Soft and fluffy brioche with pumpkin puree in the dough filled with a buttery brown sugar pumpkin spice filling, these Pumpkin Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls are the perfect treat when temperatures begin to dip. Topped with a delicious cream cheese glaze, these naturally leavened rolls are a delicious comforting treat that will be a new family favorite.
Make rich and fluffy brioche with pumpkin!
Aside from imparting a deep orange hue to fluffy brioche, pumpkin puree imparts a plush and pillowy texture to these rolls. It adds moisture and richness so the bread remains soft without the need to add eggs and as much butter to the dough.
Why I love this recipe
- Naturally-leavened with sourdough starter - no yeast!
- Pumpkin puree imparts a soft and pillowy texture to sourdough brioche
- Addition of pumpkin puree means you don’t need to add as much butter to the dough
- Mixed by hand, no stand mixer required
- Filled with warm spices and topped with a yummy cream cheese glaze
What you need
Pumpkin puree: For the best results use canned pumpkin puree. Homemade pumpkin puree may affect the hydration level of your dough and the final texture of your bread. Do not use pumpkin pie filling, since it contains added spices and sugars. Use any leftover pumpkin puree to make Sourdough Pumpkin Cookies, Sourdough Pumpkin Muffins or Decorative Pumpkin Sourdough Bread.
Active sourdough starter: You’ll need a mature, active sourdough starter for this recipe. Your starter should be bubbly and well-risen.
All-purpose flour: The low protein content of all-purpose keeps these cinnamon rolls, soft and fluffy. Do not substitute another type of flour, especially whole wheat or your rolls will be tough and dry.
Spices: I love using individual and whole spice when possible, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought pumpkin spice mix, you’ll need about 1 ½ tablespoons.
Salt: I forgot to add salt in the photo (oops!). But please don't forget to add it to your recipe or your rolls will turn out bland and mushy, salt helps strengthen gluten in addition to imparting flavor. Use kosher salt or sea salt for the best results!
See recipe card for detailed ingredient information.
- Easily use this recipe to create Sourdough Sticky Buns instead, just add butter, brown sugar and pecans to the bottom of the pan before baking.
- Transform this pumpkin sourdough brioche dough into Sourdough Monkey Bread, simply make mini buns and roll them in the sugar and spice mix before baking.
- Add dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, orange zest or candied ginger to make Chelsea Buns!
- Use more spices, try adding cardamom, all-spice or even pink peppercorns to enhance the flavor of these cinnamon rolls.
- Substitute mashed potato or even sweet potato for the pumpkin. Soft Sourdough Potato Bread is delicious and would make amazing cinnamon rolls.
- Add a packet of instant yeast or active dry yeast to speed up the baking process! You can use the same recipe, just shorten the rise times!
STEP 1 Make the dough: Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, and sourdough starter in a large bowl (image 1). Add the flour, salt and spices into the pumpkin mixture. Knead the butter into the dough a tablespoon at a time (image 2). Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
TIP: The rest period will allow the flour to fully hydrate and will make the dough much easier to handle.
STEP 2 Knead the dough: Knead the dough until it looks smooth (image 3).
TIP: The dough will look rough at first (image 4) but will look smooth after 5 to 10 minutes of kneading (image 5).
STEP 3 Bulk rise: Let the dough rise until it has noticeably increased in volume. Your dough will look and feel tight right after kneading (image 6). It will feel bubbly, and look well risen after it has proofed (image 7).
STEP 4 Cold proof: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
TIP: If you’d like to bake these pumpkin cinnamon rolls on the same day, simply skip cold-proof and continue on to shaping.
STEP 5 Shape the dough: Roll the dough out into a large rectangle (image 8). Spread softened butter on the dough (image 9). Sprinkle the sugar and spice mix over the butter (image 10). Working with the longer side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder (image 11).
TIP: Using dental floss instead of a knife will create tidier rolls and prevent you from crushing your dough.
STEP 6 Second proof: Arrange the rolls on a 9-by-13-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper (image 12). Let the dough rise until puffy and the rolls have filled the pan (image 13).
STEP 7 Bake and glaze: Egg wash the dough (image 14). Bake at 375 F for 30 to 40 minutes (image 15). Make the glaze (image 16). Top the still-warm rolls with glaze (image 17).
