Perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte Rolls
- 1/4 cup whole milk (if using a milk substitute, use a thicker one like cashew)
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 and 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (1 standard packet)
- 3 leveled cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed for hands and work surface
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Make the dough: Warm the milk and butter together over the stove or in the microwave until the butter has just been melted. You want the mixture lukewarm, not scorching hot. Set aside. Whisk the pumpkin puree, sugar, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer. Whisk in the warmed milk/butter, egg, and yeast* until combined.
*Tip: For the yeast, I make sure it is active by emptying the packet of yeast into ¼ cup of warm (NOT HOT) water and gently mixing in a dash of sugar. Stir gently and just long enough to make sure the yeast and sugar are submerged in the water, and then wait 5 minutes. The yeast should activate and bubble, at which point you are ready to add it to the mixture. If the yeast doesn’t do anything, get a new packet.
Mixing by hand using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix in 1 cup of flour. Mix for 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time and mix for 1 more minute.
Knead by hand in the bowl for 3 minutes.
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or use nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking dish. Roll out the dough: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into a 9×12 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick. If you need to retry a few times to get it even, just re-form the dough into a ball and then re-roll on the table. Cut the rough edges to have perfect clean lines. I prefer thinner rolls so I rolled mine fairly thin, but you can make yours thicker (they will mash together a bit more for a “pull-apart” sort of treat, whereas the thinner ones are more easily separated for individual distribution).
Spread softened (not melted) butter evenly on top of the rolled-out dough. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and spices into a small bowl. Sprinkle all over the top. Roll it up tightly. Using a very sharp knife, cut into 9 even rolls. Make sure that the ends are also cut evenly. Arrange rolls in the prepared pan.
Cover the rolls tightly and allow to rise again until fitting snugly against each other in the pan, about 1 hour. If you have thinner rolls like I do, they won’t rise as much but the thicker cut ones seem to expand a lot more! (Or use the overnight option below.)
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
Bake rolls for about 25-28 minutes or until they are lightly browned on top. Remove pan from the oven and place on a wire rack for about 10 minutes as you make the icing.
Cover leftover frosted or unfrosted rolls tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Overnight Instructions: Prepare the rolls according to the directions but instead of allowing the cut rolls to rise in a warm environment, place the pan in the refrigerator and allow the rolls to rest for up to 14 hours before baking. When it’s time to bake the next day, bring the rolls to room temperature and then bake as directed.
Cafe Latte Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners, powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp Instant Coffee Mix (dark or espresso)
Using an electric mixer, cream together 4 Tbsp softened butter, 4 oz soft cream cheese and beat on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Beat in 1/2 Tbsp vanilla then add 1 cup powered sugar and continue mixing until fluffy (3-4 min), scraping down the bowl as needed. Then, gently stir in the instant coffee powder. You may need more or less depending on your preferences, so start with one tablespoon and add more from there to taste. Add to cooled pumpkin spice rolls to turn them into pumpkin spice latte rolls.
Quick Candied Pecans
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
Chop the pecans to desired size and then add pecans, sugar, and butter to a skillet turned to medium heat. As the butter melts, be sure to continuously stir the mixture in the pan with a rubber spatula. Continue to stir for 5 minutes, ensuring that the mix doesn’t stick to the pan or burn. When the sugar mixture is melted and evenly coated over the pecans in a glaze, remove from heat and immediately transfer the mixture onto parchment paper or foil. Separate the pieces so that they don’t stick together, and allow to cool. Once cooled, the mixture is ready to eat! Sprinly on top of cooled and frosted pumpkin spice latte rolls and you can save the rest in a sealed container for one week.