Pumpkin & Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls

November 3, 2015


Hey y’all! It’s finally November! November is my month. It’s where everything comes together. The leaves change, the sweaters come out, and most importantly it’s an epic time for pumpkin foods. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin tea, anddddddd pumpkin cinnamon rolls! Ok I know everyone keeps trying to pretend like pumpkin isn’t the thing anymore and that everyone is so basic for liking it. Get’s real! Pumpkin has been the thing since the Native Americans had this entire country to themselves. So stop pretending you think pumpkin is basic. Let’s embrace the pumpkins. After all, they are here to stay!

_MG_1347 dip Cinnamon-Rolls

Ok let’s be real. I’m going to warn you ahead of time, making cinnamon rolls from scratch is no easy task. It’s a pretty long process as far as breakfast goes. But the important thing is that cinnamon rolls are the most rewarding breakfast you’ll ever make. That sweet, melty, cinnamon center mixed in with a delicious sweet dough, and covered with a sugary sweet icing… what more can one ask for after a long night of pickle back shots? Yes, I’m speaking from a truthful place. This might have been me the other week. Plus, add a warm beverage to pair with your sweet and sticky delicious breakfast, and your life just might reach it’s epic breakfast peak!

I’d say the hardest part of making these cinnamon buns is the roll up, which really, it isn’t that hard. Just make sure to roll out your dough evenly and to not worry if any of your filling falls out. It’s bound to happen! Gravity stinks, but it’s not worth worrying about. Also an important note about cinnamon rolls is that you can make them the night before (game changer?), pop the buns in the fridge overnight, and bake in the morning. To be honest, this might be the best way to go, considering this process is time consuming and unless you are waking up at 4 AM with the local bakery owners to create your doughy perfection, you won’t be eating it until noon, at least! And don’t even try to tell me you’d rather have the Pillsbury version. Yes, I know the snap of the air as you open the Pillsbury Cinnamon Roll packaging is more than satisfying. And yes, I know it’s not as time consumer. BUT everyone knows homemade trumps the refrigerator section any day of the week.

_MG_1441 dip2


yields 14 to 16 buns



6 tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 c whole milk, scalded

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast or active dry yeast

3 1/2 to 4 c all-purpose flour

1/4 c dark brown sugar

1/4 c granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cardamom

1/4 tsp ginger

2/3 c pumpkin puree

1 large egg


3/4 c light brown sugar

1/4 c granulated sugar

1/8 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp cardamom

1/4 c ground pistachios


4 tbsp unsalted butter

2 c powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 to 6 tbsp whole milk, warm


1. Melt butter. Once the butter is melted, cook butter for an extra 2-3 minutes. The butter will begin to sizzle and smell a bit nutty. Remove the butter from heat and set aside.

2. This is the goosebumps pick your story part! If you are using dry active yeast: Combine milk and dry active yeast in a bowl and set aside until the yeast mixture gets foamy. If you are using instant yeast: you’ll add your yeast and milk to the dough when the recipe calls for you to add the “yeast mixture”.

3. In an electric mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars, salt, and spices. At a slow stir, add 1/4 cup of the melted butter. Once combined, add your yeast mixture*, pumpkin, and egg. Combine. Switch from a beater to a bread hook. Run on low to medium until your dough is well kneaded (about 6-7 minutes). Mixture will still be a bit sticky.

4. Scrape your dough mixture into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth towel and let sit for an hour in a warm place. The dough should double in size and will be more of a bread dough consistency (not as stick as before).

5. During the hour your dough is rising, line your baking sheet or two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper and butter the sides of the pan and your paper.

Assembling the buns:

6. Scoop dough onto a well floured surface and flour the top of it well. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 16 x 11 inch rectangle. Brush the leftover melted butter over your dough.

7. Stir sugars, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over your dough. Sprinkle the pistachios over your sugar filling. Pat the filling down so it’s not too loose on the dough.

8. Starting on the longer side of your rolled out dough, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.

9. Cut cinnamon rolls at about an inch. *Use a sharp serrated knife. Adding no pressure, slowly cut through each slice with a back and forth, sawlike motion.

10. Set buns on your prepared pans. Cover each pan with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 45 minutes. *If you are doing this the night before, you can now put these in the fridge for the night. In the morning, let the buns heat to room temperature. Leave out for about 45 minutes.*

11. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove your plastic wrap once the buns have risen. Bake the buns for 25 minutes, until the buns are puffy and golden orange. Let buns cool till they are warm.

12. While your buns are baking, make your icing. Mix butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add warmed milk one tablespoon at a time until your reach your desired consistency. Spread icing over buns.

And just like that, you’ve got a top notch breakfast. Can you even believe it? Yes, you can because you are lucky enough to be eating it.

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  • Lana

    Hello, these look amazing! the fact that you can store them in the fridge and pop in the oven in the morning is making me drool over them 🙂 Just wanted to clarify one thing. In the recipe it states “2 1/4 c instant yeast or active dry yeast” is it supposed to be teaspoons/tablespoons? I doubt I need more than 2 cups of yeast. Please let me know. Thank you!

    November 24, 2015 at 2:44 am Reply
    • Samantha Bolton

      Lana! Thank you for writing to me. That was an error on my part. Good catch! It’s 2 1/4 tsp yeast.

      November 24, 2015 at 4:18 pm Reply

    Leave a Reply to Lana Cancel Reply