Baked Sunday Mornings: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I have many fond childhood memories of cinnamon rolls. Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, we often shopped at the now defunct department store Miller & Paine, and the store had a Tea Room. The cinnamon rolls sold there were my favorite treat. (After Miller & Paine closed, the cinnamon rolls disappeared for many years -- but they have since been resurrected at another Nebraska institution, Runza restaurants.) I preferred eating them plain, but in Nebraska, cinnamon rolls are also commonly served with chili (don't knock it until you try it -- the combination is surprisingly good!).

By today's standards, the Miller & Paine rolls were on the small side, and they were irregularly shaped and looked homemade. They were nothing like the oversized puffy rolls at Cinnabon, which were the inspiration for this week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.

The dough for these cinnamon rolls is easy to make -- you just dump bread flour, sugar, dark brown sugar, instant yeast, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, and cardamon into a mixer, and then add softened butter, followed by milk, an egg, and pumpkin puree. You put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

After it's rested, you're supposed to roll out the dough into a 23-inch by 10-inch rectangle. My dough was so soft and sticky that it was impossible. I had to work in some extra flour to make it more manageable before I could roll it out. Then I brushed the dough with melted butter and sprinkled on a filling made from light brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, salt, and melted butter. I rolled up the dough, pinched the seam shut, and cut the roll into slices. I placed the slices in a 10-inch diameter pan that was buttered and lined with parchment, and brushed the tops of the rolls with more melted butter. After letting the rolls rise until they were doubled in size, they were ready to bake.
The rolls looked fantastic when I pulled them out of the oven -- they were a dead ringer for the photo in the cookbook. While the rolls were still warm, I spread on a frosting of cream cheese, powdered sugar, and heavy cream (the liquid component was supposed to be buttermilk, but I didn't have any and used cream instead). The cookbook photo shows a delicate drizzle of frosting on top, but the recipe yielded so much frosting that I slathered it on and completely covered the top of the rolls. I'm not including a picture of the frosted rolls with this post since they were pretty much just a smear of white.
These cinnamon rolls were so very tasty. The pumpkin was more of a background flavor, with the fragrant cinnamon and spices at the forefront. I loved the thick cream cheese frosting. My favorite part was bottom of the cinnamon rolls (pictured above), which had baked into a decadent, caramelized, candy-like delight. If I had to come up with a criticism about these rolls, it would be that the bread was a touch dense. But I didn't care in the slightest -- these pumpkin cinnamon rolls were just heavenly.

Recipe: "Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls" by Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.


Lovely. I had to use a 13 x 9 and they were not as attractive as yours but delish.
Unknown said…
They're gorgeous! So perfectly formed!
Anonymous said…
They really are a dead ringer for the book-- every spiral is so perfect! :) Yeah, this recipe is pretty excellent. Mine were a little underbaked in the center; how long did you bake yours? And yes, the bottom looks amazing!
Beautiful rolls! I went all Jackson Pollack with my glaze!