Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on Foodess

Ok, fall – we’re on. Cozy socks are happening. Fuzzy blanket is on the sofa. This chai bender I’m on is not gonna end in the foreseeable future. And… PUMPKIN!!!!!

Need I say more?

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on Foodess

Moist pumpkin and the associated warm spices lend themselves beautifully to these ultra-soft, super-gooey cinnamon buns.

The pale orange hue and contrasting dark swirl make these rolls irresistibly fall, don’t they?

When rolling out the dough, keep in mind that the thinner you can get it, the more gooey layers your finished roll with have!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on Foodess

I snuggled 12 rolls into one 9×13″ baking dish because I wanted to make sure they were touching, which ensures soft sides. Because they didn’t have a lot of room to grow out, they grew up, and look a bit Dr. Seuss-y. I’m okay with that. But to avoid the upward spiral, you can choose to stick with 9 rolls per pan.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on FoodessPumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on Foodess

I’m watching my insanely adorable (biased, perhaps) little peanut blow raspberries and gnaw on his sockies, while rolling all over the floor (he no longer stays on his playmat) under my feet and I can’t resist him any longer.

I feel so guilty looking at a computer screen when his beautiful brown eyes fill with joy every time they catch my gaze!

Gotta go kiss a tummy. XO

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on Foodess

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
Milk should be warm, but not hot to touch - you should be able to hold your pinkie finger in there without burning it. Microwave it in 20 second intervals.
For rolls:
  • ¾ cup milk, warmed
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ cup + 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 6 cups (approx.) all purpose flour, divided
  • oil, for bowl
For filling:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 11/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
For icing:
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-6 tbsp buttermilk (or milk)
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine warm milk and 1 tsp granulated sugar. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand 10 minutes, until frothy.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk melted butter, remaining ½ cup sugar, eggs and pumpkin puree together in a medium bowl.
  3. Use the paddle attachment to beat 2 cups of the flour into the frothy yeast, then beat in the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Switch to dough hook attachment and, on the lowest mixer speed, add remaining 4 cups of flour one cup at a time until the dough forms a ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but still sticks to the bottom. You may need a bit more or a bit less flour.
  5. Let the mixer continue to knead the dough on low until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, turning dough to coat completely with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 ½ hours.
  6. Turn dough onto a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about ⅛" thick. **See note.
  7. For filling, spread softened butter over the surface of the dough using your hands to cover evenly. Combine brown sugar and spices in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the butter. Starting with the edge closest to you, gently roll the dough, jelly-roll style, to form a log. Cut log in half, then cut each half into 18 even pieces. Arrange in two 9x13” baking dishes,cover with a clean dish towel, and place someplace warm to rise until doubled in volume once more, another 60-90 minutes.
  8. Brush top of buns with milk and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown but still soft.
For icing:
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy. Add buttermilk a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
**I made one giant rectangle of dough (20x26”) but you might find it easier to divide the dough in half and roll each half out separately, making one rectangle at a time.

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    You are after my own heart! These look perfect!

    • foodess

      Thanks, Katrina :)

  • http://twitter.com/colene Colene

    I’m a SUCKER for cinnamon rolls and these sound delicious! I can’t wait to make them.

    • foodess


  • Dana Shultz

    Gorg-y McGorgyFace. Oh man, I need this in my life this fall!

    • foodess

      haha love it! :)

  • http://www.brooklynfarmgirl.com/ Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    You have me saying no no no to dinner, and hello to these cinnamon rolls instead!

    • foodess

      DO IT! :)

  • Laura

    Question: For the dough recipe calls for 1/2 c sugar + 1 tsp sugar. The recipe never says when to add the 1/2 c. sugar… Do I add the 1/2 c. sugar to the pumpkin/egg mixture…help?

    • foodess

      So sorry, Laura! Yes, with the pumpkin mixture – recipe fixed now! Thank you for pointing that out.

  • Danielle Giannandrea

    YUM! These sounds delicious! How perfect on a cool Fall morning! I can’t wait to try them! ♥

    • foodess

      Thanks Danielle!

  • bitebymichelle

    I drooled on the keyboard! Happy Thanksgiving from one Saint Johnner to another…

    • foodess

      Thanks, Michelle! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too!!!

  • Jaclyn

    I made this today, and oh my lord they are SO GOOD. Thank you so much, these area new fall favorite!

  • Emily

    I made these for brunch and they were the most delicious cinnamon buns I’ve ever had! They turned out so soft and moist – crazy delicious. Thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Andy

    Jen, I have been coming back to this post again and again, drooling, and thinking of who I can feed them to so these gorgeous diet-killers aren’t lying around the house, singing me their siren tune.
    And now it looks like I’ve got a gang to feed this Saturday morning out on a movie wardrobe sale adventure. The trouble is that we’re starting out early, so I’d have to get up at a pre-dawn hour to allow for all the rising time etc.

    Here’s my question: I am wondering if there is a way to proof them to a certain point and then leave them overnight either in the fridge or out and then bake them off in the morning so they have that fresh-from-over deliciousness.

    Thanks Jen!

    • foodess

      Hi Andy,

      Haha I’m glad you found a gang to feed the gorgeous, diet-killing sirens! Movie wardrobe sale? Fun!

      Yes, you can leave them in the fridge overnight no prob! In step 7, once you’ve arranged them in the baking dish, just cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

      Take them out of the fridge about an hour before you want to bake them – I’d put them in the turned-off oven with just the oven light on for warmth – and let them rise about 45 minutes, until puffy (takes less time because they will rise a bit in the fridge).

      Then put them on the counter and proceed with preheating your oven. Let me know how they turn out! :)

      • Andy

        Jen –
        I followed your modified directions and they turned out fantastic. A very happy crew devoured them over this weekend. Dangerously delicious!
        PS – a discounted Hudson’s Bay blanket, pinstripe velvet jacket and Ziggy Stardust Hallowe’en costume were some of the finds at the wardrobe sale.
        Thanks again!

  • Emmeline

    Hi Jen,
    I’ve never commented before but I come to your blog so much for recipes and general food porn. I just made these rolls and they are yum yum yum.
    A general question for you. In your recipes do you use a 200ml cup measure or 250ml? In Australia we use 250ml but I know Stephanie from Joy of Baking uses 200ml.
    Thanks for your joyful blog.
    Emmeline x

  • bam

    When I added the 2 cups flour to the yeast liquid it made a dough quickly which made it difficult to then blend into the pumpkin mix.

    • foodess

      In a stand mixer?? I had no problem at all…