Just like we’re reminded of Christmas when the scent of pine needles fill the air, these fragrant homemade sweet rolls just smell like Thanksgiving morning. They are a great twist on the traditional pumpkin desserts. Although they are a featured seasonal item in my sweet and savory roll business, Rolling With The Food Snob, they really are quite simple, and I’m so happy to share with you.


Pumpkin Spice Sweet Rolls

The recipe makes 2 dozen

Wet ingredients  Mix together: 1 1/2 cups of whole milk, warmed slightly to take off the refrigerator chill 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil

Dry Ingredients  Stir together: 5 cups of all purpose flour (I use Central Milling Company organic flour, but Wheat Montana brand found at Walmart is a very good quality flour)

1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 TB instant dry yeast 1/2 TB salt 2 TB pumpkin pie spice (Although I grind some of my own spices, for time’s sake, purchasing store bought works just fine.)

Filling  1/3 to 1/2 cup of softened butter per dozen 1/2 – 3/4 cup brown sugar per dozen Generous sprinkling of ground cinnamon

Icing  1 stick of real butter, softened 1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened 3-4 cups of powdered sugar 1-2 TB pumpkin pie spice vanilla extract to taste


Using a wooden spoon, stir together wet and dry ingredients. Add another cup of flour and stir again.

If you own a free-standing mixer with a dough hook, then do this in the accompanying mixing bowl. Slowly add up to one more cup as the machine kneads at low to medium speed until dough forms a ball and is no longer sticky, about 7-10 minutes.

If you do not own a free standing mixer with a dough hook, use a large mixing bowl, do step one, and think Ma Ingalls and her kneading bread on Little House On The Prairie. Turn the dough  mixture onto a lightly floured surface. Add a little flour at a time, again up to one more cup, and knead as you go. There are very helpful videos on You Tube demonstrating how to correctly knead, so if you’re unsure, check them out before beginning this process. As I often say, “you don’t know until you do”.

Once the dough is ready, as stated above, wet your hands with water and remove the dough from the dough hook and/or the mixing bowl. Spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray, put the dough back into the bowl, and spray the top of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put into a draft free and if possible, a warm area until double in size. This usually takes about an hour. To help the rising process, I will either boil a small pan of water and put it into an oven and add the covered mixing bowl, thereby creating a greenhouse effect. OR, if you have one, you can take an even larger bowl, partly fill it with hot water, and place the mixing bowl inside. Either is a nice environment for the yeast to do its work more efficiently.

While the dough is rising, make the icing by whipping the butter and cream cheese until well blended. Add the powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Start with a couple of teaspoons of vanilla, taste, and add more if you want. Do the same with the pumpkin pie spice.

Set aside.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it onto a buttered surface. Divide it into two pieces and set one aside. With your hands or a large rolling pin, smooth it out into a large rectangle shaped ‘sheet’, using softened butter to help the process. Add more butter, the brown sugar, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Starting at one of the long ends, roll it up tightly.

With a sharp knife, slice the rolled dough into 12 equal sections and place pieces into a greased 13″x9″ baking dish. Spray the tops of the rolls and cover with plastic wrap until double in size. Repeat the same steps for the remaining dough.

Preheat oven at 375 degrees, and bake risen dough for approximately 15-17 minutes or until golden brown on top. A toothpick should come out clean when piercing the center rolls.

Immediately after baking, spoon the icing on top and spread. The heat from the rolls will help. Serve warm and enjoy!! Or if you make ahead, then they can easily be reheated in a warm oven.

We have so much for which to be thankful, so I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Polly and her husband Doc

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