Chocolate chip pumpkin rolls - soft, fluffy sweet vegan pumpkin bread rolls filled with chocolate chips. The perfect Autumnal snack or breakfast!
Made using the tangzhong method for super soft bread without needing to add lots of fat. Don't worry, it's really easy!
These vegan chocolate chip pumpkin bread rolls are soft, fluffy, sweetly spiced and loaded with chocolate chips.
They make an amazing snack or breakfast and are great eaten just as they are, spread with peanut butter, jam or chocolate spread, or split, toasted and buttered.
They are made using the tangzhong method, which helps to keep them soft for longer.
It is really easy to do and just involves making a portion of the flour and liquid into a roux, then cooking it until it forms a thick, pudding-like texture. This mixture is then cooled and added to the bread dough.
What Do I Need To Make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Rolls?:
Bread flour: White bread flour helps to give these rolls their soft, fluffy, chewy texture. Plain (all-purpose) flour will work though the texture isn't quite as good. I don't recommend using wholemeal flour as that will make the bread too dense.
Instant/fast action yeast: I always prefer to use fast action yeast when making bread as it can just be added straight to the flour and doesn't need to be activated first. See below for instructions if you only have active dry yeast.
Salt: You simply cannot make good bread without salt. Don't omit it.
Non-dairy milk: Soy milk is always my favourite for baking as it has the highest protein content so most closely resembles dairy milk. Any variety of non-dairy milk will work however, but go for an unsweetened one if you can.
Sugar: Light brown soft sugar adds flavour as well as sweetness. You can use coconut sugar, caster or granulated sugar instead. Don't use liquid sugars as it will make the dough too wet.
Vegan butter: While in most cases I only recommend using a block butter for baking, in this case a tub variety is fine as well (but not one of the low-fat ones!). I used Flora Original.
Pumpkin puree: The pumpkin adds flavour and moisture, it also gives the rolls a beautiful colour! I use tinned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling), but homemade is also fine.
Pumpkin spice: I use a shop bought pumpkin spice blend. In the UK it is readily available online or you can use a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice. You can also just omit the spice.
Chocolate chips: I use dark chocolate chips. Check that they are vegan friendly as not all of them are.
How To Make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Rolls:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
To make the tangzhong, place the flour in a saucepan and gradually whisk in the milk.
Place the pan over a medium/low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to a paste/pudding-like consistency.
Scrape the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add the rest of the cold milk, the pumpkin puree and the sugar. Stir to combine; it doesn't matter if it is a bit lumpy, you are just cooling the tangzhong down so that it doesn't kill the yeast.
Add the flour, yeast, pumpkin spice and salt.
With the mixer on a low speed, mix for about 4 minutes until it forms a rough dough. Increase the speed to medium and mix until it is smooth and stretchy.
Add the butter and continue to mix on a medium speed until the butter is fully incorporated, the dough is smooth and elastic and it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.
Place the dough in a bowl, cover and set aside to rise until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and add the chocolate chips. Knead until they are evenly combined.
How To Shape The Rolls:
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces (use a scale for accuracy).
Shape each piece into a ball by gathering the edges up and pinching them together. Keep going until you have a neat, well-sealed ball.
Flip the ball over, cup it with your hand over the top and roll it until it is smooth.
Arrange the balls in a lined tin. Loosely cover and set aside to rise until puffy.
Gently brush with a mixture of milk and maple syrup then bake for 25-30 minutes.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
Make sure that your yeast isn't out of date! Old yeast can lead to bread that doesn’t rise.
The amount of flour needed may vary a bit as different brands absorb different amounts of liquid and the weather can also affect it. Start with the quantity given in the recipe and add a little more as needed if the dough is too wet. This is meant to be a soft sticky dough however, so don’t add too much as that will make the bread dry.
If you want, you can give the dough it’s first rise overnight in the fridge rather than at room temperature. This breaks up the workload and gives the bread an even better flavour.
The rising time of the dough will vary depending on how warm it is; on hot days it will rise much faster than on cold ones. If you refrigerate the dough for it's first rise, the second rise will take longer than if it's first rise was at room temperature.
Brushing the rolls with a mixture of milk and maple syrup before they go into the oven makes them lovely and shiny. You can use just milk or aquafaba instead if you prefer.
Can I Knead The Dough By Hand?:
This is a fairly soft, sticky dough so it is easier to use a stand mixer to do the kneading for you but yes, you absolutely can knead the dough by hand, just be prepared for a bit of a workout!
When kneading, you shouldn't flour the surface as you will end up incorporating too much flour and making the dough too dry. Instead, if the dough is sticking too much, you can lightly oil the worksurface and your hands to help, or just be prepared to get a bit sticky!
A bench scraper is incredibly handy when kneading dough by hand to unstick the dough from the surface.
What Kind Of Yeast?:
I always use instant yeast when I am baking bread as it doesn’t need to be activated in liquid first, you can just add it straight to the flour. I highly recommend buying instant yeast if possible.
If you are only able to get active dry yeast then you can still use it but the method will be a little different.
Use 10g (3 tsp) of active dry yeast. Make the tanghong as directed, but then scrape it into a bowl, cover with clingfilm or greaseproof paper directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool to room temperature.
Instead of using cold milk in the dough, it should be lukewarm, NOT hot. You should be able to comfortably hold your finger in it. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.
