Healthier Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin Spice Glaze.

Today is the first full day of fall and the weather has turned crisp, sunny and beautiful.  It is my absolute favorite.  I couldn’t think of a better way to wake up my family to get ready for church than with this aroma filling the house.  The dough is very easy to work with and is perfect for the cooks that have been apprehensive to make cinnamon rolls.  Lower in fat so it doesn’t impact all of your gym/fitness efforts.  Packed with flavor… you won’t miss the fat!

2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water (not hot or boiling)
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup Pumpkin Puree
1/2 cup low-fat milk (1% or 2%)
1/4 c I can’t believe it’s not butter, melted (you can use regular butter as well)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon of granulated sugar
3 tablespoon of brown sugar
2 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoon chilled I can’t believe it’s not butter or regular butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1.5 tablespoon hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice


To prepare the buns, dissolve yeast in warm water in your Kitchenaid stand mixer or large bowl.  Let this proof for 5 minutes.  If the yeast doesn’t get foamy, throw out and start over.  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour, pumpkin, and next 5 ingredients (pumpkin through nutmeg); beat with your mixer, paddle attached at medium speed until smooth.  Then change the paddle for your dough hook and add the additional cup of flour.  Knead until smooth and elastic.  This dough will be sticky, be forewarned.  (If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough on a flat surface adding the additional flour slowly.)

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place free from drafts, for 45 minutes.  I always place my dough to rise in my microwave.  After the 45 minutes has passed, check to make sure the dough has risen, it can be tacky still… you are ready to go.  Another way to test if dough is ready is to take a pinch of the dough.  If it feels like an earlobe (when pinching it) it is ready.

Combine 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or use two knives to cut it in.

Punch dough down and roll it into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle on a floured surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture to cover.  Make sure you reach each end, not leaving any surface without the mixture. Roll up the rectangle tightly, starting with a long edge, pressing firmly to eliminate air pockets; pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut roll into 1-inch slices. Place slices in a baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  At this point you can refrigerate overnight or bake right away.

Preheat oven to 375Β°.  Bake the rolls at 375Β° for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

To prepare the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon water, vanilla extract and pumpkin spice mix in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over buns. Serve warm.



— Knead to Cook

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  1. Thank you for this WONDERFUL recipe. It’s the second day of Fall and I’m going to make these. Love healthy recipes!! You’re GREAT!!

    Austin, TX

  2. Yum! I’ve been wanting to take a stab at cinnamon rolls for a while. I guess this type of weather really is the best excuse to test out some new recipes πŸ™‚

    1. Carol, They are lower in fat for sure but still a lovely treat! I think a few may remain here for leftovers tomorrow. My kids are happy πŸ™‚ Thanks for popping by. Always nice to hear from friends.

  3. I am so making these this weekend in the not-crisp tropical monsoon weather we have in the Philippines right now. Thank you for the inspiration..I love anything pumpkin!

  4. Made these last night and they were AWESOME!! Only thing I would do next time is roll them out thinner and use a bigger pan!! We had soem hot and fresh after dinner last night and again this morning for breakfast. LOVE THEM!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Attenpted these this evening….my dough never got to the “bounce back” state:/ what coukd i have donr wrong? This was my first attempt at anything cinnamon roll like;(

    1. April, Is your yeast fresh? That would cause it not to rise. Buy fresh yeast and give the recipe a whirl. Wishing you tons of luck with it!!! oxoxo Robin

        1. Make sure it’s a glass bowl and add a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar…let it bubble up in a warm, dark area. I went through 3 yeast packets and finally called my mom for her advice. It worked!

  6. These are beyond amazing!!! I love the lightness of the frosting/glaze!! Just wondering what you would suggest to substitute the pumpkin for come non-fall-I’m-out-of-pumpkin-puree time? Maybe just more milk for the liquid? For cinnamon rolls, I really love how truly “healthier” these are! Thank you for the post!! =)

    1. You know I haven’t tried them any other way but with pumpkin. I’m wondering how applesauce would be. I might need to experiment and get back to you on that. I do love these too! Perfect weekend breakfast πŸ™‚

  7. These look and sound amazing! I can’t wait to make them for my girlfriends next time they come over πŸ™‚

  8. When puting them in a warm space, do u think it’s a good idea to maybe preheat the oven to about 200? Once it hits 200 turn it off. Make the dough and have the oven be the warm spot?

