Overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf

Overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf

I’ve been sitting on this cinnamon roll recipe for far too long. Since April or May, I think. And I’m just now getting around to sharing it with you, which I think speaks volumes about my dedication to this space (oops/yikes/sorry).

Given the fact I thought I had perfected this recipe way back when, you could say my ego was a little big when I started photographing the development before actually retesting it. In my defense, I went through a number of cinnamon roll trials months prior and I wasn’t going to waste time or ingredients on even more testing when I was certain I had the magic combination written in my notebook. But what do you know? The Universe decided to humble the shit out of me by making sure those cinnamon rolls did not turn out. And when I anxiously pulled the pan from the oven, I let out a heavy sigh when I realized they were separating from their tightly wound innards. This should not happen. Cinnamon rolls should always be fat and sticky and there should be absolutely no crevices in them. None. And should you stumble upon a recipe with aforementioned crevices, you should avoid it like the plague. You should also avoid recipes that promise a magic start-to-finish shortcut because nothing good comes out of a half-assed cinnamon roll making process except.. half-ass cinnamon rolls.

Let that dough rise, yo.

Pumpkin pureeCalifia FarmsPumpkin spice cinnamon rolls in the makingDough on the riseOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf

I sat on the couch that afternoon, in the midst of cleaning the house and critically analyzing my song choice for a Best of The National playlist (if you have a favorite NTNL song, please leave it in the comments), trying to figure out where the recipe went astray. There was a pot of orange vegetable soup (squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.) bubbling on the stove and a half eaten jar of unsweetened applesauce sitting on the bookshelf. Four different scented candles burning in the living room and a pile of particulate waste waiting to be swept off the floor. There were mismatched socks, pajama pants that were so old they no longer fit, and hair that hadn’t been washed in two days. This is what recipe development looks like over here, folks. And I regret to inform you that it’s nothing short of a disaster.

After looking at the recipe and comparing the steps, I was at a loss and decided the redevelopment would have to wait. So I got up and grabbed the warm loaf with my bare hands and threw it into the garbage. As it slipped from my fingers, the heavy bottom began to stretch and that’s when I realized: it’s not the recipe. IT’S NOT THE RECIPE. IT’S NOT THE MOTHERFUCKING RECIPE! The loaf was underbaked. And so I did a victory slide across the floor in those mismatched socks (one of which I’m pretty sure I pulled from the dirty laundry because that’s what happens when it’s 5AM and your feet are cold and you can’t find the match to the sock you had on when you fell asleep) and then I cleaned up the house, got out of my pajamas, and went on a trail run with one of the most kind and generous and hilarious human beings I’ve ever known.

When I got back from running off my frustration, I remade the cinnamon rolls, stuck them in the fridge, and when they turned out perfectly the next day, I biked two thick slices over to her house because that’s what you do for good people who take care of you – you take care of them, too. Or you, at the very least, tell them thanks with what her significant other said was “Cinnabon x20”. I decided it’s the highest of cinnamon roll compliments considering you can’t go into many shopping centers without encountering a Cinnabon. So there’s that. And here’s a recipe for what might be the most delicious cinnamon rolls to come out of my kitchen.

Happy almost-end-of-the-week, you guys.

Overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf (take 2)Overnight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loafOvernight pumpkin spice cinnamon roll loaf

Notes: If you want to use spelt or whole wheat flour, knock yourself out. But take note that they’ll be a bit chewier than the kind made with the all purpose variety. Feel free to swap the pumpkin puree with the sweet potato variety, or the sucanat with brown sugar. Due to the amount of sweetener in the creamer, I’ve reduced the sugar measurement in the rolls to 1/3 cup, but if you want to use unsweetened almondmilk (which I had success with) (both varieties are pictured here and you can’t tell the difference, can ya?), increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. If you don’t want to make these rolls in a loaf pan, you can make traditional overnight cinnamon rolls in a square baking pan. Just skip the flattening step and cut the rolls into 9 even pieces. If you want some really unhealthy French toast, slice the loaf into 2″ thick slices and pan-fry away. Oh, and the swirly innards.

