Light and fluffy cinnamon rolls made with a simple spiced dough and filled with pumpkin. Top them with sweet maple icing for a breakfast that tastes like a cozy fall morning.
I get a thrill from cracking into the first can of pumpkin puree of the fall season. Even though I’m usually testing recipes ahead, that bright orange puree is always an undeniable indication that fall is coming.
Around our house, the arrival of cooler weather means earlier dinners of cozier foods – soups and stews and chili. It also means slower mornings when we’re all at home. Staying in warm pajamas well into the day, and sipping coffee or hot chocolate while we bake.
Even cinnamon rolls that come together as quickly as these do (an hour or so) are more of a mid-morning brunch for us. The girls need a quick fuel-up of oatmeal when they first wake up and then are happy to stand around the kitchen counter, rolling out dough and stirring together this fragrant filling of sugar, pumpkin puree, and cinnamon.
These cinnamon rolls are pretty classic but have the addition of a few fall flavors. The light and fluffy dough gets a pinch of pumpkin pie spice which will make the whole house smell amazing as it bakes. The filling is lightly sweet and distinctly reminiscent of a super creamy pumpkin pie.
Top it all with maple-flavored cream cheese icing and you’ll see why these cinnamon rolls absolutely deserve a place at your fall breakfast or brunch table.
For a classic cinnamon roll recipe with step-by-step photos, check out 1 Hour Easy Cinnamon Rolls.
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1½ cups Water, slightly warm to the touch
- 1 Tbsp Instant Yeast
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (opt)
- 4 cups All-Purpose Flour, divided, plus more for rolling
- ¾ cup Pumpkin Puree
- ¾ cup cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon (see note)
- 4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
- 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened
- 3 oz Cream Cheese, softened (or microwaved for 15 seconds)
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 3-5 Tbsp Milk
- Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C.
- Rub the bottom of a 9"x9" baking dish with 4 Tbsp of softened butter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer[ fitted with the dough hook, combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dust a kitchen counter lightly with flour.
- To the yeast mixture, add 2 Tbsp butter, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on low until the ingredients come together.
- Continuing to mix on low, add 1 more cup of flour and mix for 1 minute. Add the remaining 1 cup flour. Mix on low until all the flour is mixed in. Increase mixer speed to medium. Mix for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and begins to make a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and let the dough rest in the bowl (preferably near the warm oven), until the surface is smooth, about 5 minutes.
- While dough rests, make filling by combining pumpkin, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll it a 9"x18" rectangle with a long side facing you. (Note: Don't worry about being precise; use the base of your 9"x9" baking dish as a general guide.) Use your hands to rub 4 Tbsp of butter over the surface of the dough.
- Spread pumpkin filling over the surface of the dough. .
- Starting with the side closest to you, roll the dough into a tube. Use a serrated knife to cut 9 even slices. Place the slices in the prepared baking dish and let rise in a warm place (preferably near the warm oven) until the edges of the rolls are touching, 20 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes.
- While the rolls are baking, use a hand mixer to beat 3 Tbsp of butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 Tbsp milk. Continue mixing until icing is smooth. Add more milk a bit at a time, if needed, until icing is shiny and easy to pour.
- When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes before topping with the icing.
- Serve immediately (of course...who could wait!).
Speaking of brisk fall mornings and hot chocolate…here we are having a little hot chocolate date at Whole Foods yesterday. (Not shown = baby June fast asleep in the stroller.)