    1. I don’t think I would do that- you just need a draft-free location. You can even put them in the oven without it being on to “rest” too. Robin

  9. I’m a nanny and like to leave meals in the freezer for the family to cook during the weekend. If I left the glaze in the refrigerator, could I put the buns in the freezer for them to make a couple days later? This recipe sounds delicious!

  10. As soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to make them! They were DELICIOUS! They were a huge hit among everyone who tried them. Absolutely perfect for someone like me who is lactose intolerant as well.. All I did was use soy milk and dairy free margarine instead. Thank you for this recipe! I’ll definitely be making these again soon.

  11. I’m making these tonight so we can enjoy them tomorrow morning – we’re stuck inside because of a storm, so we need something sweet and comforting to cheer us up! Thanks for the great recipe – I’ll let you know how they turn out!

  12. From the other side of the world, in La Paz, Bolivia….these rolls came out amazing!!!! never going to plain cinnamon rolls again!
    Thank You! … πŸ™‚

    1. Cecillia!!!! You totally made me smile. Thank you. Just posted an eggnog bread recipe that is equally as crazy good. You may need to give that one a whirl too πŸ™‚ oxoxo Robin

  13. Just made these and they are awesome! Thanks for sharing a great recipe. I put a photo of them on my facebook and already had a friend requesting the recipe, will forward her your site for sure!

  14. I made these for thanks giving and they were AMAZING. Question- if I make the dough 2 days in advance and refrigerate it would that be ok? (I am going to my mother in laws for Christmas and she doesn’t have a mixer) I would be rolling them out and baking about 36-48 hrs after making the dough. Thanks!!

    1. I have only done it overnight (one night) some I’m unsure if it would impact the yeast. You can do a test run this week to see, I don’t see why not but I haven’t done it personally. Sorry I can’t be more assistance. Robin

  15. This dough will be my new standard for all rolls! For Christmas Day I’m using it to make cinnamon rolls, caramel rolls, and dinner rolls. So simple and delicious. Thank you!

    1. Forgot to mention – I just used whatever winter squash I have on hand which this week happens to be butternut. I think it’s more about the texture than the taste.

  16. Hello from Vancouver, BC. Just finished eating one of these very nice, soft and fluffy buns. I love the nice colour of the buns.

    Followed the dough recipe (except used skimmed milk) and just sprinkled raisins and a 4 Tbs. brown sugar/2 t. cinnamon mixture over the dough (eliminating some fat calories). As noted by others, the dough is very easy to work with.

    Next time I will add other spices, such as ginger and cloves.

    I don’t know if I missed it somewhere but you don’t mention the size of baking dish. I rolled my dough out to a 14 x 11 inch rectangle, cut into 8 pieces and baked in a 9″ round cake pan for 30 minutes. Delish.

  17. I made these for a department Christmas party, and they were a hit! I just made some more to bake for Christmas morning. I’m hoping it will become a Christmas tradition! This recipe is just great πŸ™‚

  18. I am going to add a comment because I always want to read comments of people who have tried the recipe. I did not care for these, and I even used real butter. They tasted like flour to me. I really like the concept though, and will keep looking for a good recipe.

    1. Sorry Cassie that you didn’t like the recipe. I’ve have made these hundreds of times and so have many other people with great results. I would ask that you try the recipe again, maybe add additional cinnamon to your liking and see if it changes the recipe for you. Not everyone likes every creation, as you know and each recipe depends on the quality of ingredients used and personal taste. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting an easy cinnamon roll recipe, and the pumpkin flavor is PERFECT! Can’t wait to try this.

  20. I’m trying to view the comments for this post and for some reason, it is blank… and also blank on the other posts from this same blog… any reason why or how i can get to them?