Pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls

Pumpkin spice cinnamon roll

I gave my old pumpkin spice cinnamon roll recipe a face lift. It totally needed it. I wrote the recipe two years ago and a lot has changed since then. For instance, being a better baker. And also learning that the simpler the recipe, the better. No one likes having to go out to pick up agave nectar because some amateur baker thought two tablespoons of it was going to make a difference in a recipe. But I guess that also comes with the territory of being a better baker. So basically, the only thing that’s changed is that I’ve become more skilled at my craft, and as a result the recipe got a much needed face lift that I think your belly will appreciate. Geesh, that was a lot of words for one simple thought.

I’m going to give you one warning, though – these cinnamon rolls are addictive. A D D I C T I V E. If you’re trying shed the pounds you put on during Oktoberfest, you probably shouldn’t make them. Then again, if you’re seriously trying lose weight, you probably shouldn’t be reading food blogs. Because trust me, nothing will make you feel worse than looking at photos of the things you can’t eat. I follow this one blog that’s dedicated to bread making, and every time I see a new post I die a little inside. Then usually end up crying in my big bowl of gluten-free breakfast because I get so down about the fact that I can’t have bread. Which, up until a couple of months ago, used to be my favorite food.

Pumpkin spice cinnamon roll with cream cheese icing

I bake these cinnamon rolls in a jumbo sized muffin pan becuase I love the look of a perfectly round cinnamon roll. If you’d prefer to bake them in a cake pan, they’ll need to bake for about 5-10 minutes longer (you should also cut the dough into nine pieces instead of twelve). But if you’re one of those people who’ll fight to the death for one of the cinnamon rolls with the golden edges, you had better do yourself a favor and bake these in a muffin pan. And if for some reason you live in Antarctica and can’t get your hands on a pumpkin and it’s puree, you could substitute sweet potato puree for the pumpkin puree – which I do every other time of the year. But if you live in Antarctica, you probably don’t have that, either.


2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1-2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
3-4 tbsp cane sugar
1 tbsp almond milk
1/2 vanilla bean
, split and scraped

In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water; sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until foamy. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter starts to bubble, stir in the milk, sugar and pumpkin puree. Stir for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat; the mixture should not have gotten too hot, but let it cool for 10-15 minutes.
Lightly coat a large mixing bowl with oil; set aside. Once the pumpkin mixture has cooled, stir in the pumpkin pie spice, salt and yeast mixture; set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, mix the salt and flours, on medium speed, until combined. Slowly pour in the wet mixture and continue mixing on medium speed, scraping down the sides as needed. Let the mixer do it’s job for about five minutes; if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour one tablespoon at a time. Place the kneaded dough into the prepared mixing bowl, cover with a damp towel and store in a warm place, to rise, for 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Lightly oil a 12 cup jumbo muffin pan; set aside. Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Roll the dough into a 9×15 inch rectangle then layer the dough with the filling; first the butter, followed by the sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. Starting on the long side, tightly roll the dough into a log. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into twelve pieces (or use this method, which I prefer). Place the rolls into the prepared pan then cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 375˚F for 15-16 minutes then immideately transfer to a cooling rack. While the rolls are cooling, make the icing by whisking together the cream cheese, sugar, milk and vanilla bean. Ice the cinnamon rolls when ready to eat.
Yield: 12 rolls


  • Reply Carrie 4 October 2011 at 3:29 PM

    Those look SO good!

  • Reply coldandsleepy 4 October 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I think I got fatter just looking at these, and I don’t regret it for a second. Thanks for sharing your improved recipe!

  • Reply Fanny 4 October 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Oh my god those are so PRETTY!!!!!

  • Reply Jeni Treehugger 4 October 2011 at 3:48 PM

    They are PERFECT!! Well done you.
    Now….gi’s one.

  • Reply Hally 4 October 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Woah. Those are blowing my mind they look so delicious! Nicely done!

  • Reply thejollyfox 4 October 2011 at 4:23 PM

    These look awesome! Can’t wait to try them. I have been vegan for years and have yet to make or eat a vegan cinnamon roll. Now that you posted this recipe….it’s time! Why can’t you ever eat bread again?

  • Reply MeShell 4 October 2011 at 5:03 PM

    These look amazing!

  • Reply Kristen 4 October 2011 at 6:49 PM

    these look great!

  • Reply josephine 4 October 2011 at 7:43 PM

    i need these in my life ;) they look amazing and the photos are great!

  • Reply vegan.in.brighton 4 October 2011 at 9:22 PM

    Wow those look amazing!

  • Reply veganefreude 4 October 2011 at 10:09 PM

    amazing! But can you tell me what spices are in pumpkin spice? We don’t have something like that in Germany *sad*

  • Reply veganefreude 4 October 2011 at 10:10 PM

    You are a mind reader! I have never seen a recipe for this before and there it is :) Thanks and excuse my question—

  • Reply Alicia 4 October 2011 at 11:16 PM

    Oh man. These look absolutely gorgeous I can only imagine how they must taste! Sadly I do not have a jumbo muffin pan (I know, what!?). I need to get my hands on one soon so I can whip some of these up.