This post is sponsored by Califia Farms. All opinions are my own, and I think Califia rules.


2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water, 105-108˚F
1/4 cup refined coconut oil
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup Califia Farms original almondmilk creamer
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 3/4 cups unbleached flour, divided

1/2 cup sucanat
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted

1 1/2 cups powdered cane sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons Califia Farms unsweetened almondmilk

Lightly oil a large mixing bowl; set aside. Add the water to a small bowl and gently stir in the yeast; add pinch of sugar and set aside until foamy (15-20 minutes). In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the oil then stir in the sugar and pumpkin puree just until warm; about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the creamer then let cool for 15 minutes. Add the salt and 3 1/2 cups of flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment; mix for 5-10 seconds. Pour in the pumpkin and yeast mixtures and mix on medium-high speed, scraping down the sides as needed. If the dough is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl after the flour has been incorporated, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, as needed in 1 tablespoon increments, until the dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Continue mixing on medium speed for 4-5 minutes then remove dough from bowl and knead with your hands for 1 minute. Transfer the dough to the prepared mixing bowl, cover with plastic, and store in a warm part of your house for 90 minutes, or until doubled (if there isn’t a warm place in your house, heat the oven and set the bowl next to it).

Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper then lightly spray with oil; set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the sucanat, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough out into a 22×16 rectangle. Use a pastry brush (or the back of a spoon) to apply the coconut oil then sprinkle with sugar mixture. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a log then press it firmly with your hands to flatten it out (it should measure roughly 22×4 – if it doesn’t continue pressing or rolling with your rolling pin until it is). Cut into segments about 3″ wide then line in loaf pan. Cover pan with plastic and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature then place in fridge to chill overnight (or you could bake them at 350˚F for just over 30 minutes).

The next morning, when you’re ready to bake the rolls, bring a pot of water to a boil. Place a baking sheet (or shallow baking pan) on the bottom rack in your oven and fill it 3/4 full with the boiling water. Remove cinnamon rolls from the fridge, remove the plastic, then place them in the oven, on the rack above the boiling water. Close the door and set a timer for 40 minutes. This step is necessary and will not only help the cinnamon rolls to rise, but will help to liquify the coconut oil before baking.

After 40 minutes, remove the pan of water and the cinnamon rolls. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush the tops of the cinnamon rolls with the almondmilk (if desired) then bake at 350˚F for 32-34 minutes, or until golden. Remove loaf (along with the paper) from pan and set on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour.

While the rolls are cooling, prepare the icing by stirring together the sugar, cinnamon, and almondmilk. Drizzle over cooled cinnamon rolls and serve. You can store the cinnamon rolls in an air tight container for up to three days.

Yield: 6 thick or 12 thin slices


  • Reply Clara 30 October 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Hi from Amsterdam!!
    As I read, I write down a list of ingredients. This will be my project tomorrow afternoon, so that on Saturday morning I can have them for breakfast! Thank you Ashlae, just in case you don’t know, you rock!

  • Reply Rachel 30 October 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Love cinnamon rolls and love the National =) I’m a sucker for Slow Show – it makes me melt. Pretty in Pink would make a “best of” playlist too though, and what a playlist it would be! I saw them live last fall and it was amazing.

  • Reply Maja 30 October 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Looks too good!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 30 October 2014 at 9:08 AM

    cinnamon roll LOAF?? WOO HOO! This looks delicious!

  • Reply Lauren @ Kale and Cookie Dough 30 October 2014 at 9:11 AM

    First off I had no clue there was almond milk creamer! I need to find that. And second, this looks way too good! I think this will be a pre-thanksgiving treat to bring up for breakfast. I can’t wait to try thanks for the great recipe!

  • Reply Valerie | Pursuit of Sweetness 30 October 2014 at 9:37 AM

    OMGGGGGGGG I’m hyperventilating from excitement. Beautiful. Fluffy. Genius. Need. Now. (P.S. I also love Califia products!)

