These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are topped with a yummy cinnamon cream cheese frosting! We’re also sharing how to prepare them the night before and bake in the morning.
Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
We can’t get enough of these deliciously autumn pumpkin cinnamon rolls! They’re ooey gooey and topped with an easy cinnamon cream cheese frosting that you’ll be licking right off the spoon.
Plus, we’ll show you how to prepare the rolls the night before so all you need to do is bake them in the morning.
why you’ll love these cinnamon rolls
Amazing pumpkin flavor: we love this pumpkin-y twist on a classic cinnamon roll. You’ll find amazing pumpkin flavor in every bite — because there is pumpkin puree in the dough AND pumpkin pie spice in the filling 🙂
Prepare the night before: you can prepare your rolls the night before and store in the fridge overnight. Simply bake in the morning, and ENJOY.
Perfect for the holidays: these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are perfect for serving at any of the fall or winter holidays. The whole fam will love them!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
The ingredients for these pumpkin cinnamon rolls can be broken down to 3 elements: the dough, the filling and the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Here’s what you’ll need:
for the Dough
- 2% milk
- Quick rise yeast
- Granulated sugar
- Pumpkin puree
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
for the Filling
- Light brown sugar
- Pumpkin pie spice
for the cream cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon
Helpful Cooking Tools
Make sure to set yourself up for success and get out any necessary baking tools for these orange rolls.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
For the full recipe, scroll down to the recipe card for a list of ingredients and instructions.
START WITH THE DOUGH
Prepare the yeast by adding the warm milk and quick rise yeast packet to a bowl for at least 5 minutes or until the yeast has bloomed.
then, whisk together the rest of the wet ingredients and combine with the bloomed yeast mixture.
Then, with your stand mixer on low-medium speed with a dough hook, and slowly add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients until it forms a shaggy dough. And then continue until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should bounce back when you poke it).
Don’t have a stand mixer? You can use a wooden spoon until the dough is formed enough to knead by hand. Then hand knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.
LET THE DOUGH RISE
Transfer you ball of dough to a lightly buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. Place in a warm place (we like to set ours IN the oven with the oven OFF) until the dough has doubled in size. This will take approximately 1-1.5 hours.
Make the frosting
Combine the softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in your stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Once combined, slowly add the powdered sugar. Beat the frosting on medium speed until it’s light and fluffy.
Maple Cinnamon Rolls
Looking for another cinnamon roll recipe? Try our maple cinnamon rolls! Mmm!
roll the dough
Now that your dough has risen, it’s time to turn it out. Using a rolling pin, roll your dough into a rectangle that’s approximately 18” long, 12” wide, and 1/4” thick.
Then, spread the softened butter over the dough, top with the pumpkin cinnamon mixture and roll it into a tight log.
Want larger rolls?
You’ll see that we rolled our dough starting on the LONG SIDE, but if you prefer larger more over-sized maple cinnamon rolls (and thus, less total rolls), simply roll your dough starting on the SHORT SIDE.
Next, slice the log into 1” rolls. To do this, start in middle of the roll, and mark the dough with a knife, then mark every inch on each side of the middle mark. This will ensure you have equal sized rolls 😀
Add the pumpkin cinnamon rolls to your prepared dish, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel again, and place in a warm location to rise for a 2nd time, this time for around 30 minutes.
Making these rolls for tomorrow? Instead of placing in a warm location, cover and place in the fridge overnight for baking in the morning. Just make sure you allow your rolls to come to room temperature before baking in the morning.
TIME TO BAKE
Once your rolls have risen for a 2nd time, it’s time to bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes. Your house is about to smell AMAZING.
FROST & ENJOY
Wait at least 10 minutes after your rolls have come out of the oven before spreading on the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Then, SERVE AND ENJOY!
