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Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls (Better Than Cinnabon)

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These Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are what fall dreams are made of. 😍 They are pumpkin-infused, fall-spiced and seriously addictive. Theses fall treats are definitely in a league of their own.

It’s the classic cinnamon rolls meet cozy autumnal flavors. A fun fall twist on the classic, with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, baked right into the dough and then topped with a luxurious and decadent homemade maple glaze frosting – you will love them!

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I elevated my cinnamon roll dough game by swapping out the all-purpose flour for bread flour and the results were better than Cinnabon Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls. The even more softer and chewier texture places these rolls over the top and if you are already thinking about baking this weekend, these pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls are here for you.

You can serve cinnamon rolls as breakfast, snack, or dessert or anytime you krave the softest and better than Cinnabon Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon rolls.

You will Fall in love with these cinnamon spice cinnamon rolls – they will not disappoint.

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Tips For The Best Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

  • Check the expiration date on your yeast packet. If you’re unsure if your yeast are alive – proof the yeast prior to adding to your dough.
  • Don’t overheat your milk. It should be between 105-115 degrees F. If it’s hotter it will likely to kill the yeast, which means the cinnamon rolls will not rise. A simple tip is to dip your finger in the milk — it should feel warm similar to warm bath water but not HOT. If you warmed it up too much, simply wait a few minutes until it cools down enough to touch.
  • Use room temperature butter for the filling. Most recipes call for using melted butter in the filling, but that will cause the filling to leak out before baking. Room temperature butter is best!
  • Rub the brown sugar into the butter. After you spread out the softened butter on the dough, it’s important to rub the brown sugar into the butter and dough so that it’s well combined. 
  • Use a room temperature egg. Cold eggs could affect the yeast or mix with the melted butter and cause it to coagulate. As easy way to bring your eggs to room temperature simply place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes prior to use.
  • Make sure you flour your work surface and the rolling pin. This is to prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking the the surface or to the rolling pin.
  • Calibrate your oven. This will ensure you’re getting an accurate reading on the temperature. Every oven is different so grab the manual for the most accurate way on how to calibrate your specific oven.
  • Cinnamon rolls from the center of the pan are always softer than those around the edge. So choose a pan that can hold a higher percentage of interior rolls. Rather than two 9″ round pans, use a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  • Underbake cinnamon rolls just slightly. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown.
  • Frost rolls while warm. The thick icing will partially melt, seeping down into the crevices between the rolls, as well as into the cinnamon swirl.
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Bread Flour vs. All-Purpose Flour

A good cinnamon roll means a roll that is soft and moist. The gluten content will be slightly higher and bread made with bread flour are slightly chewier than all-purpose. All-Purpose flour has a lower protein and thus lower gluten content, meaning the finished rolls will be more tender and soft with less chew factor. Either flour works for this recipe it comes down to personal preference. But I encourage you to try the bread flour–It’s a game changer.

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What is Yeast?

Yeast is a living organism that feeds off carbohydrates and simple sugars. Feeding kickstarts the fermentation process. This is the process where it releases carbon dioxide that expands the gluten protein and causes the dough to expand and rise.

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Active Dry Yeast vs Instant Yeast

Active dry yeast The rule used to be you must dissolve this type of yeast in warm liquid, also what’s known as being “proofed” before it’s added to the rest of the dough ingredients. According to the King Arther Flour website, “You don’t need to dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water before using it. (Even though it still says you should dissolve it on the back of the yeast packet if you buy your yeast in packets.)” You can read the full post here.

The bottom line is: “dissolve yeast in warm water and some sugar to prove that it’s alive. Sugar is food for the yeast. But, this shouldn’t really be necessary if the yeast isn’t close to its expiration date. But if you have any doubts about your yeast being good, go ahead and proof it before mixing up the other ingredients (and especially before putting liquid in). If it fails then you didn’t waste materials.

