Pumpkin Maple Pecan Rolls (with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing!)
Pumpkin Maple Pecan Rolls (with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing!)

Pumpkin Maple Pecan Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing!

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: about 24 rolls

Oh, you know. Just one of the best desserts I’ve ever tasted. NO BIG DEAL. These are so worth the time and energy to get them on your table. I highly recommend these for any special occasion, including Wednesday.

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 sticks salted butter (or 2 sticks unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt), melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 batches Maple Candied Pecans

Icing Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), at room temperature
1/3 cup pumpkin purée (not pie filling)
2 tablespoons maple syrup

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.

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.

Roll and assemble: After proofing the dough, lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (glass works best) with cooking spray. 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). Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Spread the melted butter over the surface of the rolled dough and then sprinkle the sugar mixture (all of it!) onto the butter. Crush some of your cooled candied nuts (about 1 batch of them, reserving the rest for topping) by putting them in a ziplock bag and tapping them with a meat tenderizer and sprinkle over the surface. 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 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake them for about 25 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 they start to get too brown.) Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute.

To make the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside. Beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until light, fluffy, and smooth. Add the powdered sugar mixture and beat on low until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin and maple syrup and mix until smooth. Schmear over the tops of warm cinnamon rolls. Top with the rest of the Maple Candied Pecans.

17 Comments on Pumpkin Maple Pecan Rolls (with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing!)

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    September 24, 2014 at 4:32 am (7 years ago)

    I’m a total introvert too, and the internet has definitely been a great place for me to branch out and find others that are into the things I am into! It’s been awesome AND! so are these rolls! Love that icing 🙂

  2. Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
    September 24, 2014 at 7:47 am (7 years ago)

    I am still trying to find balance between technology and just relaxing! I have a heard time just enjoying down time! These rolls are calling my name! So delish.

  3. Carol
    September 24, 2014 at 7:52 am (7 years ago)

    These look amazing! I’m excited to try this recipe! Thanks for the post.

    As for technology, I’m glad I can keep up with my daughters who live far away, and they can show me instantly what my grandkids are doing. I’m glad I can search for information easily, pay bills easily, shop on-line, and check out Pinterest on my desktop when I have a few spare minutes. I keep my smart phone with me all the time and can get email and texts. There was no internet when I was growing up, but when my kids were young their time on the computer was limited to school work and otherwise by permission for a fixed period of time.

    It amazes me how bold and rude people can be behind the veil of anonymity. Also, how comments can be misinterpreted without tone and inflection, or taken out of context. Communicating with those we love is one thing, but all of the ‘strangers’ is entirely a different matter. I’m thankful for being able to get to know some people I never would have without the internet, but I am not interested in having a billion Facebook friends, for example. I find it just a bit scary that so much information is gathered from our interaction with the internet.

    I’m especially glad food bloggers are able to show us what they’ve been up to! Keep up the good work!

  4. Beth @ The First Year
    September 24, 2014 at 7:57 am (7 years ago)

    I have failed miserably at making cinnamon rolls in the past.. like they went straight to the garbage, but I want to give these one a try! They look so delicious!

  5. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction
    September 24, 2014 at 9:07 am (7 years ago)

    Definitely not helping me step away from the computer by posting these! These look incredible! I wish I had one to go with my morning coffee!

  6. taylor @ greens & chocolate
    September 24, 2014 at 2:01 pm (7 years ago)

    I wish I had some tips for gaining a balance between technology and ‘real life’ but sadly I’m still trying to find something that works for me. It’s so hard when it’s so closely tied with having a blog and social aspects. I’m hoping to implement some sort of technology free designated time, like no technology after 8:00, sometime soon. In the meantime, I’m just going to stare at my computer screen at these pumpkin pecan rolls. Holy yum!

  7. Amina | PAPER/PLATES
    September 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm (7 years ago)

    I’ve never been a huge pumpkin fan…but this could change my mind!

  8. Jenni
    September 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm (7 years ago)

    These buns look amazing! Love it! 🙂

    I feel like every time I get a good balance going something happens and completely throws it off balance again.

  9. Sara Evans
    October 5, 2014 at 2:18 am (7 years ago)

    Hi, I made these this evening and I think they are going to taste great. I have a suggestion though. You should thoroughly edit your recipes for errors as that would make for less confusion. Ex. there is no nutmeg in the filling ingred list. Under note for proofing- cream cheese is not the filling. The whole note on proofing doesn’t make much sense. Also you could be more clear about the fact you’ll need two 13×9 pans. Make a note that buttermilk would work because that is what your making with milk and vinegar.


    • Julie Ruble
      October 5, 2014 at 9:27 am (7 years ago)

      Hey Sarah, thanks for noticing and letting me know about these mistakes. I proofread my posts at least five times apiece, but of course errors still slip by. Particularly in this recipe, which I’ve made more variations on than I can count, it is easy to miss things that are remnants from past adaptations. Please know that I always try my best to be 100% accurate and it’s a source of personal embarrassment when I make mistakes. I very much appreciate people’s generosity of spirit in this regard.

  10. Nena
    November 8, 2014 at 5:07 pm (7 years ago)

    I just made these and have them resting for their second rise as we speak…they are huge and I can just tell they are going to be the best cinnamon rolls ever!
    I did have some recipe adjustments that your readers may appreciate seeing…
    For some reason, I had to add an additional 2 1/4 cups flour for my dough to come together. Sounds crazy, but it’s true and yielded a beautiful dough that rose perfectly after two hours.
    As for the melted butter in the filling, I only needed 1 stick. Next time I’d use softened butter like I normally do. I think in this case I might have used more than just the one stick.
    This ended up making twelve 2 inch rolls. I have six rising in a pan and six in the freezer.
    Thanks for this great recipe!

    • Julie Ruble
      November 8, 2014 at 11:23 pm (7 years ago)

      Hi Nena! I hesitated to post your comment because I don’t want folks to add flour thinking the dough is too sticky — it’s naturally a very sticky dough, which I know can be alarming, but that’s right. It gets a little better after the rises, and you should heavily flour the board and pin when you roll it, but try to hold off adding flour to the actual mixture because it seems too sticky. It’s possible that you could need to in a humid environment, but I can’t imagine needing to add much. I hope they come out great!

  11. Natasha Marcus
    January 4, 2015 at 11:23 pm (6 years ago)

    Silly question: How do I print the recipe only?

    • Julie Ruble
      January 4, 2015 at 11:32 pm (6 years ago)

      Not silly at all! It used to be super easy because there used to be a button, but now I’m moving to a new print function (in a recipe format I’m switching to) and not all recipes have it yet! I’m sorry for the inconvenience. I’m emailing you the recipe so that you can just print it from your email. Hopefully this will be resolved shortly.

      • Natasha Marcus
        January 5, 2015 at 12:04 am (6 years ago)

        Thanks so much for your helpful and quick reply.


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