Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holy heaven on a plate, you guys.  These rolls are unbelievable.  The gooeyness of the cinnamon tucked inside light and puffy pumpkin dough smothered with carmely brown butter cream cheese frosting.  I.can't.even.

These rolls would be purrrr-fect for Thanksgiving morning.  They would really put your family into indulgence mode, which really, that is what Thanksgiving is about--indulging in the things you are thankful for.  Family, friends, food, football (well some of us are thankful for that).  Kick things off (ha, see how I did that) with these rolls this Thanksgiving.  I promise you will add them to your "what I'm thankful for" list.  
Speaking of thankful, Red Star yeast sent me some of this Platinum yeast and holy buckets it is amazing!
Measure two tablespoons (or two packets) of yeast into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add sugar
And hot water.  Give it a stir and let it boom for a bit.
Meanwhile, work on the other ingredients.  You will need one can of pumpkin puree.
Blurry melted butter : ) 
And two eggs.
give it a quick stir and add salt.  Stir again.
Add the pumpkin mixture to the yeast, sugar and water.
Give that a quick stir as well.
Add the flour.  I did 5 cups right off the bat and gave it a good mix using the dough hook on the mixer.
Test the dough, it should be soft but not sticky.  If your finger looks like this, add more flour.  I ended up using 5 1/2 cups of flour.
Mix until fully incorporated but just until combined--don't over mix this.  Spray a large bowl--I mean LARGE bowl, this yeast really goes to town--with cooking spray and cover.  Pop this in the fridge over night.
The next morning, this is what I found.  Note, I actually punched it down during dinner because it already popped the top off.  Let the dough sit on the counter while you work on the brown butter.
Place a stick of butter into a medium skillet.  Let the butter browning begin…
First it will melt and bubble...
And bubble...
Eventually the bubbles will break through the top
Become bigger and clear.  Keep stirring, you are getting close
Little bits will form at the bottom and once they do, and become brown, you are done.  Your nose will tell you as well--it will smell nutty and fabulous.  Remove from the heat and let cool.
Then you can start working on the filling.  Add brown sugar to a large bowl
Along with cinnamon
And butter
Using a fork, smash everything together into a paste.  Set this aside for now.
Heavily flour a large surface
Plop the dough in the middle
Roll out the dough.  This dough is really unbelievable.  So easy to roll out and work with.  Beyond soft.  I'm in love.
Dot the dough with the filling
Smoosh it down with your fingers.
Roll it up very tightly
Using a measuring cup, score and cut the rolls.  This is the best way to do it.  Props to Mr. Schwartz for the tip
Place them in a 9x13 baking dish that has been sprayed with baking spray.
Cover with a dishtowel and place them in a warm area to rise.
After 45 minutes I couldn't wait any longer.  I should have, but couldn't.  Into the oven they go.
Then work on the frosting.  Add a block of cream cheese
Brown butter.
And powdered sugar.
Does this happen to anyone else every.single.time. ? Grrr...
Thin out the frosting with a bit of half and half…I think milk would do as well.
Frost the rolls as soon as they are out of the oven.
No, for real….
Happy Thanksgiving.
I'm thankful for you….and these rolls.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes about 14 large rolls)

For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water
2 packets quick rise (or Red Star PLATIUM) yeast--or two tablespoons
2 tablespoons sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 cup all purpose flour

For the filling:
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
4 teaspoons cinnamon

For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese (1/3 fat is okay)
1 sick butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup half and half or milk

The day before, make the dough.  Start by adding the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir just to combine.  Set aside to bloom.

Combine the pumpkin puree, melted butter, eggs and salt in a separate bowl.  Stir until fully incorporated.

After the yeast has had 10 minutes to bloom, add the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.  Add 5 cups of flour and turn on the mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix until combined.  Press your finger into the dough to test it.  If it is still sticky, add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour.  The dough should be soft but not sticky.  Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover and put in the fridge over night.  Check on it before you go to bed, I had to punch mine down as it was overflowing the bow.

The next morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on the counter (still in the bowl).

Take the stick of butter (for the frosting) and place in a medium skillet on medium high heat.  Melt the butter, stirring it constantly until little brown flecks appear on the bottom.  Immediately remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Next, work on the filling.  Combine the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a large bowl until it creates a paste.  Set aside for now.

Heavily dust your rolling surface with flour.  Plop the dough in the middle and roll out to about 30x16. Sprinkle the filling onto the dough and smoosh down with your fingers.  Roll the dough up as tightly as you can.

Using a measuring up score and cut the rolls.  Mine were about 2 inches thick.  Place the rolls in a greased 9x12 baking dish.  Let rise in a warm place for an hour and a half to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Once heated, place the rolls in the oven for 15-20 minutes.  Mine baked for 20 minutes.  Test by pressing down in the middle of a roll.  It shouldn't sink.

While the rolls are baking, work on the frosting.  In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, cooled brown butter, powdered sugar and half and half.  Mix with a hand mixer until fully combined.

Remove the rolls from the oven and liberally spread the frosting over them.


Recipe adapted from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe 


  1. Yum! Need to try these....soon!

  2. Wow these look incredible! Can you come over tomorrow morning and make some for my family's Thanksgiving dinner?? :D Happy Thanksgiving!!

    1. Ha, Kristi you are too sweet. I totally would except I live a cool half of the country away from you! : ) Happy Thanksgiving to you as well!

  3. Just made these for Thansgiving breakfast and they were great!

  4. Can I say OMG. I need these in my life! Pinned!

  5. I have been in love with bread making lately and your rolls look outstanding! Also saw Dorothy link them up!

  6. And p.s. I love the Platinum yeast, too. It's the only yeast I will use now!

  7. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.soft toys

  8. These look absolutely amazing! I pinned them so I can make them for Christmas morning!

  9. I am drooling! That looks so yummy! I wanna try too!


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