Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze – vegan

hello, friends! Today I give you yummy nummy (now a word, btw) pumpkin cinnamon rolls with…drumroll please….maple glaze. I’ve been teasing you since last week, so it seems only fair to share the love. And love it really is.

I’m one of those people who feed people as an expression of love, as a welcome-to-my-home, as an are-you-ok, as an I-hope-you-feel-better-how-can-I-help, as a hello-nice-to-meet-you-I-hope-you-like-me kind of a thing. I hope other people see it as such, but even if they don’t, a) I hope it makes them feel better, even if they don’t know why and b) it makes me feel better. And in a weird kind of way, sometimes presenting a dish that’s more complicated or time consuming than usual makes me feel like I’m giving them more and showing I care even more. Do you other cooks and bakers out there feel the same way, or is that a Kate Special?

Anyway, these pumpkin cinnamon rolls fall into that category. I’m not going to make these all the time, but when I do make them, know that you’re special. or that I want to impress you. or both. Because they are impressive (ask my coworkers) and they are delicious (ask my mouth) and they aren’t as hard as they look (yay). The perfect trifecta.

These buns are full of sweet, gooey, pumpkin, cinnamony goodness. As with my other go-to brunch recipe, you can prepare them at night, go get some sleep, and bake them fresh in the morning. Side note: the overnight route is really, really, really the way to go if you are hosting breakfast/brunch. It’s a win-win- you don’t have wake up stupid early, and you and your guests get fresh, out of the oven yummies. Also, a more relaxed host(ess) makes for a better party.

In an effort to help make clear possibly hard-to-understand directions, for the first time I enlisted Mr Official Taster’s help in creating a short video for you. I wanted to give the time-lapse feature on my iPhone a try. There is no sound, and if you want to make it larger, click on the button on the bottom right that has the four arrows to make it full screen. Update: the video doesn’t seem to be showing up on mobile devices, and I don’t know why. Hopefully I can figure it out. Until then, here’s a link to the video: https://flic.kr/p/pgN3GL

For the most part, I’m pretty happy with it. I know the lighting is not great, and next time he’ll stand on a stool behind me for a better birds-eye perspective. But I’m really curious about your reaction. Is is helpful? Do you like it? Is it long enough? too long? Unnecessary? Speak your mind, please!

Also, please make these for someone you love. Neither of you will regret it!

Not into pumpkin? Try my regular cinnamon rolls- they’re yummy too.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze – vegan

Though the written recipe is long, it is not particularly difficult, and the end results are well worth it. I chose to use coconut oil in place of vegan butter throughout this recipe, but either works, and I can imagine that Earth Balance vegan butter would impart a nice buttery flavor. Note that vegan butter is salted, so if you go that route, be sure to use the smaller salt measurement.

If you need this recipe to be corn free, powdered (AKA confectioners’) sugar is not your friend since it’s sugar+cornstarch. I can think of three options here. A) Make the glaze, but don’t drizzle over the top. Allow everyone you’re serving to choose whether to add it to his or her portion. B) Skip the glaze and just top with maple syrup. C) Make your own corn-free powdered sugar by whirring an equal volume of regular or superfine white sugar in a food processor. Basically, you grind it down into finer grains. It’s not exactly the same as powdered sugar, but it’s a pretty good substitute.

1 C pumpkin puree, canned or fresh
1 C nondairy milk
½ C plus 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
½ C vegan butter or coconut oil
½ -1 tsp salt (see note)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ lukewarm water (about 110F)
2 ¼ tsp (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
5 C all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat), divided, plus more for rolling

¾ C brown sugar (I used Sucanat)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
4 Tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
1 C raisins (optional)

Glaze (see note)
½ C powdered sugar
3 Tbsp maple syrup
Up to a few tablespoons water, as needed

Make the dough
In a medium saucepan, whisk the pumpkin, nondairy milk, ½ cup sugar, coconut oil or butter, and salt over low heat until combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let cool until lukewarm, about 110 degrees F.

While the pumpkin mixture is cooling, place the warm water, remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and yeast in a 1-cup glass measuring cup. Stir for a second or two and set aside for about 10 minutes. The yeast will become foamy, double in size, and reach the ¾-cup line. If it does not do so, then either your yeast was dead or the water was too hot (and killed the yeast); make another yeast mixture before proceeding.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin mixture and the yeast mixture. Beat at a medium speed for about 1 minute. Add 2 ½ cups flour, and stir on low until incorporated. Add the remaining 2 ½ cups flour and repeat. The dough will be somewhat sticky. Exchange the paddle attachment for the dough hook and knead on a medium speed for about 2 minutes.

To save yourself from washing an extra bowl, gather the dough ball and balance on one hand. With the other, spray the mixing bowl with nonstick spray. Return the dough to the bowl, and then turn it over so the entire ball is coated with oil. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises. Cover with a kitchen towel or shower cap, place in a warm spot, and let sit until it has doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours, less if it’s a warm day).

Remove cover and punch down the dough so that it deflates. Take the dough out and put it on a lightly floured surface. Recover with the kitchen towel and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Make the filling & assemble the rolls
While the dough is resting, lightly grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Combine brown sugar or Sucanat, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl and set aside.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Aim for a 20- x 13-inch rectangle (it doesn’t need to be exact). Brush or spread the melted oil over the entire surface of the dough. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly across the surface. If you like raisins in your cinnamon rolls, sprinkle them evenly over the surface at this point.

With the long edge of the dough rectangle close to you, roll the dough up away from you, so you are creating an approximately 20-inch long log. (see video above) With the seam side down, use a sharp knife to cut the log in half. Then cut each roll into 6 equal pieces (observant readers will notice I ended up with 13 pieces. It is a-ok). Ideally, you will have 12 cinnamon rolls. Place the rolls, swirled side up, into the prepared pan, in 4 rows with 3 rolls in each row. You don’t need to smoosh them together – the next rise will take care of that.

If you’re baking them right away, cover pan with a dry kitchen towel, place in a warm spot, and allow to rise a second time for about an hour. If, however, you are assembling them at night and plan to bake them in the morning, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place the fridge overnight. Remove them in the morning at about the same time you start to preheat your oven.

All together now – once the cinnamon rolls have risen, preheat your oven to 375F. Bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes. When fully cooked, they will be lightly brown on top, and a toothpick or a knife inserted in the center will come out free of dough. (Do check. Don’t be as impatient as I was the first time). Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes before glazing.

Make the glaze
In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and maple syrup. If it’s too thick, add water, a little bit at a time, until smooth and drizzle-able.

Drizzle glaze over the rolls. Proceed to stuff the warm pumpkin cinnamon gooey goodness into your mouth. Alternatively, use a fork and a plate for maximum politeness.