September 29, 2022

The Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

The best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls filled with plenty of sweet brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice! These delicious rolls are chewy, sweet, and covered with the perfect cream cheese icing. I know you’ll love them!

Why You’ll Love These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, a cozy batch of cinnamon rolls are one of my favorite things to both make and eat. They’re filled with warm cinnamon, brown sugar, and in this case plenty of pumpkin pie spice!

Cinnamon rolls may be a labor of love but they are always so worth it. And while they may take a little work up front the end result are fluffy delicious rolls. Also, if you have never made cinnamon rolls before, they may be a bit easier to make than you think!

These Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls are a variation of my homemade buttermilk cinnamon roll recipe. The dough is made with pumpkin puree and then filled with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice before baking. Each roll is then covered with a thick and fluffy pumpkin spice cream cheese that you’re going to love!

More Delicious Cinnamon & Sweet Roll Recipes

pumpkin cinnamon roll ingredients

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Ingredients

Whole Milk: we’re using regular whole milk for these rolls. I’ve included some additional milk options below if you are interested!

ACTIVE DRY YEAST: yeast helps the rolls to rise. We’re using two packets of yeast these cinnamon rolls.

Sugar: you’ll need a little granulated sugar to feed the yeast and sweeten the dough.

Pumpkin Puree: if using store-bought, be sure to grab pure pumpkin puree for this recipe and not pumpkin pie filling. You can also make homemade pumpkin puree if you prefer.

Eggs: we’re using one egg and egg yolk for the perfect chewy texture.

All Purpose Flour: regular white all purpose flour is all you need. You could use bread flour instead if you prefer for extra fluffy chewy cinnamon rolls.

Salt: I know it may seem a little odd to add salt to a sweet dough, but trust me on this. Salt helps give your cinnamon roll dough flavor much needed flavor.

Butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter in both the dough and filling.

DARK BROWN SUGAR: you’ll need plenty of delicious rich brown sugar for the filling.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: this is what helps to give the cinnamon rolls that delicious, classic pumpkin pie flavor. You can make your own homemade batch or grab your favorite brand from the store.

CINNAMON: to really drive that cinnamon flavor home.

VANILLA EXTRACT: there is plenty vanilla flavor running throughout the dough, filling, and spiced cream cheese icing.

brown sugar filling in bowl

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Do I have to use whole milk? – nope! I’ve used buttermilk, full-fat coconut milk, and almond milk for these rolls and they have all work great!
  • Can I make these dairy free? – yes! just use a non-dairy milk and vegan butter!
  • Can I add nuts? – yes! chopped walnuts or pecans would both work well!
  • Can I use gluten free flour? – I haven’t tested these pumpkin cinnamon rolls with gluten free flour.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

  • CANDY THERMOMETER – to help you make sure that the milk is just the right temperature.
  • LARGE MIXING BOWL – you’ll need a bowl with a lot of room to mix the dough.
  • WOODEN SPOON – I prefer using a wooden spoon to stir the dough because it has a nice firm handle.
  • MEASURING TAPE – if you want evenly sized cinnamon rolls then measuring tape is your best friend! This helps to ensure your rolls cook evenly as well!
  • TEA TOWEL – to cover your dough while it rises.
  • ROLLING PIN – you’ll need this to roll out the dough. I prefer to use French rolling pin without handles to get the dough an even thickness.
  • SERRATED KNIFE – this makes cutting the cinnamon roll dough a breeze! you can use unflavored dental floss to cut the rolls as well but I prefer to use a sharp serrated knife.
  • PARCHMENT PAPER – to line the baking dish and prevent any mess.
  • 9×13 BAKING DISH – this recipe makes 12 cinnamon rolls so you’ll need a 9×13 pan to hold all the rolls.

yeast activated in bowl

How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Step One: Warm the milk to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm milk and then sprinkle the granulated sugar over the yeast. The yeast should begin to foam and become frothy. If after 5 minutes the yeast still does not start to foam or become frothy, throw out the milk mixture and start again with new yeast. Next, add the melted butter, egg, and egg yolk, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice to the yeast mixture and whisk together until well combined.

Step Two: Add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until a well combined dough forms, being sure to incorporate all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You’ll know it’s time to move on to the next step once it becomes hard to stir. The dough will be thick and shaggy that’s still quite a bit sticky and that’s ok!

