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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHO WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE: The pumpkin lover in your life won’t be able to resist my Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls recipe. Unlike traditional cinnamon buns, these rolls are made with soft pumpkin dough, stuffed with Homemade Pumpkin Butter, and topped with a cream cheese glaze.
Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect morning treat to welcome pumpkin season, celebrate fall, or get your Thanksgiving started! Best of all, if you’re a bit busy in the morning, you can assemble the rolls the night before, proof them in the morning, and have an easy, no-stress, perfect pumpkin breakfast.
My Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls recipe is a triple threat. It all starts with the pumpkin dough, which gets its soft and fluffy texture from Homemade Pumpkin Puree (but store-bought will work, too!), and delicious flavor from my Pumpkin Pie Spice.
After the dough has risen, I use my “pumpkin pie in a jar,” also known as my Pumpkin Butter recipe, as the filling. This butter is also filled with fall and pumpkin flavors; it’s made with pumpkin puree, dark brown sugar, maple syrup, apple juice, and warm spices. The dough is rolled up, creating the most delicious pumpkin spice cinnamon swirl.
I then top it all off with a homemade cream cheese glaze — flavored with maple syrup and a touch of vanilla extract — to make these perfect ooey-gooey pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
A word of caution: I would schedule a big holiday dinner later in the evening. These cinnamon rolls are too good to stop at one!
There are a few ingredients in pumpkin cinnamon rolls that you may not be familiar with, which I’ll be sure to cover, but you likely have most of these ingredients on hand already!
- All-Purpose Flour: While some cinnamon rolls call for bread flour, I tested this recipe with all-purpose flour instead. Most people have AP flour in their homes at all times, and I wanted this recipe to be accessible as possible, so I shaped the recipe around this type of flour!
- Granulated Sugar: Also known as “white” sugar.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: I use my homemade pumpkin pie spice, which is an easy combination of spices most people have in their spice drawer, but you can use store-bought, pre-made pumpkin pie spice as well.
- Instant Yeast: I always use instant yeast; I find it easier to work with than Active Dry. If you only have access to Active Dry Yeast, you will need to use a little more — the ratio is ¾ teaspoon of instant yeast to 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast.
- In this recipe, I use 1 packet of Instant Yeast, which is 2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams. If you are using Active Dry Yeast, you will need 2 4/5 teaspoons or almost about 9 grams.
- You will need to proof your Active Dry Yeast before using. To do so, use some of the liquid from the dough recipe to activate your yeast.
- Salt: Salt is essential in baking. Just a touch goes a long way in helping bring out the flavors of the cinnamon rolls.
- Milk: I always use full-fat, whole milk for my recipes.
- Pumpkin Puree: I like to use my homemade puree, but you can use canned pumpkin from the store if you prefer. Be sure you use 100% canned pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling!
- Butter: I like to use high-quality butter to add flavor and softness to my recipes.
- Egg: I use large eggs for my recipes.
- Pumpkin Butter
- Powdered Sugar: This adds sweetness to your cream cheese glaze.
- Cream Cheese: Use block cream cheese — not the cream cheese that comes in the tub that’s labeled “spread.”
- Maple Syrup: Always use 100% pure maple syrup in recipes and not pancake syrup! This helps give the cream cheese frosting a subtle “fall” flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla, like salt, helps boost the flavors of a dish.
Tools You Need
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- Large bowl
- Medium bowl
- Rolling pin
- Serrated knife
- 9×13-inch (23x33cm) baking dish
- Plastic wrap
Can You Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Ahead?
Yes! You can make pumpkin cinnamon rolls the day before you plan to bake them. Assemble the rolls, following the recipe up to step 4, cover the dough with plastic wrap, and place it in your fridge overnight.
In the morning, place the dough on your counter, allow it to rise at room temperature for 60-90 minutes, and bake as normal.
How Do I Store Leftover Cinnamon Rolls?
You can store any leftover cinnamon rolls covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days. The pumpkin butter filling can be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator for up to a week before use. The cream cheese glaze can be made the day before use.
What type of yeast should I use for cinnamon rolls?
I use instant yeast for all of my recipes, including this one. However, if you can only find Active Dry Yeast, you will need to use a bit more than what is listed in the recipe.
If using Active Dry Yeast, you will need 2 4/5 teaspoons. You will also need to activate your yeast before moving forward. To do this, use a bit of the milk from the recipe. Keep in mind that it may take a bit longer for your dough to rise if you use active dry yeast.
Can I freeze cinnamon rolls?
I don’t recommend making these pumpkin cinnamon rolls in advance and then freezing them. I have never had success with that — however, if you’d like to experiment and have found a method that works, please share below in the comments!
What do I do if I don’t have a stand mixer?
A stand mixer certainly makes this recipe easier, but if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Use my Homemade Pumpkin Butter recipe for the filling! Make the pumpkin butter up to a week in advance for less work.
- The cream cheese glaze can be made the day before. If that isn’t your cup of tea, try topping these with one of these 5 Glazes, Salted Caramel Sauce, or more pumpkin butter!
- If you are making these for Thanksgiving morning, make and assemble the rolls the night before and keep them covered in the fridge overnight. On Thanksgiving morning, let them proof at room temp for 60-90 minutes, then bake as usual.
Want More Pumpkin Recipes?