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The Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect fall treat! Pumpkin spice dough is rolled with plenty of cinnamon and sugar, and then slathered with cream cheese frosting. You’ll love all the pumpkin flavor that these cinnamon rolls offer!

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Creating This Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

It’s fall now, I’m all about the pumpkin recipes, and these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are absolutely sinful. Forget just eating one. Say goodbye to your diet and hello to indulgence.

This is my new favorite breakfast treat. And I can’t wait to make these delicious pumpkin cinnamon rolls again, but I knew I better share the recipe with you first.

What actually inspired the creation of this recipe was my recipe for Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. That recipe has been hands down over time THE most popular recipe on the blog. I knew there had to be other fun ways to make recipes that tasted like pumpkin pie that were a little bit different than usual.

And I’m pretty confident that is what I’ve achieved here with these pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Ingredients

For the pumpkin cinnamon roll dough, you’ll need:

  • Warm water
  • Active dry yeast
  • Whole Milk
  • Egg
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Melted butter
  • All-purpose flour
  • Whole wheat pastry flour
  • Brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Spices

For the pumpkin cinnamon roll filling, you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Spices

And for the cream cheese cinnamon roll frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

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How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

You’ll first need to make the cinnamon roll dough, then let it rise in a greased bowl until it’s doubled in size. While the dough rests, stir together the cinnamon roll filling ingredients; set aside in a small bowl.

Once the dough has doubled in size, roll it out into a large rectangle on a floured surface using a rolling pin and brush it with melted butter. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the top before rolling up the dough and slicing it.

Place the raw cinnamon rolls into a greased pan and let them rise a second time until nearly doubled in size.

Once they’ve risen for a second time, bake the pumpkin cinnamon rolls until golden brown on top. After you’ve taken these easy homemade cinnamon rolls out of the oven, slather them with the cream cheese frosting and serve.

Can this Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe Be Prepared in Advance?

Yes! To prep these pumpkin cinnamon rolls the night before, prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off. Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

Can I Omit the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour?

Yes, you can make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls using only all-purpose flour if desired. Your cinnamon roll dough may have a slightly different consistency than mine, but your homemade cinnamon rolls should turn out fine nonetheless!

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Tips for Making the Pumpkin Dough for this Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Baking with yeast is definitely something that many people struggle with. So I thought I’d share my top tips for yeast bread baking because they definitely come in handy when making these easy homemade cinnamon rolls.

Let the Dough Rise Until Doubled in Bulk

Rising times are just guidelines. My main concern: has the pumpkin cinnamon roll dough doubled in bulk? That is how you know the rise is complete when making the dough for these pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Test the Dough to Make Sure It’s Risen

Now, you’re probably wondering: how do I know if my dough has doubled in bulk?

The simplest method that I have learned over the years is to dust my fingers in flour and plunge them into the dough as the “guideline” recipe rising time nears. The hole that you make in the cinnamon roll dough will quickly collapse if it is not ready.

Give it another 10 minutes and try again. If the dough is ready, the indentations will remain.

Use Fresh Yeast

I always make sure to check the expiration date on my yeast. If I don’t remember purchasing it, then it could have been in the pantry for months (or longer).

Old yeast doesn’t yield reliable rising results. If you don’t think you’ll be baking regularly, buy packets rather than jars of yeast to eliminate waste. Additionally, you can lengthen the life of yeast by storing it in the refrigerator.

Just make sure you let it come to room temperature before starting this recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Use Your Hands

You don’t need fancy equipment to bake these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Yes, a bread machine, a stand mixer, and a food processor are all nice to have and they do make the process easier, but your own two hands work just as well if you don’t have a stand mixer.

Try This Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe Again

We all have our flops. Cinnamon rolls that don’t rise enough and taste like yeasty rocks. I’ve learned that you can’t let failure keep you from giving it another go.

