Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Caramel Icing

These are amazing. 

Presented without further comment: 
 First, brown the butter. Some will be used in the dough, and the rest will be part of the filling. All you have to do is melt the butter, then keep cooking it until it turns a deep amber color.
 Browned butter, nutty and delicious!
In a small bowl, proof one packet of yeast in 1/2 cup of warmed milk.
In a separate large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
Mix thoroughly, then mix in the yeast/milk mixture, 1 egg, and pumpkin.
 The dough will be very rough and shaggy, I stopped stirring at this point and kneaded it together until fairly smooth.
Let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Now, for the fun part!
Mix together brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle.
 Spread with the remaining browned butter, 2 T softened butter, and sugar mixture. 
 Then, roll the dough into a log. Carefully slice into 1 inch rolls, then place in 2 parchment-lined round baking pans.
Bake the rolls in a 350° oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you make the INCREDIBLE browned butter caramel frosting.
For the frosting, make 1/2 cup of browned butter. Add sugar and 3/4 cup evaporated milk. In a separate pan, melt 1/2 C sugar until it caramelizes. Add the caramel into the sugar/milk/butter mixture, stirring constantly until it reaches soft-ball stage (235° on a candy thermometer). 
Pour the icing over the rolls.
 Serve with a nice cold glass of milk. Incredible!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Browned Butter Caramel Icing

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Ingredients
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

8 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup warm whole milk
1 packet dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1. In a small bowl, combine milk and yeast. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a draft-free area to let the yeast proof for about 10 minutes or until foamy. If the yeast doesn't foam, it might be dead - try again with a new packet of yeast if this happens. Also, don't let the milk get too hot, or it will kill the yeast.

2. In a small saucepan, brown 6 TBSP of the butter. Melt the butter, then let it cook until deep amber in color, swirling the pan often to prevent burning. Remove from heat and reserve 1/4 cup for the dough.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients until well combined.

4. Stir in the butter, milk, pumpkin, and egg. The dough will start to come together and will be quite shaggy. At this point, it will be easiest to stop using a spoon, and instead knead the dough with your hands until it comes smoothly together.

5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for about 1 hour.

6. On a heavily floured surface, roll the dough out into a large rectangle.

7. Spread the dough with 2 TBSP softened butter and the remaining 2 TBSP of browned butter. Sprinkle with the sugar/spice filling mixture.

8. Roll the dough up tightly, then carefully cut into 1 inch slices. Place in two parchment lined, greased pans.

9. Preheat the oven to 350°. Cover the pans and let rise for 45 minutes.

10. Place rolls in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before frosting with the browned butter caramel icing.

Browned Butter Caramel Icing 
adapted from Cupcake Project

2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup salted butter
3/4 cup evaporated milk

1. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter. Keep cooking it until it is deep amber in color and has a nutty aroma.

2. Stir in the evaporated milk and 2 cups of the sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.

3. In the mean time, in a small sauce pan melt remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar over medium-low heat until it turns caramel-colored.

4. Once the sugar has caramelized, stir it into the sugar/milk/butter mixture. Do not make the sugar caramel ahead of time because it will harden in the pan in a matter of minutes.

5. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat. It make take awhile for the caramel mixture to incorporate into the liquids, but it does happen eventually!

6. The mixture will boil and begin to thicken. Stir it constantly until it reaches the soft ball stage, 235° on a candy thermometer.

7. Let the browned butter caramel icing cool slightly, then drizzle it over the pumpkin cinnamon rolls.


  1. I made these last good!!! I'm going back and forth with the icing- one bite I think it's too much, next bite I think, "what are you talking about, this is amazing." Next time I'm going to try them with a simple confectioners sugar icing, like on the vegan ones you posted. But I was shocked at how easy it was!