I was in Seattle last week and finally experienced some fall weather. So, I can now say that I am ready to embrace pumpkin mania. These cinnamon rolls are the perfect weekend treat: tender pumpkin bread dough filled with a swirl of pumpkin pie spices and slathered with a decadent maple-flavored frosting. What’s not to love? Find maple extract at your local grocery store (I found some at Food Lion), or order online.
For the Dough:
1/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 (1/4-oz.) packet Rapid Rise yeast
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the Filling:
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
For the Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 (8-oz.) block cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. maple extract
1 tsp. milk
Make the Dough: Combine 1/3 cup milk, 2 Tbsp. butter, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, and heat until a thermometer registers between 105°F and 115°F. (If it goes above 115°F, let it cool to that range. Otherwise, you'll kill the yeast). Whisk in the yeast, and let it stand until foamy (about 10 minutes).
Beat the pumpkin, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and salt at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Add the milk mixture and egg, and beat until combined. Gradually add in 2 3/4 cups flour, beating after each addition until mixture forms a dough. (Dough should still be a little sticky.)
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup more flour if necessary. (Dough should no longer stick to your hands or the surface.)
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and roll out into an 18- by 12-inch rectangle. Brush evenly with 6 Tbsp. softened butter. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over butter.
Roll up dough tightly from the short side. Cut into 8 even pieces, and place in a lightly greased 11- by 7-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place, free from drafts, 1 more hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Bake cinnamon rolls 24 to 26 minutes or until done. Remove to a wire rack.
While the rolls bake, beat the cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Add the maple extract and milk, and beat until combined.
To serve, spread the Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting over the warm rolls.