If you love all things fall and pumpkin, you are going to love this pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe! These pumpkin rolls are so fluffy, so delicious and aromatic and perfect for fall! They’re made with a soft and spicy pumpkin yeast dough, filled with cinnamon sugar and more pumpkin puree, and a cream cheese icing. Plus, I have secret ingredient to make these super soft! Want to make these ahead of time? Scroll down for make-ahead instructions! Check out my original Cinnamon Roll Recipe for more inspiration!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Video Tutorial!
Watch my YouTube video recipe for step-by-step instructions for this easy fall recipe! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Here are the main ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:
- Pumpkin Puree: canned pumpkin puree is the easiest and best option for this recipe.
- Dry Active Yeast: for making the pumpkin yeast dough. You can also use instant yeast, which works more quickly. You will need to proof the dough in the first step for only 15 to 20 minutes.
- Whole Milk: for making the yeast dough. Using whole milk will make the dough richer in flavor.
- Sugar, Eggs & Flour
- Cream Cheese: soften the cheese for about 1 hour prior to making the cream cheese icing
- Cream: my secret ingredient for making cinnamon rolls extra soft. You can also use whole milk or half-and-half.
- Cinnamon: a must-have ingredient for this recipe!
- Brown sugar
How to Make Pumpkin Yeast Dough
These incredible pumpkin cinnamon rolls start with a soft cinnamon pumpkin yeast dough! This dough is made by adding pumpkin puree directly into the batter.
- When making any yeast dough, it’s important to use liquids at the right temperature. Heat the whole milk until it’s lukewarm, or about 115F/46C. If the milk is too hot, it will kill the yeast bacteria and the dough will not rise.
- Mix together the milk, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs and pumpkin puree in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture is uniform.
- Next, begin adding the flour. I recommend adding the flour gradually, about ½ cup to 1 cup at a time. Begin with a whisk and work your way up to a spatula, until the dough is ready to be kneaded. Knead the dough for about 4 to 5 minutes, then it’s ready to proof.
- Place the dough into a mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough proof in a warm corner of the kitchen for about 1 to 1 ½ hours. The pumpkin yeast dough needs to double in size.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Here’s how to assemble these delicious rolls!
- Once the dough is proofed, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface into a large rectangle, about 16×19-inches (40×48-cm) in size.
- First for the filling, spread softened butter over the surface. Follow with the cinnamon sugar mixture, then add the pumpkin puree. I recommend dropping the puree in small dollops, then spreading it gently over the cinnamon sugar.
- Roll the dough into a log, then cut it into 12 equal pieces. Place the rolls into a casserole pan and allow them to proof for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Once the rolls have proofed, bake them for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, remove the rolls from the oven and evenly pour the cream or milk over the top of the rolls. This will prevent the dough from drying out. Return the rolls to the oven and continue baking them for another 22 to 25 minutes, or until the rolls are a rich, golden brown color on top.
- Once the rolls are baked, top them with cream cheese icing while the rolls are still warm. This will melt the icing and allow it to sink into the bread.
Secret Ingredient for the Best Cinnamon Rolls!!
I use a very unique baking method and secret ingredient for all my cinnamon roll recipes, including this one! First, I bake the proofed rolls for 10 minutes at 350F/177C. At the 10 minute baking mark, I remove them from the oven and pour about ½ cup of cream or whole milk over the rolls. The cream makes the rolls super soft and delicate and prevents the pumpkin cinnamon rolls from drying out.
Return the pumpkin rolls back into the oven and bake them for another 22 to 25 minutes, until they’re golden brown on top.
Making the Cream Cheese Icing
While your cinnamon rolls are baking, you can prepare the delicious and creamy cinnamon cream cheese icing! It’s super easy to make! Just cream one brick of softened cream cheese in a small mixing bowl first. Then, add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk again for a minute. That’s it!
When the cinnamon rolls are done, remove them from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Spread the cream cheese icing over the rolls before they cool, allowing the cream cheese to soften even more! Enjoy the rolls while they’re warm.