  • Reply kalie 4 October 2011 at 11:51 PM

    looks so good too dad i cant have dairy anymore or gluten :(

  • Reply omgoshimvegan 5 October 2011 at 12:40 AM

    These look amazing. Can’t wait to try and make them.

  • Reply Bagheera Yoga 5 October 2011 at 12:46 AM

    Wow these look amazing. thanks for posting the recipe.

  • Reply VeggieAmanda 5 October 2011 at 2:00 AM

    This looks like heaven! Any chance you have tried this recipe GF? I sympathize with you…I’ve shed many tears over never being able to have a normal vegan piece of pizza again! Or a delicious slice of Italian bread. :-(

  • Reply The Saucy Coconut 5 October 2011 at 3:06 AM

    Those look amazing! And using sweet potatoes in place of pumpkin – genius.

  • Reply corrinadarling 5 October 2011 at 3:36 AM

    put them in a muffin pan! it’s genius! i can usually get most of my rolls to look pretty, but there are always a few errant rolls that look malformed. no longer!

  • Reply genevieve 5 October 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Picture perfect much? My goodness, do theses look good!

  • Reply Wander On./JcRR 5 October 2011 at 5:30 AM

    That’s a great f–king(forking)fork!

  • Reply Heather @ Better With Veggies 5 October 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Yum – these look delicious, gorgeous presentation!

  • Reply xvavaveganx 5 October 2011 at 2:07 PM

    Yum these sound delicious! Gorgeous pics too!

  • Reply Jenny 5 October 2011 at 2:18 PM

    Funny – I know what you’re saying! – “If you’re trying shed the pounds you put on during Oktoberfest, you probably shouldn’t make them. Then again, if you’re seriously trying lose weight, you probably shouldn’t be reading food blogs.”

    I always think cinnamon rolls look the best out of anything ever. And I don’t think I’ve ever made them. I’m printing off your recipe and then maybe I’ll only eat one…maybe.

  • Reply Joy 5 October 2011 at 3:40 PM

    OMG. I hope I can make the time to do some baking soon because my mouth is watering and I REALLY want these!

  • Reply Babette 5 October 2011 at 9:04 PM

    I’m bookmarking this. Looks so good!

  • Reply thevegankook 5 October 2011 at 10:49 PM

    Your photos are amazing! I’m definitely putting these on my things to bake list :)

  • Reply Caz 6 October 2011 at 2:45 AM

    i make some damn good cinnamon rolls, but adding pumpkin! sounds divine! can’t wait to give these a try.

  • Reply Kathy 6 October 2011 at 12:21 PM

    These look awesome!

  • Reply kohlrabiandquince 7 October 2011 at 6:42 PM

    These look fantastic. I’m making them this weekend, at camp, in my little Dutch oven. I can’t wait.

  • Reply Lindsay 10 October 2011 at 3:39 PM

    These sound fantastic! Yum!

  • Reply Ashley 12 October 2011 at 2:39 PM

    OH my word. These are so pretty and perfect looking. How in the world did you do it? :)

  • Reply lulufisk 7 November 2011 at 7:30 PM

    I’ve just tried making up a batch of these and they were pretty good! not exceedingly pumpkiny (I live in the UK where tinned pumpkin is a rarity and I think I would have saved my pumpkin for something really pumpkiny)


  • Reply Ashlae 7 November 2011 at 8:51 PM

    @lulufisk: I’m sorry to hear that! Yours also don’t look very orange – I wonder if your canned pumpkin is different than in the States? Because canned pumpkin is so inconsistent, I use fresh pumpkin puree for all of my pumpkin desserts.

  • Reply vanilla bean blog 25 October 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Oh, dear Ashlae. These look amazing. And you made me laugh 3 times out loud.

  • Reply livingthesweetlifeblog 25 October 2012 at 2:15 PM

    I think I’m drooling a little, over how delicious these look!! YUUUUMMMM … sunday breakfast has just been decided – thanks :)

  • Reply Shannon 24 December 2013 at 10:48 AM

    I’m making these tonight to bake them in the morning! No worries if you aren’t able to respond before then but do you think I could substitute olive oil for the butter (or some other fat)? I’m at my parents’ non-vegan place and trying to not pick up too many extra ingredients that they’ll never use.

    • Reply Ashlae 7 February 2014 at 8:49 AM

      Hi Shannon –

      You can substitute any oil for the butter in the dough, but not the butter that gets slathered onto the dough. You could, however, reduce the sugar to a syrup and use that instead of the butter + sugar method. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  • Reply Mary Ann Ludwig 24 September 2016 at 3:37 PM

    These sound very good and I will probably give them a try. I will substitute actual butter however since I am not a vegan. I do have a few food restrictions, but when I do cheat it is for absolutely yummy tasting things like pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls!

  • Leave a Reply