IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

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


For the dough
  • "4.5-5" is not a number. cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plain mashed potato flakes
  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon 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 (or vanilla bean extract)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Filling
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 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.


    In a large mixing bowl, stir together 4 ½ cups 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 extract. 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 (about 10 - 15 minutes). After adding the butter, you can also take the dough out of the mixer and knead by hand to give your mixer a break and give yourself a workout. 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 a tablespoon of the reserve flour one tablespoon at a time). 

    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 - 1 ½ hours.

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

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Roll out the dough into a 18" x 14" rectangle, making sure that the work surface has a very fine layer of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface of the work station (alternatively, spray the work surface and rolling pin with non-stick cooking spray).

    Spread the soft butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle the filling over the butter-smeared area, leaving a ½ inch naked 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 40-50 minutes until slightly puffy.

    Take off the plastic wrap and cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil.  Bake for 25-30 minutes and take off the foil to check how close the middles of the rolls are to done.  Bake 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.