Donuts and Bread, Holiday

Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls are still just as soft and gooey as original cinnamon rolls but with added spices and pumpkin flavor in the dough. The rolls are still made through a basic yeasted dough, but pumpkin puree is included instead. The dough is soft, pillowy, twisted with pumpkin pie spices, and then topped with a sweet cream cheese icing. Each bite melts in your mouth, especially when they’re warm!

For a yeasted dough, they come together fairly quickly because we’re using instant yeast this time instead of active dry. These rolls are great for a holiday breakfast or brunch, like today. Happy Thanksgiving! The best part? They can be made ahead and baked the next day to save you time on holiday cooking prep.

Cinnamon rolls are just one of those things that you always need around the holidays. They’re soft, warm, and topped with a creamy icing. Having cinnamon rolls seems to be a tradition around here for all sorts of holiday mornings. What’s your go-to holiday morning goody?

The canned cinnamon rolls can only go so far before you need something bigger and better. These rolls are huge and more and more gooey as you peel each layer to the center.

Out of curiosity I googled who invented the cinnamon roll… Germany and Sweden were the first to bring them to America and they’ve been making them since the 17th century. No one specifically mentioned, but I knew they had to be a genius!

Ok, this isn’t history class, you’re here for a delicious recipe for Thanksgiving!

ingredients you need

  • milk
  • sugar
  • instant yeast
  • butter
  • flour
  • pumpkin puree
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • eggs
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • powdered sugar
  • cream cheese

let’s get to it…

Down to the details! Most of me likes summer, but fall desserts really set the mood. They’re warm, gooey, full of spice, and make you feel good!

When you think about it, canned cinnamon rolls are so last year. I still love them for certain things, like my cinnamon roll peach cobbler, but overall, the homemade rolls are worth the work!

First you’ll add you warmed milk, sugar, and yeast to a large bowl fitted with a dough hook. It’s best to use a stand mixer for when it comes to kneading, but hand mixing will do the trick.

Next, add in your egg, melted butter, and pumpkin puree. Give it a good stir until it’s fully combined. Add in your dry ingredients and mix until a dough starts to form. Once it forms, knead on low for 8-10 minutes. Add the dough ball to a greased bowl and proof for at least 1 hour or until double.

One proofed, roll the dough into a 14×16″ rectangle. Spread the softened butter onto the dough, then sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon right on top.

Starting on the long end, roll it up tightly. Evenly cut the rolls into 12 pieces. You can use a serrated knife or unflavored floss for this.

Add the rolls to a greased 9×13″ pan and cover. Proof for another 30 minutes. During this time, preheat the oven to 350 F.

Once proofed, uncover and bake for 20-23 minutes until golden. It’s ok if the middle is still soft.

Whisk your powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and butter until smooth and creamy. Spread the icing over the warm rolls and enjoy!

rolling and shaping

You might have run into the problem before where your rolls aren’t tight enough. Here are a few tricks for the best homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls.

Start rolling your log on the long side, not the short side. To start the roll, roll over the edge about 1/2″ and pinch it down. Then grab the outside towards the center and begin rolling forward. Keep the center tucked in with your fingers as you continue rolling.

And don’t forget those edges! Sometimes it’s easiest to keep the edges tighter and then come to the center.

Once rolled do a “rough draft” of where you’re going to cut them. Add lines to where you think they will be even. Once it’s a match, give them a full cut with floss or a serrated knife. Be gentle when cutting so they don’t get smushed.

tricks to testing the dough

If you’re new to dough making for always have trouble, here is a super easy way to test your dough to see if its ready. I’m no Paul Hollywood, but I’ve got a few tips in the bank that are helpful.

  • Make sure to knead the dough for long enough, but not too long. It’s kind of hard to over knead dough, but it’s easy to under knead. Make sure you do it for at least 8 minutes this time.
  • Once you think the dough is kneaded enough, pull some between your fingers, if it can pull to create a “windowpane,” it’s good. If it tears while you’re trying to pull, it needs more kneading time.
  • To test for proofing, press your fingers into the dough, if it fills back in within a minute, it’s good.

how to make the homemade pumpkin cinnamon rolls ahead of time

If you’re like me and making these for a holiday breakfast and you have a lot to do, you can easily make the rolls partially ahead of time and bake the next day.

Especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas, food prep can become overwhelming and busy. The turkey needs to roast, the mash potatoes need to bake, the cranberry sauce needs to cook… but these rolls can be easy!

Make the dough as directed and let proof. Once proofed, roll and slather with your filling. Roll up the dough and cut them into 12 rolls. Add the rolls to your pan and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Add the pan to fridge overnight. The rolls will very slowly proof, but not much will change. This kind of pauses the process.

The next morning, remove the rolls from the fridge, uncover, and proof in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes. Then, continue as directed and bake!

Want some more gooey delicious rolls? Check these out:

Did you make this recipe? I would love to see or hear about it! Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram @tuesday.treats. I love seeing your creations!

Homemade Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by Gillian VolzCourse: Donuts and Bread, HolidayCuisine: DessertDifficulty: Intermediate


Prep time


Cooking time


Proofing time

1 1/2


These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are super gooey, warm, and the perfect item for your holiday brunch table!


  • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed (almost to a boil, but not quite)

  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup melted butter

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • 4 cups flour

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

  • Pinch of salt

  • Cinnamon Filling
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temp (easy to spread)

  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (1/2 a stick)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Maple syrup to taste


  • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  • In a large stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, add warmed milk, yeast, and sugar. Let it sit for a minute or so to bubble. *Notes
  • Next, add in your egg, melted butter, and pumpkin puree. Give it a good stir until it’s fully combined.
  • Add in your flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Combine until there are no dry pockets left and the dough starts to form.
  • Once it forms, turn the mixer on low and knead for 8-10 minutes. The dough will start to pull away from the bowl and be soft and slightly sticky. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can knead by hand by folding the dough in half and pressing forward with the heel of your palm.
  • Once it’s fully kneaded, add the dough ball to a large lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You can use the same bowl from mixing if it’s clean enough, otherwise add a new one. Proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Grease a 9×13″ pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  • Once proofed, punch a hole in the center of the dough to deflate the air. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 14×16″ rectangle.
  • Cinnamon Filling
  • Spread the softened butter onto the dough using a spatula. Only leave about 1/4″ for the border.
  • Sprinkle your brown sugar and cinnamon on top of the butter and spread it around leaving no gaps.
  • Starting on the long end, use your fingers to fold over and lightly pinch the dough to start the roll. Tightly roll the log. *Notes
  • Cut the log into 12 even rolls. You can use unflavored floss or a serrated knife. *Notes
  • Add the rolls to the prepared baking dish. Cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to proof again fro 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Once proofed, uncover and bake for 20-23 minutes until just golden and baked through.
  • Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
  • Add all of your icing ingredients to a small bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. If you want a thinner icing, add milk. For thicker icings, add more powdered sugar.
  • Spread the icing over the warm rolls. Enjoy!


  • If the yeast doesn’t bubble, that means it’s dead and it won’t rise throughout the process. Unfortunately, you’ll have to ditch it and start over.
  • See notes above for extra tips on checking if the dough is kneaded enough as well as tightly rolling.
  • Be careful not to smush the rolls while cutting. It’s easiest to add lines to the dough first to see where it will be cut before going all the way.
  • If you want to make the cinnamon rolls a day ahead, check out my recipe notes above for more details.

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