Following the success of my cranberry pumpkin bread the other day (it was sooo good!), I had some leftover pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge. For a while I was at a loss as what to make with it, there are just too many tempting options – pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin cake, pumpkin muffins…are just some of the things that crossed my mind (while I salivated), but then I thought of something that I hadn’t baked in far too long – cinnamon rolls!
Cinnamon rolls (and other kinds of sweet, sticky yeast bun) are one of my favourite baked goods, and just the kind of thing you want to eat on chilly autumn mornings. But these are not just cinnamon rolls, these are pumpkin cinnamon rolls, filled with gooey brown sugar, butter, spices and chunks of white chocolate. And as if that isn’t enough sweet, sticky goo, I coated them (liberally) with a so-good-I-could-drink-it-from-the-bowl white chocolate and cream cheese glaze. These are worth getting sticky fingers for!
The recipe below makes a fairly generous quantity of glaze (in the photos I hadn’t used all of it), so if you prefer more of a light drizzle than a drenching you may want to halve the quantities (it is really good though…). And this is one of the very few occasions where I will concede that it is ok to use light cream cheese if you wish – icing usually ends up too runny when reduced fat cream cheese is used, but runny is what we are going for here. I do still recommend using Philadelphia though.
These are a great thing to make ahead, if you want them for breakfast or brunch you can make the dough and assemble them in the evening, leave them in the fridge overnight then let them rise in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours in the morning then bake, glaze and devour.
I’ve made a relatively small batch of rolls here, six large or eight small, as I find that most cinnamon roll recipes yield far too many for just two people, but it is easy to double the quantities to make two pans worth if you want.
It is fine to use either canned or homemade pumpkin puree for these, to make your own simply heat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5, slice a small pumpkin or butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, place face down in a roasting tin and bake for about 45 minutes until fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little then peel off the skin and puree the flesh in a food processor/with a hand blender/potato ricer until smooth. Don’t use the large carving pumpkins as they are stringy and don’t have much flavour, any variety of small pumpkin or squash is fine, I use butternut squash as it is easy to get hold of and is less stringy than pumpkin (I also read that most canned pumpkin puree is actually butternut squash anyway).