Step Three: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and then use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and can easily form into a smooth ball. The dough should feel slightly tacky but it should not stick to your hands or the kneading surface. If the dough is still too sticky after kneading for a few minutes, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and continue to knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball.

cinnamon roll dough in bowl

Step Four: Grease a clean, large bowl with one teaspoon of avocado oil and then transfer the ball of dough to the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm area (like the top of your oven/stovetop) for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Step Five: While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the dark brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

Step Six: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the extra air and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into the shape of a rough rectangle and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 20×16 rectangle that is roughly 1/4 inch thick.

pumpkin cinnamon roll dough with brown sugar

Step Seven: Use a spatula or knife to spread the softened butter evenly over the dough and then sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter, being sure to cover all of the edges of the dough. Use your fingers to press the cinnamon sugar mixture into the butter a bit.

Step Eight: Tightly roll up the dough, on the long side, and place the log seam side down. Pinch the seam a bit so the rolls don’t unravel. Use a sharp serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the roll into 12 equally sized pieces. Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9×13 casserole dish, lined with parchment paper, evenly spaced apart. You should have 3 rows with 4 rolls per row.

cinnamon rolls after second rise

Step Nine: Cover the casserole dish with a tea towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise for another 25-30 minutes or until they have almost doubled in size.

Step Ten: Bake the cinnamon rolls on the center rack at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are a light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before icing.

cream cheese icing in bowl

The Most Delicious Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Icing

One of the best parts of cinnamon rolls is that thick layer of delicious cream cheese icing! These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are extra special because it’s infused with a bit of pumpkin pie spice to really drive that pumpkin flavor home. Of course, if you prefer, you can always leave out the pumpkin pie spice and make a more simple, traditional cream cheese icing to go on top!

How to Store Your Cinnamon Rolls

Wrap the cinnamon rolls tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4-5 days (if they last that long!). The trick with storing cinnamon rolls is to make sure that they don’t dry out, so keeping them tightly wrapped or stored in an air-tight container is important.

How to Reheat Cinnamon Rolls

My favorite way to reheat a cinnamon roll is in the microwave. Just place one cinnamon roll on a microwave safe plate, cover with a moist paper towel, and heat on medium-power or defrost from 10-15 seconds at a time until warmed through. Reheating the cinnamon rolls at a lower heat makes sure that they don’t dry out or become “overcooked’ in the microwave.

pumpkin cinnamon rolls in baking dish

How to Make Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

You can easily make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls the night before and bake them the next morning. You’ll do all of the work the night before and then everyone wakes up to a fresh, warm, cozy, batch of perfect cinnamon rolls. It’s amazing.

To make overnight:

  • Roll, cut, and place the cinnamon rolls in a parchment lined baking dish after they have finished their 1st rise.
  • Then, cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next morning, remove the baking dish from the fridge and let the rolls finish their second rise in a warm area (like on top of the stove) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking.

Can I Use a Stand Mixer?

Yes! Instead of kneading by hand, if you have a stand mixer you can knead the dough using a dough hook. Just know that if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make the dough by hand!

cinnamon rolls after baking

My Favorite Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Tips

  • Make sure your yeast is not expired – check the label on your packets of yeast to make sure that it hasn’t expired so that you get a good rise on your cinnamon rolls.
  • Don’t overheat or underheat your milk – in order for your yeast to activate properly you want to be sure that your milk is heated to 110-115 digress Fahrenheit. I like to heat my milk in a small pot on the stovetop but you can also heat it in the microwave in increments of 15-20 seconds until warm. Use a candy thermometer to ensure the milk isn’t too hot or not hot enough.
  • Make sure your eggs are room temperature – this helps to keep the milk the right temperature and not negatively impact your yeast.
  • Measure the flour correctly – be sure to measure your flour by spooning it into the measuring cup and then using a knife to level it out. Measuring it correctly will ensure that you don’t add too much flour to the dough.
  • Swap AP flour for bread flour – I’ve made these rolls with both all purpose flour and bread flour and both ways come out great. But, if you want extra fluffy chewy cinnamon rolls then bread flour is the way to go!
  • Use room temperature butter in the filling – I’ve tested these with both melted butter and room temperature butter and room temp butter wins every single time. I found that the filling leaked out of the rolls while baking when I used melted butter.
  • Use measuring tape – I use to really struggle with getting evenly sized cinnamon rolls until I started to pull out my measuring tape. Now, I keep one in the kitchen and it helps me to cut evenly sized cinnamon rolls every time.
  • Line your pan with parchment paper – if you want to make clean up a breeze and keep your rolls from sticking, don’t forget to line your baking dish with parchment paper before adding the cinnamon rolls.
  • Don’t over bake – the cinnamon rolls should be a nice golden brown on the top and not too dark. If you tap the top of a roll and it sounds hollow then you know they are done.
  • Practice makes perfect – here’s the thing with any type of cinnamon roll, you get better at making them the more you make them. I’ve made dozens of batches of both my homemade cinnamon rolls and these banana cinnamon rolls at this point, and I still feel like I learn a new little trick or find something I want to tweak every time I make them. Just know your rolls will be delicious and you’ll feel even more confident making them with more practice.

