Fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a perfect fall version of your favorite homemade cinnamon rolls. Made with real pumpkin in the dough, filled with a gooey pumpkin spice cinnamon filling, and topped with a maple cream cheese frosting, these definitely hit the spot on a chilly fall day.
These irresistible soft and fluffy pumpkin flavored cinnamon rolls are easy to make and are a great treat to enjoy. Homemade cinnamon rolls are always a special treat, but extra fun seasonal ones are even more fun! Slightly spiced, and full flavored, your family will adore these!
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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients
The ingredients for these rolls are pretty straight forward and simple. However, I do have a few notes that makes these the best cinnamon rolls ever, so it’s worth reading!
- Whole Milk – when mixed with yeast, warmed milk helps the yeast to bloom. It also makes for extra moist cinnamon rolls.
- Granulated sugar – this is also called white sugar, but we need it to add that element of sweet to our pumpkin cinnamon roll dough.
- Yeast – Yeast is what gives these cinnamon rolls the perfect rise. Use active yeast or instant yeast.
- Pumpkin puree – without the pumpkin, these would just be regular cinnamon rolls. Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Unsalted butter – I always use unsalted butter when baking because I like to control exactly how much salt goes into my recipes.
- Egg – we need one egg to help bind everything together.
- Bread flour – You can use all purpose flour, but bread flour has a higher protein content, which helps to develop more gluten in the dough. This lightens the cinnamon roll texture and results in soft and fluffy rolls! It’s worth it, trust me!
- Salt – and now the salt comes in. We just need a bit, but it really helps to make the flavors stand out.
- Dark brown sugar – I like the robust flavor of dark brown sugar, but if all you have is light, that will work too. We use this in our filling.
- Pumpkin pie spice – this adds just a little more pumpkin flavor to our cinnamon rolls. It blends to well with the brown sugar to make the best filling ever.
- Cream cheese – I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a cream cheese frosting! Especially when it comes to cinnamon rolls.
- Powdered sugar – mixed with the cream cheese, powdered sugar gives the perfect balance of sweet to our frosting.
- Maple syrup – If you love warm fall flavors as much as I do, try adding in a bit of maple syrup to your frosting. It makes all the difference!
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
These perfect cinnamon rolls are no different to make than regular homemade cinnamon rolls, except for the addition of the pumpkin puree. For the full set of directions, make sure you scroll down to the recipe card below:
Make the Dough
This is a rich dough made with milk, butter and eggs. The result is a soft, fluffy, and tender dough.
- Start by heating the milk until it reaches about 110 degrees F. The temperature is important because you don’t want it to be too hot or it could kill the yeast, it is similar to scalded milk.
- Combine the warm milk, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Allow it to bloom for 5 minutes or until frothy. You should be able to smell the yeast.
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.
- Next stir in the bread flour and salt until a rough dough begins to form.
- Mix on low speed in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook until a ball of dough forms. It should be slightly tacky to the touch but not really stick to your fingers. Don’t overmix or your rolls will turn out tough. You can also knead by hand, but this takes some muscle.
- Move the dough to a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a draft-free warm place for 1 hour. Let the dough rise until doubled.
Mix the Filling
This filling is extra special because it uses pumpkin pie spice instead of just plain cinnamon sugar. Dark brown sugar also adds to the deep flavor profile.
- Simply mix the brown sugar and the spices in a small bowl until combined and set aside for later.
Assemble the Rolls
These pumpkin cinnamon rolls assemble just like regular cinnamon rolls. A lot of recipes use melted butter on the dough, but I like to use softened butter because it helps the filling not to ooze out of the rolls so much.
- Once your dough has doubled, transfer it to a well-floured counter and roll out to a large rectangle using a rolling pin. If it starts to stick, add a little bit more flour.
- Use your hands to gently spread the softened butter over the dough.
- Sprinkle the filling evenly over the softened butter, and use your hands to gently press/rub the spice mixture into the butter.
- Then roll the dough up into a tight spiral, also known as jelly roll style, starting with the longest edge and continuing until the entire dough is rolled up in a tube.
- Press the seam gently to help seal it, and then place it seam side down.
- Gently cut off the very ends of the roll on either side (where there might not be as much filling and the dough is uneven).
- Now cut rolls into 12 equal pieces. Some folks like to use a pastry cutter, others dental floss, but I use a sharp knife. You can gently reform into perfect circles after cutting so they don’t look smooshed.
- Place each roll onto the prepared baking dish.
- Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot on the counter.
