Home » Recipes » Breakfast » Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Picture this: A pan of golden, gooey pumpkin cinnamon rolls, fresh from the oven. As they bake, your kitchen fills with the scent of warm cinnamon sugar and sweet pumpkin, like a cozy hug from within. I make these at least once a season, along with my pumpkin waffles, and they are both well worth the effort!

finished cinnamon rolls swirled with cream cheese frosting


Jump to:

Why Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls?

Now, imagine the scene: You’ve got the dough rolled out and smothered in a glorious cinnamon-sugar concoction. As you’re baking them, the aroma starts to fill the room—a blend of cozy nostalgia and irresistible cinnamon sugar with pumpkin.

They’re perfect for breakfast, a quick snack, or a show-stopping dessert. The possibilities are endless, and you can customize them to your heart’s content.

So grab that pumpkin and cinnamon, and let’s make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls!

Ingredients for the Dough

Ingredients for the rolls: Flour, sugar, salt, egg, dry yeast, brown sugar, milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and butter.

Canned pumpkin give these cinnamon rolls a soft texture, and the pumpkin pie spice infuses them with some added flavor.

Ingredients for the Dough

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Dry yeast
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Butter

Ingredients for the Filling

  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter

Ingredients for the Frosting

  • Cream cheese
  • Unsalted butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

See recipe card below for quantities and more details.

Variations to Consider

Nutty: Incorporate chopped nuts like pecans or walnuts into the filling for added crunch and flavor.

Maple Frosting: Add a touch of maple syrup to your frosting.

Orange Zest: Add freshly grated orange zest to the filling or the dough for a citrusy pop of flavor.

Pumpkin Seeds: Sprinkle pumpkin seeds (pepitas) on top of the rolls before baking for added texture and a nod to the pumpkin theme.

How to Make

Dough: Prepare a 9 x 13 pan by lining it with parchment paper and butter, then dust with flour. Combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer’s bowl and stir to incorporate. Add butter and mix for 1 minute, followed by milk and egg on low speed until combined. Introduce pumpkin puree, mixing for 3 minutes. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest for 30 minutes, allowing flavors to meld and dough to rise.

Filling and Rolling: Mix dry ingredients for filling and combine with butter, then set aside. For assembly, flour your work surface and roll the dough into a 20 by 10 inch rectangle. I sometimes will fold the edges of my dough toward the center to help make a better rectangle.

Folding edges in to get a rectangle shape.

Evenly sprinkle the filling, leaving a ½ inch border. Roll the dough jelly roll style into a long log with long side facing you, placing it seam side down.

rolling dough with cinnamon sugar filling

Slice: Slice roll into 2-inch portions and arrange in a pan, brushing with remaining butter.

Using a serrated knife to cut the cinnamon rolls.

Rise: Cover and let rise until doubled (60 to 90 minutes), or refrigerate for morning baking (ensure room temperature before baking). The rolls should almost fill the pan when ready to bake, and they get about 50% larger.

Covered buns before rising in white dish.

Rolls covered and ready for rising.

Buns after rising and just before baking.

Rolls after they rise.

Baking and Frosting: Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the middle of the center bun is cooked. This part can be tricky, so try not to bake over, or they will be dry. Check the center of the middle bun to ensure they are fully baked.

I like to use half the frosting to top the rolls and reserve the rest for those who want extra frosting.

Just baked cinnamon pumpkin buns before frosting.

Expert Tips

Tips for Rolling Out the Dough:

  • Use a lightly floured surface to prevent sticking, and throw a little dough under the dough as you roll. Rub some on top as well.
  • Start with a rectangle shape and roll from the center outwards for uniform thickness.
  • Correct the shape if needed by reshaping gently (pat the sides gently or fold the sides in towards the center and roll again).
  • Rotate the dough often for even rolling.
  • Measure for accuracy with a ruler or tape markings.
  • Let the dough rest if it resists rolling; it helps relax the gluten.
  • Aim for even thickness throughout.

Tips for Filling and Rolling Jelly Roll Style:

  • When ready to fill, leave a 1/2-inch border around the dough.
  • Spread filling evenly, especially toward the center.
  • Start rolling from a short edge, gently pulling just before rolling.
  • Roll gently but firmly, applying even pressure.
  • Place seam side down, then seal the edge.
  • Use a sharp, serrated knife and a sawing motion to avoid squishing the dough when cutting.

