Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Can we talk for a second about the fact that it’s the end of October? 

I know it’s the end of October because of these things:

1. We turned our AC off a few days ago…and maybs won’t have to turn it on again?  Actually this is more typical of December in Texas, but we’ll take it.Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

2. I feel it’s necessary to buy all the candy in fall colors (M&M’s, Hershey’s kisses, mini Reeses) for to BAKE with.  Not for eating.  In the car.  On the way home from Target where I bought the fall colored candy.

3. Leggings = pants!  I used to be against this BUT.  Having to wear nice clothes all day most days makes me not want to wear clothes during the rest of the time.  I think this is mostly unacceptable, so leggings are the next best thing.  Also sweatpants.  And yoga pants.  I am prettyyyy fashionable when not at work.

4.  Sweatshirts.  I want them all.  With sequins, with hoods, with half-zips.  All of the sweatshirts please. 

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How is it this time of year again?  Almost Halloween, which means almost Thanksgiving/Hanukkah, which means almost HALFWAY THROUGH 3RD YEAR OF MED SCHOOL, which means almost Christmas, which means almost my birthday.  More or less you people best start making your new year’s resolutions now, because the next time I realize what day it is it will probs be February. 

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The Weatherman and I made these Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls.  I was sad (mostly due to it being the end of October), and then I ate one and was immediately happy.  We adapted a recipe from Baked: Elements by using our favorite spices, adding some pecans, and making the icing to taste.  They were hailed by Roomz as “the best thing ever,” or something to that effect (I paraphrased).  Make them!

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Pumpkin Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 10 cinnamon rolls

For the dough
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 TBS (= 1 packet) rapid rise active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
6 TBS (= 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, at room temperature
2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk, warmed briefly (15 seconds) in the microwave
1 large egg
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (the Baked guys recommend making your own, but we used canned with excellent results!)

For the filling
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS (= 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted (you’ll need 1 TBS at a time)
1 1/4 cups pecan halves, lightly toasted and roughly chopped

2 TBS unsalted butter, melted (yes, more)

For the icing
4 TBS cream cheese, softened
2 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 TBS buttermilk

1. Make the dough – In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugars, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom on medium speed.  Mix in the butter until incorporated (mixture will look crumbly).  Pour in the buttermilk and add the egg; mix on low speed until just incorporated.  Add the pumpkin and mix on medium speed for about 3 minutes.  (If not using a stand mixer, it will probably be easier to stir in the pumpkin with a wooden spoon.)  The dough should feel sticky.
2. Lightly oil a clean large bowl.  Place the dough in the oiled bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rest in a draft-free place for about 30 minutes.  It probs won’t rise much during this time, so don’t be concerned if it’s about the same size when you come back to it!
3. Make the filling – While the dough is resting, make the filling.  In a medium bowl, stir together the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and 1 TBS melted butter until combined. 
4. Form the rolls – Butter a 10-inch round cake pan.  Fit the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then butter the parchment.  Lightly flour the parchment and tap out the excess.  Set the pan aside.
5. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to a 10×20-inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with 1 TBS melted butter.  Sprinkle the filling mixture evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/4-inch empty border on all sides.  Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the filling.
6. Begin rolling up the dough from a long side of the rectangle.  Tightly roll the dough, then gently press the seam together.  Place the dough log seam-side down. 
7. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice into 10 2-inch wide rolls.  Place the first roll in the center of the prepared pan (cut side down), and space the remaining rolls evenly around it.  Cover the rolls lightly with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the center position.  When the rolls are finished rising, gently brush the tops with the remaining 2 TBS melted butter.  Bake the rolls 23-28 minutes, until the tops are dry and lightly browned.
9. Make the icing – While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing so you can frost them while they’re still warm.  In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until smooth.  Beat in the powdered sugar (starting on low speed), then the buttermilk.  Icing should be thick but nearly pourable.
10. When the rolls are done, pour the icing evenly over the top (try to do it within 5-10 minutes of taking them out of the oven!)  Rolls can cool in the pan on a wire rack…but we recommend eating them ASAP.  Cinnamon rolls will keep, tightly covered, at room temperature for about 2 days.

Recipe adapted from Baked Elements

Thanks for reading, happy baking!




  1. I just wrote “CINNAMON ROLLS!” on a post-it and stuck it up above my desk, that’s how delicious those look! Will absolutely have to make these soon- if only to make the end of October easier for me, too 🙂 Although, while I’m down with the leggings are not pants variety in public, I’ll still swan around them in the house. They’re too comfortable not to!

    1. I hope you enjoy then Ruthy! They definitely ease the transition to the holiday season 🙂 Thanks for reading!
      ~ H

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