These Soft Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls are made with instant yeast, pumpkin pecan butter, and a brown sugar frosting. They’re soft and fluffy, gooey in the center, and the perfect pumpkin cinnamon roll for fall!
It’s a known fact that I love carbs as much as I love dessert. Fresh bread is my ultimate weakness, and if given the choice, I’ll take the bread basket over the full meal any day.
I have this habit of making significantly too many rolls or biscuits for a brunch or dinner party because I’m always certain everyone at the party is going to want bread as much as I do. Spoiler alert: that’s not always the case. While bread might be the main event for me, it’s just an after thought for others.
Whether you’re a bread lover or not (but the bread lovers, you’re my people!), I’m convinced these Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls are going to be one of you’re new favorite pumpkin recipes for fall (especially if you’re as obsessed with pumpkin cinnamon recipes as I am).
Regular pumpkin cinnamon rolls, move out. There’s a new gooey sweet roll in town and it’s about to blow your mind.
What To Love About These Pumpkin Rolls:
- Pumpkin Butter: Instead of being a pumpkin cinnamon roll with pumpkin in the dough, the pumpkin flavor is all in the filling with pumpkin butter. My favorite non-homemade pumpkin butter? Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Butter. It’s a pricey item, but it is amazing.
- Instant Yeast: Instant yeast helps these cinnamon rolls rise quickly without compromising the integrity of the cinnamon rolls. They’re soft and fluffy and gooey in the center, and it doesn’t take all day to make them.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk makes these extra rich and flavorful!
- Overnight: Hoping to make these overnight pumpkin cinnamon rolls? Well, you can easily! I’ll give you the tips below!
- Brown Sugar Frosting: Trust me, this frosting is just about everything. It complements the pumpkin pecan butter so well, and totally transforms these into the BEST Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.
- Unsalted Butter: There is salt in this recipe so I suggest using unsalted butter in order to keep these from being too salty.
- Buttermilk: The buttermilk makes these very rich and flavorful, and I happen to love making cinnamon rolls with buttermilk. However, if you don’t have buttermilk, I offer some substitutions below.
- Granulated Sugar
- Instant Yeast: Instant yeast is the perfect ingredient because it’s a lot less finicky than Active Dry Yeast.
- Vanilla Extract
- Eggs: The eggs make the dough extra rich and soft.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Unsalted Butter
- Pumpkin Pecan Butter: I use Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Butter, but you can use any pumpkin butter you’d like—regular pumpkin butter or homemade.
- Granulated Sugar
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Nutmeg
- Ground Allspice
Brown Sugar Frosting:
- Unsalted Butter
- Brown Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar
How To Make Soft Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch:
- Liquid: Heat buttermilk and butter together on the stove until warm (about 112-115 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour the liquid into the bowl of your standing mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment). Basically it should be hot, but not boiling.
- Yeast and Sugar: Sprinkle yeast and granulated sugar over the buttermilk/butter mixture, and let the mix stand 5 minutes.
- Salt and Vanilla: Add in the salt and vanilla, and start to mix on low.
- Eggs: Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing until combined.
- Flour: Remove the paddle attachment and put the dough hook on. Add in the flour, and mix for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough is no longer sticky (you want the dough to feel ‘tacky’ but not actually stick on your fingers).
- Rise: Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
- Roll: Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, and spread with butter and pumpkin butter. Then, sprinkle with spiced cinnamon sugar mix. Tightly roll and slice.
- Second Rise: Let the rolls rise again until doubled in size (or almost doubled in size).
- Bake: Bake until the rolls are golden brown.
- Frosting: Melt butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract together. Let the mixture cool. Then add in powdered sugar and whisk until combined. Spread immediately, or let it sit to thicken.
Best Pumpkin Butter To Use?
My favorite pumpkin butter is Williams-Sonoma’s Pumpkin Pecan Butter. It is pricier than a grocery store pumpkin butter, but it is very, very good.
However, you can use whatever pumpkin butter you prefer—homemade or store bought.
This might sound obvious, but make sure whatever pumpkin butter you use you actually like. Not all pumpkin butters are created equal, so definitely test it out to ensure you like the one you use, otherwise you aren’t going to like these cinnamon rolls. 😉
How Do I Make These Without A Stand Mixer?
I love a stand mixer because it kneads the dough for you, however, if you don’t have a stand mixer, you can make these by hand.
Mix the dough in a bowl with a spatula, and once all of the flour is incorporated and the dough has pulled away from the sides of the bowl, turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, until it’s smooth and tacky (meaning when you pinch the dough, it doesn’t stick to your fingers like glue).
