I’ve just returned from my trip to Prague and literary just missed a famous cinnamon rolls shop opening their first two shops in Prague. I was totally gutted, as I was so looking forward to try the famous cinnamon roll with sticky icing!
Whilst drooling over the company’s Instagram account, I thought to myself that if I can’t try the cinnamon rolls, surely I can try to bake them at home! I’ve already baked cinnamon star before, Chelsey buns and swirls, so why not this recipe?
But since it’s autumn I thought I’d give the cinnamon roll a bit of a twist and make a pumpkin cinnamon rolls and instead of sticky icing, I’d use cream cheese frosting.
If you fancy baking along, carry on reading…
Notes on ingredients
There are couple of different options, you have here. If you prefer your pumpkin cinnamon rolls to be a bit firmer (but easier to work with), choose a strong bread flour (white). If you like your rolls to be very soft (and who doesn’t!) use plain (cake) flour.
What I actually find the most useful is to use 50% white plain flour and 50% strong bread flour. This gives me enough gluten to work with, but my cinnamon rolls stay nice and soft.
These days I just use instant dried yeast. It’s convenient and plus it’s actually quite difficult to get hold of fresh yeast unless you order it from a specialist company. One sachet is about 7g which is enough for 500g of flour (slightly more than 3 cups) for normal bread and I use anything up to two sachets (14g) for enriched dough (which is what we are making today).
The brilliant thing about instant yeast is that you can just open it and throw it in the flour mixture and don’t need to worry about salt damaging the yeast or anything like that. The yeast will start to get active, when you mix it with water.
If you do happen to have fresh yeast, you’d need to use twice the amount in any given recipe. You should also dissolve the fresh yeast in a bit of warm water, add a teaspoon of sugar and leave the yeast for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble. Then and only then you can add it to your dough. Make sure you don’t add salt directly into the yeast as this can completely damage the life culture that you’ve just created.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
If you have a shop bought pack that’s great, if not here is my homemade version of this delicious pumpkin pie spice. Make up a jar and you can use it all autumn on just about anything!
If you are just about to carve a pumpkin for this autumn season, you will end up with a lot of pumpkin puree or flesh, which is great because you’ll need it for this recipe. If you have a can of pumpkin puree in your kitchen cupboard, great, but if not, check out my recipe for pumpkin butter, which does include pumpkin puree recipe too.
The difference between the pumpkin butter and pumpkin puree is that pumpkin butter is much thicker, ritcher and contains sugar. On the other hand pumpkin puree is just roasted and then blended pumpkin usually without any additional flavours.
You could use pumpkin butter in this recipe, but you’d need to adjust the amount of sugar, spice and liquid the recipe already has. This means less sugar, less spice and more liquid.
You could also use a fresh pumpkin (or canned – tinned pumpkin), but the flavour will be less intense (as it’s not roasted) and you won’t get the full benefit of the pumpkin.
There is no point counting calories with this recipe, so please don’t use low-fat cream cheese. If you do that and you add icing sugar to it (which is how you are going to make the cheese cream frosting), the cream cheese will just turn into water. Believe me, when I say this, I’ve tried! You have to use a full-fat version of cream cheese for this recipe and just do a few more laps around your local park!
Notes on the baking method
Kneading enriched dough
When I say, knead for 10-15 minutes, I mean knead for 10-15 minutes by hand. So if you are using a mixer or a food processor with a paddle attachment to knead your dough, the time will be much shorter – about 5-6 minutes.
How to tell that your enriched dough is kneaded enough
If you time yourself and you don’t add any extra flour to your dough mix, 10-15 minutes is sufficient to develop a nice strong gluten strands. It’s 10 minutes if you are listening to an energetic song (because you’ll knead faster…) and 15 min if you’ve never kneaded dough before or you don’t want to exhaust yourself at the first hurdle. Or it’s 13 minutes if you are listening to the Archers…
Proving enriched dough
The time given in the recipe is just a guide. It could be 45 minutes or it could be 2 hrs. It very much depends on how warm or cold your kitchen is and where you are leaving your dough to prove.
What’s more important than the time, is the size. Your dough needs to double in size before you shape it and leave it to prove again. If you can’t work out what’s double, just use a removable marker pen (or pencil or even a sticky note) and mark where your dough is (the level) before it starts to prove.
I’ve had people at my bread baking courses, who would take a quick photo on their mobiles from the top of the bowl and the side to remind themselves what the dough looked like at the beginning. I thought that was a pretty smart solution!
