pumpkin cinnamon rolls (yeah, you heard me).

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 1

i’ve had to take a short break and i won’t bother you with the details. but i hope this will make it worth your while. to me, pumpkin can (and should) be adapted to just about any recipe, sweet or savory. i love the idea of it incorporated into a dough. while it imparts only a mild pumpkin flavor, the look and aesthetic are to die for. if you substitute as pumpkin puree for as much of the liquid as possible, you can really pump up the volume on the pumpkin-y-ness (sp? word?)

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 2a

oh, kitchen aid mixer with dough hook attachment, i will name my first born after you. promise.

punpkin cinnamon rolls 3

just look at this gorgeous dough. it just screams FALL!!

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 4

i think this shadow looks like an elephant. anyhoo, brush butter on your rolled out dough rectangle.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 7

roll ‘er up and place cut rolls in pan. at this point you could stash them in the fridge, do your 2nd rise in the am, then bake. otherwise, you’d be getting up at 4 am to make this for a crowd. the first time i made these, we ate them at 2 in the afternoon, if that’s any indication. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 8

pumpkin cinnamon rolls (makes 12)

adapted from king arthur flour


1 cup canned or freshly made pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)

2 eggs

2 tbsp to 1/4 cup lukewarm water*

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup non-fat dry milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3 tbsp light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp instant yeast

*adjust amount of water added depending on humidity and baking conditions-a.k.a. add less to begin with, then slowly add more to make a smooth, non-sticky dough.


2 tbsp melted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins, optional (i opted out, adding the same amount of walnuts instead)


1 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1 1/2 tbsp milk, or enough to make a ‘drizzlable’ glaze

*honestly, i had to double the amount of glaze, either it was because i made 12 smaller rolls (instead of the 9 the recipe states it make) or i am just crazy for glaze.

mix and knead all dough ingredients together in a standup mixer fitted with a dough hook. . alternatively, you could do this by hand, but why would you? unless you were amish. my apologies to my amish readership. remember to add the water slowly after you add all the other ingredients, until you get a smooth dough. you can always add more water, but you can’t take it out once it’s been added.

place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rise about 1/2 hours, until it doubles size.

turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and roll into a rectangle about 14″x 22″. it will appear on the this side. brush with a few tablespoons of melted butter.

mix together the filling sugar and cinnamon and spread out over the dough, leaving one short edge with no filling (this will be the end of the roll). top with raisins or nuts, if using.

starting with the short end of rectangle that is covered with filling, begin rolling dough into a log. cut log into 9 (or 12 smaller) rolls. place the rolls in a lightly greased pan that is at least 2 inches deep, to accommodate more rising. set aside, covered, to rise for 1 more hour.

preheat oven to 375 degrees. bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned and rolls appear set in center. cool on a rack for about 15 minutes. while cooling, make glaze. heat butter and milk until butter melts, whisk in sugar until dissolved into mixture and drizzle over pumpkin rolls while they are still warm. if you like a frosting rather than a glaze, apply glaze after rolls are completely cool.

is this enough glaze yet? just barely.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls 1a


Filed under breakfast, cake

22 responses to “pumpkin cinnamon rolls (yeah, you heard me).

  1. Lauren

    ohhh steph. i’m about to start licking my computer screen. maybe you’ll make though again when i’m in town next week…pretty pretty please ?

  2. oh, you bad, bad girl! I want to make these right this minute. If I do my husband will love me forever!

  3. Those rolls look wonderful. I’m going to have to give them a whirl really soon.

  4. Oh wow! Elephant shadows and all. That looks wonderful!

  5. These are gorgeous things! I do love all things pumpkin, and waking up to these sounds pretty fantastic.

  6. leah

    i would like those for lunch today please and thank you.

    well done.

  7. Oh, you are an evil, evil woman. I just recently bought my first Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough hook attachment (which my husband uses to make organic sourdough bread and pizza dough) and now you’ve given ME a reason to use it. Thanks, really–recipe sounds amazing! Cheers.

  8. Wow, I need to try these. I’ve been traveling the Midwest researching a book about farmers markets and have found beautiful cinnamon rolls along the way.

  9. martha

    well, shuck-e-darn, I bought a can of pumpkin yesterday. I was having a premonition. mmmmmmmmmm.

    • thecosmiccowgirl

      thanks, y’all for the lovely comments. you really must try these. if i had to do again, i would definitely try the 2nd rise in the fridge overnight trick. seems less daunting, especially if you need them earlier than 2pm!

  10. Jean Cottle

    Gosh I can smell them cooking.
    My family loves when I make cinnamonrolls.
    Just wait till they smell these.
    Humm and my mother-inlaw will be here, more points for me.

  11. Tiffany Lee

    Is there a substitute for the dry milk?
    I am excited to try this…!

    • thecosmiccowgirl

      hi tiffany-
      thanks for your question! i would just eliminate the milk powder and substitute milk instead of the water in the dough. i do think it would better to use whole milk rather than low or nonfat to make up for some of the richness lost in not using the powder. let us know how it works out for you!

      • Tiffany Lee

        I used buttermilk. It could have been fluffier, but I do not have anything to compare it to. It was delicious. My boyfriend loved it! 😀

  12. Amy

    Oh my goodness–you just made my day when I stumbled onto this recipe. Thanks for the great idea. I love pumpkin food in the fall.

  13. Carrie

    Yumbo-licious! A nice addition to my repertoire! I like brown sugar mixed with cinnamon best . . . dark brown sugar. But then, I prefer dark brown sugar in almost anything! ;D
    I’m making pumpkin cornbread this fall, too – using harina instead of white flour with the cornmeal.

  14. those look so yummy. ive been wanting to try some new recipes and i think this is gonna be one of them. thanks for this 😀

  15. Sarah

    I am about to start on these now! Can’t wait to taste them.My son is home from the Army for Christmas and he found this recipe and ask for them.

  16. taylorius

    My fiance made those and they turned out amazing! Thanks for sharing. I posted a pic that you’re welcome to if you’d like to use it.


  17. Ani

    Oh, what a lovely recipe! One of my friends posted that she used your pumpkin cinnamon rolls for Christmas – along with my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes. So, I came to get your recipe. You might enjoy checking out mine, too!

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have it on good authority that your rolls are scrumptious!


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