Thanksgiving Day is the national holiday of stuffing (stuffing like the side dish, or stuffing like I stuffed my face so much I need to break out the sweatpants). Look, I don’t make the rules. But when it comes to the rest of the weekend? The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Thanksgiving have been relegated to the side lines, like the losing NFL team on turkey day. How many leftover turkey sandwiches are we expected to eat this weekend? Is three enough? Why didn’t I just roast a nice chicken instead?
This year, we’re determined to break up the leftover party. It’s time to give a little love to that Sunday-after-Thanksgiving morning. We’re making pumpkin-y, buttery cinnamon rolls, tender and fluffy with a spiced sugar filling and a cream cheese frosting with Just Jan’s Homestyle Pumpkin Butter. I think I’ve got myself a new Thanksgiving weekend tradition that’s sure to please the whole family. Pumpkin pie who?
Makes 6-10 buns, depending on the length of your final rolled log of dough.
Notable kitchen tools: stand mixer (with paddle and dough hook attachments), rolling pin, 9”x13” baking dish (or other oven safe baking dish)
½ tsp. Kosher salt
3 Tbsp. white sugar
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature*
1 egg, room temperature*
½ cup (4 oz.) buttermilk, room temperature *You can sub in whole milk if you do not have buttermilk.
Zest of half an orange
1 tsp. instant dry yeast
2 cups (280 g) bread flour
½ Tbsp. cinnamon
½ Tbsp. pumpkin spice blend
1 Tbsp. white sugar
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature*
3 Tbsp. Just Jan’s Homestyle Pumpkin Butter
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature*
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature*
3 Tbsp. Just Jan’s Homestyle Pumpkin Butter
1 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
*It’s important that these ingredients be room temperature, so that the dough comes together nicely, the filling is spreadable, and the frosting is smooth!
For the dough:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer affixed with the paddle, cream together the salt, white sugar, and 3 tablespoons butter until light in color and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the egg, buttermilk (or whole milk), and the orange zest, and beat until well-combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Remove and scrape off the paddle attachment. Affix the dough hook.
- Add the bread flour and sprinkle the yeast into the bowl.
- Start the mixer on low speed until the flour starts hydrating. Gradually increase the speed to medium and allow the mixer to knead the dough for about 10 minutes.
- The dough will be tacky and quite wet. Scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead the dough for a minute or two, giving it some love and shaping into a nice taut ball.
- Oil a bowl (can be the stand mixer bowl) and tuck your dough ball into the bowl and cover with a *damp* towel. Let your dough rise for about 2 hours or until approximately doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, prepare your filling accoutrements. In one bowl, mix the Just Jan’s Homestyle Pumpkin Butter and 1 tablespoon butter until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine your cinnamon, pumpkin spice, white sugar, and brown sugar.
- You can also take this time to grease your baking dish. You want a vessel large enough to allow for your final rolls to rise, but not so big that the rolls can’t at least get a little cozy. I used a rectangular, 9 by 13 inch, glass dish.
- When your dough has doubled in size, punch it down and gently plop it out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Lightly oil a rolling pin as well. The oiled surface will help prevent the dough from sticking, while keeping it moist, soft, and shiny after baking.
- Now you are going to roll your dough out into a rectangle, approximately 11 x 16 inches. This doesn’t need to be too exact and can be up to your personal preference. I like more dough-spiraling that’s slightly thinner, but if you prefer thicker spirals of dough, make your rectangle closer to 9 x 14 inches. The thickness of your dough will determine your dough-to-filling ratio in each bite—very important.
- Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread an even layer of your pumpkin butter mixture on your dough, leaving about half an inch border on one of the longer sides of the rectangle. Try scattering dollops of the butter over the dough before spreading–this helps get an even layer.
- Next, sprinkle on your spiced sugar, leaving the same half-inch border.
- To roll your rectangle up, start at the borderless long edge and roll gently, but tightly. When you get to the filling-less border, pinch to seal and position the log seam side down.
- Time to cut the individual rolls! You’ll get a different number of rolls depending on the length of your dough log, but total doesn’t matter too much. Slice each roll about 1 ½ inch thick. It may help to measure the length of your dough first to estimate how many cuts you’ll need to make.
- Arrange your rolls in the greased baking dish (setting the two ‘end’ piece rolls cut side up). Cover and proof for one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- After proofing, bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Take this time to make your frosting. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, immersion blender with the whisk attachment, or a whisk and your strength, whip together the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and Just Jan’s Homestyle Pumpkin Butter. Start at a slow speed or you’ll end up like me with powdered sugar everywhere.
- Pull your rolls out once they are golden brown and toasted.
- Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting, this time will depend on how melty you like your frosting and how much patience you have left before digging in. This recipe makes plenty of frosting, so no need to be shy.