Last Saturday I got up ridiculously early to run a 10K trail race. After the race, I came home and starting baking up a storm! I made Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze (coming soon!), and then I made these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I didn’t sit down all afternoon! It was the best kind of Saturday =).

I love a good cinnamon roll (or apple brioche roll), and these are a great fall twist on classic cinnamon rolls. They start with a spicy pumpkin yeast dough and are filled with brown sugar and more spices. I was worried that the spices would be too strong but the flavors were nicely balanced, especially after I topped them with a maple cream cheese frosting…yum! I placed the cinnamon rolls in the fridge after their first rise, so all I had to do Sunday morning was set them out on the counter for the 2nd rise while I went for another run. These make a great weekend breakfast, brunch, or dessert. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

for the dough:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 egg, room temperature

for the filling:
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp butter, melted

for the frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar

1. To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, combine flour, salt, sugars, and spices. Mix until fully combined.
2. In small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let active ~5 minutes, then add to flour mixture.
3. Add pumpkin, butter, and egg to flour mixture. On low speed, knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. This is a moist dough, but if it’s too soft and hasn’t combined, add up to 1/2 cup additional flour as necessary, so it comes together into a shaggy mass. Resist the urge to over-flour the dough. A wetter, looser, moister, sticky dough produces softer and lighter rolls. The more flour added to the wet dough, the heavier and denser the rolls will be.
4. Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer to dough into bowl, turning dough once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place. Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
5. Once dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and turn it out onto a floured surface. With rolling pin, roll dough out into a 12 x10 inch rectangle.
6. To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir together sugars, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon; set aside.
7. To assemble and bake: Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar-cinnamon filling evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough into a long cylinder as tightly as possible.
8. Using a sharp knife, cut dough evenly into 12 rounds and place in greased 9×13 pan. Cover with foil, and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise until almost doubled in size, about an hour.
9. About 15 minutes before the last rise is complete, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly.
10. To make the frosting: In bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter, and powder sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla and maple syrup and beat until smooth. Spread over slightly cooled – but still warm – rolls.
For a make ahead option, after placing the sliced dough in the pan and covering it, place the pan in the refrigerator for up to 18 hours. Remove from refrigerator and let dough rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes, or until nearly doubled. Then make as directed.
*adapted from Capper’s Farmer Winter 2015

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