Soft, pillowy pumpkin dough filled with a buttery cinnamon sugar filling and topped with sweet icing, these vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls are the PERFECT Fall treat!
Is there any recipe pumpkin doesn’t belong in?
Brace yourself for these pumpkin cinnamon rolls.
These babies are loaded with pumpkin spice and are so comforting. If making cinnamon rolls scares you, not to worry, we’ll be breaking it down step by step so you can create some foolproof homemade cinnamon buns!
Ingredients for pumpkin cinnamon rolls
For the dough:
- Almond milk
- Pumpkin puree
- Vegan butter (such as Earth Balance. You can also substitute with coconut oil)
For the filling:
- Brown sugar
- Vegan butter
For the icing:
- Powdered Sugar
- Maple syrup
- Almond milk
- Vegan butter
Tips for baking with yeast:
Yeast can be a sensitive thing, but when handled properly, you’ll be a pro at baking with yeast.
- Use fresh yeast! Look at the expiration date. Yeast can go bad and as a result, will not work in the recipe.
- Yeast is alive and you can kill it! If the temperate is too hot, the yeast will die. I like to microwave my almond milk for about 20 seconds. To test, I stick my finger in and if it feels slightly warm, maybe one step above lukewarm, then it’s ready.
- Add a sprinkle of sugar to the yeast bath. Yeast feeds off sugar and this helps it grow.
- Making a yeast bath is to ensure your yeast is alive and active before proceeding with the recipe. The last thing you want is to make the dough and it’s not rising because the yeast is inactive.
How to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- Start out by making a yeast bath: Combine almond milk, yeast, and a sprinkle of sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until the yeast is frothy and bubbly (as shown above)
- Mix together the wet ingredients, including the yeast bath. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Fold the dry with the wet until the mixture is combined.
- Pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. The dough will look crumbly (see image above) but with a little elbow grease and kneading, the dough will be a soft, slightly sticky, pliable dough.
How to tell when the dough is ready for cinnamon rolls
The dough will be slightly sticky to touch and bounce back when you press into it. When kneading the dough, it’s important to only add more flour when the dough begins sticking to your hands or the table. If there’s too much flour in the dough, it will be stiff and dry when baked.
Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for an hour and it will double in size.
While the dough is rising, make the filling.
I like to mix super soft butter with the cinnamon and sugar to make a spreadable paste. This is effective when filling the rolls because every square inch will be equally covered with filling.
Roll out the dough into a 9″x13″ rectangle and spread the filling. Sprinkle pecans over the top (optional but recommended!) and roll tightly starting by the short side (fig. 3)
Use regular old dental floss to cut the cinnamon rolls into 12 even slices. I prefer floss over a knife because it won’t squish the rolls, causing the filling to spill out!
Place the rolls into a 9″x13″ baking dish or (2) 8″ round cake pans. Let proof for 45 minutes. This second rise step is crucial to achieving massive soft cinnamon rolls!
Once the 45 minutes is up, let bake for 30-35 minutes.
How long do cinnamon rolls keep?
They can be stored in the fridge for about a week or you can freeze them up to 6 weeks without icing. When ready to eat, heat them up in the oven in a baking dish or wrapped in foil until warm throughout.
Can I make Cinnamon Rolls Ahead of Time?
There’s no way around it, cinnamon rolls are a labor of love and have some lengthy steps. Luckily, you can do some prep work!
Make the dough up to the kneading step and place in a bowl. Put the dough in the fridge for up to 24 hours and bring the dough to room temperature before proceeding.
Make the rolls up to the second proofing step and place the rolls in the fridge (up to 24 hours) or the freezer (up to 6 weeks). When ready to bake, let thaw in the fridge overnight, and bake in the morning for fresh, warm cinnamon rolls!
These pumpkin cinnamon rolls are perfect for holidays, Christmas morning, Fall brunch, or weekend breakfast! They are so comforting, it’s hard to believe they are vegan!
If you tried this vegan cinnamon rolls recipe, let me know in the comments below and share a photo using #mindfulavocado. I’d love to hear from you! Want to see more recipes? Let’s get social! CONNECT WITH ME on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to see what I’m currently cooking up!
Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- 1 1/4-ounce package instant yeast
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup vegan butter melted
- 4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed (can substitute with coconut sugar or cane sugar)
- 1/4 cup vegan butter softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans optional
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons vegan butter melted
- 1 Tablespoon unsweetened vanilla almond milk
Make the Dough:
- Wake up yeast: Microwave almond milk for about 40 seconds. Should be lukewarm. Add a pinch of sugar and one yeast package. Mix until combined and let sit for 10 minutes. Yeast will be bubbly and frothy when ready.
- In a large mixing bowl, add pumpkin, vanilla, butter, and active yeast bath. Stir to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add half of the flour mixture to wet mixture and stir with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining flour and stir until just combined. The dough might look floury and that is okay!
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. Only add more flour if the dough begins to stick to the surface or your hands. When the dough is ready, it will be slightly sticky and spring back when you press it.
- Add a small amount of oil to a clean bowl to coat the bottom and sides. Add dough and give it a swirl around the bowl so all sides are covered in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. The dough should double in size.
- In a small bowl, mix softened butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mixture should be smooth and spreadable.
- Remove plastic wrap and punch dough to release the air. Transfer to a floured surface and roll into a 9×13″ rectangle. The dough will be about 1/2 inch thick.
- Add filling and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Add walnuts and raisins (optional). Roll tightly starting from the shorter side. Push in the sides as you roll so it stays uniform.
- Using dental floss, cut the dough into 12 even pieces. Place in greased pan. I grease my pan with the empty butter wrapper! Cover with a towel and let sit for 45 minutes. If you want to make these rolls in advance, now is a good step to stop. You can keep unbaked rolls covered in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for 6 weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before adding icing.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for icing in a bowl. Add more powdered sugar or butter for a thicker frosting and more almond milk for a thinner icing.
- Add icing to cinnamon rolls. Serve warm. Leftovers keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
- Prep the dough to the kneading step and place the dough in a mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in the fridge overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and let rise to room temperature. Resume with the next steps.
- Or you can prep the rolls up to the baking step and place in the freezer for up to 6 weeks or the fridge overnight. If frozen, allow the rolls to thaw in the fridge overnight before baking.
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