After launching my new Facebook fan page for Novel Eats, I asked if anyone had requests for pre-Thanksgiving recipes. Someone suggested pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and others chimed in that they would love to see them. Sadly, as you can tell, it’s a little post-Thanksgiving. With traveling, vacation time, and still trying to get our bearings in Washington, I just couldn’t post until now. I did make these before the holiday, if that counts!
Big disclaimer – this is a very experimental recipe. I haven’t played around with the cinnamon rolls recipe too much, so I still have to figure out what its limitations are in relation to all the ideas floating out there. Since it’s an experiment, this is a smaller batch, but even then I found I had to add extra flour for the dough to be firm and smooth after the additional moisture that the pumpkin puree brought to the recipe. I also discovered that it would probably do better to bake at a lower temperature for longer, because the dough was still too doughy after baking the rolls. If you choose to experiment with this recipe, I’ve added some notes throughout that may help you have a more successful batch than I.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Note: Since I was experimenting with this recipe, this is basically a half batch of the regular cinnamon rolls recipe that I posted a few months ago.
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup unbleached sugar
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (Idea: increase the pumpkin for a stronger flavor, but you’ll need to reduce the liquid in the recipe as well as probably add even more flour)
- ½ cup vegan milk, warmed
- Egg replacer the equivalent of one egg OR 1tablespoons ground flax seeds whisked together with 3 tablespoons hot water
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
- 2 ¾ cups unbleached flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon (Idea: maybe reduce this and add some other ground spices like nutmeg, ginger and allspice)
- 3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
- Optional: raisins, nuts
Mix yeast, sugar, and heated vegan milk in a large mixing bowl and let stand until foamy. Add egg replacer, pumpkin, melted vegan butter, flour, and salt.
Mix well and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough should be firm and smooth, not sticky. Note that I kept having to add flour to the mixer at this stage until it looked pliable like this. It was too sticky of a dough otherwise. My suggestion would be to add a tablespoon of flour at a time so as to not accidentally make it too dry.
Set the dough aside in a covered bowl and let double in size.
After the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured work surface, cover, and let rest for 10 more minutes.
As the dough is resting, mix the cinnamon with the brown sugar.
After the dough has rested, roll it out into a rectangle.
Spread dough with vegan butter, then sprinkle each dough evenly with your sugar mixture. You can add other items to your filling like nuts or raisins.
Roll the dough on the longer side, then cut the rolls so that you have even slices. Tip – use a serrated knife – it’s so much easier!
Place rolls in a lightly greased baking pan. (A cookie sheet also works fine.) Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (Idea: I would try reducing the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit), and make your vegan cream cheese frosting. I just came across this vegan cream cheese made by Follow Your Heart, the company that is responsible for the goodness that is Vegenaise. Their cream cheese works great in the frosting recipe.
Bake rolls in your preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes (Idea: if you reduce the temperature, bake for 20 minutes and check to make sure they are done – if not, bake another five minutes and check again).
In the end, these rolls did not taste a lot like pumpkin, but they were still good. I do wish that I had kept them in the oven for longer, but as you can see in the picture above, they were already getting brown on top. To be honest, I doubt that I will try to improve this recipe. While I like pumpkin, I do not like it enough to try to make this particular recipe work for me. I have too many other ideas I want to try – so be on the lookout for those in the future!
Have you made pumpkin cinnamon rolls before? How did they turn out?