Pro Tips for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
We have a few pro tips to share when it comes to making these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Follow these tips to cinnamon roll perfection:
Don’t Overheat the milk
Because the yeast is getting started in the warm milk, you don’t want it to be TOO WARM. Yeast will bloom perfectly when the milk is around 110°F. If the milk is too warm, it can kill the yeast. Conversely, if the milk is too cold, the yeast will have a tough time blooming, which can result in dense rolls — no one wants that!
Quick Rise Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast
We love using quick rise yeast for these rolls! Technically, quick rise yeast doesn’t require you to let it bloom before mixing into the dough, but we like to get it started in warm milk to allow for perfect rising.
Does active dry yeast work, too? Yes! Follow the same instructions, but be mindful that your rise times may increase slightly.
USE A SHARP serrated KNIFE TO CUT ROLLS
Use a SHARP serrated knife and gently slice your pumpkin cinnamon rolls using a gentle back and forth motion, making sure to not squish the rolls. This will help keep the form, but don’t you worry if the rolls squish a bit — you can reform the rolls easily with your hands.
TO CUT EQUAL-SIZE CINNAMON ROLLS
For equal-sized pumpkin cinnamon rolls, you’ll need to evenly divide the roll of dough into 1 inch cinnamon rolls. Start in middle of the roll, and mark the dough with a knife, then mark every inch on each side of the middle mark.
Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Instructions
To prepare these cinnamon rolls the night before so all you need to do the morning you serve them is bake, follow these simple instructions:
- Make the rolls as instructed up to step 13.
- Then, in the morning, take the rolls out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes).
- Bake as instructed.
- Frost & enjoy!
Apple Cinnamon Rolls
Looking for another cinnamon roll recipe? Try our apple cinnamon rolls! Mmm!
Store these pumpkin cinnamon rolls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To reheat: while reheating in the microwave absolutely works, our preferred method is in the oven. Reheat rolls covered at 350°F for 10 minutes or until the rolls are warm and just as delicious as the first time you took them out of the oven.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- ¾ cup 2% milk warmed to 100-110°F
- 1 packet of quick rise yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons butter melted (unsalted preferred)
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Add the warm milk, granulated sugar, and yeast to a large bowl. Set aside until the yeast has bloomed – about 5 minutes.
- Next add the pumpkin puree, melted butter, egg, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- Using a stand mixer on low – medium speed with the dough hook attachment, slowly stir the flour and salt into the wet ingredients. Once all of the flour has been added and a shaggy dough has formed, knead for 2-3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic (it should bounce back when you poke it).
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. Place it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size — about 1-1.5 hours.
- Make the cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
- When the cream cheese mixture is smooth, turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer to medium speed. Beat for 30-45 seconds or until the frosting is light and fluffy. Set aside.
- Assemble the pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Once the dough has risen for 1 to 1.5 hours, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll it into a rectangle that is approximately 18” long, 12” wide, and 1/4” thick.
- Spread the butter over the dough and then sprinkle the filling over the butter. Then roll into a tight log, starting at one of the long sides. For larger rolls, roll the tight log starting at one of the short sides.
- Slice the log into about 1-1 ½-inch rolls. This will yield about 12 rolls, depending on how tightly you roll your log and whether you start rolling at a long or short side of the dough.
- Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish or line it with parchment paper. Add the rolls to the dish, making sure they just barely touch. Depending on how tightly you rolled dough into the log, you can either place rolls 3×4 OR 2×4 with extra rolls in another baking dish.
- If you’re making the rolls in advance, wrap them in plastic and place them in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Bring the rolls to room temperature (about 30 minutes) when you’re ready to bake and then skip to step 13.
- If you aren’t making the rolls in advance, cover with plastic wrap and then a tea towel, and place them in a warm spot to rise until the rolls begin to touch — about 30 minutes. While the rolls rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Bake the pumpkin cinnamon rolls for 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven and the size of your rolls) or until the centers are set, be sure not to overbake.
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.
Photography: photos taken in this post are by Ashley McGlaughlin from The Edible Perspective.
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