Happy Accidents: Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

by kellybakes in

pumpkin cinnamon buns

I have a tendency to get ahead of myself. I get an idea. I get excited. My brain rushes ahead. The rest of me moves twice as fast to try to keep up. Then, suddenly, the world seems to stop and I realize that I'm done with whatever task I started. At this point, I need to take a quick look around and make sure I haven't missed anything. Most often, nothing is amiss. Other times, I'm not so lucky... like the time I attempted to make dobos torte and in the sponge cake-making process, spooned the batter out before realizing I forgot to fold in the egg whites. Chewy cake ensued. No bueno.

Something similar happened last week. I had challah on the brain. I made a honey apple loaf for Rosh Hashanah, got a seriously addictive cinnamon swirl loaf at the Philly Swappers event, and, as I sat bereft of bready goodness, I went in search of variations to make more. My pal Isabelle made pumpkin and tempted me with pics on instagram. As I imagined the fallish flavor combined with the slightly sweet bread, my mind jumped ahead to sticky buns.

apple honey challah bread

Two summers ago, I ate a sticky bun and a rootbeer for breakfast every Saturday (and was somehow a size 2. how does *that* work? More importantly, can I have that lifestyle/jean size back?). In my humble opinion, sticky buns always trump cinnamon buns--I love the gooey, sugary glaze that crowns the top of the buns and falls between the cinnamonny crevices, keeping things sticky all the way to the plate and forcing you to lick your fingers once you're done. Cinnamon buns seem dry and too bready in comparison.

Of course, as luck would have it, my excitement got the best of me while baking these buns. I started with a King Arthur sticky bun recipe and didn't read it all the way through before I started baking. In my haste, I neglected to notice that you should put the glaze on before the buns go in the oven to ensure they get sticky. I realized this halfway through the baking time, but thanks to a stick of cream cheese in the fridge, my ever-reliable bottle of baking bourbon and some grade B maple syrup, I managed to make them work. They may not have had the signature stickiness, but they were still gooey on the bottom and pretty delicious throughout. For once, a baking haste accident that worked in my favor--point: me.

pumpkin cinnamon buns

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting

Recipe Type: breakfast, dessert
Author: kellybakes
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
Loosely adapted from the King Arthur flour Pumpkin Spice Sticky Buns recipe
  • For the buns
  • 3 1/3 C bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 packet (or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15 oz can pureed pumpkin
  • 1/4 C potato flour
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • For the frosting
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 3 T butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp bourbon (depends on your tastebuds, I like just the faintest hint, but if you want to get boozy, go for it!)
  • 2 tsp grade B maple syrup
For the buns
  1. Combine dry ingredients, including flours, spices and yeast, in a bowl. Stir in butter until just incorporated.
  2. Add vanilla, egg and pumpkin. Stir to combine. Continue mixing until a dough forms.
  3. Knead by hand on a floured surface or with dough hook until a smooth dough forms. Place ball of dough in an oiled bowl. Cover and place in a warm spot to rest for one hour. Dough should rise, but not necessarily double in size.
For the filling
  1. Melt the butter. Reserve half the butter and set aside. Combine half the butter with sugars, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Roll the buns
  1. Butter two 8" round pans. Line with parchment rounds. Butter parchment.
  2. After dough has rested, turn it out onto a floured surface. Punch it down slightly then roll into a 12 x 20" rectangle.
  3. Brush with reserved melted butter. Sprinkle liberally with sugar/cinnamon/butter mixture.
  4. Holding the "long" end, begin rolling the dough away from you until it becomes a log. Cut off each end and then cut the log in half. Cut each half in half. Cut each quarter into 4 pieces using the halving method. You should wind up with 16 pieces.
  5. Divide rolls between pans, leaving space between rolls.
  6. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Rolls should touch once rest period is over. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350F.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto cooling rack.
Make the frosting
  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Add maple syrup and bourbon. Stir to combine. Spread onto cooled buns. Enjoy!