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Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are an easy cinnamon roll recipe filled with my favorite fall flavor: pumpkin pie spice! Up your brunch game by adding a new flavor to homemade rolls!
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BEST Pumpkin Spice Rolls
There really is nothing I like more than a hot and fluffy homemade cinnamon roll. The sweet and fluffy dough, the cinnamon filing, the frosting – it’s pure heaven to me. I’m pretty sure cinnamon rolls are in my top 5 foods, along with pie and brownies.
I have so many cinnamon roll recipes on this site because they’re so much fun for me to make. I love switching up the fillings (making them lemon rolls or into gingerbread flavor) because a rolled out dough is such a fun blank canvas to work with. When I was thinking about new flavor ideas, I decided to take the spice of the season – pumpkin pie spice – and devote a cinnamon roll to it!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are made from scratch with a warm fall filling and pumpkin spice frosting! I’m showing you how to make yeast rolls from scratch step-by-step with photos and a video so you can do it – NO FAIL!
Ingredients in Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls
- Flour – All purpose flour is what I used. Be sure to read the directions because we’re starting with 2 cups and adding more as we go.
- Sugar – Helps activate the yeast and makes a nice sweet roll dough. We also use it for the filling but you can also substitute brown sugar.
- Salt – Important to give flavoring to the dough
- Yeast – Be sure to use INSTANT yeast – this recipe was written specifically for that kind.
- Hot Water – This will activate the yeast. Make sure it’s between 120-130°F.
- Butter – This will go in the dough and in the filling (and frosting). You can use unsalted or salted.
- Egg – Always buy large eggs. Egg helps make the dough fluffy and soft.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – We’re using this in the filling to make a nicely spiced cinnamon roll.
How to make cinnamon rolls from scratch
- Whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Because we’re using instant yeast we mix it together with the dry ingredients.
- Add butter and water to a heat safe measuring cup. Heat in the microwave until it is about 120°F-130°F. The butter won’t totally melt.
- Add the wet ingredients into the flour with the egg and start mixing, adding more flour until the dough comes together. At that point the dough is still sticky but not wet, if you tap it with your finger there shouldn’t be any transfer to your fingers.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface until it comes together (see below). Let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll out your dough to a large rectangle (about 10×15-inches).
- Simply spread softened butter all over the rolled out dough.
- Mix together sugar and pumpkin pie spice and sprinkle it all over the dough.
- Then you roll it back up and it’s time to slice it into cinnamon rolls! Use a serrated knife or dental floss by simply wrapping the floss around the cinnamon roll log and pulling it through easily sliced the rolls. It’s much easier than using a serrated knife!
- Once you have 12 cinnamon rolls, you place them in a pan and let them rise until double in size. Then bake and make the frosting.
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Frosting
There are so many different kinds of frosting you can use on cinnamon rolls, but I love this easy pumpkin spice icing.
Simply beat butter with powdered sugar, vanilla, milk and pumpkin spice to make a simple glaze that spreads easily on the warm rolls. Prefer cream cheese frosting? Use my homemade cream cheese frosting recipe and add pumpkin spice to it.
Cinnamon Roll Tips
- Kneading will take 5-10 minutes, depending on if you’ve used a stand mixer to beat your dough or done it by hand.
- Once the dough has come together, the magic of using instant yeast is fully apparent: you don’t have to wait for a full rise. Simply let the dough rest for 10 minutes before it’s time to fill the cinnamon rolls!
- Cutting the dough with unflavored dental floss is so easy and makes perfect cuts.
I love using an instant-read thermometer, or you can think “hot bathwater.” Time will depend on your microwave. I usually heat 1 1/2 cups of water for cinnamon rolls in my microwave between 1 1/2-2 minutes to reach that temperature.
You’ll notice that I give a range of flour amount. Humidity and temperature can affect how much flour you’re using. (Also, be sure you’re measuring flour correctly.) The time it takes to mix the dough will depend on the mixer you’re using.