If you are used to baking traditional yeasted bread, you will also notice that this sweet (enriched) dough will take much longer to rise. This is because of all the extra ingredients we have been adding in. The eggs, sugar, milk, pumpkin puree – all of this weights the dough, so that the yeast needs to work extra hard to rise.
Baking enriched dough
The baking temperature is much lower than for normal bread or even cake. It’s 170C or 340F (low to medium gas) and the temperature needs to be constant. You need to make sure that your oven is preheated to this temperature before you add your pumpkin cinnamon rolls in and then keep the oven door closed until the rolls are done. This should take about 25-30 min.
They should have a nice golden colour and if you test them with a wooden skewer, it should come out clean and dry (not wet). The only problem is that the filling will make the rolls very sticky and soft, so it’s not always very easy to tell if they are done or not by just testing them with the wooden skewer. I usually go by the time 25 min and then take them out, unless they are very pale, if which case I give them another 5 minutes.
I hope you enjoy baking this delicious treat!
More sweet dough recipes (made with yeast)
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Pumpkin Pie >>
- Pumpkin & Chia Breakfast Smoothie >>
- Pumpkin Pie Spiced Oatmeal >>
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Spiced Muffin >>
- Pumpkin Donuts (Gluten-Free) >>
Cinnamon Rolls Dough
- 250 g white bread flour strong bread flour
- 200 g plain cake flour all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree 130 g
- 1/4 cup caster sugar 60 g
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp salt or less depending on your taste
- 1 1/2 sachet instant active yeast about 10 g of instant active yeast (or 20g fresh yeast)
- 1/2 cup milk 125 ml (use extra milk if the dough is dry)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (double or single cream) 60 ml
- 50 g butter unsalted
- 3 tablespoon cinnamon powder or ground
- 1/2 cup light brown or brown sugar (can be mixed with caster sugar) about 100 – 120 g
- 100 g butter unsalted
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 100 g cream cheese full-fat
- 1 cup confectioners (icing) sugar 230 g approx
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
- pinch of fine salt
- Measure out the white bread and the plain flour into a large mixing bowl.
- Add all the other dry ingredients – the sugar, instant yeast and salt.
- In a mixing jug, mix together the milk, cream, butter, pumpkin puree, vanilla essence and egg.
- Gently warm up the liquid mixture in a microwave so that it's a nice room temperature.
- Add the liquid into the flour mix and innitially bring everything together with a wooden mixing spoon.
- When you are ready, tip the dough on your kitchen work counter and start kneading. Count your 10-15 min from now. Don't add any more flour (use a scraper to knead the dough or a little bit of oil if your hands get very sticky).
- Continue kneading until the dough comes together, become elastic and it's nice and strechy.
- Place in a plastic bowl, cover with plastic and leave to rise. The dough should double in size. This can take 45 to 90 minutes depending on your room temperature.
- When doubled in size, gently bring the dough out to an oiled kitchen surface and roll out (from the middle of the dough) to a large rectangle. Use oiled wooden rolling pin.
- Mix the butter with cinnamon and sugar and crumble it with your hands. You can even warm it up a little until you can spread it easily.
- Using a spatula or a large dinner knife, spread a thin layer of the filling mixture over the dough. Make sure that you go all the way to the corners.
- The next job is to roll the dough, starting at the widest side and gently rolling the dough until you get a chunky log.
- Starting from the middle, cut with a sharp knife the dough into 10-12 pieces. These should be around 3-4 cm wide (1.5 – 2 inch). Don't worry if you have less or more.
- Depending on how many rolls you have, decide on a baking tray. It should be big enough to hold all rolls with about 1.5 cm (1 inch) gaps. The rolls will grow as the prove for the second time, but they need to be close enough to support each other (and not to try whilst they bake).
- Grease your baking dish and transfer the rolls (standing up) to the baking tray/dish.
- Cover the rolls and let rise until they are nearly doubled again. This could be about 30 -40 minutes.
- Make sure that your oven is preheated to 330 degrees F (170 degrees C or medium gas oven).
- Once your rolls have risen, spray them with a bit of water and bake on the middle shelf for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Whilst your rolls are baking, prepare your cream cheese frosting by stiring together the cream cheese, confectioners (icing) sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix with a fork until nice and light.
- When the rolls are baked, place them (in their baking tray) on a cooling rack.
- Wait until they cool down a little and then spread the cream cheese frosting over them.
- Enjoy them with a pot of freshly made coffee and your friends!