Take cinnamon rolls up a notch with these perfect-for-fall pumpkin cinnamon rolls. So fluffy and delicious with just the perfect hint of pumpkin spice!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Ever since I hopped on Facebook Live to talk about all things cinnamon rolls, I’ve been inundated with questions about when I am going to finally post the recipe for the pumpkin cinnamon rolls I was making in the video.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure I’d even get them posted today what with life and feeling like I’ve been hit by a bus (dang sore throat) and maybe, possibly a tiny bit of blogger burnout…but I powered through, and I am actually really excited you’ll have this pumpkin cinnamon roll in your life now.

Fluffier than all of the millions of fluffy cinnamon rolls I’ve eaten in my lifetime, the pumpkin does magical things to cinnamon roll dough. I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a softer, nicer, kinder-to-me dough in my life.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

And you know how sometimes cinnamon rolls spread and get annoying gaps after they bake, and you want to scream in your pillow and throw things and stomp your feet? (I actually address this issue in the FB Live if you are looking for a few solutions…)

Well, you can put the tantrum behaviors aside, because these pumpkin cinnamon rolls are a dream to work with and have turned out perfectly every single time I’ve made them (even when I was tweaking the recipe to get everything just right).

They are just really lovable. And your other cinnamon roll recipe (or five) might get a little jealous when they see how much you gush over the new pumpkin kid in town.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

The pumpkin spice flavor is subtly delicious. Even the most moderate fan of pumpkin flavored foods might very well be won over by the soft, fluffiness of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. I’ve served them to everyone from cinnamon roll snobs to a hungry group of 12-year old scouts just returning from a 22-mile bike ride.

Fanatical reception every time (no surprise with the scouts, I know).

Behold, the pumpkin cinnamon roll; this might be the sole reason to start hoarding cans of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: Makes 12 cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

As with all yeast doughs, take care not to overflour the dough; it should come together and form a soft ball that clears the sides of the mixer without being really stiff.

If using homemade pumpkin puree, you'll probably need a bit more flour than if using canned.


  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or milk (2% or whole), warmed (to about 110 degrees F)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup (6 ounces) pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 1/4 cup (about 1.75 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (about 20 to 25 ounces)
  • Filling:
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (5.5 ounces) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons milk or cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar


  1. For the dough, add the warmed buttermilk or milk and butter to a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon). With the mixer running, add the egg, pumpkin puree, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and 1 cup of the flour.
  2. Continue adding flour, just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It should be very soft but not so sticky that it leaves a ton of residue on your fingers. Let it knead for just 1-2 minutes until it has come together in a soft, tacky ball. Because of the pumpkin, this dough is much softer and silkier than normal cinnamon roll dough.
  3. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen (you can speed up the rising by placing the covered bowl of dough in a very lightly warmed oven).
  4. Meanwhile, lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking dish or large, rimmed baking sheet (I usually line it with parchment).
  5. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
  6. When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly greased counter and press it into a 16 by 12-inch rectangle. Gently spread the softened butter over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula or just your fingers.
  7. Sprinkle on the brown sugar mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border along the top and bottom edges. Lightly use the palms of your hands to press the brown sugar mixture into the butter, adhering it to the dough.
  8. Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Gently pat the log so it has an even diameter the entire length.
  9. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls (or more if you like your rolls thinner). Arrange the rolls cut side down on the prepared baking pan and cover with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours; it's really important to let them rise well or else they won't be light and fluffy after they've baked.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are very lightly golden on top and cooked through but not overly browned.
  11. While the rolls are baking, mix the softened cream cheese and milk or cream together until smooth (I usually use a blender to make this glaze). Add the vanilla (and maple, if using) and mix. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar. Add additional milk or buttermilk one teaspoon at a time until desired glaze consistency is reached. It should be thick yet pourable. Drizzle the warm rolls with the glaze.