Instant yeast, also known as quick-rise yeast can be added to the dough without proofing. It comes in smaller granules than active dry yeast, absorbs liquid rapidly, and does not need to be rehydrated or proofed before being mixed into the flour. 

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Ingredients Rundown

Ingredients To Make Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Milk – whole, 2%, almond or oat milk will all work in this recipe. Milk must be warmed.

Granulated sugar – used to sweeten the cinnamon rolls as well as serve as food for the yeast.

Yeast I used instant yeast in this recipe to help the cinnamon rolls rise faster. You can also use active dry yeast , but the cinnamon rolls may take slightly longer to rise.

Pumpkin puree – not only gives the cinnamon rolls sweet flavor, but also adds the perfect amount of moisture, resulting in a fluffy, perfect pumpkin cinnamon rolls. 

Butter I used salted butter but unsalted butter works too. You’ll need it for both the dough and the glaze. The recipe calls for both melted butter and softened room temperature butter. Pay attention to which one is used in what part of the process.

Egg – not all cinnamon bun recipes have eggs in them, but this one does and it adds extra richness and flavor because the cinnamon roll dough is enriched instead of just regular. Make sure you take your eggs out of the fridge and let the come to room temp. If you forget, just pop them into a bowl with hot tap water, which will bring them to room temp faster. Room temperature eggs blend more evenly in batters and help the dough rise more easily than cold eggs straight out of the fridge. 

Bread flour – You might be tempted to just use all-purpose flour, and well, you can do that, but if you use bread flour your rolls will be soft and fluffy with just the right amount of chew. Bread flour has a higher protein content than regular all-purpose – the resulting dough has more gluten in it which helps the rolls stay soft, airy, and chewy. The higher protein level helps to lighten the cinnamon roll texture. 

Spices Pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon

Brown Sugar – I love using dark brown sugar for that deeper molasses sweet flavor in those swirls, but light brown sugar will work as well. Use packed brown sugar.

Cream cheese, (room temperature), powdered sugar, and pure maple syrup are key ingredients in the glaze.

Salt – This will round out all the flavors in the cinnamon rolls. Your cinnamon rolls will taste bland without it. Salt also helps to control yeast in cinnamon roll recipes so don’t skip it.

*** The full recipe, including all ingredients, measurements, instructions, and recipe video (11/16/21)) 🎥 is located in the recipe card below.

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Recipe FAQs

Substitutions

Can I use plant-based milk instead of dairy?

Yes! You can use almond milk or oat milk.

Variations

How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls?

You can easily swap out a few ingredients to make these pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls vegan. You can leave the egg out of the recipe and add 3-4 tablespoons more pumpkin puree to the dough. You’ll also need to make use almond milk, vegan butter, and vegan cream cheese in the recipe. Boom!

How To Make Overnight Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls?

After placing rolls into the lined pan (in step 7 under “Let’s Shape The Cinnamon Rolls), simply cover immediately with plastic wrap and place overnight in the fridge, then bake them in the morning as directed. I like to bring my cinnamon rolls to room temperature first by leaving them on the counter for 30 minutes before baking, then preheating the oven so they will rise for about 45 minutes total (this is known as the second rise).pumpkin spice cinnamon roll_6908

Food Pairings

What Goes Well With Cinnamon Rolls?

Cinnamon rolls are sweet, so they work well when paired with contrasting flavors. Enjoy the cinnamon rolls with your coffee, tea, orange juice, or even a glass of milk. pumpkin spice cinnamon roll_6892

Got Leftovers?

Make sure the leftovers have cooled down to room temperature before storing.

How To Store Leftover Cinnamon Rolls In The Fridge?

The cinnamon rolls are best enjoyed the day they are baked but will last up to 4 days when wrapped well in foil at room temperature.pumpkin spice cinnamon roll_6944

How To Store Leftover Cinnamon Rolls In The Freezer?