Make Ahead Instructions for Pumpkin Rolls
This fall recipe can be prepared ahead of time, then baked when ready to enjoy!
- Simply follow the instructions, making the yeast dough, filling and shaping the rolls. Cut the rolls to size and place into a large casserole pan.
- Allow the rolls to proof at room temperature for just 15 minutes instead of 30, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place the rolls into the refrigerator. They can be made even a few days ahead of time.
- When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the fridge and let them stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. Continue with the original recipe, baking at 350F and adding the cream at the 10 minute baking mark.
Enjoyed my pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!
- Classic Cinnamon Rolls – my original recipe has hundreds of 5 star, raving reviews! These really are the best!
- Apple Pie Cinnamon Rolls – another great fall recipe! These rolls are filled with apple pie filling!
- Pumpkin Spice Donuts – the best pumpkin donuts recipe! Dipped in cinnamon sugar and prepared 2 ways: classic or filled with pumpkin whipped cream!
- Cheesecake Pumpkin Cake Roll – delicate pumpkin sponge cake filled with a cheesecake-style filling and caramel!
- Cinnamon Roll Cake – epic cinnamon cake inspired by my favorite breakfast! With cinnamon cake layers, dulce de leche and cream cheese frosting!
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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe (video)
For Pumpkin Yeast Dough:
- 1 cup whole milk, lukewarm
- 1 tbsp dry active yeast
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 5 to 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cream or whole milk, for topping
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 ½ tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
For Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Sprinkle of ground cinnamon
For Pumpkin Yeast Dough:
- Prepare the pumpkin yeast dough first. Heat the milk in the microwave or stovetop until it’s lukewarm, about 110 to 115F/46C. Do not use hot milk! Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the dry yeast over the top. Allow the yeast and milk to stand for 5 minutes, then whisk the two together. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, butter, eggs and pumpkin puree. Whisk for a few minutes until a uniform mixture forms.
- Gradually begin to add the flour, adding about ½ cup at a time. Whisk the flour into the batter at first, then switch to a spatula as a soft dough forms. Once a dough ball begins to take shape, lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Continue to add the flour, about 5 cups in total (reserve approximately ½ cup for dusting the surface), until the dough is very soft but not sticky. Knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough into a large mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place the dough into a warm corner of your kitchen, away from any drafts. Allow the dough to proof for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until it’s doubled in size.
Assembling the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:
- Once the dough has double, punch it dough and knead it again on a floured work surface for about 30 seconds. Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 16×19-inches (40×48-cm) in size. Spread the ½ cup softened butter evenly to the edges using an off-set spatula.
- For the cinnamon sugar, simply combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small mixing bowl, then sprinkle the mixture evenly over the spread butter. Using your hands, work the cinnamon sugar into the butter so no dry sugar remains. Drop dollops of the pumpkin puree onto the surface and use an off-set spatula to spread the pumpkin evenly and gently to the edges. Gently roll the dough into a log; do not roll the dough too tightly to avoid squeezing out the filling. Watch my video recipe to see how it’s done. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 equal pieces and place the rolls into a large casserole pan.
- Allow the shaped rolls to proof for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Once the rolls have proofed, bake them for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, remove the rolls from the oven and evenly pour the cream or milk over the top of the rolls. This will prevent the dough from drying out. Return the rolls to the oven and continue baking them for another 22 to 25 minutes, or until the rolls are a rich, golden brown color on top.
Cream Cheese Icing:
- While the rolls are baking, prepare the cream cheese icing. Place the softened cream cheese into a small mixing bowl and whisk it for a few minutes until it’s smooth and creamy. Add the confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and cinnamon next. Whisk again for about 1 minute, until the icing is smooth.
- Once the rolls are done, let them cool for a few minutes, then spread about two-thirds of the icing over the rolls. Reserve the remaining icing to serve individually. Enjoy the pumpkin cinnamon rolls while they’re warm.