Pumpkin Streusel Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing:
These Pumpkin Streusel Cinnamon Rolls are to die for and have immediately become a new fall staple. Soft and fluffy rolls full of flavor, showcase a delicious streusel filling nestled inside. And to compliment the pumpkin and streusel is a delicious maple cream cheese icing. Put together you have a total melt-in-your-mouth experience that screams fall!
Ah, October; the time of year when I live my autumnal dreams vicariously through photos of beautiful foliage and colorful landscapes. Unfortunately, all this magical season has to offer is seldom enjoyed in Texas (but c’est la vie, right?).
However, photos are not the only way I live vicariously; I also do so through food. And you couldn’t pick a much better food to enjoy this time of year than cinnamon rolls (not that I’m limiting thim to a certain time of year, mind you). There is such a comforting quality about them that pairs so well with the season. The smell of cinnamon mingled with baking bread fills your house with the most delicious and happy aroma, and in a matter of minutes the most patient of people turn to an impatience fraught with anticipation a bit childish in its eagerness.
These Pumpkin Streusel Cinnamon Rolls are fall wrapped in spirals of pumpkin, butter, and streusel – not to mention the maple cream cheese goodness that blankets the tops.
I must confess that the idea for this recipe was born in rather last minute style. I was about to proceed with making another batch of apple pie cinnamon rolls (recipe coming next month!) when the idea, driven by a strong craving, for making a coffee cake version of my favorite cinnamon rolls – I heart coffee cake – morphed into this pumpkin-streusel situation before you now. I don’t think I could be much more excited about this recipe; these turned out just the way I imagined and went perfectly the first time around! Big score.
So what you have with these luscious pillows of carb heaven is a soft and fluffy (the two main requirements for my cinnamon roll consumption) roll that is complimented by the additions of pumpkin and a few spices.
Next we have the streusel. Oh… how I do love streusel. I chose the streusel that tops this amazing pumpkin bread to be the filling for these rolls. It really is just the perfect compliment. Also, you can get a bit creative in this department and add nuts or, even better, some chocolate (oh yes, definitely happening next time).
Then of course, what’s autumn and pumpkin without maple? I usually prefer a non cream cheese icing on top of my cinnamon rolls (don’t ask me why – I don’t know) but felt that in this instance it would be a delicious accompaniment to the pumpkin & streusel beneath. And since we’re talking things that go well together, maple + pumpkin + streusel make a most excellent threesome.
Oh, and did I mention how much butter the recipe uses? Two tablespoons shy of two cups (close to 4 sticks) is the grand total. Totally indulgent. Totally worth it.
I am so in love with this recipe (who couldn’t be with all that butter??); only one batch made and I have decided these are going to be a new staple in my autumnal baking. I do hope you give them a try!
- 1 C. whole milk
- 1 C. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/3 C. brown sugar (light or dark - I used dark)
- 1 (1/4 oz) pkg active dry yeast
- ½ C. 100% pure pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ½ C. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground ginger
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
- 1 C. brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ C. powdered sugar
- ¼ C. maple syrup
- ¾ tsp. vanilla extract
- Cut ½ C. (1 stick) of the butter into thinnish slices and place in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the milk in a small saucepan and set over moderately high heat.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Pour the milk into the bowl with the butter and whisk until butter is completely melted.
- Whisk in sugar until combined.
- If mixture is still above lukewarm (which it most likely will be), whisk in ½ C. of the flour until combined.
- Sprinkle in yeast and briefly whisk. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Whisk in pumpkin puree until combined.
- Attach bowl to stand mixer and using the dough hook on low speed (the speed I used was around level 3), add the eggs, remaining 4 C. flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Knead dough for about 10 minutes, or until dough pulls away from sides of bowl (if after the first 2-3 minutes of kneading the dough is still too sticky, add about ¼ C. more flour).
- Once done kneading, turn mixer off and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm area (see note below!) and allow dough to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Set out the cream cheese to soften while dough is rising.
- About halfway through the rising process, make streusel.
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together all ingredients except the butter.
- Drizzle in melted butter, and stir until thoroughly combined; the mixture should feel clumpy and not sandy, when gently squeezed between your fingertips. If mixture is still too dry, add a little more melted butter until you reach the right consistency.
- Set streusel aside until ready to use.
- Take the remaining ½ C. (1 stick) of butter and soften in microwave until it reaches a spreadable consistency.
- Flour a clean work surface and turn dough onto surface.
- Fold the dough in thirds; turn, and fold into thirds once more, then gently press into a rectangle.
- Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a large rectangle that is 16 in. wide and 20 in. long.
- Cut softened butter into slices and distribute over dough.
- Use an offset spatula (or a similar tool) to gently spread butter over dough, leaving 1 ½ in. on one side uncovered.
- Sprinkle streusel evenly over butter-covered rectangle, breaking up any extra large clumps as you go.
Starting at the long edge that is butter/streusel covered, roll the dough as tightly as you can toward the bare edge, forming a log.
- Spray a 9x13 in. (see note below!) baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Use a bench scraper to cut dough into rolls about 1 ½ in. thick (my log yielded a baker’s dozen).
- Set rolls slightly spaced apart (to allow room for second rise) in prepared pan.
- Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise (see note below!) for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Remove plastic from pan and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare icing.
- In a medium-sized bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together softened cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add powdered sugar, syrup, and vanilla extract and beat until combined and smooth. (The icing will be a relatively thick consistency, so if you prefer yours a bit thinner, add a little bit of milk - as well as a little more maple syrup - until it reaches your desired consistency. Remember that the icing will thin slightly on warm rolls.)
- Spread icing evenly - don’t hold back! - over warm rolls.
- Serve warm.
- To make my own proving drawer, so to speak, I turned my oven onto the “keep warm” setting while I made the dough then turned it off a few minutes before I was ready to put dough in to rise. This provided a warmer than room temperature but not too warm area for the dough to rise properly.
- I actually had to divide the rolls between two pans (one 9x13” and one 9” square) - this was because of the spacing in between rolls to make room for them to puff up during the second rise (they should be touching each other after 2nd rise).
- The method I mentioned above to provide a warm area for rolls to rise, I did for the second rise as well. However, this time I removed the pan from the slightly warm oven 20 minutes into to the 30 minute rise to let oven heat for baking.
- To make the day/night before: Make recipe all the way through putting the rolls in the pan (however, don't bring out the cream cheese to soften). Cover pan and place in fridge overnight. Bring rolls out to sit at room temp. for about an hour before baking (bring the cream cheese out to soften during this time), then continue with recipe.
- These are best enjoyed warm and fresh.