Tis the season…. for PUMPKINS! Holy Guacamole. Excuse me but these are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had and made. Because it’s pumpkin season AND because I have never made a pumpkin recipe, I had to make these. Everything from the soft dough, to the caramelized filling, to the candied pecans to the cream cheese topping is beyond perfect! I specially love the addition of the candied pecans in this. It adds a delicious crunch to the whole affair.
I took two-day old rolls to work for some coworkers to try and in the words of one “mother eff.” Hey he said that, not me. So get on with it! Making them in a skillet is even better because the caramelized filling runs at the bottom of the pan and sticks like glue. So basically once you’re done eating the rolls, you’ll be scraping the gooey filling off the skillet. I licked it clean. Yep.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough
- 2 3/4+ 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp melted butter
- 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
Cinnamon Sugar Filling
- 1 cup dark brown sugar or light brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Cream Cheese Topping
- 5 oz cream cheese
- 2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 cup pecan halves
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- To prepare the dough, first activate your yeast in 1/3 cup of warm milk. (I always activate instant yeast just to be on the safe side). Let it sit for a few minutes until yeast gets frothy.
- Next, in the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together flour, sugar, pumpkin spice and salt.
- In a separate jug, add pumpkin puree, egg and melted butter and mix thoroughly.
- Pour this into the flour mixture followed by the yeast and with the kneading hook attachment on your mixer, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes or until the dough comes together and doesn't stick to the bowl a lot. The dough will be a little sticky but that's okay. As long as the dough forms a smooth ball, you're good.
- Brush the top of the dough ball with a little melted butter. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let the dough rise for an hour to two hours. It should double in size and become pillowy.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice powder and set aside.
- To make the candied pecans, toast pecan halves in an ungreased pan.
- Next, in a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp of brown sugar with a touch of water until it becomes syrupy.
- Now pour this brown sugar syrup onto the pecans. The pan will sizzle slightly.
- Stir the syrup and pecans together for five to ten seconds. Remove from heat and lay out the pecans on a parchment paper to cool. They will harden ever so slightly as they cool.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, on a floured surface roll it out to about 1/8 of an inch thick into a nice rectangle.
- Melt 3 tbsp of butter until its soft and spread it onto the surface of the dough using a spatula.
- Next, sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling very generously and pat it down.
- Top this with the candied pecans.
- Next, start rolling your dough from the longer side of the rectangle. Take your time and roll it tight.
- Cut the roll into smaller rolls about 2 1/2 inches and place in a well greased cast iron skillet, leaving a little gap between the rolls. (You can use a regular casserole pan as well. Make sure it is greased).
- Next, cover the skillet with a cloth and let the rolls have a final rise for about 45 minutes. They won't rise too much but will definitely expand a little bit.
- At this time, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Once rolls have puffed up, bake them for 25 minutes or until the tops are visibly golden brown. (Mine bake exactly for 25 minutes but you should start checking at the 20 minute mark.)
- While rolls are baking, make your cream cheese topping by mixing together cream cheese and "sifted" confectioner's sugar. Add a splash of vanilla and 2 tbsp of milk to get the right consistency. It should be thick but spreadable. If the cream cheese is too thin, the warm rolls will soak up the cream cheese.
- Spread the cream cheese topping onto the freshly baked rolls, add the candied pecans and enjoy!
- These keep really well a day or two! Just reheat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds!