For the past few weeks Jamison has been teaching classes at work. We went to Connecticut so he could teach class and when we got back to Maryland he’s been teaching classes each day. I think he’s teaching classes next week too, so he’s had a whole lot of teaching going on!
We were discussing it the other day and he asked if I could make something to send in on one of the days he was teaching. I used to do this quite often, but when he started working from home a lot I sort of fell out of the habit. He brought up the idea of cinnamon rolls and that made me wonder…Why not make a pumpkin cinnamon roll?
I started thinking about the whole process and at first I thought maybe it would be neat to just add a layer of pumpkin in with the cinnamon and sugar before rolling the dough, but then I decided I wanted to actually put pumpkin in the dough itself! In the future I may go back and try the other idea, but I have to say I was quite pleased with how this version turned out!
The cinnamon rolls turned out with a nice subtle pumpkin flavor. Overall the flavor just melds together perfectly! These are just the thing for a lazy fall morning!
What You’ll Need for the Dough:
2 cups of mashed pumpkin, warmed (Note: I used some I had roasted myself, but canned will work as well.)
1 stick of butter, mostly melted
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon of yeast
4-6 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
Place pumpkin in a glass bowl and microwave for 30-40 seconds until just warm. You want it to be warm, but not hot to the touch.
Melt the butter in a similar manner. Again you want it just warm, not hot. Mushy chunks of butter throughout are fine. You basically just want to soften it up a bit and give it a bit of warmth to help the yeast along.
Place pumpkin, butter, sea salt, sugar, eggs and yeast in a mixer bowl and mix until blended.
Add 1 cup of flour and mix until incorporated. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.
After two minutes put the mixer back on low and slowly add flour until dough ball forms. You want a nice dough that isn’t too sticky. Turn mixer back to medium speed and let mix for 3 minutes. Your mixer is doing the kneading work for you.
Once 3 minutes has passed move dough to a well oil or buttered bowl:
Let rise for one hour. (Note: Due to the pumpkin this dough isn’t going to double in size or anything like that. After an hour it should be ready to go. It should be springy when touched.) Once the dough is risen you’re reading for your next step.
What You’ll Need for the Filling:
1 stick of melted butter, divided
Organic cane sugar
Natural brown sugar
Punch down dough and on a floured surface roll out to 1/4 an inch thickness:
Next brush the dough with half of the melted butter:
Sprinkle with some organic cane sugar:
Then sprinkle some natural brown sugar:
And last but not least cinnamon!:
I went heavy on the cinnamon because I’m a big fan, but you can go a bit lighter if you like.
Slowly roll the dough into a long roll:
Cut roll into 1/2 inch slices:
Place slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Continue until roll is completely sliced:
Next brush the tops of each roll with the remaining melted butter and then dust with more organic cane sugar:
Place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour:
The rise on these isn’t going to be much. But letting them sit allows them to just breath and get ready for baking.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown:
Let cool for 5 minutes and then frost (see below).
What You’ll Need for the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter, softened
1/4 cup of maple syrup
2 cups of powdered sugar
In the bowl of a mixer mix together cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add maple syrup and mix until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and mix until smooth. Use to ice cinnamon rolls above.
Notes: The pumpkin I used was very pale in color, so it didn’t really give an orange glow to these cinnamon rolls. Canned pumpkin would most likely give them a bit more of an orange flare. If you wanted you could add a little grated nutmeg to the filling, but I like to use just cinnamon and sugar.