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from a favorite Buttermilk Cinnamon Roll recipe)

51 Responses to Light and Fluffy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Sam says:

    Can’t wait to try these!

  2. Oh my gosh Mel! These look so good! I usually take the quick route and use a biscuit dough for cinnamon rolls because I don’t always plan ahead. But this dough looks so fluffy and amazing! (And I really need to use the big bag of instant yeast I bought this summer.) Your bread recipes never fail me. I just made your naan recipe again last week. I can’t wait to get this one in the oven 🙂

  3. Anna says:

    I just recently made your pumpkin cinnamon bread (which was delicious!). As I was making that, I wondered how that dough would work for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Would you say this dough is better?

  4. Rachelle says:

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it! I think the recipe might be missing the powdered sugar for the glaze….how much do you add?

  5. Mary says:

    I cannot wait to make these! Years ago I was making cinnamon rolls weekly for my kids after school snack. It was their favorite. They are all grown now and I’m excited to make these for the grand kids and my grown kids!!

  6. Kerry says:

    These look super delicious! How much sugar for the glaze?

  7. Breanne says:

    Can I make these up until the point of rising in the pan and refrigerate over night, then bake in the morning?

  8. Teresa says:

    Wow, Mel, these look really amazing. I love how the recipe makes just 12. I am sorry to hear you are under the weather. I am just recovering from a bad sore throat/cough/cold. I have not been sick in years and years and I made up for it this time. Hope you feel better. Maybe another pumpkin cinnamon roll will help!

  9. Kara says:

    I love all things pumpkin! I printed this and am ready to hand out to my home ec class. Thank you so much Mel, we are all blessed by your posts. Burn-out or not 😉

  10. Janet says:

    Good idea! the pumpkin will add some fiber/nutrition. I think I’ll also exchange 1 cup of flour for whole wheat flour to up the fiber/nutrition, and hope they are still fluffy 🙂

  11. Jen T says:

    oh divine! making these today! Thank you!!!!

  12. Jodi says:

    I want to reach through my screen and grab one (or 12) right now!!!!!!

  13. Natalie says:

    You mentioned this recipe was coming in another post and I have been anxiously waiting! I can’t wait to try these! Thanks!

  14. Teresa R. says:

    I’ll be making these cinnamon rolls to share with my family this weekend. The crock pot roast was delicious! I was excited to see a new crock pot recipe. Thanks!

  15. michele peck says:

    With such a soft dough, I find cutting them with a piece of thread works better than a knife.

  16. Melanie says:

    Sorry about your sore throat. My son’s choir teacher recommended an herbal tea called Throat Coat when his throat was sore but he had to still sing. Worked like a charm. Got it from the local grocery store.
    Is this recipe one where you can sub Kefir for the buttermilk?

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, Melanie! I haven’t used kefir in this recipe but usually it subs quite well for buttermilk – and makes the dough even more tender (at least that’s what I’ve found for pancakes and such).

      • Melanie says:

        I second Throat Coat- the brand is Traditional Medicinals . It is my favorite herbal tea, and I love to drink it even when I’m not sick. It is delicious with honey and/or elderberry syrup.

        • Mel says:

          I’m glad to know about this! I make our own elderberry syrup so it sounds like a good match.

        • Melanie says:

          I make elderberry syrup as well, and I swear by it! This is a good reminder that it’s about time for me to make another batch. 🙂

  17. Janna says:

    Oh, YUM!!! Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂
    Also, in my opinion, mothers should just never be allowed to get sick…it just throws everything out of whack, and it should be against the laws of the universe or something! Or at least when we do get sick, a magic laundry and cleaning fairy should be sent to our home!
    Seriously, though, I really hope that you have been able to take it easy, and that you are feeling much better. Please know how greatly you are appreciated!!!

    • Mel says:

      Amen to that! Thankfully I’m feeling much better than when I typed up that post last night. Although, I still wouldn’t turn away a magic laundry and cleaning fairy…

  18. Connie says:

    Thank you! Marshall was raving about these so I’ve been watching and waiting for the recipe!

