Melissa’s Menu: Pumpkin cinnamon rolls

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When I think of fall, I think of leaves changing, sweaters and, of course, food. I mostly associate the fall with pumpkins and the warm notes of cinnamon, which is why this week’s Melissa’s Menu combines the two into pumpkin cinnamon rolls. This recipe upgrades regular cinnamon rolls into the most satisfying fall dessert. These rolls are made completely from scratch and trust me, it’s worth it. The dough is soft on the inside and flaky on the outside with the perfect hint of pumpkin flavor. The cinnamon filling is nutty and sweet with a touch of spice. The cream cheese frosting brings the entire dish together and envelops the rolls in gooey sweetness. Pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the perfect treat to enjoy on a cool fall morning.  

Ingredients  

Dough: 


Upgrade your cinnamon rolls recipe and make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls that are perfect for the fall season. They are packed with nutty, sweet, and pumpkin flavor.  Photo by     Pixabay     from     Pexels

Upgrade your cinnamon rolls recipe and make these pumpkin cinnamon rolls that are perfect for the fall season. They are packed with nutty, sweet, and pumpkin flavor. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

1 1/2 cups of whole milk 

1/2 cup vegetable oil  

1/2 cup of granulated sugar  

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast  

1 cup of pumpkin puree  

4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for flouring, sprinkling and rolling 

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon  

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger  

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg  

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder  

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda  

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

Melted butter, for buttering pans 

Filling: 

1 stick of butter, melted 

1/2 cup of brown sugar  

1/2 cup of granulated sugar  

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon  

1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger  

1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg  

1 cup finely of chopped pecans   

Frosting: 

8 oz. of cream cheese, softened 

1 3/4 cups to 2 cups of powdered sugar 

1/4 cup of whole milk, plus more if needed 

2 tablespoons of butter, melted 

Directions 

In a large saucepan, combine milk, vegetable oil and granulated sugar. Heat until hot but not boiling, then remove the pan from the stove and allow it to cool until mixture is warm to the touch. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the liquid and allow it to sit for five minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree until combined. Combine four cups of the flour with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Sprinkle it into the saucepan and stir until fully mixed. Cover the saucepan with a dish towel and set in a warm, draft-free place for one hour. After an hour, the mixture should be very puffy and at least doubled in size. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining 1/2 cup flour until totally combined. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Drizzle butter into three pie pans (or a large baking dish) and smear it all over the bottom of the pans. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and press it into a rectangular shape. If it is overly sticky, sprinkle generously with flour until easier to handle. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle about 18 inches by 24 inches.  

Drizzle the melted butter over the dough and smear it all over the surface with your fingers. Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Sprinkle this mixture over the surface of the dough, covering all the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of chopped pecans. Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you into a large log, moving back and forth down the line of dough and always rolling toward you. Roll it tightly as you go so the rolls with be neat. When it’s all rolled, pinch the seam closed and turn the roll over so that the seam is facing down. Slice into 1/2- to 3/4-inch slices and place the slices in the buttered pan(s). Allow to rise for 20 minutes. Bake until the rolls are nice and golden brown around the edges, which should take about 15 to 18 minutes. 

While the rolls are baking, make the frosting by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, butter and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until fluffy, adding more milk if you’d like a thinner frosting. Frost the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. Sprinkle the extra pecans over the frosting, then allow them to sit for 15 minutes before serving. 

Thumbnail Photo by Klara Avsenik on Unsplash


Melissa Scrivani is the associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at melissa.scrivani@uconn.edu.

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