*Optional: You can place the pumpkin cinnamon rolls in the fridge overnight to bake the next day instead of doing the second rise. Place the rolls in the prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap, and immediately place in the fridge. The next day, allow the rolls to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Make sure not to overbake your pumpkin cinnamon rolls to ensure they are soft and fluffy. If they start to brown too fast, cover them with aluminum foil after 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown on top.
- Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.
Cream Cheese Icing
If you want a really pronounced maple flavor in your frosting, add ¼ teaspoon of maple extract in addition.
- Blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and salt until it is smooth and blended.
- When the rolls are mostly cool, evenly coat with the frosting.
Storage and Reheating
In my opinion, there is nothing better than warm cinnamon rolls, but they will keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you have some leftover and need to reheat them, you can reheat them in the microwave for about 5 to 10 seconds to reheat and soften as desired.
More Breakfast Pastries
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe
- ¾ cup whole milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active yeast
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , melted and cooled
- 1 egg
- 4 cups bread flour
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- ¼ cup unsalted butter , room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- pinch of fine sea salt
Make the dough
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the milk for 45 seconds, until about 110°F.
- Add the warmed milk, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of the electric mixer and stir gently to combine. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until frothy and you can smell the yeast.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter to the yeast mixture and stir until it is smooth and creamy.
- Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the bread flour and salt until a rough dough begins to form.
- Place the dough hook on the electric mixer and mix on low speed for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball around the hook. It should be slightly tacky to the touch but not really stick to your fingers.
- Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to sit in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Mix the filling
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar and the spices until combined. Set aside.
Assemble the rolls
- Grease a 9×13 sized baking pan and set aside.
- Transfer the dough to a well floured counter and roll out to a rectangle about 14”x 16”, with the longest section running parallel to the counter.
- Use your hands to gently spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving about ¼” of the edge. You want the dough evenly coated, but be gentle not to smash the dough.
- Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the softened butter, and use your hands to gently press/rub the spice mixture into the butter.
- Tightly roll the dough up into a spiral, starting with the longest edge closest to you and continuing until the entire dough is rolled up in a tube.
- Gently press the seam to help seal it, and then place it seam side down on the counter.
- Use a serrated knife to gently cut off the very ends of the roll on either side (where there might not be as much filling and the dough is uneven). You don’t need to cut off much, just to even the roll up.
- Use a serrated knife to cleanly cut each piece. Use a sharp, serrated knife and gently slice each piece in one fluid motion so you don’t squash your rolls. I like to pre-measure by making indents before I actually slice.
- Place each roll into the prepared baking dish.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot on the counter.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the towel and plastic wrap from the baking dish.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are cooked through and golden brown on top.
- Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before frosting.
- In a medium mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to blend together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup and salt until it is smooth and blended.
- When the rolls are mostly cool, evenly coat with the frosting.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!
This recipes combines my two favorites– cinnamon rolls and all things pumpkin! I can’t wait to try it!
These were so fluffy and flavorful – perfect for the holidays! Will make again. 🙂
I am all about pumpkin everything this time of year so I was so excited to see this recipe. You have combined two of my favorite things – pumpkin and cinnamon rolls. Win-win!
The combination of the pumpkin flavor and maple cream cheese frosting is amazing! I plan to make these cinnamon rolls when we have guests for Thanksgiving.
Fabulous Fall flavored cinnamon rolls. They look so light, fluffy and delicious!
Oh my goodness, what a brilliant recipe! You’ve combined all of my favorite autumn flavors in one incredibly delicious cinnamon roll. The combination of the fluffy pumpkin rolls with the maple frosting is divine!
It’s never too early in my house to start making pumpkin recipes! This is a nice spin to the traditional cinnamon rolls that my family really enjoyed!
This recipe is so absolutely perfect for fall. I mean, I live for fall flavors so I don’t actually *wait* until fall to eat them—I clearly cave around now, because here I am, lol! But so glad I found this recipe. Making these several times this fall season!
These cinnamon rolls were so incredibly good. I don’t make them from scratch often because I’m lazy, but when I do, I remember that I need to do so more often. I’ll be making these again during the fall, they were that good.
Wonderful Fall flavors in these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I can’t wait to make them for my family.
These cinnamon rolls look delectable! I love the pumpkin spice cinnamon filling. So yummy!
The smell of any cinnamon rolls baking in the oven is to die for! I’m sure my family would definitely wake up to these and scarf them down knowing its made with pumpkin too!
Fabulous cinnamon rolls! The best that I’ve seen to date really!
I’m such a fan of anything pumpkin, and these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are no exception! So much flavor and perfect for this time of year. I’ll definitely be making these again!
Oh my god these cinnamon rolls were PERFECTION. And the maple cream cheese frosting on top I could have eaten with just a spoon. Everyone loved these!