Mini Spiced Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

By Case D. Fischer

It’s the end of October and it’s Halloween in Fredericksburg. A fun time for kids and adults alike to lighten up, dress up as a favorite character and have a little fun. I am checking the forecast as I write this and it looks like it will be a beautiful day with a high of 73 – “pleasant with a lot of sun”. Now don’t quote me on that because you know how Texas weather can change on a dime. I have noticed the decorations up in the yards and the candy on the counters in local businesses which for me is a reassuring sign of how optimistic and resilient we are in the midst of difficulty. No matter how you will celebrate Halloween this year, it’s important for us to look at it as an opportunity to try something new and create a new tradition that you might just add to your old ones when things get back to normal. I’d like to suggest that you greet the family this Saturday morning with some delicious Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. Who could wake up in a bad mood when that aroma is drifting through the house? These rolls have a cinnamon spiced filling and they’re drizzled with a spiced cream cheese glaze. Topped with maple syrup drizzle and roasted pecans, all of these fall ingredients are beautifully combined into one spectacular breakfast treat.

We all know pumpkins are everywhere in the Fall, I mentioned them last week briefly when talking about Butternut Squash, but have you ever wondered how they became so popular? Who started this trend? Where did pumpkins come from? Pumpkins have been around for centuries. European immigrants brought them to the U.S and used them in place of turnips and potatoes. They utilized pumpkins for not only baking, but for decorating too. Cleaning out the insides and carving out the pumpkin into multiple shapes was a way that they celebrated what we come to know as Halloween . It wasn’t long before we started to use the fleshy insides for baking and filling the carved out pumpkin with milk, honey, and spices. Dishes like pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie were born, and it was only a matter of time before they started to incorporate pumpkin into many other dishes. There are over 30 types of pumpkin squashes that are ripe and fresh during the fall. White, yellow, green, spotted, and multiple more. These pumpkins are all used in different ways for different dishes, each having their own specific unique flavors.

Thankfully you don’t have to struggle with deciding which pumpkin to use, lugging it from the store to your kitchen, or cutting and gutting the insides of the pumpkin for cooking. The most popular pumpkins are the ornamental pumpkins. These are the big, round, orange pumpkins that you can spot everywhere right now. It is utilized most for pumpkin-based desserts and dishes. Somewhere along the way, some genius ( Mark would probably look that up and provide you with the name if he was writing this) decided to make the process much easier for us and started to purée and can them. Now they are available in every grocery store across the nation. There’s no cooking or prep to use the puree, just scoop and dump into whatever recipe you’re following. These cinnamon rolls use the pumpkin puree for the pillow-soft dough, and the creamy filling.

So, what do you think? Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls for Halloween? Let’s do this! (I am hoping Deanna takes this very large hint).

 Ingredients​: For Dough
1-1⁄2 cups all purpose flour
2-1⁄2 tbsp warm milk
1-1⁄2 tsp instant yeast
1⁄2 tsp salt
1-1⁄2 tbsp sugar1⁄2 large egg (beat the egg, but use only 1⁄2 of the egg mixture)
1⁄4 cup butter (1⁄2 stick, cubed, room temperature)
1⁄4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice For Filling
1 tbsp cinnamon
1⁄4 cup butter (1⁄2 stick)
2 1⁄2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin puree
1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt!

For Glaze
1-1⁄2 tbsp butter, room temperature
2 oz cream cheese (1⁄4 cup)
3⁄4 cups powdered sugar
1⁄2 tsp heavy cream
Pinch of salt
1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract
3⁄4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp maple syrup (optional, for final drizzle topping)
Chopped pecans (for final topping)


For Dough

1. In a small bowl whisk together flour, salt, and pumpkin spice together. In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together milk, yeast, sugar, egg, and pumpkin puree. When fully combined slowly add the flour mix. After dough becomes sticky move onto a well-floured surface. Slowly add in cubes of butter while hand-kneading the dough. (It will start to get sticky, but add more flour). Once the butter has dissolved into the dough, continue to knead until you’re able to poke the dough and it bounces back (this dough will be soft, and smooth to the touch).

2. Lightly oil a bowl and place dough inside. Cover with a towel and set bowl aside to rise for 35-45 minutes.

For Filling

1. In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin puree until a creamy paste is formed. Add cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla. Beat on low until a creamy paste forms.


1. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough in the center. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 1⁄8 -inch thick rectangle.

2. Add the filling onto the rectangle of the dough, evenly distributing the filling all throughout the dough. Slowly roll the dough upwards starting on the longest side closest to you. Transfer dough to a cutting board and slice rolls 1-inch thick. (you may have some ends/skinnier pieces which is okay).

3. Transfer cinnamon rolls to a greased 9×9 baking dish. Cover with a kitchen towels and let dough rise for an additional 35-45 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

For Glaze

1. In a small bowl, using a hand mixer, beat butter, cream cheese together until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar, cream, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed (about 60-90 seconds) until light and fluffy.

2. Let rolls cool for 15 minutes before applying glaze. Top with cinnamon, pecans, and maple syrup for a boost of flavor!

*to make slicing the dough easier, transfer the dough onto a cutting board and place in freezer for 10 minutes.

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