Give the Diet a Rest – Bring on Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
The weather is taking a turn towards fall and we must have these NOW! Who doesn’t love a warm cinnamon roll? But to add pumpkin and cream cheese frosting? Oh my – we’re in! This delish breakfast treat come to us compliments of Katie Goodman of goodLife {eats}. Be sure to check out her website for a printable copy of this recipe and browse through even more of her tempting recipes. A little unsure about working with yeast? Katie gets us started with her top 5 tips for baking with yeast. Thanks Katie!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls


1. Don’t stick to the rising times listed in the recipe. Those are just guidelines. What you’re really concerned with is: Has the dough doubled in bulk?

2. So I know I want the dough to double in bulk, but how do I know that’s happened? The easiest way I’ve learned is to dust your finger in flour and stick it into the dough (when you get near the recipe rising time listed). The hole will close up if it’s not ready – try again in 5-10 minutes. When it’s ready, the dough will retain the indentation from your finger. The hole will close up if it’s not ready – try again in 5-10 minutes. When it’s ready, the dough will retain the indentation from your finger.

3. Always start with fresh, newly bought yeast. Using old yeast that’s been in your fridge or pantry for months (or years?) on end is always iffy. I like to buy a few new packets at the start of fall when I know I’ll be baking and replenish as needed.

4. You can bake bread without a bread machine, a stand mixer or a food processor. Really, it’s not that hard. I started out with a hand-me-down bread machine just to get comfortable with things and would run it on the dough cycle, but I quickly found it unnecessary (and a large appliance to store). If you have a stand mixer, by all means: USE IT. But don’t let the lack fancy equipment keep you from making bread. It just takes a little elbow grease, which is actually quite satisfying.

5. Try, try again. Everyone has flops. I’ve had rolls that didn’t quite rise enough and turned out like rocks. I’ve had dry bread. But I’ve also had some really good ones. Don’t let failure keep you from giving it another go.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
roll dough adapted from King Arthur Flour
makes approximately 15-16 rolls


Roll Dough:

    • 1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
    • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
    • 1/3 cup warm milk
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
    • 1 tablespoon melted butter
    • 2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom


    • 1 stick butter
    • 2/3 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

    Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • 4 ounces cream cheese
    • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 2-3 cups powdered sugar


    In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Let rest for 5 minutes before stirring. Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 2 cups flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

    Gradually add remaining flour, a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.

    Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

    Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.

    Roll the dough into a log the long way; it’ll stretch to about 20″ long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices. Place slices in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

    Bake in a preheated 375°F oven. Bake the rolls till they’re brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.

    While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor. Blend until smooth and combined. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)

    Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

    For night before prep: Prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off. Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

Kerry Welton | Permalink |

2 Responses to “Give the Diet a Rest – Bring on Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls!”

  1. Debby Kjonisen Says:

    These sound absolutely fabulous. Can’t wait to try them.

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