Chef John's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe -
Chef John's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
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How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
These amazing homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls are scary delicious. See more
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Chef John's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by  

"The addition of pumpkin puree made these the best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 16 cinnamon rolls Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    3 hrs 30 mins


  1. Mix brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and cinnamon together in a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Combine yeast, 1/2 teaspoon white sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour pumpkin puree, cream, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, salt, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, ginger, allspice, 2 cups flour, and the egg into stand mixer bowl with the yeast mixture. Mix with dough hook attachment until combined, about 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in 2 1/4 cups flour and mix on low with the dough hook, adding more flour if the mixture is too sticky, until dough is slightly sticky, smooth, and elastic, 6 to 7 minutes.
  5. Remove dough and shape into a ball. Coat the bowl of the stand mixer lightly with vegetable oil, return dough to the bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with aluminum foil and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Generously butter a 13x9-inch baking dish.
  7. Transfer dough to a well-floured work surface. Use your hands to flatten into a rectangular shape about 1-inch thick. Generously sprinkle flour over both sides of the dough; roll out to about a 20x12-inch rectangle. Pour melted butter over the top and brush evenly over the surface, leaving 2-inches along one wide edge unbuttered. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough and moisten the unbuttered edge with water. Starting at the wide edge with butter, roll dough tightly into a log; press firmly along moistened edge to seal.
  8. Trim uneven ends from the roll and discard. Cut rolled dough into 16 equally-sized pinwheels. Place the pinwheels, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes; set aside to cool slightly while mixing glaze.
  11. Whisk cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl until smooth; drizzle over the warm cinnamon rolls. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over the rolls to serve.
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  • Tip
  • Parchment can be used for easier cleanup/removal from the pan.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 27, 2012

CAREFULL WITH THE FLOUR!!! It's not expressed enough how important a SOFT dough is for this recipe or any other cinnamon roll recipe. Add your first half of flour as per the video, mix, then slowly and patiently use only whats needed. I used nearly half LESS flour at times, and sometimes I used all the recommended amount, the kind of yeast, water temperature room temperature, humidity etc etc etc all effects this... USE CAUTION WHEN ADDING FLOUR! Taste & Awesomeness is 6 stars, however the directions need to be more accurate with the flour... ONLY AS NEEDED!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Oct 28, 2012

made these today to go with my giant pot of chili... got a few things that are wrong with the original recipe.. i tried making it as written, except using bread flour instead of all purpose. after 3 cups of the flour was added the dough was looking pretty dry. i added the rest of the flour, another egg and about 1 tbsp of milk to moisten it up a bit more. i dont know if it was so dry to begin with because the different flour... also used 1/4 cup milk and no sugar instead of water with sugar added to proof the yeast before adding the wet and drys. the frosting is incredibly drippy. i like thicker cream cheese frosting on my cinnamon rolls so i adjusted it in an attempt to thicken it up.. didnt work too well, but did help a little. i also only added about 1 tbsp of milk to the frosting. 1/4 cup would have definitely been too much. baked at 350 for 15 minutes and they came out perfect. given all the changes i made, its a 5 star recipe.. but as written, it was a huge pain in the butt... had i not changed anything, it'd most likely be a 3 star at best so thats how i will rate it.


21 Ratings

Nov 24, 2012

I mixed these up a couple days before Thanksgiving and froze them, right in the pan after the 2nd rise but prior to baking them. Took them out of the freezer to thaw then popped them in the oven the morning after Thanksgiving. They were perfect! Moist and light, just the right texture with lots of cinnamon flavor and just a hint of pumpkin. My tip, as with any yeast bread, don't overdo the flour and don't overwork the dough. You need just enough flour for dough to come together and only use enough when rolling them out so that they don't stick. The dough should be soft and pliable. The only thing I changed was the icing, used my own recipe for cream cheese icing and sprinkled chopped pecans on top instead of the pumpkin seeds. I will definitely be making these again.

Oct 31, 2012

I LOVED these pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but had to mark it down for the flour and bake time changes. I cut the flour down almost a cup, and also baked it for only 15-17 minutes, just until light brown. Follow the rule to stop adding flour when the dough pulls away from most of the bottom. You can always add more flour (even after it has risen until doubled in size), but once you add too much you can't take it out! I also used a cream cheese frosting instead. Tip: I used evaporated milk in place of heavy cream since I didn't have any.

Oct 28, 2012

Made this recipe for a fundraiser. They look and smell great! Topped with Halloween decorations!

Mar 18, 2014

This was my first attempt at homemade cinnamon rolls, and they turned out great. As per the other reviews, I was careful with the addition of the flour and don't know exactly how much I ended up using. I baked them for about 25 minutes. Will definitely make again.

Oct 31, 2012


Oct 07, 2014

how did you get the pretty round ones, mine went splooch when they were getting cut like a real soft loaf of bread. Oh they were super tasty, no doubt about that, just I have no idea how to cut them so they STAY round; they were more into the shape of logs or biscotti than a roll.


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  • Calories
  • 326 kcal
  • 16%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 52.1 g
  • 17%
  • Cholesterol
  • 38 mg
  • 13%
  • Fat
  • 11.2 g
  • 17%
  • Fiber
  • 1.8 g
  • 7%
  • Protein
  • 5.2 g
  • 10%
  • Sodium
  • 232 mg
  • 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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