  • Reply Medha @ Whisk & Shout 30 October 2014 at 10:24 AM

    This looks awesome! Such a great idea and sooo beautiful :)

  • Reply Elisabeth 30 October 2014 at 11:47 AM

    Firstly, this looks fantastic. Second, “About Today” by The National never gets the love it deserves. One of my favorites, for sure.

  • Reply dana 30 October 2014 at 1:17 PM

    This looks INCREDIBLE! Gorgeous photos friend! I’ve yet to try Califia but I’ll have to give it a go!

  • Reply Marie O. 30 October 2014 at 2:06 PM

    You are the best. That is all.

  • Reply Elizabeth Jarrard 30 October 2014 at 2:26 PM

    these rolls were outta control. outta this world. utterly delicious. You are the bestest!

  • Reply Nicole 30 October 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Beautiful photography and delicious looking recipe (per usual). Definitely have had the “s!@#$ this recipe didn’t turn out!” moment too. It’s nice to know it’s not just me :) Then again, at least yours was just an undercooked problem! Sometimes, my recipe creations go…seriously awry. Very frustrating.

  • Reply Kate 30 October 2014 at 4:10 PM

    This looks ridic.

    Equally ridic: picking a favorite NTNL jam. I think I’ve got to go with Geese of Beverly Road, although This is the Last Time really does things to me. Have you seen their Tiny Desk concert? It’s perfect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdFCD3oXMZo

    • Reply Ashlae 31 October 2014 at 8:10 AM

      Hi Kate –

      I have! I watch it on a quite frequent basis. Still (rather impatiently) waiting for the day I can see them live.

  • Reply Naomi 30 October 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Holy wow. I’m making these this weekend. Nicely done, lady.

    ‘About Today’ and ‘Fake Empire’ definitely top favorites.

  • Reply jenna @ just j.faye 30 October 2014 at 6:36 PM

    This loaf is absolutely beautiful!

  • Reply Abby 30 October 2014 at 10:18 PM

    just beautiful! love, love this! <3

  • Reply Amanda J. 30 October 2014 at 10:51 PM

    It’s impossible to pick a favorite song from The National but All the Wine and Graceless are definitely the top two, followed by pretty much every song from Boxer and Alligator.

    As for these cinnamon rolls, I think I just found Thanksgiving breakfast. If I’m making them for a small crowd, would it be possible to double or triple the recipe? I’ll actually be visiting family in Denver during the holiday so if you’re around I would love to meet up for coffee at one of your favorite spots.

    • Reply Ashlae 31 October 2014 at 8:09 AM

      Hi Amanda –

      Both are on the list. :) Trouble Will Find You might be my favorite album of theirs, yet.

      Unfortunately I’ll be out of the country in November but my guide to Denver should steer you in the right direction. Bardo and Steam are favorites for coffee! Enjoy the city and the cinnamon rolls.

  • Reply Friday Links: 10.31.2014 – i am a food blog 31 October 2014 at 1:10 AM

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  • Reply Millie |Add A Little 31 October 2014 at 1:14 AM

    This looks so ridiculously delicious and OMG you could make cinnamon roll loaf french toast!!!!!!!!

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  • Reply Ana @ Ana's Rocket Ship 31 October 2014 at 7:41 AM

    My oh my- a sliceable cinnamon roll?!?!?!?!?!?!? Pass me the cinnamon NOW!

  • Reply Cathy 31 October 2014 at 9:21 AM

    this is GENIUS!

  • Reply Friday Five No 12 from The Dahlia Scene 31 October 2014 at 9:52 AM

    […] the day after Thanksgiving or hell even a dessert for dinner. You’ve got to check out this Overnight Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Loaf. Tell Ashlae all about it too. This wouldn’t be the first thing I’ve made from Oh […]

  • Reply cynthia 31 October 2014 at 12:03 PM

    I LOVE these. And for some reason, getting such a kick out of their stretched out faces in the loaf pan — so much funnier/quainter than cinnamon rolls in a baking dish. These look delicious. Amazing, Ashlae <3

  • Reply Tessa | Salted Plains 31 October 2014 at 12:58 PM

    These look awesome. Beautiful photos! After much debate (so hard to choose!), I’ve got to go with Slow Show.

  • Reply Gemma 31 October 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Luckily you found the reason of your little baking failure…it frustates me so much when my bakes come out of the oven and they don’t look as good as I expected! And what really pinches my nerves is when I don’t know what I did wrong. :-S Messy kitchen, dirty sticky hands, dirty apron…all for nothing! So I imagine how happy you were when you found out what happened to your loaf.
    This loaf screams autumn and deliciousness! Looks so delicious and perfect! <3


  • Reply Abbie @ Needs Salt 31 October 2014 at 1:17 PM

    Haha. Love that thought about the half-assed cinnamon rolls. So true – patience is the key to life. Or at least awesome cinnamon rolls. This loaf looks PHENOM. And your couch is dreamy.

  • Reply Simone 31 October 2014 at 1:50 PM

    Ashlae, these are fricken GORGEOUS!! Honestly, cannot wait to make. You’re a genius! haha. xo

  • Reply Hope 31 October 2014 at 4:55 PM

    Oh wow. This looks and sounds delicious. Nothing more to do but to try these over the weekend. Thanks for sharing, beautiful photos too. x

  • Reply lynette 31 October 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Can this be made with gluten free flour??

    • Reply Ashlae 1 November 2014 at 7:07 AM

      Hi Lynette –

      Unfortunately I haven’t tried it, but I don’t think they would turn out so great. Sorry!

  • Reply Stacey Kay 1 November 2014 at 1:00 AM

    Fantastic recipe!

    Okay, so absolutely, no question: Slow Show is the National’s best song and possibly my favorite song of all time.

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  • Reply Aunna 1 November 2014 at 11:13 AM

    YUMMMMMMM! Oh my goodness, this looks amazing. Each fall season, I look for a new pumpkin recipe to try, and THIS IS IT for 2014! Thank you!

  • Reply Rahel 1 November 2014 at 2:06 PM

    mmmmhm. yumyumyum! i am now going to frantically search the kitchen for that can of pumpkin puree i am sure i have SOMEWHERE ;) and concerning the national songs, ‘green gloves’ has always been my absolute favorite!

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  • Reply ATasteOfMadness 2 November 2014 at 7:03 PM

    What an amazing idea! I love this!

  • Reply Joyti 4 November 2014 at 9:21 AM

    1. The rolls look amazing! I need some pumpkin puree asap.

    2. A favorite ‘The National’ song? Just one? I love ‘Afraid of Everyone’ lyrically, and ‘I Need My Girl’ always gives me chills – it’s magical.

  • Reply Chanel 4 November 2014 at 9:45 AM

    As someone who is allergic to pumpkins (YEAH I KNOW!!) if I wanted to remove the pumpkin from this recipe would it change the integrity of it? Please say no because this looks ABSOLUTELY delish!!

    • Reply Ashlae 4 November 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Hi Chanel –

      If leaving out the pumpkin, up the almondmilk to one full cup. Enjoy!

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  • Reply molly yeh 6 November 2014 at 7:09 AM

    it looks like a cartoon loaf!!!! i am so obsessed. “i need my girl” is my current favorite national song. and is it bad that your definition of what a disaster looks like is my definition of daily life? AHHHH.

  • Reply Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño 6 November 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Oh my, this is so gorgeous—what stunning photos! This is definitely going on my Christmas list.

  • Reply Heidi - Apples Under My Bed 6 November 2014 at 3:21 PM

    Presently? I Should Live In Salt. Also, I should live with these cinnamon rolls. Thank you x

  • Reply Sherrie | With Food + Love 8 November 2014 at 5:41 PM

    That Califia creamer is going to change my life.
    This pumpkin roll loaf is what dreams are made of, whoa now.
    xo sherrie

  • Reply Heather 8 November 2014 at 10:45 PM

    Yes to unwashed hair! Yes to mismatched socks! Yes to cinnamon rolls! Everything about this is great – especially the discovery that your motherfucking recipe didn’t let you down and the victory slide across the floor.

