World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls

The BEST Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Different spices on a cutting board.It’s time to create the best pumpkin spice cinnamon roll recipe! In the culinary realm, there are creations that rise above the ordinary, reaching the pinnacle of taste and sensation. Among these, the Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls from the artisans at World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls are an experience beyond compare.

As the cool winds of October sweep across the land, we embark on a journey through the realm of pumpkin spice, guided by the keywords “best pumpkin spice cinnamon roll recipe.” Prepare to delve into a culinary odyssey that combines the comforting embrace of pumpkin puree and the warming essence of pumpkin pie spice, crowned with a seductive maple cream cheese icing.

These yummy pumpkin cinnamon rolls will undoubtedly find their home in your recipe repertoire.


A few years ago, a quest was undertaken to create a masterpiece worthy of the World’s Best Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll, and the result was nothing short of spectacular.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice were woven into the very fabric of these soft, ethereal pumpkin cinnamon rolls, leaving all who tasted them clamoring for the secret behind this creation.

“In the world of flavors, where ordinary meets extraordinary, the marriage of pumpkin spice and cinnamon rolls is nothing short of culinary alchemy. It’s a voyage through the fragrant alleyways of autumn, where each bite is a passport to the cozy embrace of the season. Pumpkin spice, that beguiling symphony of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, weaves its magic into the very fabric of these rolls, transforming them into a sensory masterpiece. It’s a reminder that in the world of food, as in life, it’s the unexpected combinations that often yield the most profound experiences.” — In the Spirited Voice of Anthony Bourdain

Baking is more than a mere culinary task; it is a voyage of creativity and precision. It yields not only a delightful end product but also a profound sense of accomplishment—a testament to the artistry of the baker. Our baking experts at World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls were up for the challenge!

If not, prepare to be immersed in the magic of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls, where brown sugar and cinnamon swirls are meticulously crafted to cinn-fully delicious perfection, and the icing beckons with a siren’s call. Yes, it’s as irresistible as it sounds.

This pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe is a delightful twist on many of our renowned cinnamon rolls, a league above the likes of your store-bought cinnamon rolls at national chains like Cinnabon. Brace yourself for an extraordinary culinary adventure.

Ingredients in Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe, we employ premium ingredients like real bread flour, butter, and sugar.

If you are making pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls at home, you should most definitely grab the bread flour to do this. Bread flour is hands down the best option when making cinnamon rolls. Last year we provided a cinnamon roll guide on why bread flour is the best flour for cinnamon rolls. We encourage you to read the science behind why our expert bakers always use bread flour.

To achieve the ideal fluffy rolls, we implore you to adhere to the recipe as presented.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started on the best pumpkin spice recipe you’ve ever tried:

  • Milk: Whole or 2% is suitable for this recipe.
  • Granulated Sugar: This serves a dual purpose—sweetening the cinnamon rolls and activating the yeast.
  • Brown Sugar: While light brown sugar can suffice, we personally favor the robust flavor of dark brown sugar for those rich, molasses-infused swirls.
  • Quick Rise Yeast: Opt for quick rise or instant yeast to expedite the rise. Active dry yeast is also an option but may require a slightly longer rising time.
  • Pumpkin Puree: The star of the show, imparting sweetness and moisture, ensuring the rolls emerge perfectly fluffy.
  • Cinnamon: Although some recipes don’t call for cinnamon, we recommend using Saigon cinnamon.
  • Butter: Salted or unsalted, your choice. Butter plays a pivotal role in both the dough and the glaze.
  • Egg: One egg is called for, but fear not; I’ll also divulge the vegan alternative in the recipe notes.
  • Bread Flour: This high-protein flour is the secret to the soft, airy texture of these pumpkin cinnamon rolls. The elevated gluten content bestows that coveted chewiness.
  • Spices: Both pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon add layers of complexity.
  • Salt: Vital not only for flavor but also for yeast control in cinnamon roll alchemy.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dough

male hands kneeding cinnamon roll dough

Which Yeast Is Best for Cinnamon Rolls + How to Verify Yeast Activation

The choice of yeast is a common conundrum when venturing into cinnamon roll territory. Let’s shed some light on the matter. There are two types of yeast to consider:

  • Active Dry Yeast: This yeast variety necessitates dissolution in liquid, a process often referred to as “proofing,” before incorporating it into the dough.
  • Instant Yeast: Also known as quick-rise yeast, it’s the yeast of choice for this pumpkin cinnamon roll recipe. It can be directly added to the dough without the proofing ritual. Nevertheless, we recommend dissolving it in a small amount of milk and sugar to kickstart its activation.

Regardless of your yeast preference, it is imperative to add it to warm milk, precisely within the temperature range of 105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. This range guarantees yeast activation. Adding a touch of sugar to the yeast, regardless of the type, aids in its awakening.

How to Measure Flour for Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon roll dough made from scratch

While technically, a kitchen scale is a gold standard for flour measurement, we understand that not everyone has one on hand. We have a commercial kitchen at World’s Best Cinnamon Rolls so we’re a bit spoiled around here!

Fear not; we’ll divulge the secrets to proper flour measurement:

  1. Use a dry measuring cup.
  2. Gently spoon flour into the cup, ensuring not to pack it down.
  3. Level the flour with the edge of a knife or the flat side of a flour scoop.