- Weigh your ingredients! Measuring by weight is much more accurate than by volume (with tablespoons and cups).
- Make sure your starter is active before starting this recipe. An inactive or immature starter can hinder your dough from rising, resulting in dense, gummy rolls.
- Be patient, baking with wild yeast takes time. Wait until your dough is visibly bubbly and well-risen, which typically takes 4 to 6 hours. I’ll be giving time cues, but this may differ based on your starter's health and the unique conditions in your kitchen.
- If your dough feels too sticky and difficult to handle, return it to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes before continuing to knead.
- Don't over beat your glaze, this will work too much air into the mixture and it will turn out grainy.
It's possible your dough didn't have sufficient time to rise. Inadequate proofing time prevents the buildup of carbon dioxide, resulting in tough and dry cinnamon rolls.
Yes! Because of the lengthy rise times involved in using a sourdough starter, I prefer splitting the baking process into two days. However, if you want to bake these rolls on the same day, you can simply skip the cold proof step and continue to shaping.
These cinnamon rolls will taste the best the same day they are baked. Since they have a cream cheese glaze, these cinnamon rolls are best stored in the refrigerator.
You may also like
Did this recipe rise to the occasion?
We knead your feedback! Did our recipe impress your taste buds? Leave a star rating and write a review to help us create even better recipes.
I read all the comments and love hearing your feedback.
Pumpkin Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- dental floss don't use mint-flavored
- 9 by 13 baking pan
This section may contain affiliate links
- 113 grams sourdough starter mature and active
- 150 grams pumpkin puree
- 75 grams milk
- 50 grams cane sugar
- 400 grams all-purpose flour
- 9 grams salt
- 56 grams unsalted butter softened
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 5 grams cinnamon ground
- ½ teaspoon ginger ground
- ¼ teaspoon cloves ground
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg grated
- 56 grams unsalted butter softened
Cream Cheese Glaze
- 72 grams cream cheese
- 90 grams powdered sugar
- 42 grams milk
- 1 egg optional
- Make the dough: Combine the starter, pumpkin puree, milk and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until the starter is fully dissolved.113 grams sourdough starter, 150 grams pumpkin puree, 75 grams milk, 50 grams cane sugar
- Fold the all-purpose flour and salt into the pumpkin mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough forms.400 grams all-purpose flour, 9 grams salt
- Knead the butter into the dough 1 tablespoon at a time, wait until the dough absorbs the butter before adding more. The dough will gradually feel less oily as you massage the butter into the dough.56 grams unsalted butter
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
- Knead the dough: Knead the dough until it looks smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. The dough should feel stretchy and look smooth. Gather the dough into a tight ball and place it in a clean, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place.
- Bulk fermenation: Let the dough rise until it has doubled in volume and feels bubbly. This can take about 4 to 6 hours, but it's extremely important that you allow your dough to rise or your rolls will turn out tough.
- Cold proof: Deflate the dough and place it in the refrigerator to proof overnight. (see note)
- Prepare the filling: Combine brown sugar and spices. Set aside.100 grams brown sugar, 5 grams cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ginger, ¼ teaspoon cloves, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Shape the dough: Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough out into a large rectangle, about 10-by-18 inch rectangle.
- Spread an even layer of softened butter on the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture over the dough.
- Working with the longer side, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.
- Cut the dough into 12 portions, each portion should be about 1 ½ inch.
- Final proof: Arrange the dough on a parchment-lined baking pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place.
- Your dough should look puffy, well-risen and the rolls should touch and fill the pan.
- Prep: Preheat your oven to 375 F. Beat the egg until no traces of white remain.1 egg
- Make the glaze: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and unsalted butter until no more lumps remain. Add the powdered sugar and egg, continue beating until the glaze looks smooth.56 grams unsalted butter, 72 grams cream cheese, 90 grams powdered sugar, 42 grams milk
- Bake: Bake the rolls for 30 to 40 minutes or until they are golden brown and the center of the rolls registers at 190 F when probed with an instant-read thermometer.
- Serve: Spread glaze over the still-warm cinnamon rolls. These rolls are best enjoyed the same day they are baked.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.