Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Can you believe it’s already mid November? It seems like pumpkins were just being carved for Halloween, but we’re already seeing Christmas commercials and just the other day I saw someone putting Christmas lights up on their house! Thanksgiving is almost here so now is the time to make everything pumpkin if you haven’t already. Why not let that list include a twist on a classic breakfast food? These pumpkin cinnamon rolls will brighten up any morning (or afternoon or night for that matter) and are somehow made even better when topped with the cream cheese icing straight out of the oven. 🎃

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We all know that yummy, melt in your mouth cinnamon roll taste, but these rolls take that to the next level by adding a hint of pumpkin. Not to mention, they make your kitchen smell amazing! Just the thing you need to feel excited for fall.

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The combination of adding pumpkin along with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, or all the spices that make up “pumpkin spice,” gives them that tender, delicious pumpkin flavor. However, they still have that classic cinnamon sugar filling that will have you remembering every warm and mouth watering cinnamon roll you’ve ever had.

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Just like a normal cinnamon roll, the dough is rolled out, the filling is generously spread on top, and the dough is then rolled up and sliced to form beautiful swirls. I chose to make fewer, larger rolls, but you can make as many or as few as you like depending on how wide you slice them.

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Before this happens though, the dough rises for an hour and then for another hour once it is formed into rolls. The hardest part is being patient while it rises, but that’s how you get beautiful, well-risen rolls that are ready to be baked!

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Plus, it just means that you can get caught up on some reading, that show you’ve been meaning to watch, or maybe that pile of laundry, knowing full well that the reward is a pan full of these beauties.

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It also means that while the rolls bake, you can get started on the cream cheese icing so that they can be topped with spoonfuls of icing and devoured the minute they’re ready!

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Author: Marisa Guerra

Dough

  • ½ cup milk, warmed
  • 1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • 3 ½ -3 ¾ cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree

Filling

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  1. Warm milk in a small bowl, sprinkle yeast on top, and whisk together. Set aside for 10 minutes until it starts to look foamy. If the mixture does not foam, start over with a new packet of yeast.
  2. Whisk the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves together in a large stand mixer bowl.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, followed by the melted butter, egg, and pumpkin puree.
  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix until the dough starts to stick together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add a little more flour at this point, depending on the consistency of your pumpkin puree.
  5. Once dough starts to stick to the paddle, switch out the paddle for the hook attachment and mix on low for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Shape the dough into a ball and gently place in bowl, flipping the dough over to coat the top of it as well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise for about one hour, until it has doubled in size.
  7. Line a 9 inch pan with parchment and coat with cooking spray.
  8. To prepare the filling, whisk the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a flat rectangle that’s about 10 x 12 inches. Using a pastry brush, carefully coat the top of the dough with melted butter, except for an inch border at the top.
  10. Spoon cinnamon sugar onto dough and spread around evenly, except for that same inch border at the top.
  11. With the long side of the dough closest to you, carefully roll up the dough into a tight log. When you have reached the other end, pinch the seam of the roll by pressing down to ensure that it is sealed.
  12. Gently cut the log into 8 large rolls with a serrated knife. Do your best not to flatten them as you cut down by cutting them in a sawing motion.
  13. Arrange rolls in pan, cover in plastic wrap, and let them rise for another hour. While the rolls rise, preheat oven to 350º F and remove cream cheese from the fridge for it to soften.
  14. Once rolls have risen, bake them for 30-35 minutes.
  15. Let rolls cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a knife along the side of the pan. Gently flip the cinnamon rolls out onto a cooling rack.

Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp milk
  1. While the rolls bake, mix the cream cheese on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until it is smooth.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add powdered sugar and milk, mixing on medium low until it is smooth.
  3. Drizzle the icing over the rolls and enjoy!

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