Pumpkin Maple Cinnamon Rolls
Next to bagels, cake, frosting (and five billion other foods) pumpkin is high up there on my I love you foods list. I don’t discriminate when it comes to baked goods with pumpkin….pumpkin bagels with pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin bars, pumpkin muffies from Panera Bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cream cheese muffins from Starbucks and most of all I love my pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls last year for my blog but I prefer this recipe so much more! There’s more pumpkin flavor, they’re oh so fluffy and most importantly, there’s maple cream cheese frosting!!! It’s all about the frosting….and the pumpkin…..and nevermind. Just make these please.
First we’ll mix up the pumpkin mixture. You’ll need half a package of instant vanilla pudding mix. (a 3.4 ounce box) Yes seriously and don’t you get all whiny about artificial ingredients. If they won’t kill you, all of the butter and sugar in my recipe should do the trick. Or everything else on my blog will! :)
Whisk in 1/4 cup cold whole milk.
Then add in 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree. (not the pumpkin pie mix!)
Add in 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Whisk it up.
Pour in 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter. Mmmm butter. Butter is my life…along with bagels and cream cheese.
And pour in 1 lightly beaten egg. Whisk everything together. Set the mixture aside.
Now moving onto the yeast part. If you’re afraid of working with yeast, don’t be! It’s not scary…it won’t bite, won’t talk back.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 1 package of active dry yeast with 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Then pour in 1/4 cup warm water. (110-115 degrees F) It’s important that the water is in this temperature range. I use a digital thermometer (you can buy them from Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma) to take the temperature of the water and I suggest you do too. It’ll help you out a lot when working with yeast.
Mix it up with a fork and make sure all of the yeast is dissolved.
Now leave the yeast mixture alone for 5 minutes.
Once the yeast mixture is foamy (about 5 minutes), add in the pumpkin mixture and mix on medium low speed until it’s combined.
Slowly add in 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix it up using the paddle attachment.
Once all of the flour is added, switch to a dough hook.
Mix with the dough hook on low speed for 7 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for 9 minutes. Once the dough is done mixing (if you’re using the stand mixer), take the dough out and knead it for 1-2 minutes on a floured surface.
Look at that beastly ball of dough!
Take a large bowl and coat the inside with canola oil. Roll the dough around in the oil and then place plastic wrap over the bowl. Put the bowl in a warm draft free area for 1 hour to rise.
After an hour, roll the dough out into a 11 by 18 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened unsalted butter over the dough but leave a 1 inch border on the left and right side.
Mix together 1 cup packed light brown sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon. Sprinkle it over the butter.
Roll the dough over on the left side and right side.
Then roll the dough up starting on the bottom (the part closest to you). Roll it up tightly! And then flip it over and make sure the edges are sealed (well as best as you can)
Using a piece of string (here’s how to cut cinnamon rolls using a string) or a serrated knife, cut the ends off on the left and right sides. You won’t use these pieces.
Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. You should have 7 cinnamon rolls. Yes these are mammoth sized pumpkin cinnamon rolls…beast cinnamon rolls.
Press each roll together. Please ignore the black marker and vein on my hand. Thank you.
Lightly grease two baking pans. I’m using an 8 inch pan on the left and a 10 inch pan on the right. You don’t have to use two different size pans…you can just use 8 inch pans or a square pan or basically whatever works for you. Just make sure you space the rolls out so they’ll have room to rise.
Cover the baking pans with plastic wrap and let them rise again for 20 minutes in a warm draft free area.
Once they’re done rising, bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. While the cinnamon rolls are baking, make the maple cream cheese frosting. I would love to just stick my head in this frosting. Really, I would be happy for the rest of my life.
Sift 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and set aside. Photos of sifted ingredients aren’t that exciting.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together 6 ounces softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup softened unsalted butter for 3 minutes on medium speed until smooth.
Add in 1/4 teaspoon of maple extract.
And 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix mix!
Add in the powdered sugar and 1 Tablespoon of whole milk and mix it up on medium speed until the frosting is smooth.
When the pumpkin cinnamon rolls are done baking, spread the maple cream cheese frosting over them. Mmmm I’m in love. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Maple Cinnamon Rolls
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup cold whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 Tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a bowl, whisk together the half the package of the pudding mix and milk. Then add in the pumpkin puree and mix to combine.
Add in the kosher salt and ground nutmeg and mix.
Whisk in the melted butter and lightly beaten egg. Set the mixture aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. Add in the warm water and mix it up with a fork. Mix it really well to make sure all of the yeast dissolves.
Set the yeast mixture aside for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes the mixture will be foamy.
Using the paddle attachment slowly pour in the pudding mixture with the mixer on low speed. Add in the all purpose flour. (1/2 cup at a time).
Keep mixing with the paddle attachment until you’ve added all of the flour. Switch to the dough hook and mix for 5-7 min. on low speed.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, knead the dough by hand for 9 minutes.
Once the dough is done mixing, take the dough out on a floured surface and knead the dough by hand for 1-2 minutes. Form it into a ball and place them into an oiled bowl. To coat the dough in oil roll it around. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm draft free area for 1 hour to rise.
After an hour, take the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 11 by 18 inch rectangle.
Spread 1/3 cup softened butter over the surface of the dough but leave a 1 inch border on the left and right sides of the dough.
Mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar and sprinkle it over the butter. Press the brown sugar and mixture into the butter.
Roll the dough over once on the right side and once on the left. Then begin rolling the dough up. Roll the dought away from you starting at the bottom of it. Pinch the seams of the dough to ensure that the cinnamon rolls don’t fall apart.
Cut 1 inch of the dough off on the left and right sides using a serrated knife.
Then cut the dough every 2 inches. You should have about 7 cinnamon rolls.
Using your hands, press each cinnamon roll together. (see the photos above for an example) This will prevent them from falling apart during the baking process.
Place the cinnamon rolls in two lightly greased baking pans. I use a 10 and 8 inch round baking pans but you can use square pans if you like or whatever works for you. Space them out a lot. They will expand in the oven.
Cover the pans with a wrap and let them rise again for 20 minutes.
Bake these rolls at 350 degrees for 20 min. or until golden brown.
While the cinnamon rolls are baking, begin making the maple cream cheese frosting.
Sift the powdered sugar and set aside.
In a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the cream cheese and butter for 3 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Add in the maple extract and vanilla extract and mix.
Add in the powdered sugar very slowly and mix until the frosting is smooth.
Add in the milk and mix it up.
Take the cinnamon rolls out of the oven. Frost them while they’re still warm. Enjoy!