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Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

Gesine Bullock-Prado's recipes for pumpkin cinnamon buns and other pastries
TODAY Show: Gesine Bullock-Prado bakes cinnamon buns and other delicious Thanksgiving pastries all with canned pumpkin. -- November 20, 2015Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Chef notes

Pumpkin puree is cheap and helps make tasty treats. Use pumpkin puree to make these unbelievable pumpkin cinnamon buns from scratch, with this recipe from Gesine Bullock-Prado, author of "Let Them Eat Cake." Here are more ideas for pumpkin puree.


For the dough
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/4 cup plain mashed potato flakes
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Icing
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt



In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, potato flakes, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest. Set aside. 


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Slowly add the butter, a small piece at a time and continue mixing until a smooth dough forms, 10 to 15 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but a small bit usually remains on the very bottom of the bowl (if it's too sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency). 


Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and turn the dough over a few times in the bowl so that it's evenly coated.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to proof and rise about double its size in a warm corner of the kitchen about 1 to 1½ hours.


Make the filling: Mix all the filling ingredients together but the butter in a small bowl.


Preheat oven to 350 F.


Lightly dust a cutting board or butcher's block. Roll out the dough into a 18-by-14-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle the filling over the butter-smeared area, leaving a 1/2-inch border free from filling on one long end. Roll the dough into a long log, starting at the long end opposite the naked border like a jellyroll.


Cut the dough log into 12 even pieces. Arrange the slices in rows, leaving about an inch between them.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow to proof at room temperature for 40 to 50 minutes until slightly puffy.


Take off the plastic wrap and cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and take off the foil to check how close the middles of the rolls are to done. Bake for 5 minutes more, or until the buns are lightly golden brown and baked through.


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix all the icing ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over the warm buns.