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Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Dress up your cinnamon rolls for Autumn with these fluffy Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, which are 100% homemade and 100% delicious for the Fall season!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

If you thought regular cinnamon rolls were decadent, you won't believe how incredible my Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are! These plant-based cinnamon treats are made with a homemade pumpkin yeast dough, a sweet pumpkin spice filling, and an outrageous maple glaze perfect for Fall. In just under a few hours, you can have a bakery-fresh treat with an Autumn flare!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Welcome to Pumpkin Week 2021 here on Orchids and Sweet Tea! 

Every year, I love to celebrate October (one of the best times of the year!) with themed weeks leading up to Halloween. This week, we are talking all things pumpkin. You can add pumpkin to both sweet and savory dishes to add an edge to your dishes!

Kicking off Pumpkin Week 2021 are these spicy-sweet Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls! You'll be shocked at how utterly delicious these rolls are, plus, they are super fun to make. If you have never made your own yeast dough before, now is a perfect time. Plus, this recipe is great for getting the kids involved in baking!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Since this dough is so soft and squishy, little hands are perfect for kneading and rolling. Your kids can also help with the maple frosting, which is super simple. You never know; you might have a future baker on your hands!

Even if you don't have a helping hand in the kitchen, these Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls are so easy to make. All you need is a little time, patience, and Autumn-inspired ingredients such as 100% pure pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin spice. Sounds like Fall to me!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

How to Add Pumpkin Flavor to Any Recipe

If you can add pumpkin to cinnamon rolls, you can add pumpkin to pretty much anything! Pumpkin is a wholesome vegan ingredient that acts as a binder in baking, much like applesauce. 

Forget having to buy pie pumpkins, roast them, and then puree them. There's no need! The secret is to take help from the grocery store by buying a high-quality 100% pure canned pumpkin variety.

Be sure to avoid buying canned pumpkin pie filling on accident. Pumpkin pie filling already has spices, sugar, and binders in them, which would change the flavor of your recipe entirely. I prefer to add my own spices and sugar, so 100% pure pumpkin is the way to go.

For savory dishes, like chili, you can add a can of pure pumpkin for a festive dinner recipe. For sweet dishes, use the same amount of pumpkin that you would use applesauce in a baking recipe.

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Roll Secrets

Dough, cinnamon, sugar, and glaze are standard elements to perfect cinnamon rolls. However, these Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls have a few more tricks up their sleeve this season. And after all, it is both the season of tricks and treats! 

Use both white flour and bread flour. Bread flour adds just a little more chew to the dough, leading to the best-textured cinnamon rolls that I have personally ever had. Bread flour contains more gluten than white flour, which becomes activated and stretchy within the dough when kneading. This leads to the perfect roll!

Hot milk will kill the yeast, warm milk will activate it. Yeasted doughs can be temperamental. To activate the yeast in dough, you must first mix it with warm milk or water and sugar. The yeast eats the sugar while the warm environment activates the yeast, causing it to become bubbly. If your milk or water is too hot, it will kill the yeast before it activates. Aim for 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit for your milk, nothing hotter!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Knead until you can't knead anymore! Kneading forms the gluten, which makes for the perfect texture in cinnamon rolls. The more you knead the more gluten will develop. Sometimes this step can take 10-15 minutes, so to save strength, feel free to use the dough hook with your stand mixer.

Use room temperature butter. In fact, use all room temperature ingredients, including the plant milk. When baking, room temperature ingredients mix better and the dough stays a consistent temperature. This will lead to better baked goods.

Allow the dough to rise overnight, if you can. Overnight gives the yeast more time to feed on the sugar, leading to lighter, fluffier cinnamon rolls.

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients in Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

There are quite a few ingredients in these rolls, so check all of these items off of your grocery list!

For the Pumpkin Dough:

  • 4 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups artisan bread flour
  • 1 cup organic canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling!)
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast (that's 2 ¼ tsp!)
  • ½ cup organic brown sugar + 1 tablespoon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup WARM water 
  • 1 ¼ cup almond milk, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons vegan butter  (be sure that it's WARM, not hot!)

