Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting are the perfect autumnal breakfast treat. A fluffy yeasted dough is rolled up with a cinnamon filling and topped with a cream cheese frosting spiked with maple syrup. Make them ahead by preparing the dough the day before and assembling them on the morning of!
Fall is almost here and I can’t wait. Every year it takes so much self-control to not make pumpkin everything once Labor Day is over. I was waiting until we were in proper fall. No pre-matureness here! It’s time for these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting to shine!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls vs. Regular Cinnamon Rolls
- Replacing some of the eggs with pumpkin.
- I adapted my cinnamon roll recipe and added less eggs. The pumpkin took its place. That’s the commonality you’ll find in many pumpkin baked goods: The pumpkin can act like an egg…but not entirely. I made sure to still include 1 egg (my other recipe calls for 3 eggs). Baking is interesting, isn’t it!?!?
The Amount of Pumpkin Pie Spice Needs to Be On Point
Too much and it tastes medicinal and just tacky. Too little and you’re like THIS IS BLAND. One of the first recipe tests was a bit bland so we added more. We went for balance so there’s a bit in the dough and some in the filling. The pumpkin pie spice also accentuates the pumpkin flavor.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting
- The first step is activating the yeast. I like to do this in the bowl where I’m going to add the rest of the wet ingredients.
- If you’re using Instant Dry Yeast, you can add it to the dry ingredients and skip this step entirely. But I like to pour the yeast into the milk and mix it in and allow it to sit until all foamy for about 8 minutes. You really NEED to see the foam in order to ensure that it’s activated.
- While that’s activating, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and kosher salt.
- To the yeast, add the pumpkin and egg and mix it up. Pour in the flour and combine it (I like to use the dough hook if I’m using the stand-up mixer) and mix it up.
- Slowly add the cubes of butter until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Knead it on medium speed for about 4 to 5 minutes. If you’re doing this by hand, you can knead it on the counter for about 10 minutes.
- Transfer it to a greased bowl and NOW you have some options. If you want to use it right away, keep it out at room temperature, cover it with a clean linen, and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours.
- If you want to make it the next day, cover it and transfer to the fridge and let it rise overnight.
- Make the filling by beating together the butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, vanilla and salt.
- Roll the dough out into a 15×22-inch rectangle. And spread the filling out onto the dough. Roll it up and cut the dough into 2-inch slices. Place them in baking pans and allow them to rise again for about 1 hour.
- Bake them up! While they’re baking, make the glaze by beating together butter and cream cheese. THEN, add the powdered sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream and salt. Beat for a full minute.
- Add the frosting to the tops of the rolls and DONE!
How to Make the Best Filling for Cinnamon Rolls
A lot of cinnamon rolls recipes will have you melt butter and then spread it over the dough. Then you’ll just sprinkle sugar on. Look, this works. I just find it to be super messy and I think it’s MUCH easier to make a paste.
It spreads easier, it won’t leak out of the cinnamon roll. I also read recently that doing this will make some dry cinnamon rolls because the melted butter will absorb into the dough and the center won’t be buttery. I dunno if this is true, I just find this method easier. It does take the foresight to make sure you have a good amount of room temperature butter ready.
Tips and Tricks
- Use floss to cut the dough – After you add the filling to the top of the dough and roll it up, you’ll end up with a log that needs to be cut up. The easiest way to cut it up is using a string of floss. Use it to slice through the dough. It yields super clean cuts.
- You could also cut the log in half and transfer them to the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. This will help with getting clean slices. It will take some additional time for the rolls to rise since they’ll be super cold.
- Store the dough in the fridge overnight, covered with plastic wrap or a lid. You can roll out the dough the next day in order to assemble the rolls.
If you make these rolls, let me know on Instagram!
Looking for more recipes? Here are some favorites:
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
Pumpkin cinnamon rolls with maple icing are the perfect indulgence. Pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree make these cinnamon rolls taste like autumn. Then they’re topped with fluffy maple cream cheese icing.
- 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (360g)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons white granulated sugar (37.5g)
- 1 large egg beaten in a bowl
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cubed and at room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar (66g)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch kosher salt
Maple Cream Cheese Glaze:
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
To Make the Dough:
To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (alternatively, you can do this in a large bowl by hand), add the lukewarm milk. Mix in the active dry yeast and allow it to stand and activate, about 8 minutes, until foamy and alive!
To a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
To the bowl of the mixer (with the yeast), mix in the pumpkin, sugar and egg. Then all at once, add the flour mixture. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and mix on low until the dough starts to become cohesive. With the mixer running on low, slowly add the cubes of butter.
Knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Alternatively, if you’re doing this by hand, you’ll need to knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will go from crumbly and separate to completely cohesive and smooth. The dough shouldn’t be sticky. Remove the dough from the hook and the bowl and form it into a ball.
Transfer the ball of dough to a clean, lightly greased bowl (I used the flour bowl and just wiped it clean with a kitchen towel and then greased it). Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and transfer to the fridge to rise for at least 2 hours or overnight. (If you’re going to let it rise overnight, place it in the fridge.)
To Make the Filling:
To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (with the paddle attachment) or using a medium bowl and a fork, add the butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Mix and mash until the filling is completely smooth.
To Assemble the Cinnamon Rolls:
Remove the dough from the bowl. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough into the center. Lightly flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 1/8-inch thick rectangle that measures 15“x22“ If it’s not a perfect rectangle, then that’s totally ok.
Add the filling to the rectangle of dough, spreading it out into an even very thin layer, stopping from about 1/2-inch from the edges. Roll the dough starting closest to you and going up. Divide the dough into two and transfer to a cutting board. Place it in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes. I find that slicing cold dough is WAY easier.
Remove from the freezer and slice the rolls into 2-inch rolls, about 9, trimming the ends off. You might have some ends or skinnier pieces. You can place those in a smaller baking dish and still bake them up, if you like!
Transfer the cinnamon rolls to a greased 9 x 9 baking dish. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
To Make the Cream Cheese Icing:
To the bowl of a stand-up mixer (or a large bowl) with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sifted powdered sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream. Beat for about 1 minute, until light and fluffy
You are more than welcome to make them ahead a few different ways. The first way is the make the dough/filling/cream cheese frosting and place them all separately in the fridge overnight. The dough will proof slowly in the fridge. You can continue the recipe in the morning, rolling the dough straight from the fridge, cold. This makes it easier to handle and slice. You will need to bring the filling and frosting to room temperature first before using.
Another way is to assemble the cinnamon rolls and instead of setting them out on the counter to proof, transfer them to the fridge to proof overnight. You can bake them straight from the fridge as long as they have doubled in size.
Calories: 298kcal (15%)