Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing (GF + Dairy Free Option)

Big, fluffy, pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls packed with a  brown sugar, pumpkin pie and pecan filling and smothered in a delicious maple cream cheese icing. These are a great recipe to keep in mind for Thanksgiving breakfast! Make the night before, cover and keep in the fridge overnight, and bake off first thing in the morning :)

Cinnamon rolls can be a great beginner yeast recipe. This is one of those recipes that honestly just tastes great, no matter how imperfect. Fun to make and even more fun to eat! Just takes some extra love and patience.

Ting's Tips: My biggest tip is to use instant yeast or quick rise yeast. This means that there is no activating or extra work. Another tip is to make sure that the milk is not too hot. You want it to be around 105-110F degrees. This should feel like warm milk. Any hotter, and it will kill the yeast. Next tip, use room temperature ingredients! Room temperature (softened) butter and egg. Last tip, bread flour makes for extra fluffy cinnamon rolls. It is not necessary, but it's recommended! 

**You can also make these vegan by using soy (or other) milk, vegan butter, vegan cream cheese** **See notes at bottom of page for Gluten Free Options**

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

**You can also make these vegan by using soy milk, vegan butter, vegan cream cheese**

**See note at bottom of page for Gluten Free**

Dough

1/2 cup warm milk (105F degrees), whole, 2% or dairy free (I prefer soy)

1/2 cup melted unsalted butter, or dairy free butter

2 1/4 teaspoons instant or quick rise yeast (1 packet)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg, room temperature, or egg substitute (i.e. 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons hot water - let thicken for 5-10 minutes)

3/4 cup pumpkin puree, canned

3 1/2 cups bread flour, or all purpose flour

     *See note at bottom of page for gluten free

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt 

Filling

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature

     or dairy free butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 cup chopped pecans 

Icing

4 oz cream cheese, softened

     or dairy free cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar 

1/4 cup milk or water, plus more if needed

     or dairy free milk of choice (I prefer soy)

2 tablespoons syrup

1. To make dough, melt the butter and set aside to cool (to about 105F degrees). Warm the milk to about 105F degrees either in the microwave for 45 seconds or over the stove. The butter and milk should be warm, like bath water. It should not be hot to the touch, it should feel barely warmer than your body temperature. Option to use a thermometer to check! :) 

2. Add the butter and milk to a mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. If using dry active yeast, mix and set aside for 5-10 minutes until foamy and activated. Add in brown sugar, egg and pumpkin puree. Mix until combined. Next, add in flour, one cup at a time, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Mix until combined.

3. If using a mixer, keep on medium speed for about 7-10 minutes to knead the dough. If kneading by hand, turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 7-10 minutes. The dough should form a slightly sticky ball. If it is too sticky (sticking to the bowl), add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until a ball forms. 

4. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside for 1-2 hours. It should double in size. 

5. While the dough rises, make the filling. Whisk together the softened butter, brown sugar, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice until combined. Keep pecans separate. Set aside. 

6. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and turn the dough out onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle. Use a spatula or knife to spread the filling evenly across the dough. Sprinkle the pecans over the filling. 

7. Tightly roll the dough up and cut about 1 inch off either end, because the end won't be as full as you'd like. Using a knife or unflavored dental floss, cut cinnamon rolls into equal size (about 1 inch or so). This should make about 8-10 cinnamon rolls, depending on size.

8. Place rolls into greased or parchment lined baking dish. Cover with kitchen towel and set aside to rise while oven preheats, for at least 30 minutes. Preheat to 350F degrees. Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until slightly golden brown. 

9. While the cinnamon rolls bake, let's make the icing. Using a mixer or a whisk, mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and maple syrup. Adjust to desired consistency. If too thick, add 1/2 tablespoon of milk or water at a time to make thinner. If too thin, add 1/2 tablespoon of powdered sugar at a time to make thicker. 

10. Cool cinnamon rolls for about 10 minutes, add the icing and enjoy! 

 

**For gluten free option:

Substitute flour with Gluten Free All Purpose Flour. Check the ingredients on your flour, if the flour already has Xantham Gum in it, then you can use just this. Flour that already has Xantham gum in it is called “Cup4Cup” or “1-to-1” Gluten Free Flour. If there is no Xantham Gum in the gluten free flour ingredients you'll need to buy it separately and add 3/4 teaspoons per 1 cup of flour for cinnamon rolls. Xantham gum helps with elasticity and stickiness to the dough. I have had best results using Cup4Cup or 1-to-1 Flour.