  19. Rachel says:

    Oh I’m so excited to see this recipe! Thank you so much! Feel better soon and thanks for pushing through it, my whole family and extended family thanks you!

  20. Beverly Simone says:

    These look scrumptious, but I will be adding chopped pecans to the filling for more scrumptiousness!

  21. Becky says:

    I loved the Facebook Live (so did my four year daughter/cooking partner)! I loved the tip for spraying the counter and the one about convection baking. I have a convection oven but have been to timid to try it- but now I’m not! Can’t wait to try these. I like my cinnamon rolls with a granulated sugar and cinnamon filling– do you think that will be ok in these? Also, have you ever tried making a slurry (mixing the softened butter with the cinnamon and sugar and then spreading it on the dough) for the filling? It’s awesome!!! Thanks for all the great tips- I expect it will take my cinnamon rolls over the top! Sorry for the novel!!

    • Mel says:

      The granulated sugar filling should be just fine! I’ve tried mixing the butter and sugar but it’s always a bit too hard to spread (I’m sure it’s just me) and tears the dough. I hope you like these! 🙂

  22. Paige says:

    These rolls look amazing! every year I always say I’m going to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls and never do, this year is my year!


  23. Jacqui says:

    Mel, can’t wait to try these! Tonight for dinner we are eating your perfect pot roast with your whole grain honey bran muffins and your apple crisp. You are seriously famous at our house. My kids would faint dead away if we ever met in real life. :). Also, I’m cooking my way through your e-cookbook and the recipies are exceptional. Thanks so much! Sure hope you feel better soon.

  24. Leah S says:

    I am sorry you’re feeling blogger blurgh. Thank you for posting this delicious recipe despite feeling unwell. I’m very excited to try these!

  25. Jen says:

    Hi Mel! I’m excited to try these out! I need to make a lot and was wondering if you know how much dough you can make in the Bosch? Doubled? Tripled? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Definitely a double batch; I’d probably chance it and try a triple batch because I believe in my Bosch (but my disclaimer is I haven’t tried a triple batch in there yet).

  26. Joanna says:

    Can hardly wait. The cinnamon rolls are rising on the counter and the timer is counting down to bake time. Just realized I don’t have maple extract. Can I use pure maple syrup or should I leave it out? Thanks Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Eh, I’d just leave it out. I prefer these with the maple frosting but my husband actually far prefers them without the maple in there. 🙂

  27. Suzanne says:

    THANK YOU!!!! I am so excited to make these. This is the perfect fall recipe. FYI- I took OnGuard beadlets last winter and I really think it helped me to get over sickness quicker/ stay healthier (may be all in my head, but I’ll take a placebo if it works!). I hope the blogger blahs get healed too- it’s so hard to find the right balance! Know that we (I will speak for all us virtual friends) understand and appreciate you tons!!!

  28. JC says:

    These were yum! You’re right; I loved working with the soft, delicious dough! Love the maple flavor in the frosting. I kinda wished they had a slightly more pumpkiny flavor. Hubby and I loved these. But this is a keeper. Thank you!

  29. Whitney says:

    At what point would you say is the best to freeze them? I want these for breakfast, but can’t stand the thought of waking up that early to let them rise!

  30. Jamie says:

    Hi! Do you let the rolls rise before placing them in the fridge overnight? Or do you place them in the fridge before the second rise? If so, do you let them second rise before baking in the morning? Hope that makes sense, but this step always confuses me!

  31. Betsy says:

    These were awesome Mel! Thanks for continuing to make me a rockstar in the kitchen!

  32. Andra says:

    These were so delicious and fluffy! I think this is my new favorite way to eat pumpkin and this recipe has the perfect amount of it. You’re right, even those who don’t love pumpkin will love these! Beautifully soft and easy dough. What a great new recipe to have. Thanks!

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