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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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cinnamon roll on white plate with blue napkin behind and fork

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!

close up of pan of cinnamon rolls with icing

What kind of yeast do you use for cinnamon rolls?

When you’re shopping for ingredients, you’ll see a few kinds of yeast at the grocery store, but you just need to remember one kind: Fleischmann’s® RapidRise® Yeast.

RapidRise® Yeast is also known as instant yeast. It saves time because:

  • It requires only one rise
  • You don’t need to hydrate or “proof” it in water
ingredients to make cinnamon rolls

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.
two fingers and cinnamon roll dough

How do you knead dough?

Kneading is the process where you push the dough with the palm of your hands. There is science behind kneading the dough, but just know that it creates that delicious homemade bread texture you love.

I actually love to knead; the process is calming and there’s something so special about homemade recipes that take extra work, you know?

You’re going to knead your dough until it’s slightly elastic and it passes the two-finger test: the dough will spring back when you press it with two fingers.

corner of cinnamon roll pan showing roll with icing

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.
cinnamon roll on white plate with blue napkin behind and fork

FAQs

How do you know your water is the right temperature for yeast?

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.

How much flour do you add to homemade cinnamon rolls?

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.

Why didn’t my cinnamon rolls rise?

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).

How do you know when cinnamon rolls are done?

They’re done baking when they’re golden brown and cooked through.

How long can you keep cinnamon roll dough in the fridge?

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.

Can I make this dough in a bread machine?

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.

How to store cinnamon rolls?

Store tightly covered on the counter for up to 3 days. You can freeze the rolls (baked or unbaked) for up to 2 months.

Can I freeze pumpkin spice cinnamon rolls?

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.

Can I make the rolls ahead of time?

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 roll on white plate

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls are so easy to make even if you've never worked with yeast. These rolls are made from scratch and filled with pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon – and the frosting has the warm pumpkin pie spice too!
Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yield 12 rolls
Serving Size 1 roll

Ingredients
 

For the dough:

  • 4 ½ to 5 cups (558g-620g) all-purpose flour
  • 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:

  • 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

Instructions

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.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • 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.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 205mg | Potassium: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 341IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American

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

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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7 Comments

  1. Mine are rising right now in the oven.. I made a mistake with the filling, I didn’t read through well enough and I mixed the spices in with the butter.. was a pain in the tush to spread but I got it done lol .. I also forgot to add the egg in the beginning with the dry but added it later, It turned out fine and is rising fine. Cannot wait to smell them baking 😀 thank you so much..I’ll have to come back and let you know how they turned out..I LOVE FALL , Carm

  2. Sorry. I just read the post on refrigerating the dough. Thank you. It’s the first time I’ll be using yeast. Hope to try them soon!

  3. Hi Dorothy. These Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls look delicious! Since I have little time in the kitchen, could I refrigerate the rolls after they are done rising in the pan? The following day do I bring them to room temp then bake?

      1. You can freeze them after assembling or after baking. Let thaw and rise then bake if you’re doing it that way.