Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

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Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeen!!!

What’s everyone’s plans for tonight? Anyone going out with kids for trick or treating? Got a Halloween party you’re going to? What are you dressing up as?

I’ve always liked dressing up for Halloween and although I haven’t gotten to do it very often, I still have some ‘Wish-List’ costumes that I’d love to be able to do someday.

1) A 20’s flapper is definitely something I’d like to be- with the bobbed hair, flashy dress and pearls to go with it.

2) I’d LOVE to dress up in a fancy Venetian Masquerade ballgown and mask, with an elegant hairdo.

3) I’d love to be Harley Quinn, as long as I could have a guy go with me as the Joker.

4) One of the “Grease” Pink Ladies.

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5) Black Widow- because that cat suit Scarlett Johannson wore in “The Avengers”  was everything.

6) I’d love to be one of the fairy tale characters like Little Red Riding Hood or the Queen of Hearts. (And no, I don’t mean one of those costumes that make you look like you should be standing on a street corner, if you know what I mean. I think that there are plenty of ways you can make a costume beautiful and tastefully done without it being too slutty.)

7) If I ever get a boyfriend, I am GOING to be Christine and make him dress up as the Phantom of the Opera. He will have absolutely no choice or say in the matter. It’s a prerequisite if he wants to date me.

Unfortunately, I’m not doing anything special in particular like dressing up or going to any parties. But I am staying in my kitchen- which is plenty ‘special’ enough for me.

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I’ve known for a while now that I was going to make this dish for Halloween. Cinnamon rolls have been on my Cooking Bucket  List for a while, and I had a can of pumpkin that was languishing in my pantry, without very much to do. That set the perfect stage for Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.

It was my first time making cinnamon rolls, and I think they turned out pretty good for a beginner like moi. I walked away with a few things to keep in mind for next time: roll the dough VERY tight so the sugar filling doesn’t leak out while the dough is going through their second rise, and don’t be afraid to place them pretty close together in the pan so that they can rise higher up rather than further out.

Aside from all that, the taste is really spot on for these. For one, they make your house smell like every yummy Autumn pastry imaginable while they’re baking. The pumpkin flavor admittedly isn’t very overpowering, but I’m actually okay with that as sometimes the taste of pumpkin can be a little abrasive. I know that crystallized ginger isn’t the cheapest spice to buy, but if you can afford it I gotta strongly recommend that you don’t leave it out. It gives spiciness to the filling that balances the sweetness of the sugar, while the dried cherries give it an acidic tang. I iced my rolls almost as soon as they came out of the oven so that the icing would melt into the crevices of the dough rather than just sit on top of it in thick globs. Tastes better that way. Also, these save very well in the refrigerator; when ready to eat another one just wrap it in paper towel, sprinkle with a few drops of water then microwave for about 15-20 seconds. It’ll still taste pretty fresh.

These rolls are going to this week’s Fiesta Friday #40, hosted by Angie@TheNoviceGardener and co-hosted this week by Margy @La Petite Casserole and Jhuls @The Not So Creative Cook. See you all there.

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Halloween is one of my absolute favorite times of year, but not for the reason that you may think.

It’s not that I don’t like dressing up in costumes. I do. It’s not that I don’t like candy. I definitely do. But the arrival of Halloween marks the arrival of something infinitely more thrilling and exciting for me than costumes or sweets (and if you know me, then you know that that’s really saying something).

I look forward to October 31st because it marks the final day before I officially begin my countdown to Christmas.

Me and my twin sister are obsessed with Christmas, and as such, we try to get in our Holiday spirit as soon as is reasonably possible. I know that other people wait until Thanksgiving, but that’s way too late for me. I like the extra month to start listening to my Christmas playlist on my mp3 player and Pandora radio stations, and start planning all the wonderful goodies that I’m going to make for the 12 Days of Christmas series on Cooking Is My Sport.

Speaking of which, I am willing to take special requests for that ahead of time. I need 12 recipes for 12 Christmas goodies to post on the blog. Suggestions? Don’t be shy 😉



Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

  • Servings: 9-12 rolls
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Recipe Courtesy of King Arthur Flour


For the Dough:

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin or squash
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup lukewarm water*
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast

For the Filling:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup minced, crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries

For the Glaze

  • 1 cup glazing or confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk, or enough to make a “drizzlable” glaze


1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients together — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until you’ve made a soft, fairly smooth dough.

2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, until it’s almost doubled in bulk.

3) Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. Roll it into a 14″ x 22″ rectangle; the dough will be thin.

4) Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Spread a thin layer over the dough, leaving one short edge free of filling.

5) Sprinkle with crystallized ginger or dried fruit (or both), if desired.

6) Starting with the short end that’s covered with filling, roll the dough into a log.

7) Cut the log into nine 1 ½”-thick rolls.

8) Place the rolls into a lightly greased 9″ x 9″ pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Set aside, covered, to rise for 1 hour, or until the rolls look puffy.

9) Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re lightly browned and feel set.(Internal temp should be about 185-190 degrees F) Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack.

10) To make the glaze: Heat the butter and milk together till the butter melts. Whisk into the sugar.

11) Drizzle the rolls with the warm glaze. (For a thinner layer, spread with icing almost as soon as you take them out of the oven. For a thicker icing, let them cool for about 15 minutes, then spread with icing.) 

38 thoughts on “Cinnamon Swirl Pumpkin Rolls

  1. Oh yay!! Haha!! Me too!!! Katie and I LOVE Christmas!! We were actually talking the other day that we’re hoping tomorrow, November 1st, that a couple of our radio stations in Buffalo start playing Christmas music!! It’s always a competition between them to see who can start playing first, and I have a feeling this year, tomorrow is the day!!

    These pumpkin rolls look so SO delicious Jess! Yum. I’m freaking making them tonight. First, it will help me to forget that it’s Halloween, so I won’t be too scared tonight…. and second, because Katie and I are heading to the farmer’s market first thing in the morning, and wouldn’t they be perfect for the ride? Love this. <3 We'll just hang out in our kitchens together tonight.

    Hmm… 12 days of Christmas. Brilliant. I have been looking for a good bourbon ball recipe. Or maybe a breakfast casserole of sorts, something different from the norm…for Christmas morning?

  2. i do hope you enjoy your Halloween or at least get to go out tonight with or without a costume :). The cinnamon rolls look amazing, I love crystallized ginger myself, so always have some in the pantry. Will bookmark this for the future. Yumm

  3. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are on my bucket list, too! Yours look amazing. You would never know you hadn’t made them before. Thank you for the tips. I love Christmas music, too, and can’t wait to start listening to it. What is your favorite Christmas song?

    1. Thanks Shari- Tough question! But I think my top 2 favorite Christmas songs are”Christmastime is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas, and O Christmas Tree 🙂

  4. I feel the same way, Jess! The 1st day of November is when I start counting down to Christmas! And it’s also around then that they begin playing Christmas movies and if there’s anything I’m obsessed with, it’s Christmas movies.

    These cinnamon swirl pumpkin rolls look great! I love cinnamon swirl rolls in general, especially the ones at Cinnabon. But pumpkin? Genius!

  5. Well, you say you are a beginner but these are perfect a professional baker couldn’t do it better. Just gorgeous Jess. I am crazy about cinnamon rolls and pumpkin, these are on my short list.
    You should make Buche de Noel. Its so festive and beautiful and you are a great baker.

    1. Thank you Michelle-sometimes I surprise myself….and we’re not gonna get on how many of these I’m able to put away lol

  6. I’ve always loved to be a witch if I was given a chance to join any Halloween party – but I was not. Or dress up like Dorothy Gale because I was a big fan of Dorothy of Oz or maybe dress like Cinderella… Oopps, am I going to a Halloween party or another party?? 😀

    Anyway, these cinnamon rolls sound delicious, Jess. And I always love to read your post. 🙂

    1. I was Dorothy in a school play once- it was cool wearing the ‘ruby slippers’ (i.e., the red glitter shoes) lol Thanks Jhuls <3

  7. I’m sorry I’m late. Since Halloween was 2 days ago (I hope you had a lot of fun!) would be more appropriate start speaking seriously of Christmas??? The only condition I want to impose is to have however some of your pumpkin rolls. I quite new to bake and to have dessert with pumpkin (in Italy we’re not so used to use this ingredients for sweet food) but I have to admit that I really love the flavour that pumpkin gives to cakes, biscuits and so on. Thanks a lot for being at FF, it’s very much appreciated!

  8. Looks scrumptious, Jess. Love your addition of pumpkin! Ironically, my next post is cinnamon rolls…if I can ever can the darn thing done. :-/ Must be the crisp autumn air getting us to bake!

  9. Oh. My. Goodness. These rolls are making my mouth drool as I look at them on my computer screen! What a great way of incorporating pumpkin into baking. These are totally unique! I’m bookmarking this page 🙂 P.S. I’ve always wanted to do the flapper costume as well lol.

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