These soft and Fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls are perfect for a cozy fall or winter. Enjoy these gooey cinnamon swirls drizzled with maple frosting for a sweet breakfast or dessert.
These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are next level!
I say it’s optional, but it really makes them taste amazing because of the pumpkin butter filling. I’m obsessed with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin butter.
In truth, something about the way these cinnamon rolls leave your house smelling of warm pumpkin pie, makes them irresistible.
Without a doubt, there’s no better way to celebrate the beginning of fall.
If you like this fall cinnamon roll recipe, you should also try my Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.
How do you know when yeast is activated?
I know a lot of you might be intimidated by using active dry yeast. So was I!
But let me show you a few goof-proof ways of activating the yeast.
Initially, stir the yeast so it’s well mixed, but then leave it alone!
By and large, you will know it’s activated when the yeast floats to the top and bubbles – this is called blooming.
Temperature is KEY! Yeast needs the perfect temperature to live – 110F. Use a thermometer is you are beginner.
Sugar also helps! Yeast needs to eat sugar to “live”. Yes, that’s how champagne is made as well.
Markedly, you should see signs of “life” within the first 5 minutes, and it should pretty much be fully “alive” within 10 minutes.
How to measure flour for cinnamon rolls?
In brief, the best way to measure flour is using a scale.
However, if a scale is not available to you, my number one rule is DO NOT pack your flour in – you want the natural air within to remain.
Simply, take a spoon and transfer your flour to your measuring cup. Additionally, you can level the flour out with a knife.
For the most part, this should ensure your flour is measured correctly.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls
These cinnamon roll ingredients are simple and pumpkin-inspired:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll
Active dry yeast
Cane sugar, divided
Pumpkin Pie Filing
Butter, room temp or softened
Brown sugar, divided
Pumpkin pie spice, divided
Pumpkin butter, optional
In brief, if you want to make this recipe vegan and dairy free, use the vegan butter and dairy-free milk of your choice. Specifically, I love using coconut milk or almond milk.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Preparing the pumpkin cinnamon roll dough
Foremost, here is a reminder to take your butter out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Specifically, you need it to be soft and spreadable.
Second, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized pot. After fully melted, add the milk to the butter. Heat the milk and butter till it’s warm, but not too hot to the touch. If you want to be sure, use a thermometer and measure till it’s 100-110F.
Third, add a tablespoon of sugar and stir till completely dissolved.
After, sprinkle the active dry yeast in the milk mixture and let it activate for 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s activating when the yeast looks foamy.
Afterward, when the yeast is activated, add the rest of the sugar and a pinch of salt.
Next, add your flour to the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon consistently. Once 2 cups are added, the dough should still be very sticky.
After, gradually add a little bit of flour at a time and knead for 1 – 2 minutes until the dough is semi-smooth (should take between 25 – 50g).
In addition, I recommend greasing the bowl with a little bit of olive or coconut oil to prevent sticking before placing the dough in the bowl to rise.
Furthermore, cover the greased bowl with plastic wrap or a tight lid and allow the dough to rise for an hour in a warm place (you’ll know its fully risen when it about doubles in size).
Preparing the pumpkin cinnamon roll filling
While the dough is rising, you can prepare the pumpkin filling.
First, mix a tablespoon of butter, the pumpkin butter, and the first part of the pumpkin pie spice mixed with brown sugar.
Now, lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape.
Following, spread the rest of the room temperature butter on the dough with a spoon or knife and the rest of the pumpkin pie spice and sugar on top.
Then, spread the pumpkin filling mixture on top.
Thereafter, tightly roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut it into 9 even pieces using a sharp knife or a long piece of unflavored floss (slide the floss under and pull to the opposite end).
Lastly, grease an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with butter or coconut oil and place the rolls cut-side down, with space in between to rise and expand.
After, cover the baking dish with plastic wrap to rise for an additional 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to preheat your over to 350 F.
Then, remove the plastic wrap and brush the cinnamon buns with butter. Optionally, sprinkle crushed pecans on top before baking if you like a little added crunch!
Lastly, bake the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for 23 – 25 minutes.
Preparing the Maple Icing
At this point, you can mix the powdered sugar, milk, and maple syrup. However, if this is not enough liquid, you can add more milk to reach your perfect consistency.
Finally, drizzle it over your pumpkin rolls.
How to Make overnight cinnamon rolls
Once you arrange your cinnamon rolls in your pan, you can cover them up with plastic wrap and leave them in the fridge overnight.
Then, bring the cinnamon rolls to room temperature outside the fridge for about an hour and bake as recommended.
Tips for making pumpkin cinnamon rolls
In my many years of cinnamon bun baking, there are a few tips and tricks I’ve gathered up my sleeve:
- Summertime? In this case, I usually just place the covered bowl/dough in a sunny area to rise.
- Wintertime? In this situation, my mom taught me to bring a pot of water to warm. Then, I place the bowl/dough on top (without touching the water) by place it on rack, on an upside down bowl, or simply sit it on top of the pot.
- Fluffier? Chiefly, for an even fluffier roll, you can do a second proof. First, once the dough has risen (1 hour or so), let the air out by kneading a couple minutes, cover, and leave them in room temperature. Finally, once the dough is proofed again (usually 20 – 30 minutes), you can continue the steps for assembling cinnamon roll.
- Sticky dough? In this case, you can lightly oil your hands when kneading to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands too much.
How to serve Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Generally, you can serve these rolls as soon as they’re frosted.
Without a doubt, my favorite way of serving pumpkin cinnamon rolls is with maple frosting.
Maple frosting for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
In brief, mix the ingredients together (proportions in recipe card) and add more liquid if you prefer a drizzly frosting.
On the other hand, you can also try my Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting – its creamy, tangy, and made with wholesome ingredients.
In addition, I like my cinnamon rolls served with:
- Tea– I love a good matcha, or chai tea latte.
- Side of fruit– Some sliced apples, berries, or really any citrus fruit
- My classic egg breakfasts– Scrambled or Sunny Side Up!
How to Store Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
If you and your family don’t eat all the cinnamon rolls at once, you can wrap them tightly or place them in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
How to freeze cinnamon rolls
Certainly, you can freeze the cinnamon rolls for up to 2 months!
Freeze before baking – first, let the cinnamon rolls rise in the pan. Then, cover the pan tightly and place in the freezer. Before baking, let the dough thaw in the fridge. Specifically, I like to do this overnight and then I put it in a warm spot for about 1 hour before baking as normal.
Freeze after baking – first, let the pumpkin pie rolls cool down to room temperature. Accordingly, I like to freeze them before they are iced. In this case, you can either cover and freeze the entire pan or place the rolls in an airtight container. Personally, I like to wrap them separately for when the cravings hit. Then, when I am ready to eat, I defrost the cinnamon rolls at room temperature and then I warm them up in the microwave. Finally, add your favorite icing!
Other delicious pumpkin-inspired recipes:
What other cinnamon roll recipes would you like to see? Leave a comment below.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 cup milk*
- 3 tbsp vegan butter (or regular)
- 1 pack active dry yeast 7g
- 4 tbsp cane sugar (divided)
- 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
- Pinch of salt
- 3 heaping cups Purpose flour (375g) (1/4 – 1/2 cup more for dusting)
Pumpkin Pie Filling
- 1/4 cup vegan butter (room temp or softened)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (divided in half)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (divided in half)
- 1/4 cup pumpkin butter (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk**
- 2 – 3 tbsp maple syrup
1. Start with taking the butter for the filling out from the fridge to make it soft and spreadable.
2. In a medium-sized pot, melt the butter over medium heat. When fully melted, add the milk to the butter. Heat the milk and butter mixture until it’s warm (100-110 F). It should be warm, but not hot to the touch.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir well to dissolve the sugar crystals.
4. Sprinkle the active dry yeast across the milk mixture and let it activate/bloom for about 10 minutes. The yeast should be foamy when activated.
5. When the yeast is activated, add the remaining sugar and pinch of salt to the milk mixture.
6. Slowly add the flour to the milk mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon as you add the flour.
7. Once you add all 3 cups of flour the dough should still be very sticky. Move the dough to a floured kitchen counter and knead the dough with your hands. Gradually add flour and knead for 1-2 minutes until the dough is semi-smooth.
8. Form the dough into a round ball.
9. Grease a clean large bowl with either coconut oil or olive oil to prevent the dough from sticking to it and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a tight lid.
10. Let the dough rise for about one hour in a warm place (see tips in the post).
11. While the dough is rising, mix the pumpkin butter, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and a tablespoon of butter.
12. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the dough into a rectangular shape.
13. Spread the room temperature butter on the dough with a spoon or knife and sprinkle with the rest of the pumpkin pie spice and sugar on top.
14. Spread the pumpkin pie filling mixture on top.
15. Tightly roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut it into 9 even pieces using a sharp knife or a long piece of unflavored floss (slide the floss under and pull to the opposite end).
16. Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with butter or coconut oil and place the rolls cut-side down, with space in between to rise and expand.
17. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap to rise for an additional 20-30 minutes.
18. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
19. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the cinnamon buns with butter.
20. Bake the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for 25 minutes.
Preparing the Icing
1. Mix the powdered sugar, milk, and maple syrup.
2. Top your cinnamon rolls with icing mix.
*To make this recipe vegan and dairy-free, use vegan butter and dairy-free milk of your choice (I love using coconut milk or almond milk)
**add more milk if you like your icing liquid-y
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 36mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g
The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.