Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These easy pumpkin cinnamon rolls came together from scratch in under an hour.  They are topped with a creamy marscapone icing and make a wonderful fall weekend breakfast.

Before making these, I had only ever made cinnamon rolls by whacking open a canister from Pilsbury.  Most of my past attempts at made-from-scratch breads have resulted in dense bricks of carbohydrates, but this recipe turned out on my first try!  (Maybe I'll eventually figure out the secret behind homemade bread).  This recipe handily avoids all the waiting and delayed gratification of traditional recipes that use yeast by instead using creamy ricotta cheese.  

Easy Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Yield: 10 to 12 rolls

For the Dough
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of all purpose flour, plus a few tablespoons more for dusting
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda 
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of melted butter, divided

For the Pumpkin Filling
2/3 cup of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, plus more for after baking

For the Icing
1/2 cup of marscapone cheese (or cream cheese)
1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons of milk

1.   Preheat the oven to 400F.  Mix the sugar, ricotta, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, and vanilla together in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt just until a soft dough forms.

2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead a few times.  Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is about 12 inches long.

3. Prepare the pumpkin filling by mixing the pumpkin puree, sugar, and cinnamon. Use a spoon to spread the filling over the dough.  (I prepped the filling in the same bowl that I had used for the dough to avoid dirtying another bowl.)

4.  Starting at the long end, carefully roll up the dough. Use a knife or unwaxed dental floss to cut the dough into 10-12 rolls (about an inch thick). Arrange them in a lightly greased springform pan or cake pan.  Brush the tops of the rolls with the rest of the melted butter.

5.  Bake the rolls at 400F for 22 to 25 minutes until golden brown.  While the rolls are baking, prepare the icing by mixing the marscapone, sugar, and milk.

6.  Once the rolls are done baking, release them from the springform pan and top with the icing. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon. Enjoy!

The dough after Step 1, before kneading

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4, before adding the butter