Mix the active dry yeast with the lukewarm milk and a pinch of the sugar. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes until it has become bubbly then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
How To Speed Up The Rising Time:
If your room temperature is cold and you want to speed up the rising time a bit then you can heat the oven up on it’s lowest temperature for a couple of minutes then switch it off and open the door for 30 seconds to let some of the heat out.
Hold your hand in there for a few seconds to make sure it isn’t too hot. It should feel warm but not hot, like a warm summer day kind of temperature. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast so be careful!
Place the covered dough in the oven and shut the door. If it is a really cold day then you may need to warm the oven up again after a while but I usually find that once is enough.
Alternatively, place a bowl or loaf tin in the bottom of your (cold, switched off) oven and place the covered dough on the middle shelf. Fill the bowl with boiling water and close the oven door. The steam will create a warm environment for the dough to rise.
How To Tell When The Bread Is Baked:
The best way to tell if bread is baked properly is to check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. It should reach at least 90°C/194°F.
Overbaked bread will be dry and if it is under-baked then you will be eating raw dough, yuck! It is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all baking time as all ovens vary.
I really do recommend investing in a probe thermometer, it is an incredibly handy kitchen tool!
If you don’t have a thermometer then the rolls should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom, or a toothpick inserted into the centre of a roll should go in and out smoothly with little resistance and come out clean.
How To Store Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Rolls:
As with most home-made bread, these chocolate chip pumpkin rolls are best eaten on the day they are baked. The tangzhong helps to keep them soft for about 3 days however. After a day or so they are nicest if you warm them up gently before serving to refresh them.
Store them in an airtight container or bread bin at room temperature. They should not be placed in the fridge as that can make them go stale faster.
Can I Freeze Them?:
Yes! You can freeze these pumpkin rolls. Place them in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to three months. Ideally they should be frozen on the day they are baked to preserve freshness (allow them to cool completely first).
Allow to defrost at room temperature and warm through gently to refresh them before serving.
Can I Make Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Using This Recipe?:
Yes! The dough can be used to make dinner rolls. Simply omit the chocolate chips and halve the amount of sugar (unless you prefer your rolls on the sweet side). You can also omit the pumpkin spice if you like. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.
Can I Make Them Gluten-Free?:
No, I’m afraid that you cannot use gluten free flour. Making gluten free bread is tricky and the entire recipe would need reworking. Gluten free baking is not my area of expertise so I cannot advise you.
It is best to use a recipe that is designed to be gluten free rather than trying to adapt a non gluten free recipe.
More Vegan Sweet Bread Recipes:
- Vegan Belgian buns
- Vegan pumpkin pecan babka
- Almond bread twist
- Vegan cinnamon rolls
- Vegan chocolate babka
- Vegan pumpkin cinnamon rolls
- Vegan hot cross buns
- Maple pecan bread wreath
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Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Rolls (vegan)
- 30 g (¼ cup) white bread flour
- 160 g (⅔ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy)
- 160 g (⅔ cup) pumpkin puree cool
- 30 g (2 Tablespoons) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I use soy) cold
- 60 g (4 packed Tablespoons) light brown soft sugar
- 400 g (3 ¼ cups) white bread flour
- 8 g (2 ½ teaspoons) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice (optional)
- 35 g (2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) vegan butter/margarine softened
- 150 g (5 oz) chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- To make the tangzhong, place the flour in a saucepan and gradually whisk in the milk to avoid lumps
- Place the pan over a medium/low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to a paste/pudding-like consistency.
- Scrape the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and add the cold milk, the pumpkin puree and the sugar. Stir to combine; it doesn't matter if it is a bit lumpy, you are just cooling the tangzhong down so that it doesn't kill the yeast.
- Add the flour, yeast, pumpkin spice and salt. Don't let the salt touch the yeast. With the mixer on a low speed, mix for about 4 minutes until it forms a rough dough. Increase the speed to medium and mix until it is smooth and stretchy.
- Add the butter and continue to mix on a medium speed until the butter is fully incorporated, the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer feels greasy and it is pulling away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and set aside to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 ½ - 2 hours.
- Punch down the risen dough and add the chocolate chips. Knead until they are evenly combined.
- Divide the dough into 12 even pieces (use a scale for accuracy).
- Shape each piece into a ball by gathering the edges up and pinching them together. Keep going until you have a neat, well-sealed ball. Try and make sure that the chocolate chips aren't on the surface of the ball, otherwise they may burn in the oven.
- Flip the ball over, cup it with your hand over the top and roll it until it is smooth.
- Arrange the balls in a lined approx 20 x 30 cm tin. Loosely cover and set aside to rise until puffy, about 45-75 minutes. If you gently press the dough with your finger it should spring back slowly, and maybe leave a slight indentation. If it springs back quickly then it needs a little longer, and if the dough deflates then it is over-prooved so keep an eye on it!
- When the bread is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Mix the milk and maple syrup together in a small bowl.
- Gently brush the rolls with the milk mixture, then bake for 25-30 minutes. They should be deep golden and a probe thermometer inserted into the centre should reach at least 90°C/194°F.*
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully lift them out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos. If you have a question I may have already answered it above!
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
- *If you don’t have a thermometer then a toothpick inserted into the centre of a roll should go in and out smoothly with little resistance and come out clean.