Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. While that’s activating, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice and kosher salt.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. If you want to make it the next day, cover it and transfer to the fridge and let it rise overnight.
  8. Make the filling by beating together the butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, vanilla and salt.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

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.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting

If you make these rolls, let me know on Instagram! 

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Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Frosting