Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Warm, gooey, comforting. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from the new “Baked” Cookbook (“Baked Elements’). Pumpkin-y, Cinnamon-y bliss, with a cream cheese and buttermilk frosting. Your entire home will smell like the perfect Fall day…


Inspired by the cinnamon bun chain stores that pop up along every US highway, and lay tucked inside safe air-conditioned malls, my friend Matt Lewis and his business partner Renato Poliafito came up with this impressive, but simple-to-put-together, early Fall brunch item, the Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll.

The recipe is from the new “Baked” cookbook which launched in New York this week. The cookbook, (their third) is built around Matt and Renato’s 10 favorite ingredients. (Kind of an ingenious spin, and a fresh take on a baked goods book.) The chapters are broken down into ingredients; Peanut Butter, Lemon and Lime, Caramel, Booze, Pumpkin, Malted Milk Powder, Cinnamon, Cheese, Chocolate and Banana. Matt was inspired by an old recipe book he had back in college that was broken down the same way and says the Cinnamon Pumpkin Rolls recipe is a good way to introduce people to yeast. “For some reason people are afraid of using yeast, (that, and candy thermometers!) This recipe is a goof-proof way to try your hand at yeast for the first time”. With clean, slick graphics and photos by Tina Rupp, the book doesn’t disappoint. “I think it’s our best yet…” says Matt, “I definitely stand by the recipes”.


Recipe courtesy of Matt Lewis, from the new Baked cookbook “Baked Elements”.

Yield: 10 to 12 rolls

For the Pumpkin Dough
3 1⁄2 cups bread flour
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 ounces (3⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
2⁄3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
2⁄3 cup pumpkin puree

For the Cinnamon Filling
3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Assembly
1 ounce (1⁄4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
11⁄4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Make the pumpkin dough: Butter one 10-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugars, yeast, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom on medium speed. Add the butter and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the milk and egg and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will be light orange in color and feel soft and sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl, carefully form it into a large ball, smooth the top with your hands, and place it in a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the filling.

Make the cinnamon filling: In a small bowl, stir together the sugars, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.

Assemble the rolls: Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately 20 by 10 inches, brush the dough with half the melted butter, and sprinkle the filling over the butter, leaving a 1⁄4-inch border around the edges. Use the palms of your hands to press the filling lightly into the dough. Roll up the long side of the rectangle to form a tight log and place it seam side down. Slice the log into ten 2-inch rolls. Place one roll in the center of the cake pan, then fill in the rest of the pan with the other rolls. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining melted butter, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until the rolls have almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the center.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are browned. In order to pour your icing over still-warm rolls for the best effect, prep all the frosting ingredients while the rolls are baking and put together the frosting (this will only take about 5 minutes) immediately after the rolls come out of the oven.

Make the frosting: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and buttermilk on medium speed until the mixture is lump free. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium-low speed until a smooth, fluid mixture forms.

Serve the rolls: Invert the pan of rolls onto a serving plate or leave them in the pan for a rustic look. Pour the frosting over the warm rolls. It’s okay if a little bit of the frosting drips down the sides—it’s even encouraged. (Alternatively, use an offset spatula to apply the icing.) Serve immediately.

Note: If you are hosting a brunch or breakfast and want to make your morning slightly easier, you can make the bulk of this recipe the night before. Once the rolls are sliced and in the pan, cover them with two tight layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate them. In the morning, remove the pan from the refrigerator and proceed with the recipe as normal; however, make sure you allow sufficient time for the dough to come to room temperature and rise properly.


MATT LEWIS: is the owner and co-owner (with Renato Poliafito) of Baked, in Red Hook Brooklyn. By day, Matt bakes, but at night he dreams of finding the perfect beach shack to escape to. First thing in the morning… you’ll find Matt eating whole wheat toast with almond butter which he has for breakfast, every single day… and if stranded on a deserted island, the food combo he would take with him, (and could live happily off for years) is lots of bread, and chocolate. Matt confesses he has a habit of buying 2 packs of M and M’s (one peanut, one plain) before boarding a plane, which he’ll usually finish off before landing… and when no one is looking? He can be seen sneaking into PF Changs for the lettuce wraps.

Matt Lewis took my friend Laura Nixon to the prom in Tampa, Florida, in 1990 and I’m lucky to be friends with Matt, through her, ever since. Congrats on your third book Matt! x



This recipe is from the new “Baked” cookbook that is being launched at Williams and Sonoma store in Columbus Circle, this Saturday in New York. (Pop along to meet Matt and Renato and get your copy signed!)

To order the new Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients cook book, click here.

To visit Baked in Red Hook Brooklyn or to order cakes, cookies, or granola, etc, click here. 


9 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Pingback: Baked's Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  2. Pingback: Love this - Bread recipes! | By Wilma

  3. I made these this morning. Just the smell of ground cardamom was sooo good! The rolls are very yummy – the spices really make this recipe. Thanks for publishing – and thanks to BAKED!

  4. Pingback: Ingredient of the week: Cinnamon | canada.com

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