Yep. I just did that.
Don’t be alarmed; these are the friendliest cinnamon rolls that the LYK has to offer. [we have only made one other amazing cinnamon roll recipe, so that last statement might not be worth that much]
Just take my word for it (and, my brother, and sister, and boyfriend). We can all attest to the beauty and flavor of these new fall weekend favorites.
Although making the dough from scratch—rather than popping a can of ready-made Pillsbury’s—might take some extra time, it’s all worth it in the end.
Let me tell you, sitting down to a nice Sunday brunch is much better with home-made pastries than preservative-filled, artificially-flavored, store-bought Cinnabons or Pillsbury’s finest.
Also, you definitely cannot find these puppies in the store. Unless you go to some fancy bakery, where they might have a similar cinnamon roll during the fall season, but just don’t forget the small fact that you will probably have to leave your firstborn child behind, to be able to pay for a baker’s dozen. If you love to bake or keep your kitchen well stocked, then you probably already have all of these ingredients with the exception of one or two.
The ‘How To’:
[Hunt &] Gather ingredients.
Heat almond milk to 110 degrees F, add to mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. After 5 minutes, throw the rest of the ingredients in the mixer and mix until dough ball forms.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead several times. Place back into greased mixing bowl, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
When the dough doubles in size…
…punch it down, once. [picture not show, too graphic and violent for the blog]
Then, roll out. The dough, I mean.
Mr. Dough might be upset that you just punched him, so spread on some lovin’, aka: melty butter, sweet brown sugar, and sprinkled spices.
You can go as wild as you want here, really, I encourage it.
Add the toasted pecan pieces and it’s time to roll up.
Roll into a log and slice into 12 equal parts.
Note: I could have easily blurred out the lines on the dough, since I was pre-marking the log into 12 pieces before cutting into it, however I wanted to show you all that apparently, I cannot count or measure AT ALL when it’s 9 AM on a Sunday morning.
Don’t believe me? The proof:
Eventually I got it right (after Jen, my sister, stepped in), and here are the little buns ready for the oven!
But first, give them some time to chill out and get acquainted with the new surroundings, so they can rise again for about 20 minutes.
Such a cute little skillet that served as my over-flow parking for the last 3 of my rolls that refused to fit in the other 9X9 lot.
Make the Maple-Spice Cream Cheese Frosting (direction below), and generously drizzle onto your warm cinnamon rolls.
**Excuse the non-plated cinnamon roll pictures. Again, they were massacred as soon as they were excavated from the baking dish and transferred to a plate. Gone without a trace, just a few buttery bun-prints.
For the Dough:
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk, heated up (or regular)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
3 Tbsp butter, soft and cut into small pieces
2 Tbsp Grade B Pure Maple Syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and rolling it out
1 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
For the Filling:
3 Tbsp butter, melted (plus extra for brushing the dish and the tops)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted
For the Maple-Spice Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, or more to taste
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tbsp Grade B Pure Maple Syrup
Heat the almond milk to approximately 110º F. Add to the bowl of the stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to activate the yeast. Add all of the “Dough” ingredients to the bowl of the stand mixer, and with the dough hook attachment, begin to mix on a medium speed. After about 30 seconds, scrap the edges and turn the speed down to low and let mix until a dough ball has formed. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead about 20-30 times. Spray the bottom of the mixing bowl, add the dough ball to the bottom, spray the top, cover with a towel and let it sit in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375º F. After the dough has doubled in size, punch down. Remove from bowl and turn out on a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangular shape, about ½ inch thick.
Lightly toast the pecans, and give them a rough chop. Brush the melted butter onto the dough. Evenly distribute the brown sugar, spices and (only 3/4 cup) pecan pieces, using enough and more if needed, to cover the sheet of dough. Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a log, and cut it equally, into 12 parts. Brush extra melted butter on the bottom of the 9X13 glass-baking dish (or in our case, a 9X9 dish, plus a small cast iron skillet) and add the rolls to the dish. Brush the tops of the rolls with butter and sprinkle on the rest of the toasted pecans. Before baking, let them sit in the dish for about 15-20 minutes, so they can rise some more.
Bake for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting, but mixing the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice, until mixture is creamy and lump-free.
Remove cinnamon rolls from the oven and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before adding the frosting.
*Little Yellow Note: Dig in! They are best fresh out of the oven, and still a little on the dough-y side, so I only cook them for about 16-18 minutes.