Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

1 10 2012

On Saturday morning, I made some pancakes and I decided to make a fun topping rather than making them flavored. I sliced an apple, and tossed it in a frying pan with some butter. Then I decided it would be a great idea to add some cinnamon and brown sugar. While I was at it, why not add some chopped dates and pecans?

The aroma that filled my house was intoxicating! I was immediately taken back to my childhood, when my mom would make her famous sticky buns.

My pancakes were devoured in about .2 seconds, but I had already decided that I was going to make some of my mom’s sticky buns before the weekend was up.

Being that it is fall, I have been craving pumpkin everything. So why not put a spin on my mom’s recipe? I did a little googling to see what others had done, and borrowed some ideas from this recipe for my experiment.

I also wanted to get some more exact measurements for some parts of the recipe…


I had also planned on taking some pictures with my DSLR, but I had taken it out in the morning to take pictures of my pancakes and then my cats, and it all of the sudden stopped working. 😦 The battery was fully charged too. I tried again later, and still nothin. Anyone know a good camera repair person in the Tampa Bay area? So, pardon all my iPhone photos.

I started by making the dough on Saturday evening, along with some other recipe experiments.

doughnuts anyone? (recipe coming soon)

On Sunday, I woke up with plenty of time to make the rolls before church. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read the recipe in its entirety, as I have been known to do. I didn’t realize the rolls needed one more rise when they were rolled and in the pan. Doh!

When they had about doubled in size, I popped them in the oven until they were browned.

And flipped them to see pure sticky deliciousness.

Now I know why mom’s recipe had said “lots of Dark karo syrup”.

The verdict? delicious. but, not sticky enough.

That’s better.

They could still be a bit more pumpkiny, but overall, I was quite pleased!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

yields about 16


1 package yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 egg
1 cup scalded and cooled milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

~10-12 dates, roughly chopped
~1/4 to 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup butter, melted
brown sugar

Molasses (~1/4 cup, or more, to taste)
cream cheese frosting

How to:

Sprinkle yeast into a large bowl. Add warm water, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It should become a little frothy.

Add egg, milk, butter, salt, sugar and pumpkin and whisk until blended.

In a separate bowl, mix flours and all of the spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves). When blended, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Beat until smooth and elastic. (Note: I halved my mom’s recipe, which would have only required 3 cups of flour. However, I used 4 cups, because I felt the dough was too sticky.)

Place the dough into a buttered bowl, and cover it until it doubles in size. (~2 hours or so) When doubled, take it out of the bowl and punch it down with your fist. Divide it into thirds. Wrap each dough ball in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.

When chilled, take out one part at a time. Flour your working surface and rolling pin, and roll into a rectangle shape (or the closest you can get to a rectangle)

Brush melted butter all over the dough, and then sprinkle on brown sugar, several dashes of cinnamon, the chopped dates and pecans.

It might look like a pizza, but make sure you get those edges!

Roll it up like a jelly roll, and then slice to the desired thickness. Repeat with the other balls of dough.

Butter a pie pan or cake pan and then drizzle in the molasses. I was a little too stingy here, and wish I had opted to be a bit more generous with the molasses. My suggestion is to put in enough to just cover the bottom of the pan. You could also add some chopped dates in here too.

Add the rolls to the pan, but be sure not to overload the pan, since they need to rise one more time. Cover the rolls and place out of draft until they double in size.

When they’ve doubled, bake at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes or until the tops are browned, and when you tap on them, they sound hollow.

When the rolls are done, immediately take them out of the pan, flipping them onto a wax-paper covered plate or pan.

And of course, if you’d like to add a little more “sticky,” frost them with some cream cheese frosting. 🙂 Enjoy!




One response

1 10 2012
Nancy Gibson

This is Steph’s mom ,
Just a few suggestions: I put more brown sugar on top of the dough, put at least an 1/8 of an inch of syrup on the bottom of the pan. But you have to be careful if you put too much it bubbles up and goes all over your oven. What a mess- been there, done that.. Also before placing the rolls in the syrup, you can place either the raisins, pecans or whatever you put inside your roll down in the syrup and then place your roll on top of that.
Your rolls looked delicious, Steph. I never make these in the summer, guess I can go make some now.

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