Introduction: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls With Quince and Pumpkin Filling

About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to use…

Hello everyone,

This time I will guide you through making pumpkin cinnamon rolls. These rolls are truly pumpkin-y, there is pumpkin in the dough and I made a pumpkin and quince spread (or quick jam, so to say) as filling. Besides the cheesecake frosting and boozy caramel sauce on top, I also added a handful of salted and toasted pumpkin seeds.

I ended up with a soft, fluffy dough, full of flavors. Simply delicious. In fact, though I use pumpkin and squash multiple ways, both sweet and savory, if I had to pick one dish not to be missed in the pumpkin season, this would be it.

Step 1: You'll Need

For the dough:

  • 550 g all-purpose flour (plus some more for dusting)
  • 170 g lukewarm milk
  • 250 g pumpkin puree
  • 60 g butter (room temp, non-salted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 7 g active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 60 g sugar

On how to make the puree from scratch, check my previous Instructable here.

For the spread:

  • 500 g pumpkin
  • 500 g quince

(both measured peeled and seeds removed)

  • juice of half a lemon
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 star anis

Please note that the quantities given above will result in a lot more pumpkin - quince spread. I used about 120 - 150 g for the filling and canned the rest in sterilized jars for future use.

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (as part of the filling alongside with the spread)

For the cheesecake frosting:

  • 80 g cream cheese
  • 115 g softened butter
  • 300 g icing sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt

For the caramel sauce:

  • 100 g sugar
  • 115 g butter
  • 50 g double cream
  • 30 ml whisky
  • a pinch of salt (I love to use smoked salt, but ordinary salt is OK, too)

A handful of peeled pumpkin seeds.


  • saucepans
  • cutting board
  • sharp knifes
  • hand blender
  • stand mixer (to make things easier)
  • 22x33 cm rectangular baking pan
  • parchment paper
  • rolling pin
  • digital scale
  • spoons
  • bowls
  • vegetable peeler

Step 2: Dough - Blooming the Yeast

Let's start with making the dough.

Put flour into the mixing bowl of the stand mixer, make a well in the middle, pour roughly half of the milk into it, add yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar, so that the yeast can feed on it. Sprinkle a little flour on top, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes until yeast pops up.

It is ready when cracks on the top of the flour sprinkled over the yeast are visible (pic.6.)

Step 3: Dough

Add pumpkin puree, egg, rest of the sugar and the milk and start kneading with the dough hook attachment. When the dough starts to come together, add butter and salt and keep kneading for 2 minutes.

Dump the dough onto the floured countertop and keep kneading with your hand until the surface of the dough is shiny. If the dough sticks to your work surface, dust it with a little flour, but try to keep the quantity of the additional flour as small as possible, otherwise the dough gets too dense, Kneading by hand is not difficult at all, all you have to do is - starting from the center of the dough - to press the dough away from you, then fold it back with your fingers turn 90 degrees and repeat.

Form it into a ball, place it back into the bowl dusted with flour, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest until it at least doubles in volume.

Step 4: Making the Spread 1. - Pumpkin

While the dough rests, there is plenty of time to prepare the pumpkin and quince spread. I think that pumpkin and quince is an ideal combination, the acidity of quince supplements the earthy flavors of pumpkin. But if you don"t like it, you may substitute it for some acidic apple (like Granny Smith), or may just skip it. In this case I would add a squeeze of lemon to the pumpkin puree.

Let's start with the pumpkin. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and the soft part around the seeds. Peel and cut into cubes. The size of the cubes does not really matter, as it's gonna be blended anyway, as long as they are roughly similar size.

Put the pumpkin pieces into a saucepan, add water (not too much, water should barely cover the pumpkin, add cinnamon stick, bring it to boil then simmer until it is cooked, about 8-10 minutes).

Step 5: Making the Spread 2. - Quince

First of all, quince tends to get brown rather fast after cutting, so the first thing to do is to place a saucepan with a cup of water and the juice of half a lemon (2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice that is) next to the cutting board so that the cleaned quince cubes can go straight into the lemony bath that would stop them from oxidating.

Cut the quince in half, then into slices. Remove the seeds, peel and dice it, Once you finish with a slice, place the dices into the water.

Make sure that the water just covers the quince pieces, add star anis, bring it to boil and cook until soft. Check it using a fork.

Step 6: Making the Spread 3.

When both pumkpkin and quince are cooked, strain and put them into a mid-sized pot. Remove the spices. Blend with a hand blender (you may have to add some of the liquid that was used for cooking). Add sugar and cook for 15 minutes at low-medium heat while stirring continuously. You will get a thick spread in the end.

As I mentioned earlier, you will not need all the spread for the filling, this is about 4 times more than actually needed. There are various ways to use the rest, scoop over ice-cream, spread on your morning toast, or even eat it with roast meat. I just don't think it is worth to fiddle with smaller amounts.

Step 7: Caramel Sauce

This is absolutely optional, but clearly worth a try.

1. Pour sugar into a small saucepan. Cut butter into 6 cubes.

2. Let sugar caramellize over low-medium heat. (You may gently swirl the pan to enhance even coloring, but no stirring!)

3. When its color turns amber, add cream and step back, as it can spit.

4. Pull it off the heat and combine with the cream, then add butter cube by cube. When all the butter has melted, add whisky and salt.

5. Transfer it into a glass, it will thicken as it cools.

Step 8: Roll the Dough

In the meantime the dough has risen beautifully. Actually it has rather tripled than doubled in volume.

Dump it onto the generously floured countertop and form it into a rectangle with your hands.

Roll it into a large rectangle (about 55x30 cm) with a rolling pin. Try to roll it as even as possible.

Tip: This is a very soft dough, it is very important to check regularly that the dough does not sticks to the surface. Lift the sides, and add a little more flour if needed.

Step 9: Fill the Dough

1. Combine 2 tablepoons of sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

2. Scoop the spread on top of the dough here and there and spread it with the back of a spoon all the way to the edge of the dough except on the top long side where I like to leave 1 cm edge free.

3. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on top of the spread and roll the dough into a log, rolling away from you.

4. Pinch the edge of the dough with your fingertips so that it holds firm.

Step 10: Cut the Dough

1. Line a pan with parchment paper.

2. Slice the log (I made about 3 cm thick slices). I tried really hard to make an even log, still, the middle was thicker. I can never get that perfect, but I know that in the end nobody will be upset by that :-)

3. I used a 33 cm by 22 cm rectangular pan in which I placed 12 rolls, but I still had 4 left that I put in another smaller round pan.

Step 11: Let Rise and Bake

Cover loosely with a kitchen towel, and let it rise until the increase in volume is considerable. I would say for about 30 minutes till up to an hour, but the actual time depends on the temperature in your kitchen. The warmer it is, the shorter it takes.

Preheat the oven to 170 Celsius (fan).

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Step 12: Cream Cheese Frosting

While the rolls cool, prepare the frosting.

Put cream cheese and butter into the mixing bowl, combine with whisk attachment. Add sugar in three batches, a pinch of salt and vanilla and keep whisking until the sugar dissolves competely and the frosting gets light and fluffy.

Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan on medium heat, adding a pinch of salt.

Step 13: Finishing Touches

Scoop a spoonful of cream cheese frosting on top of each roll, help it spread a little using a fork.

Drizzle with caramel sauce and scatter with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Step 14: Enjoy!

All you have left to do is enjoy the rolls, with more spread, caramel or frosting on the side if you wish ...

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