Seasonal Potluck: Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Rolls

Homemade cinnamon rolls are one of those items that are worth it.  Worth the time.  Worth the effort.  Worth the extra calories.  In my opinion, baking bread is one of the best smells in the world.  And the smell of sweet, buttery dough baking is…heaven.  In fact, this smell is so good, it can entice me to buy a loaf out the back door of a bakery at Midnight. 


These cinnamon rolls are not available out of the back door of your local bakery in the middle of the night, you’ll have to make them yourself!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Rolls

makes 9, adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 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 all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup 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


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger, raisins, or dried cranberries (optional)


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

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

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.

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

Mix the cinnamon, sugar and pumpkin pie spice.  Sprinkle over the dough, leaving one short edge free of filling.

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

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

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

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.

Bake the rolls in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re lightly browned and feel set. Remove them from the oven, and set them on a rack. Turn them out of the pan, and allow them to cool for about 15 minutes. Towards the end of the cooling time, make the glaze.

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

Drizzle the warm rolls with the warm glaze. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired.

Yield: 9 rolls.

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