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Soft and tender Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns
Soft swirled Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns
You don’t have to love pumpkin to enjoy these Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns. Each bun is filled with plenty of thick, sweet pumpkin butter (think apple butter made with pumpkin) rolled up in a soft yeasted dough.
The rolled dough is sliced then baked in a muffin tin to create a beautiful spiral.
If you’ve been craving all things pumpkin and warm fall spices, this little baking project is for you!
Ingredients for Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns:
For the detailed printable recipe scroll to the bottom of this post or use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top.
For the dough:
- Lukewarm water around 90 – 100 degrees on an instant read thermometer
- all-purpose flour
- nonfat dry milk powder such as Carnation Brand or Bob’s Red Mill
- granulated sugar
- unsalted butter at room temperature
- baking powder
- active dry yeast or instant yeast
- vanilla extract
For the filling:
- pumpkin butter
For the pumpkin pie spiced cream cheese icing:
- cream cheese at room temperature
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
- pumpkin pie spice or a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg
- heavy cream or milk
What is pumpkin butter?
Pumpkin butter is similar to apple butter in both consistency and use. Enjoy pumpkin butter anywhere you’d normally use jam, jelly or butters.
We make our own homemade Maple Pumpkin Butter using a simple recipe with only 6 ingredients. It’s easy to make and tastes like fall!
You can also find store-bought pumpkin butter in well stocked grocery stores during the fall baking season.
Use our homemade pumpkin butter as the filling in these fun swirled buns and also in these Pumpkin Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, too.
Overview: How to make Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns
For easy preparation use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
Combine the water and yeast until dissolved. If using instant yeast add all the ingredients at the same time. Cover the dough and set aide to rise.
Grease a 12-well muffin tin and set aside.
Roll the dough out into a 16×18-inch rectangle. Spread the pumpkin butter over the dough and roll tightly into a cylinder. Slice the log into 12 equal pieces.
To achieve the beautiful domed swirl, gently push up in the center of the bottom of the bun. Place in the prepared muffin tin. Let the buns rise for an hour until proved.
Bake the buns, cool slightly then drizzle with icing and sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns can be baked in a muffin tin to create beautiful swirls as you see here. You can also bake the rolls in a 13×9-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round cake pans.
The buns will still be delicious and beautiful, only softer on the sides.
Feel free to use apple butter as the filling for these rolls. Use apple pie spice or ground cinnamon in the icing and you’re good to go.
We also used this base recipe in our festive Cranberry Swirl Buns recipe topped with a simple orange flavored icing. They’re loaded with tart cranberry flavor from the homemade filling.
Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Buns
- 12-well muffin tin
For the dough:
- 1 ¼ cups lukewarm water, about 90 degrees on an instant read thermometer (10oz)
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour (460) plus a few extra tablespoons if needed
- 3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast, instant or rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1 cup pumpkin butter, store-bought or homemade
For the icing:
- 1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar (115g)
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see DIY recipe below in Notes)
- 2 tablespoons milk or heavy whipping cream, plus more if needed
To prepare the dough:
- Pour the water into a mixing bowl for a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set aside for 5-10 minutes or until dissolved (If using instant yeast you don't need to dissolve first.) Add all remaining dough ingredients and mix on low until combined. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead until the dough is soft and smooth. If the dough is sticky add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it cleans the sides of the bowl (but not the bottom). Don't add more than 3 or 4 tablespoons additional flour. The dough should be slightly sticky.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place free from drafts, for 1 hour or until puffy.
- Lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan and set aside.
To assemble the buns:
- Gently scoop the dough out onto on a clean, lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a 16×18 inch rectangle making sure the dough is an even thickness with the short sides (16”) at the top and bottom.
- Spread the pumpkin butter evenly over the dough leaving a 1-inch wide border at the bottom. Starting at the top (farthest away), roll the dough tightly, coming towards you. As you roll, stretch the dough away from you then roll again tightly, repeating until the entire log is rolled. By stretching the dough and rolling tightly, you will achieve the pretty swirled cork-screw top.
- Slice the log into 12 equal pieces using a sharp knife or dental floss.
- Lightly push the bottom of the bun up in the middle to start the spiral. Place the buns in the muffin tins (cut side up). Once the pan is full, move to a warm place and let rise for 60 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 22-26 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan while preparing the icing.
To prepare the icing:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter and beat with an electric mixer until combined. Add the sugar and pumpkin pie spice and 2 tablespoons of cream. Beat until smooth. Add cream or sugar as needed for desired thickness. Spread or drizzle on the warm buns and serve.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.
- If preferred, bake the buns in a 13×9-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round cake pans.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Yeast bun recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. When multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
Originally posted November 2015, updated September 2021