Are you looking for a way to enjoy your fall bakes in a healthier way? How about giving these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls a try?
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
I know some people will hear the whole grain in baked goods and panic. They are worried it tastes too grainy, flavorless, or even dry. I promise you, this recipe is none of those things.
What makes my recipe different is I use part whole wheat, part refined flours. I feel this makes a baked good more people can like. This recipe can be subbed for 100% whole wheat if you prefer, but for everyone else, start with partial.
The beauty of partial whole grain recipes is they are so close to the original, most people won’t even know the difference. Especially when you are using strong flavors like pumpkin and cinnamon.
- All-purpose flour
- Whole wheat flour- I will give my recommendations below.
- Butter or oil
- Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Pumpkin Puree- you can make your own, or buy it canned, just make sure it is puree.
- Brown Sugar
- Cream Cheese
Whole Wheat Recommendations
There are a lot of whole wheat flours that will work well with this recipe. If you are new to whole wheat baking, I would recommend white wheat flour ( which is a white winter wheat ground into flour).
Another whole wheat flour I love for baking is Spelt Flour. It works so well in bakes and is probably the flour I use most. It is popular in European countries, but also gaining in popularity here.
Einkorn flour is another favorite of mine. It is an ancient grain that is highly nutritious. This flour is also really great to bake with!
Another flour I like with my fall bakes is Rye flour. If you have not tried baking with rye, I recommend it.
In this recipe, I only use about 30% whole wheat flour, but feel free to up it to 50-60% without changing the recipe at all!
How To Bake With Whole Wheat
The biggest complaint people have with whole wheat baked goods is a lot of times they are dry. Let me share 2 tips that will help combat this issue.
First, make sure your dough isn’t too dry, to begin with. What I mean by this is the dough should feel SLIGHTLY sticky (this is called tacky in the baking world). You don’t want it to be so sticky you cannot work with it, but just slightly.
The next thing to know is DO NOT OVERBAKE. There is a process in cooking and baking called carry-over cooking.
What this means is the residual heat from a baked good will continue to bake even after it is removed from the heat source.
So, if your cinnamon rolls are perfectly baked when you remove them, as they continue to carry-over cook, they will overbake.
What to do about this? Underbake just SLIGHTLY. You can see in the photos below what my rolls look like when I pulled them from the oven.
How To Make Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Mix your dough. I use the straight dough method, which I will explain below.
- Give it the first rise, letting it double.
- Roll it out and spread with melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- Form into your cinnamon rolls and cut to size.
- Place in your baking pans, cover and allow it to rise again.
- Bake until the tops are golden brown.
- While they are baking, mix your cream cheese icing.
- You can let them cool or ice them hot. That is a personal preference.
- Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!
Straight Dough Method
This dough is mixed in what is called a straight dough method. This means, everything is thrown into your bowl and mixed at once. I think it is the simplest bread-making method.
So, add all your dough ingredients to a mixing bowl, I will always recommend Bosch as it is my favorite mixer!
Mix for 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth. Now, remember you are using wheat flour, so your dough will not be perfectly smooth like with all refined flour.
The dough should be SLIGHTLY sticky and pull away from the edges of the bowl. That is it. The straight dough method is so simple and great for beginning bread makers.
This is a good-sized batch, making it perfect for sharing with friends and family. Or maybe you need the teacher’s gifts? I promise they will love these!
This batch makes at least 30 rolls, or even more depending on the size you roll them to.
Other Whole Wheat Baked Goods
- Honey Oatmeal Bread
- Multigrain Bread
- Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cookies
- Dark Chocolate Rye Cookies
- My favorite partial wheat pie dough
- Cherry Slab Pie
- Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
Wholegrain Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- 2 cups warm milk I like to have it at a temp it is just warm to the touch.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree You can use canned, like I did, or even fresh roasted and pureed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup oil or butter I used canola oil. If you prefer you can use another neutral flavored oil. If you use butter, either soften it really well, or melt it.
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 2 envelopes instant yeast If you are measuring, you can use between 5-6 teaspoons. I used 6, but 5 will work as well.
- 3 cups whole wheat flour I prefer a white whole wheat, but you can also use hard red winter or even a rye.
- 7.5-9 cups all purpose flour This will be a variable. Every climate is different and measuring is different, so start with 7.5 and go from there.
- 12 tablespoons butter, melted This will be when you are rolling the cinnamon rolls, so don't mix into the dough
- 2-3 cups brown sugar I lay my brown sugar on pretty thick, but you might want to go a little lighter. That is what the variable is for.
