Apr 8, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls



Yesterday was dubbed the day that we do things that we have had on the to-do list but have been consistently moved to the next weekend, and then the next weekend….and you see where this is going! There are some things, like sharing recipes, that I have every good intention of getting done but time just gets the best of me. The weekends are the worst because Friday night I will make this over-ambitious to-do list that includes work, school, baking, things around the house, morning runs/pure barre class and then fun things too. Completely silly to think that I can actually fit it all in but boy do I try! And I’m happy to say that this weekend more than others I was more successful than normal and it includes sharing a recipe that I’ve wanted to share so much that I’ve actually made it three times in the past month and a half! It’s one of those breakfast goodies that has you go to sleep, you are already anticipating the morning when you can get your hands on one of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls! If I have an early morning run or pure barre class planned I have to admit that I’ve been known to go through the work out thinking about these rolls; they’re really that good! If you’re a cinnamon roll fan, the pumpkin will be a nice play on a favorite and if you don’t consider yourself a true fan of the cinnamon roll, these might just convert you into one!

Here’s what you need.


(Adapted from Eat Live Run. Makes 10-12 cinnamon rolls.)

Dough for Rolls 

  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package dry yeast (0.25 oz package)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger


  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon

To start, melt the two tablespoon of butter with the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once completely melted, let the mixture sit off the heat and cool down a bit. You don’t want it scalding or it will kill the yeast. Once the mixture is luke warm, pour in the yeast and let the mixture sit for about five minutes.

melted butter and milk

While your milk, butter and yeast mixture sits, you can move forward with the pumpkin part of the rolls. In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin and egg. Once completely combined, add in the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and then slowly begin to add in the flour. You can knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes or you can let the machine do all the work and let it knead the dough for approximately 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

dough complete


Once you are happy with the kneading, form a ball with the dough and lightly spray the bottom of the bowl and the top of your dough with cooking spray.

dough pre-rise

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for an hour to an hour and a half. As you get close to end of the hour you can start preparing the filling of the rolls. Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter and combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.

melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon

When ready, punch down the dough and begin to roll it out into a large rectangle. I like to use my large wood cutting board and dusting the underside with flour and rolling the dough into the shape of board. Brush the melted butter onto the rolled out dough, leaving an inch around the border clean with no butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar over the melted butter.


Roll the dough into a log shape.

Dough Rolled Up

Time to slice the rolls. I start in the middle and then cut each middle into two halves. You can then cut each quarter into three or two slices, depending on how big your roll was. Place the sliced rolls into a greased 9-inch baking dish.

Single Roll Sliced

Cover the baking dish with a light towel and let the rolls rise for another 45 minutes.

Sliced Rolls-2

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the rolls for 25 minutes.

Rolls Complete-1

We like our breakfast treats a little less on the sweet side so we skip out on the glaze for these cinnamon rolls. But I know that for some people the glaze completely makes the cinnamon rolls so if you fall in that category you can make the glaze with 1 cup powdered sugar, a teaspoon of skim milk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. With or without the glaze though these rolls are wonderful to wake up to!

Rolls Complete-2


These cinnamon rolls might get even better for some people: the original recipe was completely vegan! You can go to eat live run and get the vegan version of this recipe and although I myself have not made them that way, the pictures of the rolls still show them as sticky, gooey, and sweet! All the things you look for in a good cinnamon roll! Now I know there are a lot of steps involved with cinnamon rolls and it might seem easier to just pop a can. Well it probably is easier to just buy the pre-made cinnamon rolls but homemade is SO much better and once you make them once, the process really doesn’t seem that bad. If you use a hand mixer, you pour some things in the bowl and let the machine do all the kneading. After that, your only real work will be rolling out the dough, spreading out the filling slicing and then of course the best part, eating! If you don’t eat them directly out of the oven (hard to resist!) I recommend warming them up; a second best to straight out of the oven! For now, that’s pumpkin cinnamon rolls…in the shell of a nut!

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