Practice makes perfect! And there is no better way to practice than with this pumpkin spice cinnamon roll recipe.

photo of a plate with a pumpkin cinnamon roll with cream cheese frosting next to a pan of freshly baked pumpkin rolls

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Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  • If you like, make your own pumpkin puree: How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree.
  • Make sure you use warm milk. You can gently warm it on low heat on the stove or for a few seconds in the microwave.
  • You can also prepare this recipe in the bowl of an electric mixer using paddle attachment and dough hook attachment
  • If you have a proof or dough setting on your oven, that is a nice, warm place to let the pumpkin dough rise.
  • I like to make a double batch of this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe so I can freeze half of them to enjoy later on.
  • I recommend using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese to make the icing. It will result in a richer, thicker icing.
  • Once baked and glazed, you can store the cinnamon rolls at room temperature for up to three days. Note that they dry out over time.

Does this Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Recipe Freeze Well?

Freezing pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls is a great way to prepare for your brunch ahead of time or keep this delicious recipe on hand for a later date. You can freeze the cinnamon rolls baked or unbaked. Here’s how I freeze them:

How to Freeze Unbaked Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Prepare the recipe as instructed through the step that details how to roll and slice the dough.
  2. Place the sliced pumpkin rolls in a freezer safe container with a lid. Transfer the container to the freezer and freeze until solid.
  3. You can store the frozen cinnamon rolls in the container in your freezer if you like, but I prefer to transfer them to a vacuum seal bag to help prevent freezer burn (note: you can’t vacuum seal them until they’ve frozen solid first, otherwise they’ll be smashed). Store the rolls in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To Bake the Frozen Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Remove the frozen pumpkin cinnamon rolls from their freezer storage container and thaw overnight in the refrigerator in the pan you plan to bake them in (cover the pan with foil so they don’t dry out).

In the morning, remove the foil and cover the baking pan with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rise draft-free place until doubled in size (this is the second rise in the instructions).

Bake and frost according to the remaining instructions.

How to Freeze Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Prepare the recipe as instructed through the baking steps, let them cool completely, but do not frost them yet.
  2. Place rolls in a freezer safe airtight container with a lid. Transfer the container to the freezer and freeze until solid.
  3. Store the cinnamon rolls in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thawing and Frosting the Frozen, Baked Rolls

Take the frozen pumpkin cinnamon rolls out of the freezer just before bed and thaw overnight on the counter. In the morning, transfer the thawed rolls to a baking dish and transfer to a warm oven to reheat.

Alternatively, you can reheat the rolls one at a time in the microwave on partial power for 30-45 seconds each. After reheating the cinnamon rolls, frost as instructed. (Cream cheese icing is best prepared day of serving)

What to Serve with this Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Recipe

These these Fluffy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect cinnamon rolls for a fall or winter brunch. Here are some of my suggestions for serving alongside this delicious treat:

Why Readers think these are The Best Cinnamon Rolls

You don’t have to take my word for it! Check out these reviews from readers who have made this recipe:

“Took these to dinner at my dad’s straight from the oven and slathering icing all over them. They’re officially a winner. He didn’t want me to take any of them home…” -Ally

“Hello there, I tried out this recipe – and it was out of this world! I’ve never had a roll come out this soft before. Maybe it was the pumpkin that did it? Anyway, this roll was a great success and my husband’s response has made me make this a fixed item on our breakfast for Sunday menu planner. Thank you so much for your great recipes.” -Dhilma

“I’ve made these twice now and they are sooo delicious. My family loved them when I made them for Christmas breakfast. Thanks for the recipe! They are now my go-to cinnamon rolls.” -Abber

“Oh my goodness! I’ve never tasted anything so heavenly. You were absolutely right – there’s no way you can eat just one.” -Jackie

More Pumpkin Recipes:

Looking for some more tasty ways to enjoy your pumpkin spice this fall? Check out some of these favorite pumpkin recipes, or browse these 25 Pumpkin Recipes to Try this Fall for even more great recipe ideas:

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Bars are a kid favorite. Kids love the classic sugar cookie made into bars. They’re perfect for fall with hints of pumpkin spice flavors. 

This Easy Pumpkin Pudding is the perfect way to celebrate fall with your kids!  It is easy to prepare, super creamy and full of all your favorite fall spices.

Easy Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte, featuring real pumpkin, can be whipped up in just a few minutes for you to enjoy and warm up with this fall.

A toasted cinnamon swirl bagel is delicious slathered in this Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese. This is a great way to use up leftover pumpkin puree.

Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramel Sauce with Real Pumpkin is so easy to make at home. It is over the top good thanks to the addition of real pumpkin puree and plenty of pumpkin pie spices.

Orange Spice Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel freeze well, so make a double batch and keep some on hand for busy mornings. 

For a chocolatey after dinner treat, try these homemade Pumpkin Pie Truffles. They are also perfect for holiday gifting!

This Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie is easy to prepare, super healthy, and full of all your favorite fall spices. What isn’t to love about a smoothie recipe that tastes like pumpkin pie?

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photo of Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls on a plate

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 15 rolls
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect fall treat – pumpkin spice dough is rolled with plenty of cinnamon and sugar, and then slathered in cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Pumpkin Dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Filling

  • 1 stick butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

For the Pumpkin Dough

  1. Stir yeast into water to soften in a large bowl.
  2. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before stirring to combine. Stir in the milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture.
  3. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
  4. Slowly add the rest of the flour (all purpose), a bit at a time, until the dough is stiff enough to knead. Begin with 1 1/2 cups of flour and increase if necessary.
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. 
  6. Place the dough into a greased bowl.
  7. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat the entire ball of dough with oil.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and rise until doubled, approximately 1 hour.

For the Filling

  1. Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cornstarch in a another bowl, set aside. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Assembly

  1. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle.
  2. Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. 
  3. Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll.
  4. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices.
  5. Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans).
  6. Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven.
  8. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20-30 minutes.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. While rolls bake, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
  2. Add the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and lemon juice to a small food processor.
  3. Blend until smooth and combined.
  4. Add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, blending in between, until well mixed and desired consistency is reached. (I used 2 cups powdered sugar)
  5. Frost warm rolls with the cream cheese frosting and serve immediately.

Notes

For night before prep:

Prepare the rolls up to the point where you roll and place in the pan. Then, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove the pan from the fridge and proceed with the instructions where you left off.

Note: Rising time may be slightly longer than noted in the recipe due to the dough being cold vs room temp.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 15 Serving Size 1 cinnamon roll
Amount Per Serving Calories 622Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4gCholesterol 42mgSodium 252mgCarbohydrates 120gFiber 8gSugar 63gProtein 12g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

Ally

Friday 12th of October 2012

Oh, and I used all all purpose flour as it's all I had... turned out fine.

Ally

Friday 12th of October 2012

Have these baking right now. I stuck them in a pre-warmed oven to 170 and shut off and they rose like a charm. Smell good and going to test them out on my family at a dinner tonight! But by the way they smell I'm positive they'll be divine.

Ally

Friday 12th of October 2012

And took these to dinner at my dad's straight from the oven and slathering icing all over them. They're officially a winner. He didn't want me to take any of them home...

Jenna

Thursday 6th of September 2012

I really hope this isn't a duplicate question (i checked first, hopefully didn't overlook something), but I can't eat bleached flour products (went to a nutritionist for YEARS before we figured out the white flour was the problem). Would it mess up the recipe to just use all whole wheat flour instead of the both?

Katie

Friday 7th of September 2012

Hi Jenna - I haven't tried the recipe with 100% whole wheat flour yet so I can't say from experience how it will turn out. I would recommend, if possible, using freshly ground whole wheat flour vs. store bought as that seems to bake up better and more tender (for me anyway) than using store bought whole wheat. Please let me know how it turns out for you. I'd love to give it a go sometime with all whole wheat. Good luck!

Kyra

Tuesday 6th of December 2011

The look amazing! I think I may have to make them this weekend. And we may have to eat them again in the evening while we decorate the tree. I'm thinking spiked egg nog and these and, as you say, throw the diet out the window. So, question, do you think I can make them with all white whole wheat flour? It's rare that I actually have all purpose flour in my house (because it's too temptingly delicious). What do you think? Love your site by the way!

Katie

Tuesday 6th of December 2011

I have never tried it with all white whole wheat, but if it is very fresh flour - like you ground it yourself - then it would probably be fine. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Marta

Wednesday 9th of November 2011

Great recipe!! I posted in my facebook page. Thank you!!!

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