Alternatively, you can tightly wrap and freeze the rolls for up to 1 month. Store your leftover cinnamon rolls covered in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.

How Long Does Cinnamon Rolls Last In The Freezer?

Properly wrapped and stored, it will maintain the best quality for about 1 monthpumpkin spice cinnamon roll_6894

Need To Reheat?

How To Reheat Cinnamon rolls In The Microwave?

Thaw the frozen cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator or at room temperature (if applicable), then reheat individually in the microwave immediately prior to serving for 20-30 seconds. You want them warm, not hot.  The actual time varies depending on your microwave.

How to Reheat Frozen Cinnamon Rolls In The Oven?

Allow the cinnamon rolls to come to room temperature after baking, then you can choose to either freeze the entire pan, making sure they are well wrapped or covered in an airtight container, or you can choose to freeze individual cinnamon rolls.
Defrost the cinnamon rolls at room temperature, then warm in the oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes or you can warm them up individually in the microwave for 20-30 seconds (once defrosted). I prefer to freeze them before they are iced, and then frost them when ready to eat. The icing is also freezer-friendly.

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Kraving More?

Check out my other krave worthy Cinnamon Rolls Recipes or browse the Dessert Kollection for your next favorite sweet treat. You can aslo explore  The Recipe Index for even MORE KRAVE-WORTHY EATS.

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Nutrition Information

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

These Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are what fall dreams are made of. A fun fall twist on the classic, with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, baked right into the dough and topped with an irresistible and decadent homemade maple glaze frosting – you will love them!

Recipe by Kerri-Ann
5 from 2 votes
Course: DessertCuisine: SwedishDifficulty: Medium
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Baking time

20

minutes
Calories

384.49

kcal
1st Dough Rise

1

hour 
2nd Rise

30

minutes
Total time

2

hours 

5

minutes

Gather Your Ingredients

  • For The Cinnamon Roll Dough
  • 3/4 cup milk (whole, 2%,almond milk or oat milk ), warmed

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 ounce instant yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast) Or active dry yeast

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

  • 1/4 cup melted butter, at room temperature

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 4 cups bread flour

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • For The Filling
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

  • 2/3 cup dark packed brown sugar, light brown sugar works too

  • 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature

  • For The Cream Cheese Glaze
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • If You’re Mixing By Hand
  • Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking spray or lightly coat with a neutral oil and set aside.
  • Check the expiration date on your yeast. If it’s within a month of the expiration date, you must proof it to make sure the yeast are still active.
  • Next, let’s warm up the milk. To do this- place milk in a microwave-safe container and warm for 30-45 sections. The milk should only be warm to the touch (dip a figure in to test it), cold milk will not activate the yeast. Do Not Skip This Step!
  • In a separate bowl, transfer the warm milk, and sugar and sprinkle the yeast on top.
  • Stir in the pumpkin puree, egg, and melted butter. Use a wooden spoon, whisk, or a hand mixer to mix until well combined, smooth, and creamy.
  • Next, stir in the bread flour (one cup at a time, pumpkin spice, and salt. Mix until dough begins to form.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be very sticky and cling to the counter, but use as little flour as possible to prevent the dough from becoming tough.
  • Once kneaded, scrape the dough into the lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. This may more or less time depending on the humidity and temperature in your home. I used the “bread proof” setting in my oven.
  • If You’re Using A Stand Mixer
  • Follow steps 1-3 from above.
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, transfer the warm milk, and sugar then sprinkle the yeast on top.
  • Stir pumpkin puree, room temperature egg, and melted butter, mixing until smooth and well combined, and creamy.
  • Next stir in bread flour (one cup at a time), pumpkin pie spice and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  • Place dough hook on the mixer and knead the dough on low speed for 8-10 minutes. The dough should form into a slightly sticky ball.
  • Once kneaded, scrape the dough into the lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. This may take more or less time depending on the humidity and temperature in your home. I used the “bread proof” setting in my oven.
  • Let’s Prepare The Filling
  • In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, and cinnamon and set aside.
  • Let’s Shape The Cinnamon Rolls
  • After the dough has doubled in size, transfer the dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×16 inch rectangle.
  • Next, brush the dough with the softened, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
  • Next, use your hands to sprinkle the mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the sugar into the butter.
  • Starting with the long edge, roll the dough tightly into an 18-inch log. Place the seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can.
  • With a sharp, serrated knife, cut the log into 12, 1-inch wide pieces. I like to score (make dents) the dough before cutting. This helps to get my rolls more even size. You should get around 12 rolls.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased or lined 9×13 inch baking pan.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let the cinnamon rolls rise again for about 30 minutes, then preheat your oven.
  • Now, Let’s Bake!
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and towel and bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown.
  • Allow them to cool for 10 minutes before frosting.
  • How To Make the Glaze
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer or in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, room temperature butter, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Spread over the pumpkin cinnamon rolls and serve!

