Monday, December 22, 2014

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls & FitMas Week 4 Giveaway

Today, I’m sharing with you a recipe that I often receive questions about around the holidays. It’s one I enjoy making every Thanksgiving and Christmas – my family looks forward to it as well!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls Title

These Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls are made from scratch and aren’t as hard to make as you think! I had to laugh this past Thanksgiving while purchasing yeast at a local grocery store – the lady checking out in front of me asked what I was planning on using the yeast for (it was the only item in my hand). When I told her, she was shocked – “as in, you’re going to knead it and let it rise?” Why yes, I plan on doing just that…

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from: Oh She Glows


Yeast Mixture

•2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
•1/2 tsp Sugar
•1/2 Cup very warm water (but not too hot to touch)


•1/2 Cup almond milk
•1/3 Cup Sugar
•1/3 Cup butter
•1 tsp salt
•1 Egg
•Yeast Mixture, from above
•3Cups All Purpose Flour + more for kneading

Pecan Streusel Filling

•1/2 Cup Sugar
•1.5 Tbsp Cinnamon
•1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted

Pan Sauce

•1/4 Cup butter, melted
•1/6 Cup Sugar

Pumpkin Pie Filling

•1/2 cup pumpkin, canned
•1/2 tbsp cornstarch
•1/6 cup sugar
•1/2 tsp vanilla extract
•1.5 tbsp almond milk
•1/4 tsp cinnamon
•1/8 tsp ginger
•1/8 tsp nutmeg

Cream Cheese Frosting

•1/4 Cup butter
•1/3 Cup cream cheese
•1 tsp Vanilla Extract
•1 Cups Powdered Sugar

Exhausted yet? Don’t worry, keep reading – I promise it’s not as bad as it seems!


Mix yeast ingredients together and set aside for 5 minutes – you will know the mixture is ready when it is foamy and bubbly.

Combine the wet dough ingredients (almond milk, sugar, butter, salt, and egg) in a small saucepan and heat on medium until all ingredients are combined. Mix well. Turn off heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, add in the yeast mixture and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine 1.5 cups of flour with the saucepan mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. This mixture will be very wet and sticky to touch. Add in the remaining 1.5 cups of flour and mix together well (you may need to use your hands at this point because the mixture will be hard to stir). Place the contents of the bowl on a floured countertop surface and begin kneading the dough. (It’s normal for the dough to be quite tough to work with at first.) Set a timer for 8 minutes and knead the dough until it’s no longer sticky to the touch. Don’t know how to knead dough? Well, it’s pretty much like taking your frustration out on a big ball of sticky dough. Punch it, beat it, roll it, turn it over and start again! (It’s ok to add additional flour to the surface if the dough sticks…I usually have to add quite a bit more.)

After the timer goes off, shape the dough into a ball and place inside a well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and place in a natural temperature location (I like to place mine on my stove top). Let dough rise for 90 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pecan streusel filling by combing ingredients (from above) together in a bowl. Set aside.

As the time nears 90 minutes (around 75 minutes in or so), prepare the pumpkin pie filling (from above). In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and almond milk until no clumps are present. Heat in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in all other ingredients and stir until mixture thickens (about 5-8 minutes). This mixture can burn easily so be careful.

After 90 minutes of rising, your dough should have doubled in size. Poke the dough – if it does not spring back up, it’s ready to go! If your dough has not risen at all (this has happened to me), your yeast was probably bad – it’s a good idea to start over here and not continue to the end…otherwise you’ll end up with flat rolls…which has also happened to me….whomp whomp.

Using a rolling pin, spread out the dough in a large rectangle. Once you are satisfied with the shape, spread 1/4 cup of butter on the surface of the dough with a pastry brush. Take the pumpkin pie filling and spread it onto the butter – it’s going to be a little difficult to spread but keep working at it. Once the filling is spread over the dough, sprinkle the entire amount of the pecan streusel topping over the pumpkin filling.  

Take the ends of the dough and begin rolling, being careful to keep it as straight as you can. Once the dough is rolled, take a serrated knife or dental floss (floss works best) and cut into individual rolls. It’s ok to make these as small or as large as you want – this recipe can make 8 large rolls or 16 small rolls (I go for the smaller end…that means I can have two)!

Now make the pan sauce by combining melted butter and sugar (from above) and spreading them in the bottom of the baking dish being used for this recipe.

Once bottom of the baking dish is covered in sauce, place individually cut rolls inside. Cover dish with plastic wrap and place in a neutral temperature location for 45 minutes to rise.

