Cinnamon rolls are a classic comfort food. They are perfect for cool autumn mornings, or the perfect treat for your holiday visitors to wake up to. When I was a kid, I loved waking up on the weekends or holidays to the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. When my mom was in a hurry, she even used pre-made canned rolls, but they were never as amazing as the homemade ones. Last week I got a wild idea to combine two of my favorite things, pumpkin and cinnamon rolls. Then I realized after researching, many other people also had the same thought. I searched through several recipes and finally found one close enough to my idea for the perfect pumpkin roll. My idea for a pumpkin roll is a more tightly rolled, thinner dough cinnamon roll, closely related to the Little Debbie Pecan Spinwheel, one of my secret guilty pleasures. I used whole wheat flour and lots of spices in the dough for plenty of flavor. I filled my pumpkin rolls with brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, candied ginger and raisins. I finished them off easily with jarred caramel sauce. They were so good. I very closely adapted these pumpkin rolls from the pumpkin roll recipe on the King Author website. You can visit there for more detailed photos on making these rolls. I changed the recipe some to fit our tastes and changed some the ingredients that so they weren’t specific to their company.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 or teaspoons yeast (or one packet)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 pieces candied ginger, minced
1 cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Pre-made jarred Caramel Sauce
1. Add all ingredients for the dough, except white bread flour, into your stand mixer bowl. Put on kneading hook and turn on low. Start adding the white flour little by little. Depending on your humidity (if it’s dry use less flour), but if it’s real humid like it is down here in Florida, you may have to use all the flour. The flour should be sticky, but coming away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough for 10 – 15 minutes on medium speed.
2. Transfer into a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap to let rise. You want it to double in size. (My kitchen was a little too cold so I made my oven into a proofer by putting a large bowl of hot water from the tap and placing it, along with the dough in the cold oven.
3. Place a 2 foot length of parchment paper on your counter. Lightly grease it with olive oil. Lightly grease your rolling pin. After the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to the parchment paper. Work with the dough, stretching, and rolling it until it is the size of the parchment paper, making sure to maintain an even thickness, and not tear the dough. It doesn’t have to be perfect.
4. Then combine filling ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough, leaving about an inch of the dough (on one of the short sides of your dough rectangle) free from sugar so so you can seal the ends.
5. Then carefully roll the dough, starting on a short side, not the long side of your rectangle of dough, so there is more rolling. After you’ve rolled it up, slice it in equal sized slices and place it in your baking pan. For baking, I tried two ways, the one in the photo is a large slice that I put in my jumbo muffin pan to bake, and others, I sliced them the width of my bread knife and baked them, sides touching, in a large circular cake pan. Both ways were tasty, the cake pan was easier, but the muffin pan was mush cuter. (If you use a muffin pan, arrange the roll so that the sides are tucked down a little more than the middle, or the middle might want to sink on you.)
6. After you transfer all your rolls to the pan. (You can stop here and refrigerate overnight so you can have fresh rolls in the morning.) Let the dough rise again, covered, until the rolls are puffed up. (They aren’t going to rise a whole lot.) Depending on your home’s temperature, you may want to use your oven as a proofer like I explained in step 2.
7. When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until rolls are lightly browned and set.
8. Drizzle caramel sauce on them and serve.