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

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