The Tastes of Fall!

Fall is a beautiful time of the year! Apples, vibrant colors, cinnamon, sweet potato, pumpkin, warm cider, bonfires, sweaters, boots, warm desserts, comforting food…….yes, it is my favorite season! Cinnamon rolls….good homemade cinnamon rolls, take time to put together and with Daylight Savings Time coming to a close, you can use that additional hour to prepare these amazing rolls!  This dynamic recipe is the property of Sally at Sally’s Baking Addiction and I strongly suggest you head to her site for baking inspiration!

Super soft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls filled with a gooey cinnamon swirl and topped with maple cream cheese icing.

Ingredients:

PUMPKIN DOUGH

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk*
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) 100% pure pumpkin
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 grams) packed dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard package) instant active dry yeast
  • 2 and 1/2 cups  bread flour (340 grams) OR all-purpose flour (315 grams)* (measured correctly)

FILLING

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon EACH ground nutmeg and ground cloves*
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice*
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter, melted

MAPLE CREAM CHEESE GLAZE

  • 3 oz (84 grams) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (82 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted 

Directions:

  1. Read all of the instructions typed out in the post above before beginning the recipe.
  2. Make the dough: warm the milk and butter together over the stove or in the microwave. Warm the two together until the butter is *just* melted.  A few butter specks is OK.  You want the mixture lukewarm (105-115F degrees), not scorching hot.  Set aside. Using your electric mixer with paddle attachment, beat pumpkin puree, brown sugar, a dash of nutmeg, and salt together on medium speed. Add your warmed milk/butter to this mixture and beat until combined. Then add 1 beaten egg and the yeast. Beat all of this together for 30 seconds, then turn your mixer to low speed and add 1 cup of flour. Mix for 5 full minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently.  Add 1 and 1/4 cups more flour and beat for 1 more minute. The dough will be VERY, very, very soft. Place dough into a bowl coated with nonstick spray.  Turn the dough around in the bowl so all sides of the dough are coated.  Cover tightly with plastic saran wrap and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size. This will take about 60-75 minutes. I place my dough into an oven that I pre-heated to 200F degrees and then turned off. Read above for more specific details.
  3. The dough will be very puffy after this time. See above for how the dough should look.  Punch the dough down to deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, a pastry mat, or a silicone baking mat. Knead the dough a few times to form a smooth dough.  You will need to add 1/4 cup more flour to make it easy to handle. The dough will stick to your hands, so flour your hands as well. You want the dough as soft as possible, so don’t go adding too much flour. Anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup would be OK.
  4. Make the filling: Roll the dough out into a 16×10 inch rectangle. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices into a small bowl.  Spread the top with melted butter and then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar mixture. See above for a photo. Roll it up tightly. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 10-13 pieces, about 1.5 inches each. (I cut the ends off of my dough log, so I have 11 rolls). Arrange rolls into a 9-inch or 11×7 inch pan that has been lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Allow the rolls to rise again in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size. This takes about 1 hour (or use my overnight option, detailed below).
  5. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Bake the rolls for 22-28 minutes, covering with aluminum foil at the 15 minute mark to prevent heavy browning. My rolls took 24 minutes.
  6. Make the glaze: Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl on medium speed until smooth. Add the maple syrup and milk and beat on high until smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium speed until creamy. Pour over warm cinnamon rolls. Rolls taste best served on the same day, though they remain fresh for one day covered tightly at room temperature. Unglazed rolls freeze well up to 2 months.

Additional Notes:

*For the milk: please use milk with fat in it, such as 1% or 2%, or whole if you want a soft-textured roll.

*For the flour: As mentioned in the post above, I found that my rolls were softer using bread flour, as opposed to using all-purpose flour.

*2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice may be used instead of the starred spices listed in the filling. 

Overnight: Prepare the rolls through step 4. Instead of allowing the cut rolls to rise in a warm environment, place the pan into the fridge and allow the rolls to rest for up to 14 hours before baking. When it’s time to bake the next day, allow the rolls to come up to room temperature and rise for 1 hour on the counter, or until almost doubled in size. Then, bake as directed.

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