roll Glaze

  1. To make the glaze, whisk together 1/4 cup of softened butter, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt and with a spoon or electric mixer.
  2. Add in 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 3 Tbsp of whole milk. Stir until the glaze is smooth.
  3. Let the pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls cool for about 10 minutes, then spoon the glaze over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy warm!

Notes

Using the Right Type of Yeast: Active vs. Instant Yeast

Be sure you are using instant yeast! It comes in small packets that can usually be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

You can use active dry yeast in place of the instant yeast in this recipe, just allow the dough to rise for longer (active yeast takes longer to rise than instant).

Making these Cinnamon Rolls in Advance:

This recipe can be made the evening before and baked the following morning.

You can refrigerate these cinnamon rolls after they have been cut in a greased or lined pan. Cover the cinnamon roll pan tightly with plastic wrap, making sure the seal is airtight.

The morning you want to bake them, take them out 1-2 hours before you plan to bake them to let them warm up and rise a bit. Then follow the recipe instructions to bake in step 14.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 380Total Fat 25gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 94mgSodium 321mgCarbohydrates 38gFiber 1gSugar 31gProtein 3g

Kaitlin

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Made these today and they were amazing! A super easy recipe to follow as well.

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Wednesday 22nd of September 2021

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Gator Baker

Saturday 11th of September 2021

Delicious! First time making cinnamon rolls and I’m super happy with the results. Thank you!

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Thursday 26th of August 2021

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