Whenever I cook for my grandpa, he has one request- cinnamon rolls. When he visited a few weeks ago, it had been a year since I had last seen him. I wanted to make an extra special cinnamon roll. I came across these beautiful Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing. The dough has a bit of whole wheat flour and pumpkin puree added. This made me feel slightly better about returning for a second or third helping. At least that is what I told myself.
Instead of the normal “rolled” shape, these fantail cinnamon rolls are covered with cinnamon sugar seasoned with pumpkin spice, cut into strips, stacked, cut into 6 portions, and placed cut side up in prepared muffin tins. The tops are lightly separated and fan out further with baking to produce a unique shape. I then drizzled the tops with a maple cream cheese icing.
The original recipe uses an icing made with maple extract. I never have that on hand, but did have a bottle of maple syrup in the refrigerator. I didn’t want the icing overly sweet, so I added a bit of milk instead of more maple syrup to make the icing the right consistency for drizzling. If you want a bit more maple flavor and sweetness, add more maple syrup instead of milk.
Pumpkin Fantail Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Icing
Adapted from Barbara Bakes
12 Fantail Cinnamon Rolls
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk, lukewarm (105-115 degrees F)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2-2 3/4 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted buter, room temperature
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
To make the dough: In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over lukewarm milk. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring to mix. Allow to sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, 1 cup of the bread flour, sugar, and salt.
Mix in the yeast with milk, butter, egg, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract. Slowly add the remaining bread flour until dough comes together.
Grease a large bowl with oil and add the dough, turning to coat. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, 1-2 hours.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
Divide the dough in half. Place one half on a lightly floured surface and keep the other covered in the bowl. Roll the dough into a 12×12 inch square. Spread half of the softened butter over the top of the square, all the way to the edges. Evenly cover with half of the cinnamon sugar filling, pressing down into the butter to make it stick. Cut the square into six 2 inch wide strips. Stack the strips with the cinnamon side on top. Cut the stacked strips into 2 inch long pieces to make 6 pieces.
Grease 12 muffin tins with butter or oil. Gently transfer the stacked pieces to the prepared muffin tins, cut side up, lightly separating the layers at the top. Repeat wit remaining dough and filling. Cover the tins loosely with a towel or plastic. Allow to rise until puffy, 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake the fantails in the preheated oven until golden brown, 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently transfer to the wire rack.
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar. Mix in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. If needed, add a little more maple syrup or milk to reach the desired consistency.
Drizzle over pumpkin fantails and allow to set for a few minutes before serving.