Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

The fall baking craze continues! I gave you all a bit of a break with the healthy beans and rice recipe I posted last week, but now I'm back with a delicious and sinful recipe for pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Tell your waistline I'm very sorry.

When I first saw the amount of spices in this recipe I was a bit nervous that I'd end up with something that tasted too strong, but these rolls actually ended up being quite lovely. They have just enough spice and pumpkin flavor to set them apart from regular cinnamon rolls without hitting you over the head with nutmeg or ginger. The cream cheese frosting really completes them, as it does most pumpkin goods. Make and enjoy, my friends.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls (adapted ever-so-slightly from

1/4 cup warm water (not hot, about 110 degrees)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree, either fresh or canned
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups (approximately) All-Purpose Flour
1 1 /4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1 stick butter
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves

1) In a large bowl, stir yeast into water to soften. Let rest for 5 minutes before stirring.
2) Add milk, eggs, pumpkin, butter, 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom to yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.
3) Gradually add remaining flour (all purpose), a little at a time, until you have a dough stiff enough to knead. Start with about 1 1/2 cups and increase if necessary.
4) Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead, adding flour as necessary, until you have a smooth, elastic dough.*
5) Put dough into an oiled bowl. Turn once to coat entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
6) Combine the white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl, set aside.
7) Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a 16" x 12" rectangle.
8) Spread softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with the sugar mixture.
9) Roll the dough into a log the long way; it'll stretch to about 20" long as you roll. Using a very sharp knife, slice the log into 15 slices. In order to cut down on drag, it helps to rinse the blade in hot water, and wipe it off, between slices.
10) Place slices in a greased 9x13 inch baking pan (or in two 8 or 9 inch round cake or pie pans). 11) Cover with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.
12) Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes, until rolls are brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center.

*I had to knead in quite a bit of flour to keep the dough from being a sticky mess, so if you're nervous about using a lot, don't be.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar

1) Combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth and combined.
2) Add sugar to cream cheese mixture 1/2 cup at a time and mix until desired consistency is reached (I used about 2 1/2 cups).
3) Spread liberally on warm cinnamon rolls.

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