It’s official. Cinnamon rolls are my favorite thing to bake. I did already mention something about that here… But hey, it’s true. The magic of the rising dough. The enticing cinnamon aroma. And the kneading. It’s like a stress ball you get to eat when you’re done. Just keep kneading until all your worries are pushed into that mound of yum and you’ve achieved a state of baker zen. Om.
I always do love when pumpkin season comes around. Southern California doesn’t really have much of an autumn…so it’s nice to create a pseudo-autumn by making my house smell all pumpkin-spicy while reminiscing about growing up in Oregon with all its pretty October colors. Even though it’s still 80-something degrees here.
So, these pumpkin rolls. They’re based off the recipe for my Vegan Orange Cinnamon Rolls (which you definitely need to try too if you haven’t yet!). Same basic ingredients, but altered slightly with the flavors of fall. I used pumpkin pie spice (from Trader Joe’s) in this recipe, but if you don’t have that on hand or don’t feel like making a special trip to the store for it, you could instead just make your own by mixing together cinnamon + nutmeg + ginger + cloves + a teensy bit of cardamom.
One of the exciting features of this recipe (and all my cinnamon roll recipes so far) is that it only requires ONE bowl. No need to sift the dry ingredients separately, nor whisk the wet ingredients together first, nor any other multiple bowl nonsense. The one bowl feature is always a big selling point for me when experimenting with recipes because I don’t have a dishwasher. Well, I do. My two hands + a sponge + a dish drying rack. Major anti-fun right there. But YAY for this recipe – no giant pile of dirty dishes!
The fancier maple cream cheese frosting for these pumpkin cinnamon rolls is optional; you could certainly just do a simple glaze on top instead. Powdered sugar + soy/almond milk + vanilla extract. But sweet mercy, the maple frosting really does add so much to the recipe. It’s super creamy, and melts into every tasty crevice when spread over the warm rolls. The maple flavor really pairs well with the pumpkin, making your tastebuds feel even more in the autumn spirit. Pumpkin and maple are secret besties, didn’t you know?
Goodness. All this talk about pumpkin cinnamon rolls is making me hungry. I’ve got a batch of these rolls on my kitchen counter right now that I’m supposed to share with Berney’s fire station crew…but there might end up being 1 or 2 missing by the time they get there…
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup 100% pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 Energ-G Egg Replacer egg (1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg + 2 Tablespoons water)
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter, softened to room temperature
- 3 - 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons date sugar (or granulated sugar)
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance butter, melted
- 4 oz. vegan cream cheese (can substitute regular cream cheese)
- 1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon maple extract
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast in the 1/2 cup warm water for about 1 minute. The water should feel like the temperature of a bathtub (approx. 105-115°F, but no need to use a thermometer). Gently stir the yeast/water around. Then add the pumpkin, sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, Ener-G egg, butter, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your electric mixer, beat everything together on low until combined, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle - about 1 1/2 - 2 more cups (mine only needed about 1 1/2 cups more). You want a dough that is not sticky and will spring back when poked with your finger.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for about 5-6 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a bowl coated with non-stick spray. Gently roll the dough around the bowl to lightly coat the entire ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place* until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Just before the dough is finished rising, prepare your filling ingredients. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Melt the butter in the microwave.
- Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang around the sides. After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to flatten into a 15x9-inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick, even at the corners.
- Spread the dough rectangle with the melted butter and dust with all of the sugar-pumpin pie spice mixture. Use your fingers to gently rub the filling/butter onto the dough; this ensures it will stick to the dough with you roll it up.
- Tightly roll up the dough and cut into 10 even pieces with a very sharp serrated knife. Arrange the pieces in the prepared baking pan, cut sides up, leaving a little space around each for more rising. Loosely cover the rolls with aluminum foil and set them in a warm place (I set mine on top of the oven while it preheats) for about 30-60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Leave the rolls loosely covered with the aluminum foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes (mine took 27 minutes), until they are barely light golden in color. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes.
- While the rolls are cooling, make the frosting. In a small bowl, use a large spoon to stir together the cream cheese and maple syrup. Add the powdered sugar and maple extract, and stir until smooth. Spread frosting over pumpkin cinnamon rolls before serving.
- *To create a warm and draft-free environment for the dough to rise, turn on your oven to about 300°F for just a couple minutes, and then turn the heat back to off. You want to oven to feel warm, but not hot, or else it might begin to cook/dry out the dough. Place the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise for the required time.
- Rolls should stay fresh in an air-tight container for several days. To soften, microwave one roll for 15-20 seconds.
- 10 rolls
- (per 1 roll)
- Calories: 234
- Carbohydrates: 38g
- Fat: 7g
- Protein: 5g
- Sugar: 14g
- Sodium: 336mg