one pumpkin cinnamon roll on plate

More Reader Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

I hope you love these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls as much as we do!
If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 21/4 oz packets active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk , room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 4 1/25 cups all purpose flour (plus more for kneading and rolling)

Filling

  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Method

  1. Warm the milk to 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit and then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm milk and then sprinkle the granulated sugar over the yeast. The yeast should begin to foam and become frothy. If after 5 minutes the yeast still does not start to foam or become frothy, throw out the milk mixture and start again with new yeast. Next, add the melted butter, egg, and egg yolk, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice to the yeast mixture and whisk together until well combined.
  2. Add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until a well combined dough forms, being sure to incorporate all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You’ll know it’s time to move on to the next step once it becomes hard to stir. The dough will be thick and shaggy that’s still quite a bit sticky and that’s ok!
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and then use your hands to knead the dough for 8-10 minutes until it becomes elastic and can easily form into a smooth ball. The dough should feel slightly tacky but it should not stick to your hands or the kneading surface. If the dough is still too sticky after kneading for a few minutes, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time and continue to knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball.
  4. Grease a clean, large bowl with one teaspoon of avocado oil and then transfer the ball of dough to the greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm area (like the top of your oven/stovetop) for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the dark brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a small bowl.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the extra air and then transfer to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into the shape of a rough rectangle and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 20×16 rectangle that is roughly 1/4 inch thick.
  7. Use a spatula or knife to spread the softened butter evenly over the dough and then sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter, being sure to cover all of the edges of the dough. Use your fingers to press the cinnamon sugar mixture into the butter a bit.
  8. Tightly roll up the dough, on the long side, and place the log seam side down. Pinch the seam a bit so the rolls don’t unravel. Use a sharp serrated knife or unflavored dental floss to cut the roll into 12 equally sized pieces. Place the cinnamon rolls in a 9×13 casserole dish, lined with parchment paper, evenly spaced apart. You should have 3 rows with 4 rolls per row.
  9. Cover the casserole dish with a tea towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise for another 25-30 minutes or until they have almost doubled in size.
  10. Bake the cinnamon rolls on the center rack at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the rolls are a light golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before icing.
  11. Make the Cream Cheese Icing: Add the cream cheese, butter, and confectioner’s sugar to a mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix the frosting until it is fluffy and the confectioner’s sugar is well incorporated without any lumps. Next, add in the vanilla extract and pumpkin pie spice. Mix on high again until well combined. Set aside.

Notes

!!

To make overnight: Roll, cut, and place the cinnamon rolls in a parchment lined baking dish after they have finished their 1st rise. Then, cover the rolls tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. The next morning, remove the baking dish from the fridge and let the rolls finish their second rise in a warm area (like on top of the stove) for about 45 minutes to 1 hour before baking.

Keywords: pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin cinnamon rolls recipe, how to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls

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    2 comments
  1. Yes mam! These were great! I did try to make them gluten free!! It worked. They were a bit dense as most gluten free things are but they… were… fabulous!! I used carton coconut milk and half Bobs Red Mill gluten free 1:1 flour, and half Namaste GF flour same measurements as Your recipe. Otherwise i left everything else the same. Definitely making many more times this fall! Love all of your recipes that I’ve tried!!

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