Monday, October 6, 2014


It's been a few years since I last made any cinnamon rolls.  My dil Sara makes really good cinnamon rolls.  She has treated us and her family with cinnamon rolls on several of our visits with them.

Cinnamon Rolls are one of my husband's favorite. I saw a picture of these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at and decided I would give them a try.  My husband would be really happy and since the recipe would make 18, I could take most of them to Hillcrest Thrift Shop on Saturday when I was going to volunteer.

Because of the length of prep time to make cinnamon rolls, Sara always makes her cinnamon rolls the night before and then they are ready for breakfast the next morning. I decided to make them Friday night but just cook them 20 of the 30 minutes baking time. Saturday morning I cooked them the other 10 minutes and then iced them with the Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.That meant they were a little warm when I took them to the thrift shop.

The recipe was only supposed to make 18 rolls. I obviously didn't cut mine as thick as the recipe planned because I made about 32 rolls. Because I made that many, I decided to keep one pan of them for us. That pleased my husband.



1/4       cup warm water
2 - 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast or one 0.25 oz pkg.
3/4      cup evaporated milk
3/4      cup stevia or sugar
1          (15 oz) can pumpkin
3          tablespoons canola oil
1           egg, beaten
2          teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
5 - 7    cups flour


1/3       cup margarine
3/4      cup brown sugar
1/2       cup stevia or sugar
1           tablespoon cinnamon
2          teaspoons pumpkin pie spice


1          8 - oz pkg 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/2      cup margarine, softened
2         cups powdered sugar, sifted
1          teaspoon maple extract
1/2      teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl (I used the one with my mixer), combine the water and the yeast. Stir to dissolve. Add a pinch of the sugar.  Let set for 5 to 10 minutes or til yeast starts to bubble.

Stir in the milk, stevia, pumpkin, oil, egg, and pumpkin pie spice.

Add in 4 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue to add the flour a fourth of a cup at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the bowl. I needed to add about another 1 - 1/4 cups of flour.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. (I have a large yellow Tupperware bowl that I like to use when I knead dough like this.  I sprinkle a little flour on the bottom and the bowl keeps everything nice and tidy. I used my dough attachment to my mixer to add the flour and it really shortens kneading time.

I didn't even knead the dough 30 seconds.)

Grease a large mixing bowl to use to let the dough rise.  
Drop the ball of dough in the bowl and then flip it over.  This little coating of shortening on the dough will keep it from getting crusty or dry. 
Cover with a towel until it doubles in size about 1 - 1/2 hours.  

The really great thing about working with yeast dough is that if you need to let the dough riser longer than suggested time, it's okay. A test to see if the dough has risen enough is to stick your fingertip in the center.  
If the indention stays, the dough is ready.  If it starts to rise back up, let it set longer.

When it is ready, punch the dough down.  (I love this part!  It is so much fun to punch the dough down and have it "rise up" around your fist. Just call me weird.) Continue to punch it down until it has all deflated. Then work with the dough a little to make it smoother. Cut the dough in half.
On a lightly floured surface, work the dough into a "log" 
and with a rolling pin, roll it out to about 12 x 16 - inch rectangle. (Don't worry if it isn't exactly that size. Do try to make it 12 inches on one side though so that when you roll it up, you will make 3 or 4 complete rolls.)

Brush the melted margarine over the entire area.

Combine the brown sugar, stevia, and spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle entire amount evenly over the margarine.

Starting on one side, start rolling as tightly as you can until
you get to the other side.

Cut the rolls 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide. (As I said the recipe was supposed to only make 18 but I made 32 so I think I may have cut mine too narrow.)
Lay the rolls with the cut side down in a greased baking dish. (or up - whichever way you want to think about it)

I don't have a picture of it, but a tip I learned a number of years ago is to use dental floss to cut through the dough.  Bring the floss under the roll of dough and move to the distance you want to "cut" the rolls.  Then bring the floss up to the top and cross over the dough tightening the floss until it "cuts" the dough through into a roll. 

Cover the pans with a dish towel and wait for the rolls to double in size, about 45 minutes. 

Since I had three pans, I couldn't cook all of them at the same time.  I took the first pan that looked good to bake first. I just let the other two pans continue to rise. The rolls were supposed to cook for 30 minutes. I took them out after 20 minutes because I wanted them to be warm the next morning when I took them to the thrift shop.

I cooked the other two pans at the same time, also 20 minutes.

I allowed them to cool and then covered them with foil until the next morning.

The next morning I baked them the additional 10 minutes.

To make the frosting:

Beat together the cream cheese and margarine.  (I heated the cream cheese for about 30 seconds in the microwave to soften.)

Add the additional ingredients for the frosting and beat until light and creamy.

Frost the rolls.

All the rolls I made.

Oops!  Well, almost all the rolls I made.  I told you cinnamon rolls were a favorite of my husband.  He couldn't wait. 

Next time I will make the rolls a little thicker. Because of the pumpkin, these rolls are denser than cinnamon rolls. You can compare them with cake donuts. Cake donuts have a different texture than glazed donuts.  Some people prefer cake donuts (my husband does).

Either way, the people (volunteers) at the thrift shop thought they were perfect. (And my husband enjoyed the pan I kept at home.)  

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