Gooey Pumpkin Nut Cinnamon Rolls

MiscNov 021I promise this is my very last pumpkin-related recipe for the season. Honest! I wasn’t going to open another can of pumpkin until it was time to make pies for Thanksgiving, but the thought of a pumpkin filled cinnamon roll got into my head and wouldn’t leave…and I’m glad I paid attention, because these are so good!

Nothing compares to the fragrance of cinnamon rolls warm from the oven. Except, perhaps, cinnamon rolls with a spicy pumpkin-walnut filling. Add a vanilla glaze dripping down the side, and you have a pastry worthy of company―or an afternoon indulgence for a busy day.

They also freeze well and can be quickly microwaved for an impromptu snack. The recipe makes 20-24 rolls (depending on what kind of pan you plan to use) and just for the record I want you to know I had ONE of them. And then they were gone. So you got the two-thumbs-up seal of approval from my menfolk.

Here you go:

Gooey Pumpkin Nut Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 20-24 rolls.
  • Dough
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • .............
  • Filling
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • .............
  • Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • Cream or milk for desired consistency
  1. Lightly grease two or three round cake pans or one 12-inch by 18-inch rectangular pan. Feel free to improvise―rolls spaced closely together will rise higher, and rolls placed farther apart in a rectangular pan will be more uniform.
  2. In a large bowl combine water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let the mixture sit until bubbly – about 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, ⅓ cup sugar, melted butter, eggs and salt. Whisk together.
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Add the flour slowly. (If using a stand mixer, use your dough hook.) Mix for one minute. If you will be kneading by hand, put dough on a floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. If you are using a stand mixer, it will take 5 minutes. The dough should come cleanly away from the bowl. If it doesn’t, add flour a little at a time. This should be soft, elastic dough, but should not be sticky.
  6. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap. Allow to rise until double – about an hour.
  7. While the bread is rising, combine all of the filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  8. When the dough has doubled, punch it down. Working with half of the dough at a time, roll into a 10-inch by 14-inch rectangle, with the long edge facing you. Spread with half of the filling.
  9. Beginning at the long edge facing you, roll the dough, gently pulling towards you as you roll, to keep it snug. Slice into 12 pieces. (If using just two round cake pans, slice into 10 pieces) Repeat with the remaining dough.
  10. Place pieces in greased pan. If using 3 round pans, arrange 8 slices in each. If using 2 round pans, arrange 10 slices in each. For a large rectangular pan, space all 24 slices evenly. Cover and allow rolls to rise for about an hour.
  11. Heat oven to 400 F.
  12. Bake rolls for 17-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  13. Cool in the pans on a rack until they are slightly warm, and transfer to a serving platter.
  14. When the rolls are cool, combine all of the ingredients for the glaze, beginning with 1 tablespoon of cream or milk, and mix well. Add additional milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Pour or brush over the rolls.


Rolls are in the pan, ready to rise.

Rolls are in the pan, ready to rise.

Pretty! Poofy! Ready for the oven.

Pretty! Poofy! Ready for the oven.

And...done! Can you smell them?

And…done! Can you smell them?

MiscNov 023Now on to eggnog and peppermint and chocolate and caramel and rum and….well, you get the picture.  I hear those sleigh bells ringing!


A soft, warm, fragrant cinnamon roll…mmmm.

Finding a recipe for the perfect cinnamon roll is an ongoing quest. I’ve collected some very good recipes, but I am always on the lookout for one that I can offer a “forever home” to. When I posted my recipe for maple bars (and if you didn’t read it, I don’t want to know; it would break my heart. All that work for nothing…sniff) the thought that kept running through my head was “this would be perfect for cinnamon roll dough.”

Testing this theory was tricky, and required a lot of sneaky maneuvering, because – at the risk of being accused of doing my “dirty laundry” in a social networking site” – I must let you know that I’m currently on strike. My husband SOMEone has been grumpy about the messes I’m making in the kitchen.

For some reason I decided to go on a baking strike in protest. I have no idea why I didn’t pick housecleaning (or sex) instead of the one thing I’m passionate about, but now I have to be stubborn and win this battle. SOMEone is slowly working through my freezer packed with frozen goodies. When that mother lode is gone, he will surely have to accept defeat. In the meantime, this is hurting me more than it’s hurting him!

Luckily, it’s hunting season. That means that yesterday I had time to whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls, test them thoroughly, take photos, freeze them in foil (if he can’t see them, he won’t mess with them) and air the house out. I even roasted some coffee to cover any possible residual cinnamony fragrance. Cheating? Well, yes…but I did it for you! Sneaky? Uh huh. Thankfully, he doesn’t read my blogs. You won’t squeal, right?

The rolls were delicious – everything I could hope for. They were light and airy, not too sweet (so there is a little contrast between the dough and the sugar cinnamon filling) and the recipe made about two dozen rolls…just the right amount to fill my big cake pan.

One batch fills a 12″x18″ pan perfectly!

This recipe is a keeper!

Author: The Rowdy Baker
Serves: 24
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (2% or whole milk is best. I added a little half & half to my 2%)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • …………
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • raisins (optional)
  • …………
  • Icing:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons Milk
  1. In a small pan on medium-high heat, scald the milk. To do this, let the milk heat until there are bubbles all the way around the outer edge, but catch it before it boils. Remove from heat.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar, shortening, salt, and cinnamon. Allow the mixture to cool down until it’s lukewarm.
  3. In a large bowl (I use my stand mixer) combine the warm water, yeast, and ½ teaspoon sugar. Let it sit until bubbly – about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix the lukewarm milk mixture into the yeast mixture. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well.
  5. Slowly add the flour, mixing until combined. Knead well–5 minutes with stand mixer using the dough hook, or 7-8 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface. If you are letting your mixer do the kneading and the dough isn’t coming cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, add a little more flour.
  6. Set the dough to rise in a large oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil. Allow to rise until double–about an hour. Punch down.
  7. Grease a large cake pan (12″x18″) or three round cake pans (9″) and set aside.
  8. In a small bowl, mix together the filling ingredients: sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Set aside.
  9. Working with half the dough at a time, on a very lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle approximately 12 inches by 18 inches, with a long side facing you.
  10. Pour half of the melted butter on the dough. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter, and add raisins if you wish.
  11. Beginning with the long side closest to you, roll the dough up, gently pulling the dough towards you as you roll so that it remains snug. Pinch the seam to seal.
  12. Slice into twelve slices. Place into prepared pan(s), with approximately an inch between each roll. Don’t worry…if you have to put them closer together they’ll just be taller. Work with whatever pans you have.
  13. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  14. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until double – about an hour. The rolls should be touching each other.
  15. Heat oven to 400 F.
  16. Bake cinnamon rolls for approximately 15-18 minutes. They should be medium brown on top.
  17. Place pan on cooling rack. When they are no longer hot (but still nice and warm) remove the rolls to a serving dish. This will keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  18. Make icing by beating together the powdered sugar, vanilla, softened butter, and 3 tablespoons of milk. Add more milk as needed, depending on whether you want an icing (less milk) or a glaze (more milk).
  19. Drizzle (or spread) icing onto warm cinnamon rolls.

Let it rise.

Punch it down.

Pour on the butter.

Add filling and roll!

Bake them!

Just wait until you smell these baking! They freeze really well, too. I know, because I have a bunch of them hiding in my chest freezer beneath the grated zucchini! Shhhhh.