I like to make mine the evening before – when I reach this step, I simply cover the dish and place the rolls in the fridge to rise overnight. The following morning, I remove the baking dish from the fridge and allow it to return to room temperature before baking.

Remove plastic wrap from baking dish, place in oven, and bake for 25-27 minutes until golden in color.

While rolls are baking, prepare cream cheese frosting (from above). In a large bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Add in vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, stirring frequently until mixed. Keep mixing until all clumps are gone.

Remove rolls from oven once baked and allow to slightly cool. Serve with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls


Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (4)

Yeast mixture is ready!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (3)

Wet dough ingredients

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (6)

A very messy and sticky dough

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (7)

Floured Surface

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (8)

Ready to knead!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (14)

Kneaded and placed in a well oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (13)

After 90 minute rise

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (10)

Pecan Streusel filling

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (15)

Ready to roll!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (16)

Rectangle shape (sort of)

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (18)

Buttered and spread with pumpkin pie filling

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (19)

Sprinkled with pecan streusel filling

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (20)

Rolled and ready for the baking dish!

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (12)

Pan Sauce

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (23)

After the overnight rise

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (24)

Baked until golden brown

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (11)

Cream Cheese icing

Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls (25)

Ready for serving!

When I first began making this recipe, I was a bit overwhelmed. Over time, it’s become like second nature – so much so, I hardly need a recipe anymore!

Have you ever attempted to make a recipe from scratch? What’s your favorite/traditional go-to holiday recipe?


Now it’s time for the final week of FitMas Giveaways here at Just Me & My Running Shoes! I hope you’ve enjoyed the weeks of giveaways so far! :)

The final giveaway for FitMas week 4 comes to you from the awesome guys at Flip Belt! That’s right, one lucky winner will receive a Flip Belt (size and color) of their choice! Not sure what a Flip Belt is? Here’s a review I wrote – I still don’t leave home without it! :) I’ve noticed that FlipBelt recently changed their belts to include zippers! I love it!

Enter via rafflecopter below. This giveaway will run for 1 week’s time and will end at midnight next Sunday night (12/28).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck and Merry Christmas!!



  1. YUM! Those cinnamon rolls look delicious :)

    My go-to way of carrying things during my runs is my pockets! The winter is the best because I'm usually wearing more layers and my zip ups have some great pocket space. I also like my Camelbak! I had a SPI belt but it bounced around too much...

    Karen @karenlovestorun

  2. Those cinnamon rolls look like they are to die for!

  3. I always admire those cinnamon rolls you make every holiday season, maybe some day!

    I currently use a spibelt to carry stuff but i got a note 4 and it doesnt fit now =(

  4. I usually put stuff in a pocket in my shirt.

  5. Those cinnamon rolls look amazing! I usually carry fuel in the pockets of my skirt and my phone in my hand.

  6. I LOVE my Flip Belts, but feel the need to buy new colors to "coordinate!" ;)

  7. I have a flip belt too and really like mine! :)

  8. Those rolls look SO good!

    I use a FlipBelt too! I can't believe they have one with a zipper now!

  9. Oh yum! I pride myself on my baking yet I have never made anything like this before! The flipbelt is a very nice giveaway!

  10. I don't carry much, and if I do it must fit in my skirt pockets!

  11. I usually carry anything in my shorts/tights pocket or in my hand, but this definitely limits how much i can bring with me on long runs

  12. My go to method is a fanny pack (gasp!) to carry my keys, phone and lip balm.

  13. Sparkle skirts! Though for longer distances, belts can work, too :)

  14. I typically use my ifitness belt - it's ok but I'm needing an upgrade

  15. LOL- giving it to my husband who is next to me

  16. Right now I'm using my flitletic belt. I like it, but I'm always on the look out for something new, especially for shorter runs when I don't need hydration.

    The cinnamon rolls look great. My mom makes home made ones for Christmas morning. Can't wait to have them in a couple days.

  17. Those rolls looks delish!! Right now I run keys and phone either go in my pants hidden pocket or jacket pocket. Would love one of these belts...

  18. I usually carry just an arm band. These would be great!!

  19. I love cinnamon rolls & pumpkin! I have a FlipBelt & love it, but with all my training I've lost a little weight & it's gotten too big!

  20. I use my pockets to carry stuff when I run.

  21. The rolls are always yummy! My spi belt is all I have and it bumps around all over my hips and my phone doesn't fit in it!

  22. right now in my pocket! but i don't always wear pockets so this would be great!


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