These are the best pumpkin cinnamon rolls! They're soft and fluffy with pumpkin spice dough, brown sugar spiced filling and maple cream cheese glaze. These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the perfect thing to bake for a special weekend breakfast or for a indulgent fall treat!
If you're looking for other indulgent fall recipes check out my pumpkin cheesecake cookies, maple pecan sticky buns, salted caramel spice cake, salted caramel white chocolate cheesecake, salted caramel apple pie cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake or salted caramel almond cupcakes!
Why You'll Love this Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe
They're full of pumpkin flavor. The cinnamon roll dough is flavored with pumpkin puree and warm fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves. Then it's filled with a spiced brown sugar butter filling and toped with a spiced maple cream cheese icing. They're a pumpkin lover's dream!
They are extremely soft. Seriously like little pillows of doughy, buttery, sweet pumpkin goodness.
They are really fun to make! They do take a little time, but making them is half the fun. There's something about baking with yeast that makes making the dessert even more exciting. I love to see the dough rise, and transform into a delicious treat. It really makes you feel like you've accomplished something!
Ingredients for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
- Active dry yeast- this is crucial for these cinnamon rolls to rise properly, not an optional ingredient
- Whole Milk- makes these rolls extra soft and pillowy
- Flour- all purpose flour will be used to make the dough
- Eggs- make sure they're room temperature
- Butter- make sure it's very soft, will be used in the dough and filling
- Canned Pumpkin Puree- I recommend using Libby's for all pumpkin baked goods
- Granulated White Sugar-used to make the dough and helps bloom the yeast
- Light Brown Sugar-used in the spiced filling
- Maple syrup- adds a delicious flavor to the glaze
- Vanilla- as always I recommend using vanilla bean paste for the best flavor, but vanilla extract works just fine as well
- Pumpkin Pie Spice- a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, mace and cloves is used to add warmth to the cinnamon rolls. I love Spice Island pumpkin pie spice!
- Cream Cheese- used to make the amazing glaze for the rolls
- Heavy Cream- the rolls get soaked in cream while they proof to make them extra soft and fluffy
- Rolling pin
- 9x13 casserole baking dish
- Unflavored dental floss for cutting the rolls
Step by Step Instructions
Please see the recipe card below for complete measurements and baking time.
STEP ONE: Make your dough
To start, bloom your yeast. Mix your active dry yeast, little bit of sugar, and warm milk together and let sit for 10 minutes.
Next, in a large bowl of your stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugar together. To the dry ingredients add the whisked eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and butter and mix. Add in the milk and yeast mixture and mix until everything is blended. Switch to a dough hook and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Dough will be smooth and a little sticky.
STEP TWO: Let it rise.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise, (outside, microwave or cold oven with the light on works well for this), for 1 ½ - 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
STEP THREE: Make your filling.
While the dough rises make the filling by mixing butter, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar together in a small bowl.
STEP FOUR: Roll out your dough and spread filling.
Once the dough has had a chance to rise, remove from bowl, press down on the dough to release the air, and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18 x 12" Next, sprinkle the prepared filling over the dough and spread it evenly.
STEP FIVE: Roll up dough and cut rolls.
Roll up the dough tightly in to a long log shape starting from the end closest to you. Cut of a bit off the ends to make the log even. Cut the rolls about 1 inch wide. You should be able to get 12 rolls out of the log.
STEP SIX: Let rolls proof.
Place the rolls in a greased 9x13" casserole dish and pour heavy cream in between each roll. Cover them and let them proof in a warm place for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
STEP SEVEN: Bake the rolls and make the cream cheese glaze.
Once the rolls have proofed, bake until golden brown. While they bake make the glaze by mixing the softened cream cheese, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then cover the warm rolls with the cream cheese glaze. Then serve!
Please see the recipe below for complete measurements and baking time.
