Serves a Crowd

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Orange Cream Cheese Icing

November 12, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes 18-20 rolls
What You'll Need
  • Dough and Filling
  • Dough
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed to 115º
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • Filling
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • Icing
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  1. Combine the yeast and the warm milk and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine the flour, sugar, spices and salt. Add in the eggs, pumpkin puree, and yeast mixture. Mix until just combined, then add the butter. Mix the dough until well combined, then knead the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. The dough will stick to the bottom of the bowl, but resist the temptation to add more flour.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in volume, 1-½ hours at a warm room temperature. When the dough is almost finished rising, prepare the filling by browning the butter in a skillet until it is golden and toasty. Let the butter cool slightly then combine it with the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Prepare 2, 8 or 9-inch baking pans by buttering or oiling them generously.
  4. After the dough has risen, transfer it to a well floured surface and pat the dough into a 12-inch square. Break up the cream cheese and gently spread it on top of the dough, being careful not to tear the delicate dough. Fold the dough into thirds, starting from the bottom so the cream cheese is completely sealed inside of the dough. Then roll the dough into a roughly 16-inch by 20-inch rectangle with the long side facing you, dust off any excess flour with a pastry brush. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the top.
  5. Starting from the bottom, gently roll the dough into a log. Use a serrated knife and use very, very gentle and even pressure to cut the log into generous 1-inch slices. Gently place the cut rolls into the prepared pans, cover and let rise until almost doubled in size, 1-1 ½ hours. Note: If you’d like to freeze some rolls to bake off at a later date, now is a good time to do it. Wrap the pan in 2 layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil and freeze. To bake, let the frozen rolls come to room temperature and complete their final rise before baking.
  6. Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake the rolls preheat your oven to 350º. Bake the rolls until they are cooked through and lightly golden, 20-25 minutes. While they are baking prepare the glaze by whisking the cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar, orange juice, and a tiny pinch of salt together until smooth.
  7. Let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes before glazing and digging in. Be judicious with the glaze, a little goes a long way.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KimmyV
  • weekendfoodie
  • Yossy Arefi
    Yossy Arefi
  • GetmeontheRoad
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

9 Reviews

GetmeontheRoad December 21, 2015
I haven't made this recipe yet, but 1 TABLESPOON salt--Really??? I have made sweet rolls many times in the past and never used this huge amount.
I would expect to need no more than 1 TEASPOON......
truekimchi October 9, 2015
I made the recipe for breakfast today. I was absolutely delicious. My kids loved it too. I followed the recipe exactly. I didn't have a stand mixer so i used my bread machine on dough setting to knead the pumpkin dough. I stopped the machine after 5 mins of kneading to follow the instructions exactly. The tasty result was well worth all the effort.
Samantha October 13, 2014
Very good flavours. My dough was also way too wet, as in I couldn't handle it at all. It definitely needed more flour to become manageable. The rolls were delicious and the frosting was too, although I omitted the orange and substituted butter/milk. I froze 12 rolls for future use (1 week later) before the final rise and they didn't turn out nicely, despite double cling film and foil wrap. After removing from the freezer they warmed to room temp and hung out in the oven that was heated to 170 and turned off for 4 hours. They expanded in width, but didn't rise much if any giving a much denser texture that was especially not enjoyable in the outer ring. Overall, I wouldn't make again unless I was expecting a large crowd.
X October 6, 2014
Cut salt back to 1/2 teaspoon (for 18 rolls, a whole tablespoon of salt plus the salt in the cream cheese and the sodium in the eggs makes them around 450 mg of sodium per roll--WAY too much for me!) and yeast to 1 tablespoon. Cutting back on the salt shortens the rising time significantly so kept an eye on the dough till it seemed double in size. Baked them in a pan on a rack in my old electric frying pan with the lid on out on my patio because it's over 100 degrees here and too hot to turn on the oven. Came out great, although the dough was a little hard to handle (sticky). Next time I will try with whole wheat pastry flour and add a couple of tablespoons gluten to help with rising. Nice taste of fall in this miserable heat!
Vaneats December 25, 2013
This recipe was an epic fail for me. I thought there was too much liquid with all the eggs and a whole cup of pumpkin, and still added another half a cup of flour. The dough was more like a batter even after a full proof and there was no way for me to roll it out correctly to add the cream cheese. The finished product was strangely dry for having so many eggs tasted primarily of all spice even though it only has a quarter teaspoon. The Smitten Kitchen version is much much better.
KimmyV November 21, 2013
So i made this recipe and it is amazing! I changed the yeast to 2 teaspoons. I did take quite a bit longer to rise. I resisted adding more flour like suggested. The dough was very soft and I had a little trouble getting the cut rolls to the pan. I might chill the dough to make it easier to work with. The rolls are so tender and delicious and actually tasted better the next morning. ( I made them at night) . They were a huge hit and will be making them again soon.
KimmyV November 18, 2013
Is the recipe really supposed to have 2 tablespoons of yeast? Seems like a lot. I know fat slows down the rising process but I am wondering if it is a typo.
Yossy A. November 20, 2013
Yes, it is quite a bit of yeast but it is not a typo. I have made this recipe many times and have not thought to reduce the amount of yeast, but I bet you could if you wanted to. The rising times may vary if you do so.
weekendfoodie November 18, 2013
Made these Friday night, to serve Saturday morning. Everyone loved them. My four year-old wanted another "muffin that smells like an orange" on Sunday. I have the second pan in the freezer for another weekend, which is likely to be soon. I used almost all the frosting on one pan, so those that like frosting may want to double it for the entire batch.