Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

3 Nov

Deliciousness lies under this frosting

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.

I think I probably should have rolled the dough a little thinner

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 out of the oven!

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.


Pumpkin Risotto!

15 Oct

I absolutely love everything about fall… the colors, the gorgeous weather, and, of course, the food. I’ll eat pretty much anything with the word “pumpkin” or “squash” in the title, and while apples aren’t my favorite fruit to eat plain, I love apple desserts. So I knew I had to buy a butternut squash when I saw them at the farmer’s market last weekend, and immediately knew what to make with it: risotto. One bonus with this recipe is that the squash doesn’t get peeled until after you’ve roasted it—I know I get scared off by any recipe that starts with “cut and peel the squash!”

Ready for roasting

I love risotto because you can put pretty much anything into it. Once you’ve learned the basic technique, it’s easy to play around and throw in what you have in your kitchen. I made an awesome version this summer with pancetta and peach, but this squash version is probably my all-time favorite, and I always look forward to having it come fall.  This recipe is from the River Café cookbook (unfortunately, as with a lot of our family cookbooks, the measurements are English… I’ve done my best to convert). I don’t think it’s crucial to be very exacting with measurements when it comes to risotto: I don’t tend to measure the broth, I just know when it’s done because the rice is cooked and creamy! I cut down on the rice this time because my squash was pretty small and I wanted a good ratio, and I left out the alcohol but it was still delicious. The key is really in the technique more than anything: you want to really constantly massage the broth into the rice. It’s a pretty labor-intensive dish, but doesn’t take too long once the squash is roasted (which I did a couple of hours ahead of time). So give it a try some time! Just please, don’t try to make risotto what it is not: fat-free, or non-caloric. Just accept the cheese.

For size reference, my squash was slightly bigger than a Tigger stapler

Pumpkin Risotto, Adapted from The River Café Cookbook

Equipment: Baking sheet, tin foil, bowl, saucepan, heavy-bottomed frying pan, ladle, wooden spoon, cheese grater, large knife.

About 2 pounds (850 g) pumpkin or squash, whole or 1 large slice, with skin
Sea salt and black pepper
1 bunch fresh or 1 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
2 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly sliced
5 tbsp olive oil
4 cups (1 liter) low sodium chicken stock
1 ¼ sticks (5 oz) butter, at room temperature
1 medium onion, preferably red, finely diced
10 oz (300 g) risotto rice
1/3rd cup (75 ml) extra dry white vermouth, or white wine
6 oz Parmesan, freshly grated

Preheat the oven to 425 F/ 220 C

Remove seeds and fiber from the center of the pumpkin or squash, and cut the flesh and skin into large chunks. Place, skin side down, on a baking tray brushed with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and scatter with the herbs and garlic. Pour over three tablespoons of oil, cover with tin foil and bake until soft, shriveled, and beginning to brown at edges, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool, then scrape the flesh from the skins and reserve with the juices.

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan on the stove. You can turn off the heat and cover with a lid once it is hot. Meanwhile, melt 6 tbsp of the butter and remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed frying pan and gently fry the onion until soft, about 15-20 minutes. Add the rice and, off the heat, stir until the rice becomes totally coated, this only takes a minute. Return to the heat, and add enough hot stock to just cover the rice, about 2 ladlefuls. Simmer, stirring, until the rice has absorbed nearly all of the liquid. Continue to add more stock as each previous addition is absorbed. After about 15-20 minutes, nearly all the stock will have been absorbed by the rice; each grain will have a creamy coating, but will remain al dente.

Add the remaining butter in small pieces, the pumpkin, vermouth and Parmesan. Be careful not to overstir so the pumpkin doesn’t break up. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be kept in fridge and reheat fairly well.