Kerri’s Recipe Tips

  • Check the expiration date on your yeast packet. If you’re unsure if your yeast are alive – proof the yeast prior to adding to your dough.
  • 100°–110°F is the ideal temperature for Active Dry Yeas and 120°–130°F is the ideal temperature for Instant rise. If the yeast is room temperature or cold the yeast will not activate and the cinnamon rolls will be dense and tough. Do not skip this step.
  • Don’t overheat your milk. It should be between 105-115 degrees F. If it’s hotter it will likely to kill the yeast, which means the cinnamon rolls will not rise. A simple tip is to dip your finger in the milk — it should feel warm similar to warm bath water but not HOT. If you warmed it up too much, simply wait a few minutes until it cools down enough to touch.
  • Use room temperature butter for the filling. Most recipes call for using melted butter in the filling, but that will cause the filling to leak out before baking. Room temperature butter is best!
  • Rub the brown sugar into the butter. After you spread out the softened butter on the dough, it’s important to rub the brown sugar into the butter and dough so that it’s well combined. 
  • Make sure you flour your work surface and the rolling pin. This is to prevent the cinnamon rolls from sticking to the surface or to the rolling pin.
  • Cinnamon rolls from the center of the pan are always softer than those around the edge. So choose a pan that can hold a higher percentage of interior rolls. Rather than two 9″ round pans, use a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  • Underbake cinnamon rolls just slightly. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown.
  • Frost rolls while warm. The thick icing will partially melt, seeping down into the crevices between the rolls, as well as into the cinnamon swirl.
  • Leftovers can be kept for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. After that, the risk of food poisoning increases. If you don’t think you’ll be able to eat leftovers within four days, freeze them immediately. Make sure the leftovers have cooled down to room temperature before storing.
  • Calibrate your oven. This will ensure you’re getting an accurate reading on the temperature. Every oven is different so grab the manual for the most accurate way on how to calibrate your specific oven.
  • I ALWAYS recommend reading through the recipe in full a couple of times before starting. That way you know exactly what to expect and you can prep accordingly.
  • Gather all your ingredients before cooking. This way you don’t forget to add an ingredient or two. Believe me, It has happened so many times so I use “mise en place” to save my sanity and the recipe.
  • For your convenience, you can automatically generate a grocery list using the whisk plugin located the the “Ingredient Rundown” section (scroll ↑).

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size1 servings


Calories384.59

  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 15.13g 24%
    • Sodium 242.63mg 11%
    • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
    • Potassium 128.03mg 4%
    • Total Carbohydrate 56.16g 19%
      • Sugars 23.24g
    • Protein 6.97g 14%
    • Vitamin A 733.34%
    • Vitamin C 0.24%
    • Phosphorus 81.38%
    • Zinc 2.51%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    Nutritional Disclaimer

    kerriannskravings.com occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in any given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe. For more information read our Nutritional Disclaimer.

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