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon This is a variable. You only need this to dust your brown sugar,so whatever that will take.
Cream Cheese Icing
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces butter softened
- 4-6 cups powdered sugar The variable will be based on how sweet you like your icing.
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon this is optional, but really good!
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Add milk, pumpkin, granulated sugar, salt, oil, pumpkin pie spice, yeast, flours (remember to only start with 7.5 cups all purpose) , and eggs. Add them to a mixing bowl. This is a straight dough method, meaning you add all the ingredients in at one time. Mix it for about a minute on medium speed to check the status of your dough. You want it to feel SLIGHTLY sticky to the touch, but not to much. It should also start pulling away from the side of the bowl a little. If you need to add more, I wound up using about 8 cups, add it slowly about 1/2 of a cup at a time. Mixing another 30 seconds to 1 minute before adding more. Once the dough feels good, mix on medium another 5-7 minutes until it is good and smooth. Now, it will probably rise much bigger than your bowl. You can either cover with a dish towel and let ut explode in the bowl, or you can switch to a bigger bowl for the rise. Allow the dough to double. How quickly it doubles will depend on the temperature of the dough and temperature in your house. Mine took about 45 minutes, but it could take up to an hour and 15 minutes. Now, let's start rolling. This is a big batch, so give yourself plenty of space. The dough is slightly wet, so it will stick a little. To prevent this, you can either dust the counter top lightly with flour, or even spray with pan spray. I like to roll mine into a rectangle, about 12 inches by 36 inches. You will want the dough to be between 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Once the dough is risen, melt your 12 tablespoons of butter for brushing. Brush it lightly across the surface, leaving about 1 inch at the bottom on the length of the rectangle. You will need this 1 inch without butter so you can pinch your roll closed. Sprinkle the buttered portion with your brown sugar. Try and spread this evenly. Then dust the brown sugar with cinnamon. Let's start rolling. You will want to roll this fairly tight. Not super tight, but fairly tight. You will want to end with the end that isn't buttered, so start with your opposite buttered end. With a batch this big, the dough will fight you a little bit when you first start rolling. So, roll a few inches at a time, move to the next section and roll as well, then make your way down the length of the. The keep rolling and come back down the length of your cinnamon rolls. Eventually it will get easier to roll once you get a little further down. Once you reach the end, pinch the unbuttered inch to pinch the roll closed. I cut my roll into about 1- 1 1/2 inch sections. Remember, whatever you cut your rolls to, they will at least triple. So, keep that size in mind. Prepare your pans for baking. I used a variety of sizes as we were baking for ourselves, but also for friends. I used 1- 9×13, 3-6 inch cake pans, and 2- 8-inch cake pans. I sprayed mine with a pan release. You can see in the photos, I like to place mine pretty close together. I do this because I want them to rise up and not rise out. Cover your pans and allow to double. Towards the end of this second rise, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Uncover your pans and place in ovens on the middle shelf. I have a double oven, so I baked all mine at once. If you don't just move them through as you are able. If you need to place some pans on the middle and bottom shelf, just remember to rotate them hlafway through the baking time. Baking times on these will vary. It will vary on the thickness of your pan, it will vary based on how thick you cut your cinnamon rolls, it will vary based on the actual temp of your oven, and the temp of your dough starting out. So, here is what I will tell you. They should take between 15-35 minutes. You can take a temperature on them, you will want to pull them out at about 190 degrees. Or my favorite way of checking is to pull up on a center swirl gently and check for doneness. They should be a golden brown. Remove from the oven. If you aren't planning on eating them right away, I like to remove them from the pan, as they can get really sticky and difficult to remove as they cool. On to the icing, below.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing
- Combine the cream cheese, softened butter, 4 cups of powdered sugar, vanilla and about 2 tablespoons milk in mixer. Beat on high for about 30 seconds. Check the icing for flavor and consistency. The variation is powdered sugar is for personal preferences. I don't like my cream cheese icing really sweet, but I know plenty of people do! Adjust the sweetness and consistency with the milk and powdered sugar.. I like to beat it on high for at least 1 minute to get red of any lumps and a smooth consistency. Ice generously with icing. I like to do it when the cinnamon rolls have cooled just a little bit. I do this so the icing won't just melt and run off, but it will hold it's shape and stay on top!Now, sit back and enjoy. You certainly deserve it after all that work!!