I feel like I could say so many things about these buns, I am going to have to restrain myself. But let me start here: they were good. They were especially good considering I made them entirely with whole wheat flour, with no refined sugar except in the filling (just some maple syrup). So while I didn’t exactly feel virtuous eating them, I didn’t feel too bad either.
They were my first experience with cinnamon rolls, and they definitely made me want to try more! Because there were a couple things off with the recipe, I felt. Firstly, not enough filling… I upped the amount because I knew as soon as I saw the measurements that there wouldn’t be enough for my liking, but I will definitely increase it even more if I make these again. Though this is where my cinnamon roll inexperience comes through—I’m not sure if I should increase the amount of butter in the filling or not, because it seemed that when the butter melted it caused the filling to kind of fall down to the bottom of the pan. I would also change the frosting. Pioneer Woman’s frosting is much more what I associate with cinnamon roll frosting—the cream cheese just wasn’t melty and gooey enough, though it was tasty. I also couldn’t really taste the pumpkin in these, but I find that’s usually the case where things like this where just a bit of pumpkin is added to the mix.
So this is definitely one of those recipes that I’m filing under “will make again when I have time!” I liked the basic dough because it was easy to work with and whole wheat, but I think next time I would probably change the filling and icing up a bit. But that’s just my taste! If you’re looking for a not-too-sweet cinnamon roll that you don’t feel guilty eating for breakfast, this is for you.
Just some quick notes on the recipe, to finish up:
1) It was originally mainly vegan… the main changes I made were to de-veganize it; I also used all whole wheat flour because I don’t have spelt flour.
2) I found it a little lacking in detail in some spots, and just went with my judgement. Especially in the case of the butter in the dough—in the original recipe she calls for Earth Balance, which she said in the comments is a butter substitute. But when I came to adding it in I realized how weird this seemed, and she doesn’t say if it should be melted or softened or cut up… I went with softened, which seemed to work fine.
Pumpkin-Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Hangry Pants
1 Package active dry yeast1/4 Cup Warm Water
2 3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Spelt Flour (Or another cup Whole Wheat Flour)
1/2 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Milk
5 tbsp Butter, softened
1 tsp Maple Syrup
1 tsp salt
1/4 tspPumpkin Pie Spice
4 tbsp Brown Sugar (I would probably double this next time, see above)
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
2 tbsp Butter, cold, cut into pieces.
1 8 oz package of Neufchatel Cheese (Reduced Fat Cream Cheese)
4 tbsp Maple Syrup
In the bowl for your stand mixer (or large bowl if mixing by hand) dissolve the yeast into the warm water. Let stand for several minutes until yeast has bloomed. Add the remaining ingredients for the buns to the bowl, stir by hand with a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. Knead for 10 minutes by hand or 5 -7 minutes with stand mixer. Dough should not be fairly dry and easy to work with. Spray a bowl with cooking spray, or lightly oil it and shape dough into the bowl. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is double in size (45 minutes – 1 hour), then punch down dough, cover and let stand for 5 – 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Add the bits of butter, incorporating them with a knife or your fingers so that it stays in little pieces and forms little brown sugar balls.
Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to form a large rectangle. Sprinkle the filling on the dough, making sure to spread filling right to the edges, and add more if you think it necessary. Starting at the wide end of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough to form a long roll. Cut into 9 or 12 slices (depending on how long your roll was) about 1 inch thick. Arrange the slices in a 9 inch square or round baking tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are dry and lightly browned.
While the buns are baking, prepare the frosting by combining room temperature Neufchatel Cheese with maple syrup. Taste the frosting and add as much maple syrup as you want to achieve desired sweetness– remember the buns themselves are not very sweet. Remove buns from oven and frost immediately so that the frosting melts into the buns. Let buns cool and then cut them and remove from baking pan, or wait five minutes and then tear of a warm hunk and devour.