Soft, fluffy, and with a hint of fall, you will instantly fall in love with these overnight pumpkin cinnamon rolls topped with a maple cream cheese frosting. One won't be enough!
It never fails - in the middle of August, a certain crowd starts counting down the days until pumpkin spice and mum season is here. And by here I mean not even September 1st.
I am not one of those people. I am a hardcore "I won't decorate or celebrate anything or fall until October" kinda person. 🙅♀️ Heck, I am still trying to go to the pool at Thanksgiving. I am a warm weather and summer girl through and through and hang on to it as long as I can. I also don't like rushing seasons. Well. Expect winter. It can go on somewhere.
Nevertheless - I do love a good pumpkin baked good. I can't help it. So here we are. A brand new pumpkin recipe in September for all of my PSL fall-loving friends out there.
Overnight pumpkin cinnamon rolls are for YOU!
And gosh dang.....THEY ARE SO GOOD!
Cinnamon rolls can be kind of a labor-intensive recipe. There are multiple steps and they take a while thanks to make to multiple long rising times. It never fails that I crave cinnamon rolls on a Sunday morning but do not want to wait 5-6 hours to make and have them.
So anytime I think ahead, I ALWAYS make cinnamon rolls the night before. And freeze extras for that matter since there are only two of us. It saves so much time! We are making a broiche-type dough that has a lot of fat in it - resulting in a soft and tender dough, but also meaning the rise time may take longer.
By doing them overnight the hard work is done and all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge in the morning while you're making your coffee, let them do their last rise, bak - and you have delicious big fluffy cinnamon rolls for breakfast. It truly is a great baking hack!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Dough
- Instant Yeast
- Canned Pumpkin Puree
Ingredients for Filling
- Brown Sugar
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
Ingredients for Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream Cheese
- Powdered Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Heavy Cream
There are just a couple of things that will make this recipe slightly easier for you.
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Step By Step of How to Make
I have broken this done into FIVE steps. All include how to prep ahead and save yourself the most time and energy.
STEP ONE: Making the Dough & First Rise
- In a stand mixer with a dough hook, add the flour and the yeast. Mix just to incorporate slightly.
- In another bowl, add the milk. Place in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time until it is warmed to 100-110 degrees (use a kitchen thermometer to make sure it is no warmer than 110 degrees fahrenheit).
- In a large bowl, add the warmed milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until everything is combined.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the mixer, until everything is just mixed.
- Turn the mixer up to medium. While on, add the softened butter in 1 tablespoon chunks at a time. Let knead in the mixer for 5 minutes. The dough should be fully mixed and start to pull away from the walls of the bowl. It will be a slightly sticky dough when finished.
- Turn the mixer off and gently remove the dough onto a counter. Clean out the inside of the bowl and add 1-2 tablespoons of melted butter or neutral oil (like vegetable or canola). Use a paper towel to coat the entire bowl in the oil. Gently knead the dough and shape it into a smooth round ball. Place in the greased bowl, making sure to get the entire dough ball covered in some oil. Place a tea towel over the top and place it in a warm dry place for the first rise. Let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
STEP TWO: Make the Filling
- Leave out butter for the filling for a couple of hours until needed. It needs to be completely softened. Not melted, but easily spreadable and super soft. Leaving out on the counter for 4-24 hours will achieve this. This step is super important to be able to spread easily on the tender dough.
- In a small bowl, add the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Mix thoroughly. Set aside until needed.
STEP THREE: Prep the Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until completely smooth and no lumps remain.
- Add ½ cup of powdered sugar and maple syrup. Whip until combined.
- Add in another ½ cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon of cream and ½ cup more powdered sugar and mix again.
- Add in the vanilla and a pinch of salt and more cream that may be needed to loosen up the frosting; I used 2 tablespoons. Mix until the frosting is smooth and fluffy. I used 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar but 2 cups may be used if a slightly more sweet frosting is desired (more cream may be needed as well to get to that smooth spreadable consistency).
- Store in an air tonight container in the fridge until needed.
STEP FOUR: Shaping the Rolls & Overnight Prep
- Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it onto a lightly floured countertop. Lightly dust the whole dough ball in flour so as not to stick to the counter when rolling out.
- Using a rolling pin, gently roll the dough out into an even large rectangle, about 14"x21" and about ¼" inch thick in size. Use your hands to keep shaped into a rectangle with even edges as much as you can throughout the rolling process.
- Once rolled out, place dollops of the softened butter across the dough. Use an offset spatula to gently spread the butter in an even layer all the way across the rectangle and to the edges. Be gentle when spreading as to not break the dough (this is why very soft butter is needed here - if your butter is too hard it will not spread and you do not want to use melted butter either).
- After the butter is on, sprinkle the sugar mixture on top evenly. Gently press down with your hands making sure to stick to the butter as best as possible and that it is even across.
- Start the roll. On one of the long edge of the dough, start to fold over a tiny edge of the dough and press down firmly, starting the beginning of the roll. It is important at the beginning that you make sure the middle is tight and snug to start a good roll that won't be loose. Start at one end and work your way across. Keep rolling, making sure it is tight until the whole roll is finished. Gently pinch the edge of the roll to seal, and place the seal side down.
- Using unflavored dental floss, wrap the floss around your fingers and gently work the floss under the dough. Work your way about an inch in - slowly bring the floss up and together, then cross over to slice the cinnamon roll. Using dental floss gives you a clean gentle cut that keeps the rolls in a circle.
- Repeat this process, slicing 1" rolls all the way across.
- Place in a greased 9x13" baking pan. You should be able to fit 12 rolls in this pan. Make sure all the seams are facing the same way. The odd ends or extra pieces can be placed in a smaller baking dish.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours or overnight night until needed.
STEP FIVE: Second & Final Rise & Baking
- In the morning, remove the cinnamon rolls from the fridge and place them on the countertop to rise for the second and final time. Let rise for 1-2 hours or until almost doubled in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Once nearly doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap and place it in the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
- While warm, top each roll with the maple cream cheese frosting and gently spread the desired amount across. The warm rolls will help melt the frosting.
- Enjoy immediately hot and fresh!
With cinnamon rolls being a more time-consuming and complicated baking project, here are a few tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time OR save you more time and energy.
- Use dental floss to slice the rolls, not a knife. This is a very soft broiche-type dough. Once it's rolled if you were to use a knife to cut each roll out you run the risk of "smooshing" them resulting in an oval or disfigured roll. Using dental floss is one of the greatest cooking hacks of all time. It keeps the dough in its shape. It is gentle but effective enough to slice right through the dough giving you a perfect circle each time. Just wrap the floss around your fingers like you would if you were flossing, gently wiggle the floss under the roll, bring the floss straight up and meet together, and then pull in opposite directions slicing the roll. GENIUS!
- Use SOFT SOFT butter for the filling. The whole recipe calls for softened butter, but the butter for the filling needs to be especially soft. Leave it out on the counter overnight or for 24 hours (4-6 hours will achieve this too) to get the right consistency. You do not want it to be melted, but if you were to press your finger into the butter it would go right through easily. This will help you spread it evenly on the tender dough without breaking the dough for the filling.
- Use size not time for rising. Each kitchen has a different temperature and working environment, making writing exact baking recipes difficult sometimes to produce the same results from kitchen to kitchen. When you're doing each dough rise, I give you an approximate time it may take, but look for the dough to actually double in size rather than going off the exact time. It may take longer or shorter depending on the temp of your kitchen.
How to Freeze
If you want to make these in advance and just have them on hand for when the craving hits - you have the right ahead! I would actually do this often during 2020 quarantine. I would make a whole batch of cinnamon rolls but put them in smaller baking dishes that fit 6 rolls and froze them, and it works beautifully!
To freeze: make all the way up to storing in the fridge overnight. Instead, wrap air-tight in plastic wrap 3-4 times and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. When needed, remove and place in the fridge for overnight or up to 24 hours to thaw. Follow the recipe as directed for baking by then placing it on the counter at room temp to rise for a second time until doubled in size and bake as directed. The frosting can also be frozen separately for the same amount of time. Remove from the freezer and place in the fridge for 24 hours to thaw. Or make up to a week in advance and store in the fridge until needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Approximately 412 calories are in these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. But that will differ depending on how much icing you put on each roll.
Keep leftovers are stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. Pop in the microwave for 10-30 seconds to warm back up if desired.
You can make the frosting up to a week in advance and store it in the fridge until needed.
More Pumpkin Recipes
- Southern Pumpkin Pie
- Sous Vide Pumpkin Pie
- Soft Pumpkin Scones with a Maple Drizzle
- Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
- Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes
- Old Fashioned Pumpkin Loaf
- Super Soft Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
More Breakfast Recipes
- Tart Cherry Hand Pies
- Caramelized Onion and Spinach Quiche
- Bacon and Cheddar Quiche
- Protein French Toast
- Easy Cream Cheese Danish
- Kitchen Sink Breakfast Casserole
- Melt in Your Mouth Buttermilk Pancakes
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