Make Ahead

Pumpkin Orange Cinnamon Rolls with Chocolate Chips

November 18, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes 36 rolls
Author Notes

I roasted my first pumpkin this season and now I'm going crazy for pumpkin. I feel like a small child who just learned how to tie shoes and then starts to tie everything in sight. I put pumpkin puree in a brisket that was cooking all day; in polenta; and I'm working on a pumpkin shortbread squares. So when I saw the theme for this contest, I knew I HAD to do something with pumpkin. These yummy rolls can be done all the way up to the next to the last step and put into the refrigerator over night. The morning of the holiday breakfast, just pop them into the oven. They also freeze great, so they can be made way ahead. Enjoy!! —TheWimpyVegetarian

Test Kitchen Notes

These are not your run-of-the-mill cinnamon rolls. The roll is moist and soft and the pumpkin and spices add a complexity that is almost indefinable. ChezSuzanne's instructions are excellent and the dough is a dream to work with. The maple, orange and powdered sugar glaze is the proverbial icing on the cake. I couldn't resist having a one immediately and was in heaven. I halved the recipe, which worked out perfectly. This is a great recipe, the rolls are delectable and delicious. —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  • 3 1/4-ounce packages of active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water (105F - 115F)
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie (or apple pie) spice powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom powder
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour (31.5 ounces) with more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • chocolate chips (enough to suit you and your family)
  • Orange Sugar Butter and Orange Maple Glaze
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  1. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
  2. Combine the yeast, brown sugar and warm water together and stir. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin puree, honey, melted butter, eggs, and spices. Mix on low speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the foamy yeast / sugar mixture and mix for another minute. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  4. Combine flour and salt, and add them 1 cup at a time to the wet mixture. Use a flexible scraper or a spatula to fold the flour and salt into the pumpkin base. Once the mixture begin to look shaggy, empty it out onto a work surface and continue to add the flour 1/2 cup at a time. After each addition, knead the flour into the dough, adding additional flour once the dough becomes a little sticky.
  5. Tip #1: Once the dough only needs a little flour at a time, just rub flour onto your hands and knead it in, a little at a time that way. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  6. Tip #2: Many people perform a windowpane test to see if the dough has been kneaded sufficiently. To do this, pinch off a piece of dough and flatten it. Using your fingers, slowly stretch it. If it tears easily, keep kneading. If it stretches until it thins before tearing, your ready.
  7. Coat a large bowl with butter and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning it to coat it. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area of the kitchen to allow the dough to double in size (about 1 hour).
  8. Tip #3: For rising, I heat a cup of water in the microwave and then put it in the back corner of the microwave. I slide in the bowl containing the covered dough, and close the door. Think of it as a nice warm incubator for your yeast to grow.
  9. Punch down the dough. Pull up one side of the dough and fold it over the the rest of the dough. Recover and return it to the microwave incubator until it doubles again (about 1 hour).
  10. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface, and divide the dough in half. Roll out each half of the dough to an 18" X 12" rectangle. Smear the Orange Sugar Butter filling (in the below part of the recipe) over the surface with a spatula and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. Starting with the shorter side, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 1" slices and arrange in a baking pan, spaced about 1/2" - 3/4" apart from each other. Loosely cover in plastic and let rise for another hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 375F. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and brush with the Orange Maple Glaze in the below recipe.
  1. Orange Sugar Butter and Orange Maple Glaze
  2. For the Orange Sugar Butter, combine the first 3 ingredients.
  3. For the Orange Maple Glaze, combine the last 3 ingredients.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Belinda
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • em-i-lis
  • lapadia
  • Bevi

27 Reviews

inflytur March 9, 2017
I made this for my cookbook book club and it was a hit. Everyone loved the flavors and that the texture of the buns. They pointed out that one of the things they like the most is that the outer part of the baked buns were as soft as the centers.
I made the whole recipe and ended up filling three 9-inch round pans with a few left over to be cooked on a sheet pan.
I am very happy that the flour was given in weight as well as volume.
One thing, I wish that some of the comments could be edited into the recipe. Particularly the response about the volume of yeast to use if one is using bulk.
Belinda October 4, 2016
Hi, I was just wondering. You mentioned that you had roasted pumpkin for some of your recipe.s Could you use roasted pumpkin for this recipe?
Ceege July 28, 2013
I buy my yeast in bulk. Could you tell me how many teaspoons or tablespoons I would need for this recipe. Can't wait to try these out. Planning a ladies brunch soon and this will be on my menu. Thanks.
TheWimpyVegetarian July 28, 2013
Thanks for the assist, Suzanne!! I hope you like them Ceege!
Andyswife December 1, 2012
I cheated and put everything in my bread maker and allowed the machine to do the mixing, kneading and raising. My impatience then had me roll it out, spread the filling and roll it up. I cut into about 1 1/2 " pieces and put them (12 rolls) in a buttered 9x13 and allowed to rise for 1 more hour before baking. Next time ill use brown sugar as it has a more complex flavor. I also put orange zest in the icing. I'll make this again when my daughter comes home from college at Christmas. Thanks for the recipe.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 1, 2012
You can definitely roll out after the first rising. No problem - and it's a great shortcut. It only affects the texture slightly. I love your additions too with the brown sugar and orange zest! I'm making these next week and think I'll use your suggestions on my next batch :-)
Andyswife December 1, 2012
I don't see chocolate chips in the ingredient list or directions. Am I missing something?
TheWimpyVegetarian December 1, 2012
Oh my gosh!! You're right. Really sorry about that. I'll make the correction right now. Just use enough chocolate chips to suit you. I sprinkled enough over it that each roll would get a few.
Teenieboppers00 November 15, 2012
Any advice on how to make these in advance or partially in advance? Not sure I want to wake up 2+ hours early in the morning to have them ready for breakfast with kids.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 15, 2012
Don't blame you!! You can make them through Step 9 ahead of time and do the final rise in the refrigerator overnight. Just bring back to room temp before baking them off. Hope you and your kids enjoy them!!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2011
Thanks Suzanne for such a lovely review!!! And thanks again for testing them for me!!!
em-i-lis December 4, 2011
OMG! These look incredible!!
TheWimpyVegetarian December 4, 2011
Thanks so much em-i-lis!! And fresh from the oven = Heaven. They just melt in your mouth along with the chocolate...
lapadia November 20, 2011
Oh yeah, back to you CS!! These look and sound marvelous!!
Bevi November 19, 2011
These are about the prettiest things I've seen in a long time!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 19, 2011
Thanks so much Bevi!!
vvvanessa November 19, 2011
wowsers. that looks so wonderful!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 19, 2011
Thanks vvvanessa!! Can't wait for breakfast tomorrow! It was great to meet you at Lynda's potluck!
fiveandspice November 19, 2011
A-mazing! These look so deliciously decadent. I was starting to play around with some version of either a pumpkin or an orange sticky bun, but these look so good, and have both! I'm just going to throw in the towel and go with these being what I want!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 19, 2011
Thanks 5%S!!! But no no no! That's not what I want to hear! I want to see your version too!
fiveandspice November 20, 2011
Aw, you're way too encouraging! :) I am going to continue to monkey with mine, so if I get them to a place where I like them, I'll submit them!
aargersi November 19, 2011
These sound amazing! I am thinking they are a must-try
TheWimpyVegetarian November 19, 2011
Thanks aargersi! And Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! We had a couple for breakfast today and they were so good. The rest went into the freezer so they'll still be around by Thanksgiving...would love to hear what you think if you make them!
Hilarybee November 18, 2011
I'm making this on Sunday for my cousin's family in honor of her new baby! Love pumpkin and chocolate.
TheWimpyVegetarian November 18, 2011
Thanks Hilarybee! The chocolate really makes it - especially with the orange, sugar, butter filling. I hope you like them - just let me know if you've got any questions!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 18, 2011
Thanks sdebrango!! Are you all ready for Thanksgiving? I'm just starting to plan! Ack!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 18, 2011
Thanks for the reminder - I need to order the turkey! I need to get into gear here.