Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: around 24 rolls

PUMPKIN CINNAMON ROLLS WITH CHEESECAKE FILLING. That is all. OH WAIT, plus maple candied pecans! Okay, that is all.

Roll Ingredients:
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
2/3 cup cold shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
6 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking

Filling Ingredients:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 stick salted butter (or 1 stick unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt), melted

Glaze Ingredients:
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
Maple Candied Pecans, for topping

Note on proofing: This yeast dough proofs for a couple of hours after you mix it up, and then the assembled rolls proof in the fridge overnight, so allow for this when planning to make this recipe. With most cinnamon rolls recipes you could switch this and proof in the fridge overnight and then assemble and proof on the countertop, but I opted to switch that method with these because I didn’t want the cream cheese filling sitting out too long.

Note on yield: I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes; instead, if you don’t want 24 rolls at once, consider freezing some for later.

Note on freezing: To freeze some of the unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag or wrapped in foil. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.

Make dough and do first proof: Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture, milk mixture, and can of pumpkin into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm, draft-free place (such as a closed, turned-off oven), for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Prepare filling: After proofing the dough, lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (glass works best) with cooking spray. Cream the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding sugar and egg. Mix together until well combined.

Roll and assemble: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll). Spread the melted butter over the surface of the rolled dough. Dollop the cream cheese mixture all across the surface, spreading gently to create an even layer (I use the back of two spoons to help spreading.) Gently roll the dough up into a spiral (I find using a bench scraper to encourage the dough to roll up during this process incredibly helpful) and cut it into 2-inch rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dish (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted.)

Proof and bake: Cover the rolls let them rise in the fridge overnight (they will have nearly doubled.) When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, letting the rolls rise on top of the preheating oven covered by a clean dish towel for around 1 hour. Bake them for about 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top (don’t underbake or they’ll still be doughy in the center, but be ready to cover them with a sheet of foil in case the cream cheese layer starts to brown.) Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Whisk together the melted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla for the glaze. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency. Drizzle over slightly warm rolls. Top with Maple Candied Pecans.

18 Comments on Pumpkin Cheesecake Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 22, 2014 at 6:33 am (10 years ago)

    Oh geeze, funny how we mix up other peoples words into something else. I do that all the time! Also, loving these rolls! Perfect for fall 🙂

  2. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
    September 22, 2014 at 7:15 am (10 years ago)

    Oh goodness! We have all been there where we want to crawl in a hole! And luckily you realize how you felt so next time you can react better! Life is all about the ups and downs, right?! And these pumpkin rolls are screaming for thanksgiving morning!

  3. Sherri@The Well Floured Kitchen
    September 22, 2014 at 7:34 am (10 years ago)

    Oh dear, I can’t handle social awkwardness, I can’t even watch shows like The Office 🙂 We all say things we regret, luckily the lady was gracious enough. She sounds like a good neighbor!
    I absolutely love the color of these rolls- they look amazing! Perfect for fall.

  4. Toni | BoulderLocavore
    September 22, 2014 at 10:37 am (10 years ago)

    What a perfect recipe for fall! I don’t think I’ve ever made cinnamon rolls from scratch; definitely going to give these a go.

  5. Sharana @ Living The Sweet Life Blog
    September 22, 2014 at 11:22 am (10 years ago)

    It was an honest mistake — I do think though, that you’re right, it’s human nature I think to automatically assume that when someone has a disability, or something that makes them unique that we as people think it’s their only story, or even if not only story, their top story.

    You made a mistake … good news is, you learned from it and made a new apartment friend 🙂
    Can we talk about these cinnamon rolls now — HOLY MOLY MOTHER OF YYYYYUUMMM … that’s exactly how I feel about them – lol 🙂

  6. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    September 22, 2014 at 2:46 pm (10 years ago)

    Die. I would totally have thought she meant being IN a wheelchair. At which point I would have said, I’m so sorry. Imagine!!!
    Anyways…these pumpkin cheesecake cinnamon rolls would be a great gift to her. You know, to show her just how friendly the building is. And if you want to send some to Chi-town I’ll take some too 🙂

  7. Kathleen Siegle
    September 22, 2014 at 5:22 pm (10 years ago)

    I’m totally making these for christmas morning! They look amazing 🙂

    • Julie Ruble
      September 22, 2014 at 5:25 pm (10 years ago)

      Aw, I love that Kathleen! These would be fantastic for Christmas morning! I’m posting another recipe soon that would also ROCK 🙂

  8. Kristen
    September 22, 2014 at 5:35 pm (10 years ago)

    I would have died a little bit too but I bet she didn’t think a thing about it!
    These cinnamon rolls, however, I wouldn’t be able to forget!!

  9. Amy | Club Narwhal
    September 23, 2014 at 10:45 am (10 years ago)

    Oh man, Julie, I totally relate! I feel like I do things like this at least once a week and I just cringe like crazy. Luckily, this woman seems like a generous spirit and hopefully you’ll see her around and have a non-cringey moment 🙂 These rolls look like everything I ever wanted out of fall!

  10. Cardamonbraid
    September 25, 2014 at 3:06 pm (10 years ago)

    Just curious if the measurements are correct…….Thought this would be a perfect item for my FIL …and when it came to flour, I used 5oz for a cup, as per atk recommendations, so if anything might have been extra, and the dough was soooooo wet that i didn’t just add a cup but cups of flour…..ended up over working the dough i’m sure trying to get to a point where it could be rolled out, still stopped on the wet side 8(…………Just curious, i know weather can effect a recipe but not as much as i had to use.

    • Julie Ruble
      September 25, 2014 at 3:15 pm (10 years ago)

      The measurements are correct — 6 cups of flour. The dough is a wet and sticky dough, but after rising and with a heavily floured counter, it’s lovely to work with 🙂 I do use a bench scraper to help me roll them up.

  11. Jenny @ BAKE
    September 26, 2014 at 11:25 am (10 years ago)

    That sounds so embarrassing, but I bet she didn’t mind at all! These cinnamon rolls sound so deliciously decadent!


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