1. Your yeast was old – be sure to check the expiration date. 2. The water wasn’t the correct temperature – which is why I recommend a thermometer!
3. Make sure you used the correct yeast (instant not active dry).
They’re done baking when they’re golden brown and cooked through.
Usually, you can keep the dough in the refrigerator overnight. Either place the dough in the fridge after kneading (cover it tightly with plastic wrap in a bowl) or you can make the rolls, cover them with plastic and place them in the refrigerator. The next day, just let the dough or rolls come to room temperatur before finishing the recipe.
You can also use Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast in a bread machine, but this recipe is NOT written for a bread machine, so you cannot make these rolls as written using a machine.
Store tightly covered on the counter for up to 3 days. You can freeze the rolls (baked or unbaked) for up to 2 months.
You can freeze the baked rolls to reheat in the microwave. Or make the rolls and place them in the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and freeze unbaked. Thaw in refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter until doubled in size, then bake as directed.
Make these 24 hours ahead and store in the refrigerator (in pan, unbaked) and allow to rise at room temperature while preheating oven.
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
For the dough:
- 4 ½ to 5 cups (558g-620g) all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 2 packets Instant Yeast (4 ½ teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups (355ml) water
- 6 tablespoons (84g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
For the filling:
- ⅓ cup (67g) sugar
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, very soft
For the frosting:
- 2 ½ cups (283g) powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened
- 2-3 tablespoons (15-45ml) milk regular, nonfat or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch salt
Make the dough:
- Add 2 cups flour, sugar, dry yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Whisk to combine.
- Place water and butter in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Heat, in 30 second increments, until the water reaches 120°-130°F (think hot bath water, use an instant read thermometer for best results). This will take approximately 1 1/2 minutes, depending on your microwave. Butter won’t totally melt.
- Add water mixture to dry ingredients with the egg. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Add 1 cup more flour, beat an additional 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Mix in just enough remaining flour so the dough forms into a ball. The dough will be slightly sticky but not wet.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. You know it’s done when it forms a cohesive ball and springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers.
- Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Fill and Bake:
- Meanwhile, make the filling by stirring together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
- Roll dough into a 10×15-nch rectangle using a rolling pin. Spread the butter all over the dough in a thin layer. Sprinkle with filling.
- Beginning at the long side of the dough, roll up tightly. Slice into 12 equal pieces.
- TIP: use unflavored dental floss to slice your rolls! Cut a piece of floss and slide floss under roll. Bring sides of floss up to cross on top and slice through the dough. Works like a charm!
- Place rolls in a 9×13-inch baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cover rolls and let double in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Once risen, bake cinnamon rolls for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and the center is cooked through. Cool 20 minutes before frosting.
- Make the frosting: add butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and pumpkin pie spice to a large bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons milk and mix until combined, adding up to 1 more tablespoon milk for desired consistency.
- Frost slightly cooled rolls.
- Store covered for up to 2 days.
- Be sure you’re using INSTANT yeast (i.e. Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise Yeast) not active dry!
- You can substitute brown sugar for the granulated in the filling, if you prefer.
- Make Ahead: Make these rolls the night before and store them in the refrigerator, tightly covered with plastic (after step 11). Allow to come to room temperature and rise on the counter near the oven while it preheats.
- Freezing: Freeze finished rolls for easy reheating. Or freeze the pan of rolls in pan before they rise (tightly covered). Thaw in refrigerator and allow to rise until doubled in size before baking.
This recipe is slightly adapted from Fleischmann’s® Yeast website, where they have 150 years of baking experience. This is a tried and true recipe you’ll be proud to share! This post was sponsored in 2019 but has been updated.
Other easy recipes made with yeast:
Other recipes perfect for brunch:
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are going to be the hit of brunch or your holiday breakfast. Working with yeast is easier than you think, so be sure to give it a try!
Last Updated on October 30, 2022