    Amen, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, amen.

  • Reply Emilie 9 November 2014 at 4:06 PM

    This looks absolutely heavenly!!! I cannot wait to try out the recipe :-)

  • Reply Roy Hansen 9 November 2014 at 7:37 PM

    Ah, so I have a confession here. I like to think I can be like Emil or another super awesome chef like I see on TV and somehow, this vision of perfection that I believe my culinary genius must epitomize… just never really pans out like I imagine. I do try very hard, and I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t improved, but I have to really hand it to my wife who has eaten up every concoction with what I still think must be love written on her face. It was either that, or her trying very hard not to run to the bathroom to rid herself of a mouthful of Roy Ridiculousness. Anyway, the morning I decided to tackle this I had managed to sneak to the store for ingredients and kept them away from her as a surprise yet to come. I bought a yellow, red, white and pretty sunset looking rose to go on the platter I intended to serve this with, for breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning. The coffee was fresh ground, the ingredients were mixed and the loaf was baking and the smell was amazing. The roses were laid on the platter perfectly and my missus was still asleep. Perfect right? Nope…. I have no idea where I went wrong precisely, only that my version of this came out more like oatmeal than rolls. Panicked, I added more flour to it, poured it into muffin cups and tried again. Somehow it was salvaged, and still tasted divine. I have you to thank for that, mismatched socks and all. It made for a great Sunday morning.

  • Reply Ellen 9 November 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Hi, this looks fantastic! I was wondering though, do you think I could use something other than coconut oil?

    • Reply Ashlae 10 November 2014 at 2:14 PM

      Hi Ellen –

      Any neutral flavored oil will work in the actual dough, but for the filling the only thing you can use in place of the coconut oil would be vegan butter (or regular butter, if you eat dairy).

  • Reply kristie {birch and wild} 10 November 2014 at 8:12 PM

    Did you improve upon cinnamon buns?! Damn, this looks so good.

  • Reply cate 11 November 2014 at 6:12 PM

    I just came across your blog via A House in the Hills. Thanks for posting such delicious, vegan, pretty-darn-healthy-for-being-mostly-desserts recipes! As a fellow Denverite, I quite enjoy seeing your pics from around town too:)

  • Reply Five on Friday | Versatile-Vegan 14 November 2014 at 10:52 PM

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  • Reply Monika 16 November 2014 at 9:37 AM

    Just made these this morning and they are truly delicious! They turned out perfect, and I had no problems at all with any step of the recipe. When the dough came out of the stand mixer, it was velvety soft and wonderful to knead. LOVED the texture of the dough. Somehow, I was out of canned pumpkin so had to resort to fresh (thankfully I still had one pumpkin left from Halloween), and things still turned out perfect. My husband and I have recently become vegetarian, but I like to incorporate vegan recipes where I can, and was intrigued to try this recipe. So glad I did as its truly wonderful, for vegan and non-vegan’s alike! Now if only I could stop myself from eating it all! :-) Thank you for this great recipe from beautiful Prince Edward County in Ontario Canada!

  • Reply becca 16 November 2014 at 12:37 PM

    can you use a regular hand mixer to achieve the dough??

    • Reply Ashlae 16 November 2014 at 4:29 PM

      Hi Becca –

      Unfortunately you cannot but you can use your hands. Be prepared for one helluva workout!

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  • Reply Sylvia 9 October 2015 at 2:12 AM

    Oh yes, this is absolutely amazing!!
    I linked this recipe on my blog, it’s the kind of cinnamon rolls of my dreams ♥

  • Reply Léonie 10 October 2016 at 8:43 AM

    They rised perfectly the two first time before I put them in the fridge for the night. They were so big and healthy, but when I woke up in the morning, the dough had deflated… And when I put them in the oven with the boiled water, they didnt rise again at all… why? Now they are baking in the oven, I hope they will rise a bit more and they will still taste like heaven ;))

    • Reply Ashlae 10 October 2016 at 8:45 AM

      He Leonie –

      Hmm, I’m not sure but it sounds like it may be an issue with your yeast.

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