Cinnamon rolls are one of my preferred sweet vices – their warm, gooey centers and perfectly melting glaze or frosting are impossible for me to resist, especially when the rolls in question are pumpkin-flavored (I love using Bon Appétit‘s recipe by Molly Wizenberg, which I’ve adapted below to feature this seasonal spin). Paired with a Martha Stewart Brown Sugar Glaze, it’s hard to hold back from eating more than one of these rolled sweets when they’re hot out of the oven.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
1 cup whole milk
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ canned pumpkin puree
3½ cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
2¼ tsp rapid-rise yeast (from 2 envelopes yeast)
1 tsp salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 Tbsp unsalted butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp salt
Combine milk, butter, and pumpkin in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment.
Add 1-cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2-1/2 cups flour and spices. Beat on low until dry ingredients are absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Punch down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15x11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over butter.
Starting at 1 long side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, cut dough crosswise with thin sharp knife into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes (I like mine slightly underdone, and extra gooey!). Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.
Heat butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add cream, vanilla, and salt, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool until thickened. Immediately glaze cinnamon rolls.