Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

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Welcome to April’s Secret Recipe Club post, the one where I say, “Who care if it’s practically summer outside? I want something pumpkin!”

My assigned blog for this month was An Opera Singer in the Kitchen, where Noelle writes passionately about singing, her adorable baby girl Julianne, and mostly-vegan recipes.

This recipe is from October 2010 and on Noelle’s site it is vegan through and through. And, well, I’m not vegan. I’m not opposed to vegan recipes by any means, but I didn’t want to buy a bunch of ingredients I might not use again.

So here’s my version of Noelle’s delicious Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing! Pretend it’s fall right along with me …

Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing


  • 1/4 c. very warm water (but not hot)
  • 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T melted coconut oil or butter [I actually forgot this and it still turned out fine]
  • 3/4 c. pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling)
  • 2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom (optional—don’t buy it if you don’t have any because it’s $$$)
  • Filling
  • 3 T softened butter
  • 1/4 c. white sugar (or sucanat)
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 c. chopped pecans
  • Cream Cheese Icing
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 T milk
  • about 2 c. powdered sugar


In the bowl of a stand mixer*, pour in water and then sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Add milk, egg, butter/oil, pumpkin puree, 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Beat on medium speed until well combined.

Add in all-purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time. Turn your mixer to speed 2 and let go 5-10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky. When the dough is elastic and not too sticky, dump it into a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

*If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can knead the dough by hand or make it in a bread machine on the dough setting.

In a bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients except the butter and pecans (white sugar through cloves).

Roll out the dough to a 16 by 12-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. (I did this in two phases.) Spread with softened butter, then sprinkle with filling mixture. Sprinkle pecans over the top.

Tightly roll the dough lengthwise until you have one long log. Pinch the seam to seal. Use a very sharp knife to cut into 15-16 slices. Transfer slices to a buttered 9×13 dish. Cover with towel and let rise 30-45 minutes, until the rolls are nice and puffy and squished together.

Bake uncovered at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until brown and cooked through.

With an immersion blender or by whisking vigorously, combine cream cheese, vanilla, and milk. Stir in powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, until icing is smooth and spreadable.

Spread hot cinnamon rolls with icing for optimum gooey-ness.


Admittedly, this recipe is more work than I usually do in my cooking; however, homemade cinnamon rolls are one thing that are worth the investment, usually. They are so soft and delicious and amazing warm out of the oven. Perfect with a hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk.

19 thoughts on “Pumpkin-Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

  1. SO glad you chose these!! I made a pumpkin recipe for my SRC too! LOL

    Let me tell you a secret, once you make these a second and get a hang of them it gets SO much easier. I have made them at least 5 times and even with a babe. I gotten real fast about them only because I have friends that request these. Your recipe looks great!!!

  2. Want these when I come to visit! BTW the cardamom chicken was a huge hit!! Marinading for two days didn’t hurt it at all.

  3. Nothing wrong with craving a little pumpkin in the middle of spring… heck, just the other day, I was telling a friend I wished Starbucks sold their holiday gingerbread year-round (though it’s probably a good thing they don’t – I’d probably be 300 lbs if it was).
    I’ve got a couple of cans of pumpkin puree squirreled away in the pantry for a rainy day… methinks I might just have to crack one open, because these rolls have got me drooling!

    • I would totally drink a gingerbread latte year-round! Around the holidays I was working on a homemade gingerbread creamer. Maybe I need to make that my next blog project; I never got it just right.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Meal Plan April 15 - 22 Parenthood: Random, Confusing & Crazy - We Love it!; Contact us for Social Media Campaigns, Reviews & Giveaways

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