Monday, February 4, 2013

Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls

I'm a longtime follower of Barbara's blog, Barbara Bakes, so it was one sweet surprise to be assigned to her for this month's Secret Recipe Club.  I gave a lot of thought to what I'd choose from her blog, starting out with about a dozen recipes, then halving the list to six, then three.  It came down to the Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls, the Chocolate Fudge Butterfinger Cookies, and her lovely Snickerdoodle Bread

Though it was hard to choose, I decided on the Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls.  After all, I love baking yeast breads, I love pumpkin, and there is nothing more decadent than a cinnamon roll.  Plus, I just had to try that gorgeous fantail look.

If you've ever made pull-apart bread before, these will be a snap to make.  The only difference is that you put the pieces into muffin cups so, instead of one big loaf, you have a little mini one that can fit in the palm of your hand.  So fun!

I did make a couple changes to the recipe by adding some spices to the dough as well as using brown sugar instead of white.  I also used water instead of milk, but that was because I didn't have any milk in the house at the time.  Still, the rolls came out fantastic.  They were soft, they were fluffy, they were deliciously caramelized on the outside.  Then, as the icing on the cake, or the bread, I should say, you top them off with a sweet cream cheese icing.  Finally, with a roll in your hand (or maybe one in each hand), you pull off one cinnamony-sugary piece after another and put it into your mouth, savoring every bite.  Although they do take some time and effort to make, they are so worth it.  Mmmm, irresistible!

Thanks Barbara for one super recipe! 

Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from Barbara Bakes)

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (I used all-purpose)
2 3/4 c. bread flour
1/4 c. sugar (I used 1/2 c. brown sugar)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk, warm (105F - 110F) (I used water)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg 
1 large egg

Cinnamon Sugar Filling:
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

Cream Cheese Icing:
3 oz. cream cheese, room temeprature
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice 

Combine the yeast with the warm milk and a pinch of sugar and let sit until foamy, about 5 min.  Stir in the sugar, melted butter, pumpkin puree, vanilla, salt, spices, and the egg and mix to combine.  Mix in the all-purpose flour.  Add in the bread flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the bottom of the bowl.  Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 min.  

Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dishwtowel, and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour (I put mine into the fridge to rise for about 4 hours).  

While the dough is rising, make the cinnamon-sugar filling.  Grease 12 muffin cups with butter.  

After the dough has risen, punch it down.  Divide it in half and roll into a 12" square.  Spread half the butter evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with half the cinnamon-sugar filling.  Press the cinnamon-sugar into the butter.  

Cut dough in to six strips, each 2 inches wide with a pizza cutter. Stack strips, buttered sides up, and cut crosswise into six 2 inch pieces with bench scraper.

Carefully place each piece, cut edges up, in a muffin cup. Separate outer layers of each roll to fan outward. Make more rolls with remaining dough in same manner.

Loosely cover muffin pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, 30 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F

Bake 18 to 22 minutes until rolls are golden brown. Cover the top with foil if rolls are browning too quickly. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While bread is cooling, make the icing.

For the icing: In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin pie spice and beat until incorporated. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Add the milk slowly, a little at a time until the icing is the desired consistency.

Drizzle icing over warm rolls or serve in bowls for dipping. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. So glad you liked the rolls. Sound like delicious changes. I really should make them again some time soon. Just FYI - I created this recipe for a contest and I just found out last week that I won 2nd prize!

  2. Your cinnamon rolls look so cute and delicious! This is a great pick for SRC!

  3. Your rolls look gorgeous and sound delicious. Great SRC choice.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry Lemon Almond Biscotti.


  4. Lisa, these look great. I actually wasn't surprised when I saw this recipe was u'r SRC reveal. These have a lot of u'r favorite things in them. :)

  5. I love her blog too...and these fantail cinnamon rolls are so much fun. Thank you for sharing...and thank you for your sweet words on my blog. They made my day.

  6. Those look great, Lisa. Love that they are done individually.

  7. I don't blame you for having so much trouble choosing... that Snickerdoodle Bread sounds awfully tempting. I think you definitely made the right choice, though! Those fantail rolls look as tasty as they are pretty.

  8. Lisa, you always make the BEST baked goodies. Nice job for the SRC.

  9. Coming over from group B SRC. I love the muffin tin idea for individual portions.

  10. I am ALL over these cinnamon rolls! Yum! they look and sound sooooo delicious!

  11. I can smell them from here! Hehe, they look so good! I bet they are really yummy! :-)

  12. YES!! PLEASE!! These look fun AND delicious.