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the Pumpkin Spice Filling:

  • ½ cup organic brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter, melted 
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice mix

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the Maple Glaze:

  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

For the Dough:

  • Combine yeast and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in warm water while stirring frequently. Allow 5 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.
  • Add in the room temperature milk and warm butter to the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix at low speed until well combined and everything begins to form into a dough-like consistency, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Change the mixer head to the kneading accessory and knead the dough for 5-10 minutes on high speed until the dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed together with 2 fingers.
  • NOTE: If the dough is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl, tossing it around until coated. Cover with plastic wrap (or a towel) and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. 
  • In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

For the Filling:

  • Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin spice mix and brown sugar, mixing them together. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has risen fully, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang from the sides.
  • Add a bit of flour to a surface and place the dough onto it, lightly adding a bit of flour to the top. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 9″x14 and ½-inch thick), trimming the edges if needed.
  • NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously brush melted butter (leaving aside 1 tablespoon) atop the dough, followed by the brown sugar-pumpkin spice mixture, ensuring that the top is coated evenly.
  • NOTE: I also use a pastry brush to sweep the sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5" rolls, placing each roll (cut side down) into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
  • Then place plastic wrap (and foil for security) over the baking dish with rolls, brush the tops with a little more melted butter, and let them rise again for another 20 minutes or until they double in size again!
  • Bake rolls in the preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the centers have baked through.
  • While all the baking magic is happening, make the Maple Glaze.

For the Maple Glaze:

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm maple syrup for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, add the powdered sugar, warm maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon, whisking everything together until the glaze becomes smooth and velvety.
  • NOTE: Add almond milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if the glaze is too thick or powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) if too thin.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and wait for 25-30 minutes or until it completely cools, before spreading the frosting/glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula evenly until fully covered.
  • To serve, cut out each roll desired and enjoy.
  • Bon Appetit!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Other Recipes You'll Love

Thanks for kicking off Pumpkin Week 2021 with me! If you love this recipe, you'll love my other Fall treats!

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Best Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

5 from 10 votes
These Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls most certainly live up to being the best. They are moist, soft, thick, sweet, and surely does just melt in your mouth. Not being your typical Cinnamon Roll, this recipe is topped with a mouth-watering Maple Glaze that will leave you wanting more. Definitely not your average vegan sweet treat, but 100% homemade and filled with pure goodness!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Rise Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Serves: 12

Ingredients

PUMPKIN DOUGH:

  • 4 cups organic All-purpose flour (See Notes!)
  • 2 cups Artisan Bread flour
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree (Canned version, not pie filling!)
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast (That's 2 ¼ tsps!)
  • ½ cup organic brown sugar + 1 Tbsp
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cardamom
  • ¼ cup WARM water (See Notes!)
  • 1 ¼ cup Almond milk, room temp. (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 6 Tbsps vegan butter  (Make sure that it's WARM, not hot!)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

PUMPKIN SPICE FILLING:

  • ½ cup organic brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsps vegan butter, melted 
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice mix (See Notes!)

MAPLE GLAZE:

  • 3 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

FOR THE DOUGH:

  • Combine yeast and 1 tablespoon brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and slowly pour in warm water while stirring frequently. Allow 5 minutes for the mixture to sit and for the yeast to activate.
  • Add in the room temperature milk and warm butter to the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Add in the pumpkin puree and vanilla and whisk to incorporate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, bread flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and sea salt and add them to the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until well combined and everything begins to form into a dough-like consistency, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Change “Mixer head” to kneading accessory and knead dough for 5-10 minutes on high speed until dough ball becomes smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed together with 2 fingers. NOTE: If dough is still too sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until texture is achieved!
  • Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of olive oil and place the dough ball in the bowl, tossing it around until coated. Cover with plastic wrap (or a towel) and let sit for 1 hour, allowing the dough to rise and double in size. 
  • In the meantime, you can work on the filling!

