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Soft and fluffy, pumpkin cinnamon rolls are packed with pumpkin, layered with pumpkin spice, and topped with cream cheese icing. Best fall treat ever. |

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sam | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 cinnamon rolls
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Soft and fluffy, pumpkin cinnamon rolls are packed with pumpkin, layered with pumpkin spice, and topped with cream cheese icing. Best fall treat ever.


For the dough:

  • 5 grams active dry yeast (1 + 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 40 grams sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • 100 grams milk (1/3 cup)
  • 100 grams pumpkin puree (1/2 cup)
  • 320 grams all-purpose flour (2 + 1/2 cups)
  • 30 grams butter, softened at room temperature (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 grams salt (1/2 teaspoon)

For the cinnamon filling:

  • 30 grams butter, softened at room temperature (2 tablespoons)
  • 50 grams brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 5 grams ground cinnamon (1 tablespoon)
  • 5 grams pumpkin pie spice blend (1 tablespoon)

For cream cheese icing:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


Prepare the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in milk, and stir to mix together. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. Add in pumpkin puree, flour, softened butter, egg and salt. Stir well with a spatula until no dry flour particles are visible. Make sure to scrape off any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough mixture onto a clean and dry surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes until it turns into a soft and smooth dough ball. Because of the high fat content (butter and milk) in this recipe, the dough is much easier to knead by hand and does not require a stand mixer.

Proof the Dough (first rise):

  1. Transfer the dough back into the mixing bowl, lightly grease the dough ball with vegetable oil and cover with a lid. Let it rise at room temperature for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. Covering the dough with oil will help prevent the dough from losing moisture and drying out.

Shape the Cinnamon Rolls:

  1. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and roll the dough to a rectangle of about 20x12 inches wide using a rolling pin. Gently spread softened butter evenly over the rolled dough.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice blend. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the butter. 
  3. Roll up the dough tightly into a log and pinch the end edges to seal.
  4. Cut into 9 even pieces using a knife or bench scraper, about 2 inches wide each. Arrange the rolls flat on their side into a greased 8x8 inch pan.

Second Rise:

  1. Cover the pan with plastic wrap (or seal it in a large Ziploc bag) and let it rise (second rise) for 1 hour or until the rolls double in size. Optionally, you can let the rolls rise slowly in the sealed Ziploc bag in the refrigerator overnight and bake it straight away in a preheated oven the next day.

Bake the Roll:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Make the Cream Cheese Icing:

  1. Combine cream cheese, milk, honey and confectioners' sugar in a bowl and mix well with a handheld mixer (or with a whisk) until the mixture becomes smooth. 
  2. Drizzle the cream cheese icing over cinnamon rolls and serve.


Equipment used: rolling pin and 8-inch square pan.

How to store: Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are best served fresh out of the oven with a fresh coat of cream cheese glaze on top that literally melts from the warmth. To store, store the cinnamon rolls and cream cheese glaze separately. Store the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Store the cream cheese icing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

How to freeze: You can also freeze the cinnamon rolls in an airtight container for up to 3 months in the freezer.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes (+2 hours rise time)
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American