Tips for Crafting the Ultimate Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Moderate Your Milk Temperature: Heating your milk to the sweet spot of 105-115 degrees F is crucial. Anything hotter risks yeast annihilation, resulting in underwhelming rolls. A handy test is to dip your finger in the milk—it should feel like pleasantly warm bathwater, not scalding. If overheated, exercise patience until it cools sufficiently.
  2. Use Room Temperature Butter for the Filling: Melted butter, often employed in recipes, can cause premature leakage of the filling. Room temperature butter is your steadfast ally in this endeavor.
  3. Blend Brown Sugar and Butter: After spreading the softened butter, go the extra mile and integrate the brown sugar intimately with the butter. This step is instrumental in achieving that irresistible swirl.
  4. Embrace Room Temperature Egg: A chilled egg may interfere with the yeast or induce coagulation when mingled with melted butter. Ensure your egg is at room temperature.
  5. Harness Bread Flour’s Magic: Bread flour, available at your local grocery store, is the linchpin for soft, fluffy pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Trust me, the difference is palpable. Bread flour’s higher protein content fosters gluten development, resulting in the desired chewy, soft texture.
  6. Dust Your Work Surface and Rolling Pin: Prevent potential sticking by lightly flouring both your work surface and rolling pin.

Tools You’ll Need to Craft Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls from Scratch

  • Stand Mixer: The dough hook on your trusty stand mixer streamlines the kneading process. Should you lack one, fret not; hand-kneading is a perfectly viable alternative.
  • Wooden Spoon: A wooden spoon proves invaluable for mixing your dough together.
  • Rolling Pin: To shape that magnificent cinnamon roll dough into the desired form. A pro tip: if a rolling pin isn’t at your disposal, a flour-dusted wine bottle can serve as a worthy stand-in.
  • Serrated Knife: This sharp companion will assist in the precision task of cutting your cinnamon rolls after the dough is expertly rolled.
  • 9×13 Inch Pan: The recommended vessel for baking, ensuring your cinnamon rolls have ample room to flourish and bake to perfection. the plastic wrap and towel, then bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes, or until they achieve a slight golden brown hue on the edges. It’s prudent to slightly underbake them to maintain their softness in the center, which is why we aim for a gentle golden brown hue. Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes before proceeding.

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Recipe


For the Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Dough:

  • ¾ cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

For the Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Filling:

  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon. We recommend Saigon Cinnamon.
  • ¼ cup butter, at room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt

For Garnish:

  • Sprinkle of ground Saigon cinnamon


  1. Warm the milk to approximately 110 degrees F, either by microwaving it for 45 seconds or until it reaches a warm bathwater-like temperature. Transfer the warm milk and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, then sprinkle yeast on top. Stir in pumpkin puree, room temperature egg, and melted butter, mixing until smooth, creamy, and well combined. Incorporate bread flour, pumpkin pie spice, and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  2. Place the dough hook on the mixer and knead the dough on low speed for 8-10 minutes, resulting in a nicely formed, slightly sticky dough. Alternatively, hand-knead for 8-10 minutes on a well-floured surface.
  3. Transfer the dough ball to a generously greased bowl or one treated with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Cover it with plastic wrap and a warm towel, allowing the dough to rise for 1 hour or until it doubles in size, though the exact time may vary based on humidity and temperature.
  4. Once the dough has doubled, transfer it to a well-floured surface and roll it out into a 14×16-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side.
  5. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the sugar into the butter.
  6. Roll the dough tightly, starting from the 14-inch side (the smaller side), and place it seam side down, ensuring the edges are sealed. You may need to trim about an inch off the ends where the filling might be scant. Cut it into 1-inch sections with a serrated knife, making 12 rolls. As a helpful tip, you can make dents in the dough before cutting, as illustrated in the photos, to ensure even rolls.
  7. Place the cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13-inch baking pan. For added security, consider lining the pan with parchment paper to catch any potential filling leaks. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and a warm towel, allowing them to rise again for approximately 30 minutes. Preheat your oven.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove

For the Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll Glaze

9. In the bowl of an electric mixer or a medium bowl, combine the room-temperature cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, pure maple syrup, and a pinch of salt. Beat until the mixture is smooth and velvety.

  1. Spread this delectable glaze generously over the freshly baked pumpkin cinnamon rolls and serve with a touch of sprinkled cinnamon for visual flair.

Recipe Notes:

To Make Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:

  • After positioning the rolls in the greased pan (as outlined in step 7), promptly cover them with plastic wrap.
  • Safely store them in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Upon awakening, allow the rolls to return to room temperature by resting them on the counter for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven while the rolls rise for a total duration of roughly 45 minutes, constituting the second rise.

To Make Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Omit the egg from the recipe.
  • Increase the pumpkin puree in the dough by an additional 3-4 tablespoons.
  • Employ almond milk, vegan butter, and vegan cream cheese for the dairy-free alternatives.

These culinary treasures, the finest pumpkin cinnamon rolls you’ll ever encounter, await your deft hands and discerning palate. May your journey through this gastronomic marvel be as delightful as its creation. Savor the experience and share it with those you hold dear. Enjoy, with all the culinary passion in the world!

Floating Item
You might also like: