Food & Swine

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


I have been nipped by the ‘baking bug’ as I’ve spent quite a bit of my time recently with my family, helping bring the crops in for Harvest 2014.  Time in the tractor gives me time to consider recipes I’ve never made before and ones I see on Pinterest all. the. time. that are not quite up to the standards of Midwest baking.

Cinnamon Roll Logic: These are some rules I’ve developed over time, and noticing the shortcomings of other recipes on well-known, respected websites.  (Okay, maybe some of those people haven’t devoted as much time to Thy Cinnamon Roll as I have over the last 5 years. I get it.)
1. Don’t use oil in sweet dough recipes.  Butter works well and it is what your Grandma did.  Trust me.
2. Never use baking powder or baking soda in yeast breads.  They are called yeast breads for a reason.  This should be a RED alert for you if you stumble across a bread recipe with other leavening agents besides yeast involved.  Find another recipe.
3. Don’t rush the baking of yeast breads.  If you need to, along the way, there are various points to suspend the process of creating breads.  (ie: chilling dough after first rise, freezing individual sized rolls for future baking etc.)
4. All purpose flour is the best flour to use when baking soft dinner rolls or sweet rolls.  My flour of choice: King Arthur All-Purpose Flour, it has a slightly higher protein (gluten) content than regular grocery all-purpose flour (which I use for pie baking).  This higher protein content gives just enough ‘chew’ to the soft sweet rolls.
5. Spread softened butter onto the rolled out dough prior to adding filling.  So many brush melted butter onto the rolled out dough.  All this makes is a dang mess.

*Lastly: I’ve used a large amount of pumpkin in this recipe and I’ll say these don’t scream PUUUUMMMMMMPPPPPKIIIIIIIIINNNNNN to my taste buds.  More of a novelty, but a subtle earthiness from the Halloween-friendly food.

*For a step by step photo show of making cinnamon rolls, check my post for Champion Cinnamon Rolls.

Stay tuned because I’ve got a recipe for Pumpkin Caramel Pecan rolls too… dying to make an appearance on the blog! Remember these from above? oh yes… they’re coming soon.

Let’s hop to the recipe because I’ve got to hop in the tractor soon… my sister and I get to work together today, we love to have tractor parties.  Don’t tell my Dad that when country music goes to break we do listen to a bit of pop music and if we hear a song like “Bang Bang” by Jessie J…. we do have an instant tractor-dance-party, no matter what we’re doing.

Have a great weekend!
Time to get to work!
We’re on our way with treats, Grandpa!  (I just love this picture and will keep it forever.)

Last night… our version of “Friday Night Lights”.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Vanilla Maple Glaze

by: Cristen 

Time to make: 3-4 hours



2 pkg active dry yeast

1/2 C warm water (110 degrees)

2 tsp sugar

1 1/2 C milk or sour milk (warmed to 110 degrees)

1 C canned pumpkin

6 T Butter, room temperature

3 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1/3 C sugar

1/2 C mashed potato flakes, flakes only

2 tsp salt

7-8 C King Arthur All Purpose Flour

In a large mixing bowl, proof yeast with warm water and sugar in a small bowl until foamy.

To large mixing bowl with yeast mixture add milk, pumpkin, butter, eggs, sugar, salt and potato flakes.  Whisk well until combined. Add flour, mixing with each 1 cup addition. Stir well until mixture comes together to create a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, by hand, until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment for 6-8 minutes of kneading on medium low speed. (This is a big batch of dough, suitable for larger stand mixers.)

Place in greased bowl, flip dough over so both sides are well greased then cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until double. (60-75 minutes) Punch dough down to degas.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

8 TBSP (1 stick) butter, softened

3/4 C brown sugar

2 TBSP quality ground cinnamon

1 T flour

Dash of salt

Mix in a small bowl: brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, flour and salt. Set aside to use once dough is rolled out.

Vanilla Maple Glaze:

1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

3 TBSP Pure Maple Syrup (or 1.5 tsp maple extract) ½ TBSP milk

3 C powdered sugar (sifted)

Pinch of salt

Whisk ingredients until smooth, add milk or more powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Set aside until rolls are out of the oven and cooled 15 minutes.

Assembly :

On a lightly greased surface roll dough into 18×24 inch rectangle.  Spread butter evenly over dough.  Sprinkle filling evenly over butter.  Roll up long end to long end.  Pinch seam at the end of the roll.  Score the dough in 1 1/2 inch increments.  Slide dental floss under roll.  Bring up ends of floss and criss cross at the center and pull quickly, slicing through the dough.  Place 4 slices each, cut side up in 5 well buttered 8” cake pans, or other pan of choice. Just make sure that the rolls are not touching at this point, they need room to rise (1-2 inches between).   Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size. (60-75 minutes) (I usually don’t make this many rolls, I save some to freeze for later. Will show those instructions at end of recipe.)

Bake the rolls in a 350 degree oven for 24-28 minutes until internal temperature registers 190 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.  Do not let the roll tops overbrown.  Tent with foil during the last 10-15 minutes of baking if necessary.

Remove rolls from oven.  Let rest 15 minutes then drizzle with icing. Serve warm.

Yields: 18-20 large rolls.

To freeze: Freeze dough after slicing, individually wrapped (think hockey puck) in plastic wrap and then foil.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When ready to serve, remove rolls from freezer, place in greased pan (Plain for frosted cinnamon rolls, with caramel and pecans in pan for Caramel Pecan Rolls), spray rolls with nonstick spray too, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 8-10 hours.  Bake as usual.


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  • Reply ceil slings October 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    I think you need to practice again today! Your Father ate the last of them yesterday!

  • Reply sandyrmiller November 19, 2014 at 3:25 am

    I made the pumpkin cinnamon and pumpkin Carmel pecan rolls today for Thanksgiving. I made some clover leaf for tonight with a little of the extra dough. They were very good. I made the rolls smaller to fit in a muffin tin for Thanksgiving. Hope that will work! Love your blog so much. Everything I have made is great! Not sure about the maple frosting– maybe it is my maple syrup from Trader Joes. Was it suppose to have any butter in the frosting?



    • Reply Cristen November 20, 2014 at 2:22 am

      You can certainly put butter in that icing. I don’t, simply because it separates if reheated and doesn’t look pretty. :) xoxo thanks for reading Sandy! P.S. I use a high quality maple flavoring… not syrup usually.

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