Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting on a brown checkered dish towel

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?

raw pumpkin cinnamon roll dough rolled up

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!

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.

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


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
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 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 1/2 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 1/8″ 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 9×13” 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 cream cheese frosting:

  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.

Last Updated on October 7, 2013 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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