Saturday, October 9, 2010

Let the Good Times Roll

When you have pancakes for dinner in the middle of the week, it kind of takes the magic out of the Saturday morning pancake ritual.

Solution: Cinnamon Rolls.

I sincerely apologize if you're seeking a healthy vegetarian recipe today, and I do promise I'll return with one tomorrow. But for now, I'm going to spoil our healthy-living lifestyles with hardcore Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns.

I first stumbled upon the Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun notion at Lindsey's blog, Gingerbread Bagels. Stunning, I tell you. Her recipe is adapted from one first published by Cooking Light--I ended up using the Cooking Light rendition, simply to cut down on some of the fat and sugar found in the more fully-loaded version (although I'm sure it's insanely delicious!).

I made the dough and assembled them Friday night (I knew I'd be too impatient to let the dough rise for over an hour on Saturday morning). I woke up, allowed the oven to heat while I walked Dora-Dog, popped those suckers in the oven for 20 minutes, and voila! Ooey, gooey, bakery-fresh goodness for Saturday morning breakfast.

I may never go back to pancakes again.

So today, prep your pumpkin cinnamon buns, and let the good times roll. Tomorrow brings more vege-head dinner recipes (and leftover cinnamon buns, of course).

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
(adapted from this recipe in the October 2001 issue of Cooking Light)

If you've never made "real" Cinnamon Buns with yeast before, now's your chance! Don't be intimidated, it was much easier than I expected. I recommend prepping the dough and rolls the night before; then you can just pop them in the oven the next morning, and make the icing while they bake.

Bun Ingredients:
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Filling Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • Smart Balance or butter, softened for spreading (about 2 - 4 TBSP)
Cinnamon Frosting Ingredients:
Note: This isn't a Cooking Light recipe--I made the icing myself, and didn't measure much (as usual!). I started with these base amounts (approximately), and adjusted the amount of sugar, Smart Balance, and milk until I reached a frosting consistency I liked.
  • 3 - 4 TBSP butter or Smart Balance
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • a splash of skim milk

1) To prepare the buns, place the warm water in a large bowl. Add yeast and allow it to sit for 5 - 10 minutes to dissolve. Add 2 cups of flour, pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Beat with stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), adding remaining 3/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky).

(Note: I took the easy way out and used the dough hook on my stand mixer to knead the dough. I know, I'm a cheater).

2) Place the dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray; turn the dough in the bowl until lightly coated with the spray. Cover the bowl, and allow to sit in a warm place for 45 - 60 minutes, until it has risen and doubled in size.

3) To prepare the filling, combine the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

4) Once the dough has risen fully, punch down and allow it to rest for 3 - 5 minutes. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle (they indicate 12 by 10 inches, but who really pulls out a ruler to measure?!). Spread butter (or Smart Balance) over the rectangle to coat (about 2 - 4 TBSP), leaving a one inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon mixture evenly over top. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with the long edge. Pinch to seal. Cut roll in to 10 to 12 slices. Place slices in a 9 inch square baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise for another 25 minutes (Disclosure: I did not cover and let them rise at this point. I stuck them in the fridge for the night, pulled them out the next morning, and continued on to the next step).

5) Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls for 20 minutes, or until just lightly browned.

6) While rolls are baking, prepare the icing. Beat icing ingredients together using a hand mixer until desired consistency is reached. Add more sugar or milk to reach the consistency and amounts you like!

7) When buns are done, allow them to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Slather with icing and enjoy with a cup of coffee and the Saturday morning paper.


  1. OMG, WANT. These look amaaazing, Kylie. I've never had pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but what a perfect combo! I feel like I should make these when my family is together for Thanksgiving...that way I wouldn't be tempted to eat them all! :)

  2. YUM. I'm a sucker for all kinds of cinnamon buns, since my mom and I have such a nice tradition of making them every year. These look fabulous!

  3. So, I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls this morning too! Hilarious! :) Yours look delicious too!

  4. Oh holy night. I had never even thought about putting pumpkin into cinnamon rolls. Things could start to get dangerous with that sort of thing going on 'round these parts.

    Gorgeous, lady!

  5. I have never taken the time to make c-rolls, though I've been saying for years, literally, that I need to. But I too have a problem waiting for dough to rise...impatience. If I stick them in the fridge overnight like you did, that would make them much more manageable. And I have an open can of pumpkin already in the fridge! Hmm...can I get myself to remember to prep these tonight?

  6. Isn't it amazing the wonders a little bit of pumpkin can do? This sounds like a wonderful way to eclipse any pancake goodness...I know that I would be thrilled with these on any day of the week. Thank you for sharing this with me!

  7. Oh my goodness those look absolutely delectable. Do you live close by? Do you have any leftovers? Just curious;)

  8. AAAH!!! This is amazing!! I love bread, I love cinnamon, I love breakfasty stuff, I love pumpkin, and this is altogether, rolled into one beautiful, fragrant, miracle! Love, love, love!

  9. So glad to hear you got Bob!! I just love those dvds so so much. The strength one is RIDUNKULOUS. I mean, I feel bad for the chick in that video lol. He works her. I have a measly 3lb dumbell set that I use for that video and at times I swear my arms are going to fall off. So amazing!!
    These would be the perfect Thanksgiving breakfast btw!! Mmmm I can seriously imagine the smell of them in the oven!

  10. Omg this looks delicious! Pumpkin and cinnamon rolls? I wish I thought of this combo SOONER! =)

  11. Oh my flipping goodness. These are positively swoon worthy

  12. That looks/sounds so amazing! I want to roll around in that icing, omg...

  13. Thank you thank you for commenting on my blog so I could see these lovely little gems. My Grandma used to make the best cinn rolls and I've never dared recreate, but I do want to try makin' these!

  14. oh goodness this looks so devilishly good!!!

  15. holy moly, pumpkin cinnamon roll????? I'm pretty sure I've died and gone to heaven, that sounds so divine :-)

  16. Oh my gosh, I've been making these for 2 years now--they're my husband's favorite!!!! They're SO good. :)

  17. These do indeed look delicious. Put pumpkin in all the baked things! I'm bookmarking them to try for next fall!