These easy and yummy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Boiled Caramel Icing are incredibly light and fluffy and extra delicious, thanks to the canned pumpkin puree in the dough. These rolls would be delicious just as they are, but the boiled caramel icing takes them to the next level!
Between the fluffiness of the rolls and the amazing boiled caramel icing, these truly are the best Pumpkin Cinnamon Caramel Rolls I’ve yet to eat. While the rolls bake, you’ll cook up the simple icing, then smother it all over the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven. Mmmm! Can you taste them already?
These scrumptious pumpkin rolls are wonderful for relaxed autumn brunches, after-school snacks, cozy evening desserts – in fact, I can’t really think of an occasion when they wouldn’t be perfect! Just make sure you serve these yummy rolls with a few extra napkins. And finger-licking is definitely allowed!
Using a stand mixer for kneading the dough means these Pumpkin Cinnamon Caramel rolls come together with minimal effort. No stand mixer? No worries: you can knead the dough by hand, you’ll just need to add a little extra flour to make the dough easier to work with.
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Tips for making the best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Boiled Caramel Icing
- Make sure your milk is warm, but not hot. You could get all fancy and use a kitchen thermometer, but I keep it simple for this recipe and just test it with my finger tip – nice and warm, but not hot. Starting with warm milk will give the yeast a little boost, but too hot will kill it.
- If your kitchen is on the cool side, you may find that you dough rises slower than it should. Find the warmest spot in your kitchen (some people like to stick their dough on the top of the fridge), or be like me and stick your dough in the microwave. As long as your pan will fit, this seems to be the ideal place to let that dough do it’s magic!
- Bread flour will give you the best results. True, bread flour is a little more spendy than regular all-purpose flour, but when you are making any kind of a yeast dough, it’s definitely worth it to invest a little bit more into purchasing bread flour because the results will be that much better. However, if you are absolutely craving Pumpkin Cinnamon Caramel Rolls right.now, then you can use regular flour in a pinch. And the rolls will still be yummy. (Here’s a helpful article that explains more about the differences between various types of flour).
- When working with the dough (kneading, rolling) use just enough flour to make the dough workable. Adding too much flour can result in a tough dough. Add flour in small amounts (a tablespoon at a time).
- Timing is everything. Read through the recipe carefully and follow the timing guide closely. You want your rolls to rise enough, but if you forget about them for hours, they will overrise and then fall flat, resulting in less than stellar results (yes, I have learned this the hard way). Also, it’s important that the hot boiled caramel icing is spread on the rolls as soon as you pop them out of the oven so that the icing can ooze with all it’s melty goodness into the pumpkin rolls’ crevices! ! Mmmmm!
The Best Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Boiled Caramel Icing
These easy and yummy Pumpkin Caramel Rolls are incredibly light and fluffy. They would be yummy just as they are, but the boiled caramel icing takes them to the next level!
- 1/3 cup milk
- ¼ cup butter divided
- 2 TBLS granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup pure canned pumpkin not pie filling
- 2 cups bread flour plus more for kneading and rolling
- 1 TBLS instant yeast
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
Boiled Caramel Icing
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 TBLS milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Flake salt optional
For the Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
In a small, heat proof measuring cup, combine the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds or just until the milk is warm to the touch and the butter begins to melt.
Pour the warm milk and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the granulated sugar, salt, egg, and pumpkin and whisk together on medium speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
Next, add the bread flour to the pumpkin mixture and sprinkle in the instant yeast. Switch the attachment to the dough hook, and knead the dough for five minutes, using a spatula to scrape the sides as needed. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand instead, but you will need to add a little extra flour, one tablespoon at a time, as the dough will be very sticky and may be difficult to knead by hand).
Spray a medium sized bowl with cooking spray. Rub a little flour on your hands (the dough will be sticky), and then move the dough from the mixer to the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise (I like to stick mine inside my microwave oven). Let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, let the 2 remaining tablespoons of butter soften at room temperature in a small dish. In a separate small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and set aside. Prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
When the dough has risen and doubled in size, sprinkle your clean work surface with a few tablespoons of flour. Punch the dough down and then transfer to your floured work surface. Sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough, and then knead it for 5 or 6 turns until it forms a smooth ball that is no longer sticky. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 14×10 inch rectangle.
Using a pastry brush or butter knife, spread the soft butter over the dough all the way to the edges.
Next, sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture over the dough, leaving about a ¼ inch space around the edges.
Beginning at the long end, roll the dough up like a jelly roll. Roll the ends under and give them a pinch to seal the edges. Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into twelve pieces.
Place the individual rolls into the prepared pan. Let the rolls rise for 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size. (If the pan will fit in your microwave, great, otherwise choose another warm spot in your kitchen).
When the rolls are close to completing their rising time, heat your oven to 350°. Place the baking pan into the hot oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the rolls are golden on top and sound hollow when tapped.
For the Boiled Caramel Icing
Meanwhile, when the rolls have about 10 minutes of baking time left, prepare the boiled caramel icing. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, combine the butter, brown sugar, and milk and whisk constantly over medium high heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
Cook for one minute more, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.
As soon as the rolls are done baking, remove them from the oven and immediately pour the warm icing over top of the rolls, using a spatula to spread the icing evenly. If desired, sprinkle with flake salt (this is completely optional, but yummy if you are a fan of salted caramel goodies!).
Pour a cup of coffee, grab a stash of napkins, and enjoy!
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are deliciously gooey served warm and can be eaten right away. They will also keep nicely until the next day (if you can resist devouring them that for that long!). Eat them as is, or warm them in the microwave for a few seconds.
You can substitute regular all-purpose flour in this recipe, but you may need to slightly increase the rising time. For the softest, fluffiest rolls I highly recommend using bread flour if at all possible.
Many thanks to my sister-in-law, Linda, for the inspiration for this delicious recipe!
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