Introduction: Pumpkin Walnut Cinnamon Buns
This is a great way to spice up ordinary cinnamon rolls or buns. These amazing pumpkin-walnut cinnamon buns get their great flavour and golden colour from fresh pumpkin and spices added. They are further suped up with added walnuts so you are getting extra proteins and healthy fats in these buns too. The sweet topping and tender texture make these pumpkin-walnut cinnamon buns a surefire people pleaser.
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup mashed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted, 55g
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg, large
1/4 cup sugar, 55g
4 cups all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons butter, melted, 70g
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 110g
1/4 cup sugar, 55g
2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/8 cup milk
Step 1: Activate the Yeast
In a bowl of an electric mixer, add instant yeast, sugar and warm (not hot) water.
Whisk everything together.
Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
The purpose of dissolving yeast in warm water and sugar is to prove that the yeast is alive and active. (mixture should be bubbly). Otherwise, discard and use a new badge of instant yeast.
Use warm water and not hot water to activate the yeast.
Step 2: Mix Mashed Pumpkin, Spices and Other Ingredients by Hand.
Then add 1 cup fresh mashed pumpkin followed by 1/4 cup heavy cream.
Next add 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1 teaspoon salt.
Using a spatula, mix everything together.
Make sure that all ingredients added to the yeast mixture is at room temperature.
Mashed pumpkin can be homemade or store bought (canned).
Make sure the melted butter is left to room temperature before use.
Step 3: Mix Using an Electric Mixer With a Dough Hook Attachment.
Then add half the flour (2 cups) and 1 egg.
Using the dough hook attachment, mix everything at low speed using the electric mixer for about 2 minutes. Then add in the balance of the flour (2 cups). Continue kneading on low speed for 6 to 7 minutes until dough becomes very smooth and elastic.
If you do not have a stand mixer, use a hand mixer or mix by hand instead.
Use room temperature egg.
Add the flour in batches for easier mixing.
Knead on low speed to prevent flour from splashing out of bowl.
Step 4: Set Aside the Dough to Rise.
Remove dough and shape into a ball and grease the mixing bowl.
Place dough back into the greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover with foil and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 – 2 hrs.
This process of fermentation is a crucial step as it enables the yeast to do most of its work, giving the dough good flavour and structure.
Let the dough rise in a warm place but do not rush the process of fermentation of the dough by making the dough too warm as it will compromise on the flavour and structure as well.
Greasing bowl makes getting the dough out so much easier.
Greasing the top and covering the dough help to keep its surface soft and moist.
However, do not over ferment (more than 3 hrs). The dough should be sufficiently proofed when it has doubled in size. You can try poking a fingertip into the dough and if the dough holds the depression, it's done.
Step 5: Flatten the Dough.
When the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to a well-floured working surface.
Using well-floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle shape about an inch thick. Sprinkle a little flour on the top. Switch to a rolling pin and roll it out to a rectangle about 12 x 20 inch.
Pat and roll the dough out gently. Overworking the dough makes for tough cinnamon rolls.
To get a thin even rectangle, try rolling from the middle to the outward corners of the dough. Then roll along the edges to even it out.
Step 6: Make Cinnamon Sugar Filling.
While dough is left to proof, make the cinnamon sugar filling.
Place some brown sugar, white sugar, ground cinnamon in a bowl. Add some toasted chopped walnuts for extra flavour and briefly mix everything together.
Then grease generously a 9×13 inch baking pan with melted butter.
Coarsely chop walnuts so you can enjoy the crunch while eating the bun.
You can also choose to add in raisins instead of walnuts.
Be sure to grease thoroughly the baking pan to prevent cinnamon rolls from sticking to pan.
Step 7: Add the Cinnamon Sugar Filling on the Dough.
After rolling out the dough, pour melted butter over the top and brush evenly over the surface, leaving about 1 inch along one wide edge unbuttered.
Then sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
Moisten the unbuttered long edge with water.
Starting at the wide edge with butter, roll the dough tightly into a log (jelly-roll style). Roll and end with the seam at the bottom. Also use your hand to press firmly along the moistened edge to seal.
Use butter instead of oil or shortening to spread on the surface of dough.
Do not roll the dough too tightly or the centers of the rolls will pop up during baking.
Step 8: Cut the Log Into Equal Pieces.
First, trim off about 1/2 inch on both uneven ends of the rolled dough and discard.
Then slice the log into 16 pieces.
To do this:
First, cut the dough into halves.
Cut each half into two again to get 4 quarters.
Then cut each quarter into 4 pieces.
And you will have 16 equally-sized pinwheels.
Step 9: Set Aside for Second Proofing Before Baking.
Then carefully arrange these sliced pinwheels, cut side up into the well-buttered baking pan making sure they are all evenly spaced.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise and set aside at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 45 – 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degree C ( 350 degree F ). Place rack in centre of oven.
When doubled in size, remove wrap and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
When baked, set aside to cool on rack for about 15 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
The second proofing enhances the flavour and also the texture of the buns.
The cinnamon rolls can be left to proof in the refrigerator overnight
If you choose not to bake the cinnamon rolls right away, you can refrigerate them overnight (up to 24 hours). Next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking. Then you will have fresh cinnamon rolls all the time.
The cinnamon rolls are baked when they have turned golden brown in colour and a toothpick inserted in one of the buns come out clean. Also, when lightly tap on the top of buns, they should sound hollow.
Step 10: Glazing the Cinnamon Rolls.
To prepare the glaze, whisk together cream cheese, icing sugar and milk until you get a completely smooth glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the warm pumpkin-walnut cinnamon buns. And you’re done!
These pumpkin-walnut cinnamon buns taste so good when freshly baked from the oven.
Make a runny glaze icing and cover the cinnamon roll buns thoroughly before serving.