Why didn't my dough rise? Check that your yeast is not expired. Secondly, perhaps the dough just needed more time. Some times it takes up to two hours for the dough to proof all the way to "doubled in size".
Can the dough be prepared the day before? Yes. To prepare ahead of time follow recipe up until you are about to proof the buns for the second time. Cover the prepared buns and place in the fridge. The next day when ready to bake, take the buns out of the fridge, pour heavy cream over them and allow them to proof somewhere warm until they've doubled in size. Keep in mind it will take longer than an hour because the dough is cold and has to come all the way to room temperature and then proof. Once they've doubled in size bake according to the recipe.
How do I store the rolls? Keep left over cinnamon rolls in an airtight container for up to three days, but I have a feeling they'll be gone before that!
Lightly grease plastic wrap for covering the dough while it proofs. This will help it not to stick to the rolls.
Use unflavored dental floss to cut the dough into rolls. This will allow for really pretty, clean cuts that a knife really can't give you.
Let your dough proof outside if it's warm enough, or in a cold oven with the light on.
Other Pumpkin Recipes to Try
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
For the Dough
- ¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3 ¾ cups (469 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 ½ tablespoon granulated white sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 whole egg, whisked
- 1 egg yolk, whisked
- 5 tablespoon (70 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoon (92 g) canned pumpkin puree
- ½ tablespoon vanilla
For the Spiced Filling
- ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- pinch salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature (for pouring between rolls while they proof)
For the Maple Cream Cheese Glaze
- 8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoon (90 ml) maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups (195 g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
For the Dough
- Microwave the cold milk for 45 seconds-1 minute, or heat on the stove, until it is around 105-110 degrees. Bloom your yeast by mixing the active dry yeast, granulated white sugar, and the lukewarm milk together. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until foamy on top.¾ cup (180 ml) whole milk, 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar
- In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, mix together the all purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, granulated white sugar and salt.3 ¾ cups (469 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 ½ tablespoon granulated white sugar, ¾ teaspoon salt
- Add in the whisked whole egg and egg yolk, butter, pumpkin puree and vanilla and mix.1 whole egg, whisked, 1 egg yolk, whisked, 5 tablespoon (70 g) unsalted butter, softened, 6 tablespoon (92 g) canned pumpkin puree, ½ tablespoon vanilla
- Add in the milk and yeast mixture and mix until everything is blended. Switch to a dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes on medium speed until it's no longer sticking to the bottom and forms into a ball. When the dough is finished being kneeded it will be smooth and just slightly sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. (Works best with floured hands). Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to proof for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
For the Filling
- While the dough rises make the filling by mixing the butter, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of salt together.1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed, ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, softened, 1 ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, pinch salt
Assembling and Baking the Cinnamon Rolls
- Grease a 9x13" casserole dish and set aside.
- Once the dough has had a chance to rise, remove from bowl, press down on the dough to release the air, and roll out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18 x 12".
- Next, spoon the prepared filling over the dough and spread it evenly.
- Roll the dough tightly into a long log shape starting with the end closest to you. Cut off the ends, then cut the rolls about 1 inch wide. You should be able to get 12 rolls out of the log.
- Place the rolls in the prepared casserole dish. Pour heavy cream in between each roll, (optional).¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream, at room temperature
- Loosely cover them with greased plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees about 15 minutes before the rolls are done proofing (or earlier if your oven takes longer to preheat).
- Once the rolls have proofed, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a deep orange/golden color.
For the Maple Glaze
- While the rolls bake make the glaze. Add the cream cheese and maple syrup to a medium sized bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth.8 oz (226 g) cream cheese, softened, 6 tablespoon (90 ml) maple syrup
- Then sift in the powdered sugar a little at a time until all is combined.1 ½ cups (195 g) powdered sugar
- Lastly mix in the pumpkin pie spice.1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- When the rolls are done baking remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes.
- Cover each roll with the maple cream cheese glaze and serve!
- Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three days. Rewarm for best taste.