Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Ever since I can remember we have had cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. In the beginning they were always the canned cinnamon rolls, but eventually homemade cinnamon rolls graced the holiday table. Now I can’t imagine starting a holiday morning without a giant cinnamon roll.

These cinnamon rolls are a wonderful twist on the classic version. Warm ooey, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth pumpkin cinnamon rolls topped with rich cream cheese icing. Don’t worry if you don’t have time in the morning to make these incredible cinnamon rolls, just make them the night before and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning just pop them into the preheated oven and bake.

They also freeze well so you can have indulgent pumpkin cinnamon rolls whenever the craving hits. 🙂 Packed with pumpkin, a mixture of warm spices and topped with a rich cream cheese icing, these cinnamon rolls are destined to become a favorite during the holidays at your house!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

Packed with pumpkin, a mixture of warm spices and topped with a rich cream cheese icing, these cinnamon rolls are destined to become a favorite during the holidays at your house!

Yield: 15 cinnamon rolls


For the Cinnamon Rolls:
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
1 large egg, room temperate
3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon melted butter
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Filling:
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1 stick butter, softened

For the Icing:
1 (6 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off.
In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the water and sugar; add yeast and let rest 10 minutes until foamy.
Add milk, egg, pumpkin, butter, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and cardamom to the yeast mixture and mix with the dough hook on medium-low until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
To make the filling, in a small bowl combine sugars, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. Line 9x13 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. Butter the parchment.
Roll dough into a 16x12 inch rectangle. Spread dough softened butter, leaving a 1/4" margin at the long side of dough. Sprinkle evenly with filling mixture. Use the rolling pin to roll over the filling mixture a few times. Roll up the dough tightly, under-tucking after each completed rollover (it stretch to about 20" long as you roll). Cut into 15 rolls. Place rolls into prepared 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by beating together cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Once finished baking flip the pan over to allow all of the cinnamon drippings to recoat the rolls, let sit 1-2 minutes. Turn rolls back over and spread with half of the frosting, let sit 2-3 minutes and then spread with remaining frosting.

Recipe Notes:
After shaping the rolls and placing them in the greased pan, they can rest, covered, in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, place them into the preheated oven and bake.
Unbaked rolls also freeze well. The night before you want to bake them, place the pan in the refrigerator. While the oven is preheating, place the covered pan on the counter then place in preheated oven and bake.

Source: adapted from Good Life Eats, originally adapted from King Arthur Flour

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Whoopie Pies 

28 Responses to “Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing”

  1. #
    Flor — November 7, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    OH! These look delicious! I have always wanted to try them, but I am such a bad roller of dough! Maybe over Christmas break (when I have en entire day!) I will give them a try! Thanks for sharing!

  2. #
    Dionne Baldwin — November 7, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    I started salivating when I saw your photo! (Is that TMI?) I have always had a mad crush on cinnamon rolls and you have done a great job of dressing them up for the fall! I desperately need one of these right now!

  3. #
    jennknee — November 7, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    Holy. Cow. !!!!!!!!!!

  4. #
    Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide — November 7, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    You really need to publish a pumpkin recipe book!

  5. #
    Just A Smidgen — November 7, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Fabulous, I agree with Greg… time for a cookbook! Do you by chance have a regular cinnamon bun recipe??

  6. #
    ChgoJohn — November 7, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    Pumpkinny, cinnamonny goodness topped off with icing! WIth these freshly made on your counter, I can just imagine how good your kitchen smells — and you haven’t even started the bird yet!

  7. #
    happywhennothungry — November 7, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

    These look amazing! I’ve been wanting to make these for a while. Def need to try now!

  8. #
    juniakk — November 7, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    pumpkin cinna rolls sound delicious! 😀 i am hosting a #squashlove bloghop! totally post your recipe so others can find this. have a great week sweet pea 🙂


  9. #
    Rach @ This Italian Family — November 7, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

    Mmm… I love pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

  10. #
    bekindrewrite — November 7, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    I should never have subscribed to you. You have too many amazing recipes. I want to make them all!!!!

  11. #
    bellabits — November 7, 2011 @ 10:09 pm

    Omigosh! These look so yummy! Definitely a must try for me and my mom this Fall.

  12. #
    eat healthy. be happy. live well. — November 8, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    What a unique addition to cinnamon rolls! I’ve never made these from scratch before, but I would love to try this recipe! AND I would love to be your house on holiday mornings 🙂

  13. #
    carpeseason — November 8, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    That sounds so autumn-ly delicious. Yum!

  14. #
    Courtney — November 9, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    these look amazing, I am going to have to make them ASAP!! hopefully i can handle the yeast, that is not a friend of mine!

  15. #
    iamahoneybee — November 12, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I am sooooo into pumpkin now. I love cinnamon rolls.

  16. #
    RavieNomNoms — November 14, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    Oh man, those look both dangerous and SO delicious…yum!

  17. #
    Eliot — November 14, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    Oh, boy! I love these. I think they will definitely be a contender for a pre or post Thanksgiving breakfast.

  18. #
    Kate — November 17, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

    This qualifies as a vegetable and dairy serving, right?

  19. #
    ItalianNotes — November 18, 2011 @ 2:57 am

    These rolls look so delicious, I really have to try them.

  20. #
    Curt — November 20, 2011 @ 7:25 am

    Pumpkin, cinnamon, and cream cheese! And I can have this for breakfast? I’m sold!

  21. #
    Karena — November 22, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

    Hi! I LOVE your blog! Someday I want to write and tell how I found you:) But I’m busy cooking for Thanksgiving right now, and I wonder about freezing these cinnamon rolls. I assume I can make them, and then freeze them individually before they rise, and then let them rise overnight after taking them out of the freezer? your thoughts please?:) thanks again for such a fun, taste-worthy blog I can count on!!!! Happy turkey day!

    • Christina replied: — November 22nd, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

      These cinnamon rolls freeze very well. You can freeze them right after shaping them. The night before you want to bake them place the pan in the refrigerator to thaw. Then the next day while the oven is preheating, place the covered pan on the counter then place in preheated oven and bake as directed. Good luck with your Thanksgiving cooking…I am doing the same! Let me know how the cinnamon rolls turn out for you. 🙂

  22. Pingback: Orange Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

  23. #
    Anne — September 9, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

    I made these last night/this morning at the first sign of chill in the air here in Austin. The only addition I made was that I added a little pumpkin puree to the butter that I spread on the dough. They are so good! Thanks for posting the recipe!

    • Christina replied: — September 10th, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

      Yea!!! So happy to hear that you enjoyed them! I will have to try adding come puree to the butter mixture next time I make these. Sounds incredible! 🙂

  24. #
    Renee — October 13, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    WOW are these good! I doubled the batch and made them fairly large sized – got 24 rolls. Its a good thing I put some in the freezer or they would ALL be gone.

  25. #
    Kate@Diethood — November 21, 2012 @ 6:31 am

    I would not mind having these for Thanksgiving breakfast, lunch, snack… yum!!

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