Tips For Getting Yeast Dough To Rise:
Instant Yeast: Instant yeast is a lot less temperamental than active dry yeast, which is why I use it almost every chance I get. Because yeast is a living organism, you can ‘kill’ the yeast if it’s not properly activated. If this happens, your dough won’t rise. However, instant yeast is a whole lot easier to work with, and you don’t have to worry too much about activating it/killing it.
Warm Place: Yeast needs a warm place to rise. On a cold day, it can be difficult to coax yeast to rise (instant yeast or not) so try to create a warm environment.
The Oven: My favorite thing to do is turn the oven on the lowest setting it will go, and let it heat up. Once it has heated up, turn the oven off, cover the dough with a damp towel, and let it rise in the warmed oven.
How Do I Turn These Into Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls?
If you’re looking to make these ahead of time, you can make these the night before (the rolls can sit in the fridge up to 15-18 hours).
How to make these ahead of time:
- Step 1: After you cut the cinnamon roll dough and put it in your baking dish, loosely cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and put the dough in the refrigerator.
- Step 2: Because the cold temperature will cause the rolls to rise much slower, you will still need to let them double in size the morning of. How long they need to rise will depend upon how much they rose overnight.
- You want the rolls to be doubled in size, so depending upon how much the rose overnight, you might need anywhere from 30-60 minutes of rise time the next morning.
- Take them out of the fridge, and let them rise in a warm place.
- Step 3: Bake, cool, frost.
Can I Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls With Active Dry Yeast?
Yes, you can. You can follow this recipe exactly as written. Just note that the two rise times will be significantly longer.
Instant yeast usually cuts the rise time in half. Using active dry will roughly double the time it takes for the rolls to rise.
Quick and Easy Tips To Making These The Best Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls:
- Tacky, Not Sticky: When making the dough, you’re looking for a tacky (think elastic-y) dough, not a sticky dough. You can test it by pinching the dough with your fingers. If it stick to you like glue, it probably needs more flour and a bit more kneading.
- Room Temperature Butter: Definitely use soft room temperature butter! Cold butter won’t spread over the dough, and melted butter will just leak out while the rolls rise.
- Room Temperature Eggs: Temperature is very important to yeasted dough. Cold eggs will shock the temperature of the dough and could cause the dough to not rise properly.
- Floured Surface: Flour your surface well, otherwise the dough will stick when you’re rolling it out.
- Warm Place To Rise: Make sure the dough rises in a warm place. Pro Tip: Turn the oven on to the lowest setting so it creates a warm environment. Then, turn the oven off, and let the dough rise inside with the oven door cracked open.
Other Pumpkin Cinnamon Recipes To Try Next:
- Pumpkin Crumb Cake Bread
- Pumpkin Donut French Toast Casserole
- Soft Pumpkin Cookies
- Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin season, I love you.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (one yeast packet)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 5 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup pumpkin butter*
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Heat unsalted butter and buttermilk in a small saucepan until warm, about 112-115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour in the bowl of a standing mixer, and sprinkle instant yeast and sugar over the mixture. Let stand 5 minutes.
- Add salt, vanilla extract, and eggs. Mix until combined, using the paddle attachment.
- Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook.
Add in 4 cups of flour, and mix with the dough hook for 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky and has not removed itself from the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time, and mix the dough until it is tacky, not sticky.
Shape dough into a ball and place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and let it double in size in a warm place (about 30-60 minutes).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and roll the dough into a large rectangle, roughly 12x18”.
- With a knife or rubber spatula, spread softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1/4” border on all sides.
- Spread pumpkin butter on top of the butter.
- In a bowl, whisk granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice together. Generously sprinkle the mixture over the pumpkin butter.
- Roll the dough tightly (you roll the long side), and using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into 10-12 slices.
- Place the rolls in a greased baking dish (use a 9x13 baking dish or a large 10” pie plate).**
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let the rolls rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake the rolls for 22-25 minutes, or until they are lightly golden brown.
- In a small saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and milk, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of your standing mixer, and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
With a standing mixer or hand mixer, add the powdered sugar into the brown sugar mixture, and mix until the frosting is smooth (frosting will feel thin).
Spread the frosting over the tops of the warm rolls immediately, or let the frosting sit and thicken up, then spread it over the rolls.
- Serve and enjoy.
*Pumpkin butter: Using 2/3 cup pumpkin butter will make the rolls a bit more gooey. You can use homemade or store-bought pumpkin butter. My favorite is Williams-Sonoma Pumpkin Pecan Butter.
**Overnight: If you are making these the night before, after you cover the rolls with plastic wrap for their second rise, store them in the fridge for up to 18 hours. Remove the rolls from the fridge 1 hour before baking (you will probably need 30-60 minutes for the rolls to reach room temperature and double in size). Once they have risen, bake as directed in the recipe.
Here are some other cinnamon recipes to try next: