I’m still working my way through the mountain of winter squash and pie pumpkins I purchased a couple of weeks ago from the farmer’s market. Yes, I know there’s no real rush, they will keep for a few months but it’s so exciting to come up with creative tasty ways to use them. Not to mention the last pumpkin I roasted produced about seven cups of purée that I have to use up.
The days are finally getting cool here in Denver. It’s late in the season already and we haven’t had our first snow yet. Very unusual since we usually have one before Halloween. I still have tomato and basil plants growing beautifully in the balcony. Can’t complain about that since we’re still reaping the benefits of that. But the couple of cool days we had inspired me to make Pumpkin Ginger Cinnamon Rolls.
I love a good cinnamon roll. They always pair so perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee for breakfast. Of course, they make great desserts as well but I love them in the morning. Just pop them into the microwave for a few seconds to turn them into warm ooey, gooey goodness and relax back to enjoy the sticky sweetness. Good cinnamon rolls have a beautiful slightly sweet yeasty dough to roll up the wonderful layer of butter, spices and brown sugar. Bad ones are just overly sweet.
I feel my Pumpkin Ginger Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect amount of sweet and balanced beautifully. They include pumpkin three ways: in the dough, in the filling and in the drizzle on top. To much pumpkin, you might think, but I assure you that you would be wrong. And if you can resist, they are even better the next day than they were fresh out of the oven. Giving the flavors time to meld just right, enhanced the beautiful flavors.
And while I did leave cinnamon in the name because they do feature cinnamon, the star of the show was the ginger. I love ginger paired with pumpkin and these have both ground ginger and crystallized ginger bits in the spicy filling. I balanced out the sweet of using fresh ground black pepper, a savory spice I know but it went so nicely with all the other spices, I could not resist. Don’t let it scare you from trying it, I’m sure you’ll love it.
Finally, it may seem like a lot of time to make these and don’t get me wrong, you do need to plan when you’re making cinnamon roles. The majority of the time is spent waiting on the dough to rise. Make the lovely yeasty dough by hand or pop the ingredients into your bread maker for even more ease. Then it’s time for it to rise before you can roll it out, apply the filling, roll it up and it’s off for another rise. A quick bake and you’ve got beautiful Pumpkin Ginger Cinnamon Rolls to impress you taste buds with.
Pumpkin Ginger Cinnamon Rolls
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted
1 cup pumpkin purée, room temperature
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. all-spice
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup crystallized ginger bits
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds or toasted pecan pieces
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Almond milk
The dough can be made using a stand mixer or using a bread maker. If using a bread maker, follow the manufacture’s instructions for how to layer in the ingredients, set to dough cycle and let the machine do the work.
If making the dough using the stand mixer: warm the milk to about 110 degrees F. In the bowl for the stand mixer, mix the warm milk into the yeast and set the aside for about 10 minutes to proof, until the mixture is frothy with bubbles.
After proofing, whisk in the egg, pumpkin purée, sugar and salt. Add one cup of flour, mixing well.
Using the dough attachment and mixer on low, knead in the remaining flour until dough forms into a ball. Dough will be soft.
Place finished dough into a well-greased bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
While dough is rising, stir together all the filling ingredients and set aside until needed.
Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and place on a well-floured surface. Roll out to a 11″ x 22″ rectangle.
Spread the filling in a nice even layer across the dough, leaving a half-inch edge all the way around.
Starting on the long side, roll the dough up and pinch the edges to seal when reaching the edge.
Cut into 12 to 18 slices, based on how thick you want them.
Coat an 11″ x 15″ 2 inch-sided baking dish with butter or cooking spray and place the cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan. All rolls to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F and prepare glaze while rolls are rising.
In a small bowl, mix together the glaze ingredients with a whisk. Set aside until needed to drizzle over slightly warm rolls.
Bake rolls for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove pan from oven and rolls allow to cool slightly in pan before topping with prepared glaze.
Serve warm. Microwaving about 10 to 15 seconds is enough to warm cold rolls.
Flavors were better the next day, so make ahead and place in fridge overnight if you can resist eating them fresh from the oven.
More wonderfully gooey cinnamon roll recipes: