Tender, soft dough bursting with creamy mascarpone, fresh pumpkin, and classic cinnamon roll flavors tucked under a blanket of sweet pumpkin mascarpone frosting. Dessert, brunch, or afternoon snack these pumpkin mascarpone cinnamon rolls will disappear fast!
Never not wanting to make pumpkin things over here. But also, cinnamon bun type things. Fresh cinnamon rolls are nostalgic for our family and while there is zero shame in popping open a can of those premade goodies, the fancy feeling of frosting drenched homemade rolls is a true delight.
We love classic cinnamon rolls, tiramisu inspired rolls, gingerbread ones, and savory garlic and cheese ones, too. So it only makes sense that we welcome pumpkin to the family right? Seriously...if you ever wanted to know what it tastes like if pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls had a baby, it's right here.What's to love about the pumpkin mascarpone twist on the classic?
- easy to make, soft dough
- mild and creamy mascarpone cheese
- classic cinnamon sugar filling
- luscious pumpkin and mascarpone frosting
Best news? It's really not that complicated. The instructions below might seem lengthy but it's broken down to be super approachable and easy to understand.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
If you're new to yeast doughs, don't worry! This is going to be great. The dough for these rolls comes together easy and is oh so soft and tender.
What you need to know about the dough:
- first rise in a bowl
- second rise as the formed rolls
- should be tacky to the touch
- zmilk should be warm, but no hotter than 110°F (or the yeast will die)
Once the dough is doubled in size during the first rise, roll it out into a rectangle about ½ inch in thickness, about 12x18 in size. Brush with butter, sprinkle with sugars, spread the pumpkin, sprinkle the spice, and dot the cheese. After filling, roll the long side of the dough tightly.
How to Cut Cinnamon Rolls
There are two ways to cut cinnamon rolls depending on what you have available. My favorite way is to use unscented dental floss or thread, sliding it under the rolled dough, crossing the strings, and pulling to cut through. Your other option is to use a sharp serrated knife cutting gently. Cut the rolls roughly 1 ½ inches thick and place in a greased baking dish.
Tips for the second rise
Allow the dough to rise a second time until thick and fluffy before baking. If the house is on the colder side, I like to set the dish on top of the stove while the oven preheats.
For a faster second rise, you can place the covered baking dish in the oven, preheat the oven to 200°F, turn it off, and leave the door open a crack. This should cut the second rise time in half.
Do you have to use mascarpone?
Cream cheese is a great substitute for mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone is a little lighter and milder. Substituting cream cheese will give a bit more tang to the flavor. Alternatively, you could leave the cream cheese or mascarpone out altogether and they will still come out perfect!
If leaving out for both the rolls and the frosting, you may need to add a little more cream cheese and confectioner's sugar to account for the missing mascarpone.
Pumpkin Mascarpone Frosting
The trick to this frosting is to make it stabilized before adding in the pumpkin. Because the mascarpone cheese is so delicate, adding the pumpkin purée can be a little tricky. If you're unsure, you can always leave it out.
Whip the cheese before adding the sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream leaving the pumpkin purée for the end.
If your frosting does separate, you can place it in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler (aka s saucepan with simmering water) and whisk it to until it comes back together.
Be sure to frost the rolls nice and hot! Making the frosting drippy and gooey and absolutely drool-worthy.
These rolls are best served immediately. If you are making them in advance, wait to frost the pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Warm them up and frost the rolls before serving and watch them disappear!
Did you make this recipe? Be sure to leave a comment and rating below!
Pumpkin Mascarpone Cinnamon Rolls
- ¾ cup whole milk 185g
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar divided 67g
- 1 tablespoon yeast 11g
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened and cut into pieces 113g
Pumpkin Mascarpone Filling
- ½ cup melted butter 113g
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup granulated sugar 100g
- ½ cup brown sugar 100g
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese softened 115g
Pumpkin Mascarpone Frosting
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese softened 115g
- 1 ⅓ cup confectioners sugar 155g
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Prep the yeast. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and 1 tablespoon sugar until just warmed, 90 to 105°F. Do not heat over 110°F or you will risk killing the yeast. Once warmed, remove from heat and stir in the yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is bubbly. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the remaining sugar (⅓ cup minus 1 tablespoon), flour, and salt.
- Make the dough. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly add the milk mixture until combined. Add the butter 1 piece at a time beating until incorporated before adding the next piece. Increase the speed to medium-high for 5 minutes. The dough will be silky, smooth and have pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
- Rise. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 to 2 hours in a warm spot or until double in size. While the dough rises, grease a 9×13 baking dish with butter and set aside.
- Roll out the dough. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll out into an 18″ x 12″ large rectangle.
- Spread the filling. Brush the melted butter over the dough, saving about a tablespoon for the formed rolls. Sprinkle the granulated sugar and brown sugar evenly over the buttered dough. Mix together the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Using the backside of a spoon gently spread the purée over the dough. Dot with pieces of soft mascarpone over the dough.
- Form the rolls. Tightly roll the dough from the long side. Using a string or a sharp serrated knife, cut the dough log into 1 ½″ rounds. Brush the tops with melted butter, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise for 30 to 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 45 to 50 minutes – cover the buns with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes of baking if they’ve started to brown by the 30-minute mark.
- Make the frosting. In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner's sugar to the mascarpone and with the mixer on low speed, pour in the heavy cream and vanilla slowly increasing the speed until the frosting comes together. Add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice mixing until combined. If the frosting separates slightly, it will smooth out when spread over the hot buns.
- Frost the cinnamon rolls. Pour the frosting over the freshly baked buns and serve immediately. If serving at a later time, reheat the buns in the baking dish then pour the frosting over just before serving.
- To speed up the rise process, preheat the oven to 200°F. Once preheated, turn the oven off. Place the covered bowl of dough inside and leave the oven cracked. The dough should be double in size in 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- To speed up the second rise of the rolls once cut in placed in the baking dish, store the baking dish on top of the stove while the oven preheats (if your oven is located under your stovetop.) Rotate about 15 to 20 minutes in so one part of the pan isn’t hotter than another.
- If the pumpkin purée causes your frosting to separate, you can place it over a double boiler in a glass proof boil and whisk together over low heat to bring it back together.