It’s October, so that means all things pumpkin are dotting the menus throughout the city. We are both excited by it, but Nicole is especially. It’s her birthday this month, so obviously that makes it her favorite time of the year. In celebration of her and the change of seasons we will be bringing you 4 pumpkin recipes this month, starting with our overnight pumpkin cinnamon rolls!
While we were marathoning Alton Brown’s Good Eats, we watched an episode where he makes these awesome overnight cinnamon rolls. Nicole had some sort of epiphany during this episode because she always wants to make cinnamon rolls in the morning, but it’s a long and arduous task that no one wants to do when they first wake up.
For the best cinnamon rolls — to get a nice soft and squishy dough with a great chew — you need a long proofing time to relax the gluten. I’m a big fan of multi-tasking and an even bigger fan of multi-tasking while sleeping. This recipe allows for just that! We greatly prefer this method over making them in the morning and waking up at 4 am. Bakers may do it, but we are not those types of cooks.
We originally made this recipe the first time around fall last year. It’s a simple concept… just add pumpkin… shouldn’t be too hard right? Uh, nope, pumpkin has a high moisture content that messes with everything. The dough required a simple modification, where Nicole just adjusted some of the wet ingredients. This worked on the first try, but the filling was where things got a bit complicated. The original thought was to make a simple filling mix of butter, sugar and pumpkin puree. This mixture ended up oozing out of the sides as it was rolled up, resulting in a filling-less dough. The next attempt was to brush the dough with pumpkin puree and press in sugar and spices. This allowed for it to be rolled up without the filling seeping out, but as it proofed overnight, the filling started falling out of the bottom. Once again, too much moisture.
We couldn’t omit the butter in the filling (that would be crazy!) and lowering the amount of pumpkin would just not be as good. We were stumped. We really liked how the dough turned out and REALLY wanted this recipe to work. The dough was too good just to scrap. Nicole thought it was a good idea to drain the pumpkin puree on our next try. I was shocked to see the amount of liquid that poured out when I squeezed the pumpkin. Suddenly, it made absolute sense as to why our previous attempts didn’t work!
We then took that squeezed out pumpkin and re-hydrated it with butter, because… well, it’s delicious… and it makes the pumpkin more spreadable. Spread that out on the dough, press in the spices and we finally had what we wanted. It took a few “failed” pumpkin roll gifts to our kitchens and families, but we figured it out in the end.
TL:DR, we had an idea, had a bunch of problems, but figured it out so you didn’t have to.
Overnight Pumpkin Cinnamon RollsPrint This
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Whole Egg
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
- 15 oz Can Pumpkin Puree (Divided)
- 10 TBS Melted Butter (Divided)
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 Package (2 1/4 tsp) Yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp Ginger
- 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
- 2 TBS Milk
- 1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 3 TBS Maple Syrup (Optional, but tasty)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
For the Dough:
Whisk together the yolks, egg, buttermilk, 6 TBS butter, and 1/2 cup of the pumpkin puree. Add 2 Cups of the flour, the yeast and salt. Mix until combined. Switch to a dough hook if using a mixer, if not just use your hands the rest of the way.
Add 1 1/4 more flour and knead at least 5 minutes (10 if using your hands). If the dough is stick add a little bit more flour and knead another 5 minutes. Dough should be very soft but not stick to your hands. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand for 30 seconds (mostly because this dough is SO nice and soft, its very fun to work with your hands). Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover in plastic, and let rise for 2 1/2 hours.
For the Filling:
Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.
Take the remaining pumpkin from the can, and using a few layers of cheesecloth or a very clean kitchen towel, squeeze as much liquid as you can from the pumpkin. Mix the pumpkin with 4 TBS melted butter. Set aside.
To Assemble the Rolls:
After the dough has risen, punch it down and roll out to an 18 X 24 inch rectangle. Using your hands (they’re really the best for this job) spread the pumpkin/butter mixture onto the dough in an even layer. Next, sprinkle and pat the sugar/spice mixture into the pumpkin/butter.
Roll the dough up from the wide end, being sure to go as tight as you can. When you get to the end, seal the log shut by pinching the end of the dough to the rest of the roll. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 even pieces and place into a buttered 9 X 13 inch pan. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator overnight.
The Next Morning:
Take your rolls out of the fridge. Create yourself a proofing box. Boil some water, pour into a baking pan and place in the bottom of an OFF oven. Put your wrapped rolls above the pan and shut the oven. The warm steam will allow your rolls to rise at a speedy pace of about 30 minutes. Once rolls have risen, remove them and the pan of water from the oven and set the oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven is hot, throw your rolls in to bake for about 30 minutes or until a thermometer is inserted into the rolls reads 190 degrees. (If you don’t have a thermometer, the rolls should be golden brown, and when a toothpick is inserted it should come out clean of dough.)
Make the Glaze While the Rolls are Baking:
Whisk together the cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, maple, and vanilla until smooth. Apply to the rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
EAT THE ROLLS WHILE THEY ARE WARM:
You can eat them at room temp as well but nothing is better then warm cinnamon rolls! Enjoy!
We hope you enjoy this recipe and that it saves you time in the morning. It’s really great if you have some guests staying over during the upcoming holiday months. Looking forward, get pumped for a month full of pumpkin recipes! We are enjoying our time and hope you have as much fun breaking down some large squash.
Have a great fall!