These tender, fluffy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are filled with a pumpkin spice filling and topped with luscious browned butter cream cheese frosting. These are a fall treat you'll dream about all year long!
'Tis the season....for everything PUMPKIN SPICE! If you've been a fan of Dance Around the Kitchen for awhile, you've seen lots of pumpkin faves. From pumpkin crisp to streusel-topped pumpkin muffins, there's truly a little something for everyone who loves pumpkin flavor this time of year!
So where'd this recipe come from?? I took the BEST cinnamon rolls and changed just a few things to turn "regular cinnamon rolls" into perfect-for-fall Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!
And then I added a browned butter cream cheese frosting and I can't even tell you how much I LOVE this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe!!! So, I guess you'll just have to try it and see for yourself! 😉
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
- Quick Rise Yeast
- Very Warm Water (110-115°F) - The temperature is super important to activate the yeast properly!
- Milk - Use whatever milk you've got on hand. Whole milk is my favorite in this rich dough!
- Pumpkin Puree - I always used canned pumpkin, but you can opt to make your own if you wish.
- Mashed Potatoes - I know, I know...it seems odd. But looking at if from a science aspect, it makes sense. Potato starch can hold more moisture than wheat starch, so the addition of the mashed potatoes helps give these the BEST texture! So soft & tender!
- Butter - I like to use salted butter, but you can also used unsalted butter. You'll need it for all three components of the recipe - the dough, the filling and the frosting.
- Egg Yolk
- Vanilla Extract - You'll use this for the dough and the frosting.
- All Purpose Flour
- Brown Sugar - Light or dark brown sugar works great here.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - Feel free to use store-bought or homemade. Or in a pinch, you can simply use cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice. (Fun fact: You'll notice there's no spice added to the dough. This is because cinnamon actually inhibit yeast activity and therefore affect the texture you're looking for in a cinnamon roll!)
- Cream Cheese - Be sure to use the brick-style cream cheese. You can use regular or "light" cream cheese.
- Powdered Sugar
Overview: How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Though the recipe might look long and intimidating, if you just take it one step at a time, you'll find it to be easier than you think!
1. Make the dough.
2. Let the dough rise.
3. Make the filling.
4. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out, add the filling and roll it up.
5. Cut the dough into 12 evenly-sized pieces and place in a baking dish.
6. Let the rolls rise.
7. Time to bake!
8. Make the frosting and top the rolls.
How to Store Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
Cover the pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and store at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the fridge for 5 days. I always recommend popping the cinnamon rolls in the microwave to bring back the soft, gooey texture when it's time to enjoy!
How to Freeze Cinnamon Rolls
There are two great ways to do this. I'll explain both option.
Freeze the uncooked rolls. To do so, you'll follow the recipe through the first rise, then fill the dough, roll it up and cut it the dough into 12 rolls. Now, you'll place them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Place the pan in the freezer right away.
Once they're frozen solid, you can place them in a freezer bag. When ready to enjoy, place the "pucks" into a greased baking pan, and let them thaw at room temperature. Once they're soft and have gotten puffy, you'll bake them and proceed per usual.
Freeze the cooked rolls. To go this route, you'll bake the rolls and let them cool completely (don't frost). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. When ready to enjoy, let them thaw out and frost them.
Tips for Making the BEST Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
1. Measure accurately. Baking is a science, so accurate measurements are key! This is especially important with the flour. To properly measure flour, use a large spoon and scoop it into the measuring cup and level it off with a butter knife.
2. Pay extra attention to the yeast. First, make sure your yeast is fresh and hasn't expired. Then, be sure to measure the temperature of the water you mix it into. You'll want it to be right around 110F to properly activate.
3. Kneading is needed. (This step is so important!) Kneading the dough is essential for developing gluten, which gives the rolls structure and a chewy texture. Knead the dough (by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook attachment) until it's smooth, elastic, and slightly tacky to the touch.
4. Be patient. Making cinnamon rolls requires time and patience. Don't rush the process. Give the dough time to rise properly (both the first rise AND second rise are vital!) so you end up with deliciously fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls!
5. Even slicing. To get beautiful, well-defined swirls in the rolls, there are a couple things to keep in mind. Be sure to roll the dough out into a nice rectangle that's an even thickness. Then, roll the dough up tightly. And lastly, when cutting the rolls, use a sharp serrated knife or a piece of unflavored dental floss to cut clean slices.