Pumpkin Challah Cinnamon Rolls

Time for some quarantine comfort baking – “emptying my cabinets” style.  I found a can of organic pumpkin, so, since I also still have some confectioner’s sugar,  baking project #1 – pumpkin challah cinnamon rolls.

As with many of my favorite challah recipes, this one was from My Jewish Learning – The Nosher.  I made the full recipe, we are eating ½ the batch and I froze the other half for another time when we need a treat.

You would think I would have a lot to write, but I have been busy focusing on trying to wrap up my cookbook.  And with staying home with my 10 year old, he is pretty all encompassing of my time.  Oh, we got a new dog, but that will be a post for another day.  For now, try to smell these delicious cinnamon rolls…

Pumpkin Challah Cinnamon Rolls

from My Jewish Learning – The Nosher

For the dough:

1 ½ Tbsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water

4 ½- 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I prefer King Arthur brand)

¾ cup sugar

¼  cup vegetable oil

½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

½  Tbsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

For filling:

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 ½ Tbsp cinnamon

½ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, at room temperature

For glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

¼-1/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch salt


In a small bowl place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 5-10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.

In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar  and spices. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil, vanilla and pumpkin puree. Mix thoroughly.

Add another cup of flour and eggs until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.

Add another 1-1 ½ cups flour and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 5 minutes. Don’t add more flour then the dough needs – the less flour, the lighter the dough.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise 3-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt for filling.

Grease two 9×13 pyrex dishes. You could also use round cake pans.

Split dough evenly into two balls. I like using a kitchen scale to be as precise as possible, though this isn’t necessary.

Roll out each ball of dough into a large rectangle about ½ inch thick. Spread half the softened butter all over. Top with half the brown sugar mixture. Roll up on the longer side, working quickly. Pinch dough together and pinch ends.

Cut dough into roughly 2 inch pieces.  Place in greased baking dish. Repeat with other half of dough.

Allow the cinnamon rolls to rise another 30 minutes. Place a damp towel over rolls while rising.

Bake around 20-23 minutes, or until rolls appear puffy and no longer raw or too doughy in the middle.

While rolls are baking, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and pinch of salt in a small bowl.  If glaze seems too thick/too thin add milk or powdered sugar until desired consistency.  Drizzle on top of challah rolls using a spoon while rolls are still warm so glaze melts slightly.




4 Comments Add yours

  1. I love adding bananas to my yeast dough, but never tried pumpkin puree. Love the idea. Will give it a try next time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The pumpkin gave the dough an interesting color that held through the baking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely on my list to try soon! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Geri Lawhon says:

    Sound interesting and delicious, thank you for the recipe.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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