FOR THE FILLING:

  • Melt the butter in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin spice mix and brown sugar, mixing them together. Set aside.
  • Once the dough has risen fully, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, allowing excess to hang from the sides.
  • Add a bit of flour to a surface and place the dough onto it, lightly adding a bit of flour to the top. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a rectangular shape (approximately 9″x14 and ½-inch thick), trimming the edges if needed. NOTE: Try not to make the dough too thin or else rolling it up will be hard to do!
  • Then, generously brush melted butter (leaving aside 1 Tbsp) atop dough, followed by the brown sugar-pumpkin spice mixture, ensuring that the top is coated evenly. NOTE: I also use a 'pastry brush' to sweep sugar mixture evenly across the dough to ensure that every bite is sweet!
  • Tightly roll dough (long-ways) and using a pastry cutter, cut dough into 1.5" rolls, placing each roll (cut side down) into a large baking dish (lined with parchment paper!).
  • Then place plastic wrap (and foil for security) over the baking dish with rolls, brush the tops with a little more melted butter, and let them rise again for another 20 minutes or until they double in size again!
  • Bake rolls in the preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and the centers have baked through.
  • While all the baking magic is happening, make the Maple Glaze.

MAPLE GLAZE:

  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm maple syrup for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl, add the powdered sugar, warm maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon, whisking everything together until the glaze becomes smooth and velvety. NOTE: Add Almond milk (1 tablespoon at a time) if the glaze is too thick or powdered sugar (1 tablespoon at a time) if too thin.
  • Remove the rolls from oven and wait 25-30 minutes or until it completely cools, before spreading the frosting/glaze atop the rolls using a rubber spatula evenly until fully covered.
  • To serve, cut out each roll desired and enjoy.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • TO STORE: Cinnamon Rolls can be kept fresh at room temperature when tightly wrapped or sealed for up to 3 days. Fresh for up to 1 week in the Refrigerator. Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2 months.
  • OVERNIGHT OPTION: If you don’t want to make your Cinnamon Rolls on the same day, you can simply follow all steps (including the initial 1+ hour rise) and after cutting rolls and placing them into your baking pan, just cover them tightly (using foil paper of plastic wrap) and refrigerate them overnight or for 8-12 hours instead. The following day, remove from refrigerator and keeping them covered, let cinnamon rolls rise at room temp 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  • RAPID (INSTANT) RISE YEAST VS. ACTIVE DRY YEAST: If you’re not using the Rapid Rise Yeast for this recipe, please know that the rise time will be twice as long (about 3 hours) since regular Active Yeast doesn’t work as quickly.
    PUMPKIN SPICE MIX: If you don’t have Pumpkin Spice readily available, you can use the following: 2 tsps ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground cloves, and a pinch of allspice.
     

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 104g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 2g | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 3180IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

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  1. AMAZING. The whole family loved it. I think I might cut some of the pumpkin spice seasoning next time but it was 10/10

    • Hi Jennifer! Yay! I'm so happy to hear that! This is definitely one of my must-bake items for the Fall season! 🙂

    • Hi Ashley,

      Definitely! The bread flour helps to create more of a brioche feel. However, All-Purpose definitely works! 🙂

    • Hi Ashly! To make it Gluten-Free, you can use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour and reduce the milk to 3/4 cup instead. If dough is too dry, you can then add more milk, 1 Tbsp at a time. However, if using an entirely Gluten-Free flour like Almond Flour, etc. just use 1 tsp of xanthan gum as well. I hope this helps!

  2. Perfect fall breakfast treat. All those yummy flavors, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamon. Fantastic recipe.

  3. These cinnamon rolls sound so good. Especially with the addition of pumpkin, Great way to switch them up and the maple glaze looks amazing!

  4. These look amazing. I am always looking for new recipes. I am not vegan but I sometimes branch out and make vegan recipes. YUM!

    • Thanks so much! Yes, I enjoy making a lot of vegan recipes also even though I don't eat an entirely vegan diet! I do hope that you get a chance to give this one a try!

  5. Vegan or not, these cinnamon rolls looks amazing! I can basically smell the cinnamon just by looking at the pictures. I'll try them!

    • Hi Betty! Thanks so much! Trust me, once you bite into them, you won't even realize that they are vegan! Be sure to let me know what you think once you do try them! 🙂

    • Hi Summer! Yes, my little guy loves it and I don't feel as guilty because they are made with good ingredients. I do hope that you and your family enjoy them! Thanks so much! 🙂