Proofing, Baking and Frosting:

  • Leave space between rolls in the pan for expansion.
  • Allow for sufficient proofing so the rolls are light and tender.
  • Bake as directed without overbaking to maintain tenderness.
  • Flip the rolls over to allow all the gooey cinnamon sugar to top the rolls and drizzle down the sides (optional – they’ll be gooey, but you lose the beautiful shape on top since the bottom is flat.
  • Apply frosting in moderation, adding some when hot and some when cooled.
  • To test for doneness, use a paring knife or fork to pull up the center-most roll; if the dough is still sticky and raw-looking (especially in the center of the roll), return the pan to the oven for about ten more minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long with the cinnamon rolls stay fresh?

For about 1 to 2 days at room temperature, when stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying. If you need them to last longer, you can store them in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Place them in an airtight container or wrap them well in plastic wrap.

Can I freeze baked cinnamon rolls and how to reheat afterwards?

Yes. When properly frozen, they can stay good for 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat as needed.
Bake the Rolls: Follow the recipe until the rolls are fully baked and have cooled to room temperature.
Wrap and Freeze: Individually wrap the cooled rolls in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 2-3 months.
Reheat: To warm the rolls, preheat your oven to around 350°F (175°C). Unwrap the rolls and place them on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes if thawed until they are heated through or longer if frozen.

How can I freeze unbaked cinnamon rolls?

Prepare the Rolls: Follow the recipe until the step just before the final rise.
Shape and Freeze: Once you’ve rolled the dough and cut the rolls, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are not touching each other. Put the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours until the rolls are firm.
Transfer to Bags: Once the rolls are frozen, transfer them to airtight freezer-safe bags or containers. Label them with the date for reference.
Freeze: Put the bags or containers in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

How do I bake cinnamon rolls after freezing?

Thaw and Rise: When you’re ready to bake, take the rolls out of the freezer and place them in a greased baking pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the rolls thaw and rise in the refrigerator overnight.
Bake: Remove the pan from the refrigerator and allow the rolls to come to room temperature, which could take about an hour. Preheat your oven according to the original recipe’s instructions and then bake the rolls as directed, keeping a close eye on them as they might need slightly longer baking time due to being frozen.

If you tried this recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below! SUBSCRIBE for more recipes.

📖 Recipe

finished cinnamon rolls swirled with cream cheese frosting

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a delicious and seasonal twist on a classic breakfast treat. The dough is enriched with pumpkin puree and warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and then filled with a sweet cinnamon sugar filling. After baking, the rolls are topped with a creamy and decadent cream cheese frosting, making them the perfect way to start any autumn morning.
5 from 2 votes
Author: Marie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rest and Rise 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls
Calories 475 kcal


  • 1 9 x 13 casserole dish may also use a 10" x 10" pan; two 8" round pans, one 8" and one 9" round pan, or a 10" springform pan
  • Parchment paper no necessary but recommended


For the dough:

  • 4.5 cups (562.5 g) bread flour plus more for dusting tabletop
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon (4 g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (12 g) pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter softened or grated with box grater
  • 1/2 cup (122 g) whole milk warmed or scalded (see note)
  • 1 (50 g) large egg
  • 2/3 cup (163.33 g) pumpkin puree NOT pumpkin pie mix

For the cinnamon filling:

  • 3/4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons (12 g) cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) salt
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter melted, divided (reserve 2 tablespoons for brushing tops of buns)

For the frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons (87 g) cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup (56.75 g) butter softened
  • 1.5 cups (180 g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.75 g) salt

For Decorating

  • cinnamon powder a few pinches, optional


To Make the Dough:

