Day 47 – Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been on a pumpkin kick lately, I’ll blame it on the amazing pie that I made last weekend. Something about October just makes me want to eat anything orange…luckily pumpkin is super healthy and full of nutrients (although the positives may be lost in a recipe like this one!)

Sunday evenings are my cooking night, I like to make a big dinner that’ll last me a few leftover lunches and I usually try to bake something that’ll satisfy my sweet tooth while at work. Tonight I was torn between muffins, cookies or something else that I just couldn’t put my finger on, then I came across this recipe for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls and I was sold.

I haven’t made cinnamon rolls in years and I forgot that they do take a little bit of patience (starting them at 7 and just getting a sample at 9:45!) but these were totally worth the effort and the wait! They are soft and have a really nice sweetness from the pumpkin. I added some cloves and nutmeg to the glaze which helped to spice it up a bit…very tasty AND vegan!

Recipe from

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

2¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼ c warm water

3/4 c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp margarine, melted

2 c flour, plus more for dusting
2 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt

½ c packed brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ c margarine, melted

1 tsp margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1½ c powdered sugar
2 tbsp water

In a small bowl, stir yeast into warm water; set aside to proof. (It’ll get very foamy in 5-10 minutes if your yeast is any good; if it’s not, hold off on this recipe!)

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt. Add pumpkin puree and margarine to your foamy yeast mixture; blend well. Make a well in your dry mix and add liquid, stirring to incorporate. Knead for a couple of minutes until smooth, adding extra flour a little bit at a time as needed to keep it from sticking to everything. (Don’t add too much or your rolls will end up tough!) Gently poke the dough with your index finger; if the indent bounces back, you’re good to go.

Cover tightly with plastic, set in a warm, draft-free place, and go work on that cook zine you’ve always meant to finish for an hour while your dough rises. Once it’s about doubled, punch it down and roll out until it’s rectangular and about ¼-½” thick. Slather with melted margarine and sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the top.

I’m pretty sure you know how to do the rest, and you’re allowed some creative license here, so I’ll leave the directions open-ended:

Applying slight pressure, roll it up like a jelly roll. Firmly saw through the roll with a serrated knife. Basically, if you want wide, squat buns with a ton of rings, roll it up the long way and make thinner slices; if you’d rather have more, taller buns (like the ones pictured), roll it up the short way and make thicker slices. Arrange in a pan (9×13″ for squatter buns, else a 9″ cake pan); it’s okay for there to be a little bit of room between the rolls, as they’ll expand into each other and create that nice pull-away effect. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for another 40 minutes. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.

While the buns bake, whisk together icing ingredients until smooth. Let sit at room temperature (refrigeration will make it difficult to pour). Drizzle generously onto warm buns. Devour, with reckless abandon.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Annalise
    Oct 18, 2010 @ 20:36:59

    Yum! Those look so good. Pumpkin, who knew!?


  2. Leanne
    Oct 27, 2010 @ 10:36:06

    I am in love you Joel!!! I have been following your craft blog and it makes me so happy…. i wish i was there with you to play in clay all day!!!! Laura (my roomate and best friend) and I often bake vegan desserts because A: we are poor and cant afford milk, butter and eggs… and B: they are healthier for you as well…. and still taste amazing….
    I am looking forward to baking these pumpkin cin rolls…..they look like they are taste bud blowing!!! Also … the rebar recipe book has a really good choclate cake…. we make it for all of our friends b days!!! yummm in my tum!!!


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