This idea has floated around in my head since we’ve gotten our pumpkin butter at the market. It all begin with some Jelly Rolls this summer, and I’ve been fascinated with the concept of replacing the goey cinnamon sugar filling of typical cinnamon rolls with new and exciting flavors ever since.
Some may call it trickery. I promise you, this is quite a delightful surprise. A wonderful dish for a typical fall morning, a potluck, or Thanksgiving brunch. And if your kitchen gets as cold as mine, this weather is the perfect excuse to do a little baking!
Just a little mixing…and rising…and rolling…
Oh yeah, the most important part….and enjoying!
Pumpkin Butter “Cinnamon” Rolls
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup warm water 110 degrees F
1/2 cup (4 oz.) unsalted butter
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
4 cups flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons (2 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
1 jar pumpkin butter (16 oz.)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup chopped pecans, plus more for garnish (optional)
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Put sugar and warm water in mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast over the water and sugar. Let sit until doubled and foamy, about 10 minutes (or 15 if your kitchen is cold!).
While yeast activates, heat the milk with the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once butter is partly melted and milk is warm, remove from heat, stirring occasionally to finish melting the butter. In a large bowl, stir together flour and salt.
Add melted butter mixture to the yeast mixture with the dough hook on low speed. Add sugar and egg, mixing until combined. Add half of flour mixture, mixing and scraping down sides of bowl before adding remaining flour. Allow to knead for 7 minutes, then place on floured countertop and knead until it does not stick to your hands.
Oil a bowl and place kneaded dough into bowl. Toss to coat, then cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm place until double in size, about 45 to 70 minutes. (If your kitchen is cold, place a container of very hot water and the dough into a room temperature oven.)
Once doubled, transfer dough to floured counter. Roll out into a rectangle about 1/4 thick, about 14×19 (slightly larger than a standard half sheet baking pan). Smear softened butter over entire sheet of dough. Make the filling by mixing together pumpkin butter, brown sugar, and spice. Spread filling over the sheet and sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using.
Roll lenghtwise, then cut into rolls 1 1/2 inches long. I have better success with a serrated steak knife, although many sources recommend using dental floss (perhaps try cinnamon?).
Smear butter over a parchment-lined baking sheet, then sprinkle with additional brown sugar. This give the goey goodness to the pumpkin butter rolls. Place the sliced rolls evenly on the pan. Let rise, either gently covered in a warm place or with warm water in an unheated oven. Once doubled in size, preheat oven to 350 (after removing them if they’re in there!).
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly golden (and, if you have a thermometer, once the dough reaches 180 degrees). While baking, cream together the cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and mix to combine.
After removing from the oven, let cool about 5-10 minutes, until able to touch, but still very warm. Spread cream cheese toping over top and sprinkle with extra pecans (if using).