  • Prepare the Pan: Line the base of a 9 x 13-inch pan or a 10 x 10 pan with parchment paper, ensuring it's well-buttered beneath the parchment. Lightly dust the interior with flour, shaking off any excess. See NOTE 1
  • Blend Dry Ingredients: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients (bread flour, sugar, brown sugar, yeast, salt, pumpkin pie spice). Give them a gentle mix to ensure even distribution.
  • Incorporate Butter: Introduce the butter to the mix and blend for about a minute until the mixture turns crumbly and the butter is well incorporated. If the butter is still cold, use a box grater to cut it down for better incorporation.
  • Add Milk and Egg: Incorporate the milk and egg into the mixture, running the mixer on low until everything is well combined.
  • Integrate Pumpkin Puree: Gradually add the pumpkin puree, allowing it to mix for approximately 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and consistent.
  • Develop the Dough: Knead the dough on the countertop or in the mixer until it is nice and smooth and it stretches a bit when you gently tug on it, 5 or 10 minutes should do the trick. If hand kneading, I like to give the dough a rest for a minute or two between kneading.
  • Rest the Dough: Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, ensuring it's well-covered. Let it rest, covered, for about 30 minutes. It will grow but probably not double.

For the Filling:

  • Mix Dry Ingredients: Combine all the dry filling ingredients in a separate bowl, making sure they're evenly distributed.
  • Incorporate Butter: Reserve about 2 tablespoons of melted butter for topping and blend the rest with the dry ingredients of the filling until a well-mixed, crumbly texture forms. Set this mixture aside.

Constructing the Rolls:

  • Flour Your Workspace: Sprinkle your work surface with a light layer of flour to prevent sticking.
  • Roll Out the Dough: Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring approximately 20 by 10 inches. Aim for a nice even dough and pat the edges when needed to keep a rectangular shape. Roll from the center when needed and allow the dough to rest a few minutes if you feel resistance.
  • Apply Filling: Sprinkle the prepared filling evenly over the dough, taking care to maintain a border of about ½ inch along the edges.
  • Roll the Dough: Carefully roll up the dough into a long log with the long edge facing you, employing a jelly roll technique. Pinch the seam closed and place the roll seam side down.
  • Slice and Arrange: Using a sharp serrated knife, slice the roll into approximately 2-inch portions, yielding around 10 rolls. Use a gently sawing motion to cut the roll. I like to score the top of the roll first to plan my cuts. Then, arrange these rolls neatly in the prepared pan.
  • Final Butter Brush: Brush the remaining melted butter over the arranged rolls.
  • Rising Time: Cover the pan with a cloth or plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until they've doubled in size, which typically takes 60 to 90 minutes depending on your room and dough temperatures. Alternatively, if planning to bake the next day, refrigerate the rolls immediately, and plan to let them rise the next morning at room temperature, ensuring they reach room temperature before baking. See NOTE 2.
  • While the rolls bake, prepare the frosting.

For the Frosting

  • Combine the cream cheese and butter and mix well
  • Add powder sugar, in small portions and mix well
  • Add vanilla and salt and frost the rolls once they have slightly cooled.
  • To adjust consistency, add more powdered sugar to make thicker if needed.

To Bake

  • Preheat and Bake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the rolls for around 35 to 40 minutes or until the tops develop a delicate touch of color.
  • To test for doneness, use a paring knife or fork to pull up the center-most roll; if the dough is still sticky and raw-looking (especially in the center of the roll), return the pan to the oven for about ten more minutes.
  • If Refrigerated: Note that if you refrigerated the unbaked rolls, you should let them rise and bring them to room temperature. The time for this will vary depending on dough and room temperature, but I'd plan for about 2 to 3 hours of rising time (begin to check at 90 minutes) since the dough needs to come to room temperature before it will rise. You are looking for the rolls to fill about 80% to 90% of the pan after they have risen. They may need less time – you will have to watch them and see.

To Assemble

  • Top the baked rolls with the frosting. I like to use some frosting on top while the rolls are still warm and the rest after they've cooled. (optional: flip the rolls over before frosting to get the gooey cinnamon sugar on top).
  • Also, I recommended reserving some frosting for those who prefer the extra frosting.


NOTE 1: If using two smaller pans, check for doneness 10 minutes earlier. To test for doneness, use a paring knife or fork to pull up the center-most roll; if the dough is still sticky and raw-looking, return the pan to the oven for about ten more minutes.
NOTE 2: I prefer rising dough in my oven with the light on. 


Calories: 475kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 8gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 318mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 2gSugar: 42gVitamin A: 2571IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 1mg
Want More Recipes? Subscribe Today

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I, along with a bagillion others. am in love with cinnamon buns/rolls..and yours, with pumpkin are no exception to that love. They look incredible, Maria!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating