Breakfast

Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

These pumpkin chai spiced cinnamon rolls are a delightful fusion of fall flavors. Soft, pillowy, and swirled with a luscious pumpkin chai filling that’s both sweet and spiced to perfection. The epitome of autumn coziness, and perfect for enjoying with a steaming cup of your favorite tea or coffee.

Hello, my fellow foodies! Are the leaves changing, and the air getting crisp where you are? Here in Sothern Cal, it’s a rainy, cold Autumn day (which is unusual in September), So it’s time to cozy up with a warm, homemade treat that embraces all the flavors of Fall.

If you’re a fan of warm, aromatic spices of chai AND pumpkin, you’re in for a real treat. The filling is a harmonious, ooey, gooey blend of butter, brown sugar, creamy pumpkin, and chai spices. Sweet, swirled, caramelized perfection that’ll make your kitchen smell like a cozy fall haven.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just starting your culinary adventures, these Pumpkin Chai Cinnamon Rolls are a must-try and are simple to make! And know that most of the time it takes is in the “resting” time- or proofing.

So, grab your apron and whip up a batch or two of these fall-inspired treats! Share them with friends and family, or savor them all to yourself – no judgment here!

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Ingredients for pumpkin chai spiced cinnamon rolls

Flour ~ I use an all-purpose flour. Bread flour can be substituted and will create a slightly chewier texture.

Cornstarch ~ is used in both dough and filling for added texture and fluffiness. It also helps the filling stay put and not leak out.

Eggs ~ one egg and one yolk at room temperature. To quickly do this, place the whole eggs in a cup of warm water for a few minutes.

Unsalted butter ~ for the dough, filling, and icing. If you use salted butter, omit the added salt in the dough recipe.

Cream cheese ~ is used for the icing. No going fat-free now! Full fat for the win!

Yeast ~ Instant yeast or active dry yeast can be used. I prefer to use the instant. It shortens the proofing time! No need to wait any longer than we have to. I prefer buying the yeast in the packets when I need yeast, that way I don’t need to worry about it going bad.

Pumpkin puree ~ fresh, canned pumpkin, not pie filling.

Milk ~ whole milk. Stay away from lite or fat-free milk, as they lack the fat content.

Spices ~ You’ll use the spices in the dough, filling, and icing. YUM!

Chai tea ~ I used Trader Joe’s chai tea bags. It’s the best one I have found that is full of flavor. You can also use loose chai tea.

Pecans ~ optional. you can use any nut you prefer, or leave them out. In this recipe I left them out.

Success Tips For The Perfect Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

Demonstration on how to cut the pumpkin rolls
  • Check the expiration date on the yeast. You don’t want to go through all the effort to make these heavenly treats only to have flat rolls.
  • Make sure the temperature of the milk is not too hot. You don’t want to kill the yeast. I recommend an instant-read thermometer. They are inexpensive and save you the guesswork. Amazon has all sorts of them. If you don’t have one, lukewarm temperature is what you want.
  • Use dental floss to cut the rolls. It cuts them clean and smooth without tearing or squishing them. However, you can use a knife if it’s a serrated one. Use a sweeping motion to cut rather than a sawing motion or straight down.
  • Room temperature is a must! Make sure the eggs, butter, and cream cheese chill out. But hey- we all get sidetracked and forget sometimes (guilty!). A quick way to help the butter and cream cheese reach room temp is to pop them in the microwave with the “soften” option (if you have one). Put whole eggs ( shell intact) in a cup of warm water for about 10 minutes.
Pumpkin rolls in a baking pan ready to be baked

Make Ahead And Storage

These pumpkin rolls are perfect for making up ahead for the fast-approaching holidays and overnight guests.

For making overnight pumpkin chai rolls. As soon as the rolls are placed in the baking pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator and keep them covered; let the rolls rise at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, you can place them in a 100-degree F oven (or in a 100˚F oven for 30 min) or until puffy.

Storing Freshly Baked Cinnamon Rolls: If you have leftover freshly baked cinnamon rolls, allow them to cool to room temperature. Then, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep them from drying out. Store them at room temperature for up to 2-3 days.

Make ahead to freeze. As soon as you have rolled and cut the rolls, put parchment paper on a sheet pan, then place the rolls on the pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer to partially freeze for about 30 to 45 minutes. Then, transfer the rolls to a freezer zip lock bag or container.

To cook from frozen. The night before you want to serve the rolls, remove them from the freezer and place them in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Put them in the pan you are going to bake them in, about 2 inches apart. Now, it is time to let them rise! Place a towel over them and put them in a warm area.

Reheating: If you have leftover baked cinnamon rolls or frozen and baked ones that you’ve thawed, you can reheat them in the microwave or oven until warmed through. Microwave for about 20-30 seconds per roll or place them in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 10-15 minutes until heated.

Frequently Asked Questions – And Answers!

What if I don’t have a stand mixer?

No problem, you can achieve the same glorious results by kneading by hand. It requires a little more love and patience, but you’ll get a good arm workout in the process 🙂

You can use an electric mixer to a certain point; the dough will get thick and sticky, and you’ll need to stir with a large spoon or spatula. Once most of the flour is mixed, turn it out on a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it is sticky, add a small amount of flour at a time (about 1 tablespoon) until you have the desired consistency.

Why did my rolls rise in the center when baking?

This is most likely caused by rolling the dough log too tight or not spacing them far enough apart in the baking pan before baking. Make sure to leave 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches apart from each other so they have room to expand and cook evenly.

What is the best pan to cook the pumpkin rolls in?

Pretty much anything! Round, rectangle, or square- they all work. I find that metal or porcelain/ceramic baking pans work better than glass. If you choose glass, decrease the temperature by 25 degrees. A sheet pan can also be used, especially if you want your pumpkin rolls to stand alone vs. touching one another.

What size rectangle should the dough be rolled to?

Great question, and this used to perplex me as well!
It depends on what size and how thick or thin you want them. A rectangle at 24 x 12 will give you a bigger log and more rolls but thinner spirals. The smaller the rectangle, such as 9×12, the fluffier or thicker the rolls will be. It doesn’t need to be exact. A good rule of thumb is to go with 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thickness when rolling out the dough. My go-to is a 16×20-inch rectangle.

A pumpkin roll being frosted

Let’s Make Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls!

Here’s a quick overview. Scroll below to find the complete and printable instructions with all my tips!

  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, add the warm chai milk and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It should become foamy. Add the eggs, pumpkin puree, and softened butter to the yeast mixture and mix on low with the mix attachment for a few seconds.
  2. Add about 1/3 of the flour and mix until the flour has blended in. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and add the rest of the flour. Continue on low speed and let the dough knead until it forms a ball around the dough hook. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Make the filling. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, ginger, all-spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mix for the icing. Set aside.
  4. Roll & cut. Punch down the risen dough and roll it out on a floured surface into a 14×12-inch rectangle. See notes. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one of the long edges. Sprinkle the chai spices evenly over the dough, and gently press the spices to adhere to the dough.
  5. Starting from the long edge with the filling, tightly roll up the dough into a log. Slice it into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 equal pieces using dental floss. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and arrange the rolls, leaving a little space between each. Second Rise.
  6. Bake and frost. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. While the rolls cool, make the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat on high until smooth and there are no lumps. Frost and sink your teeth into these pillowy, sweet fall treats!
A frosted pumpkin chai spiced cinnamon rolls  on a plate

Love Pumpkin? Here are some more fall treats you might love!

Try these Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal Cookies: So pillowy and soft

Pumpkin Gingerbread Bars Addicting!!

Pumpkin Bread With Maple Oat Topping is Incredibly moist and full of fall flavors

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pumpkin Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 2.5 hours- includes time for resting the dough
  • Yield: 1214 1x

Description

These pumpkin chai spiced cinnamon rolls are a delightful fusion of fall flavors. Soft, pillowy, and swirled with a luscious pumpkin chai filling that’s both sweet and spiced to perfection. The epitome of autumn coziness, and perfect for enjoying with a steaming cup of your favorite tea or coffee. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the chai milk

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 to 4 chai tea bags

For the Dough:

  • 1 tablespoon active dry rapid yeast (or instant yeast)
  • 1 cup warm chai milk (about 110°F or 43°C)
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 1 egg Plus 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree. If it is watery, blot as much liquid as you can off it.
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, softened
  • 4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

For the chai spiced frosting

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt, about 1/8 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon reserved chai spice mix


Instructions

For the Chai milk

  1. Add the tea bags and milk to a small saucepan over low heat. When you see tiny bubbles around the edge, turn off the heat and let the tea steep, stirring occasionally and pressing gently on the tea bags. This will help the flavors release, and the milk will turn a caramel color. Set aside to cool. You will want the milk lukewarm, or 110 to 115 degrees F, when you add it to the bowl to make the dough.

To make the dough – Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl, add the warm chai milk and the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for about 5 minutes. It should become foamy.
  2. In another medium mixing bowl, combine 4 1/2 cups of flour ( you may need to add additional flour as the dough kneads), cornstarch, pumpkin pie spice, and salt, and set aside.
  3. To the yeast mixture, add the eggs, pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup sugar, and softened butter. Mix on low with the paddle attachment ( or beat on low with an electric mixer) for a few seconds. Don’t worry about the butter not mixing in.
  4. Add about 1 cup of the flour at a time, allowing it to be mostly absorbed with each addition. Switch to the dough hook attachment. If kneading by hand, see notes below. Continue on low speed and let the dough knead for about 8 minutes. If the dough looks too wet or sticking to the sides of the bowl, add more flour ( 1 tablespoon at a time). The dough should pull away from the sides and start to form a ball around the dough hook. The dough is ready when it is smooth and elastic. It should feel sticky without sticking to your fingers or sides of the bowl.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size. In the meantime, you can make the filling and frosting!

For the filling

  1. In a small bowl, mix together all the spices. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the spice mix for the frosting. Now add the cornstarch and mix. Set aside while you make the frosting.

Roll the dough & cut.

  1. First, butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Now, punch down the risen dough, gather it up, and place it on a floured surface. using your hands, form and pat it into a small rectangle, then finish rolling it into a 16×20-inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border along one of the long edges. Sprinkle the chai spices evenly over the dough, and gently press and rub the spices to adhere to the dough.
  2. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough into a tight log, sealing the edge. Slice it into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 equal pieces using unflavored dental floss or a share serrated knife. Arrange the rolls in the buttered baking pan, leaving 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Now it’s time for the second rise. Cover them with a kitchen towel, and let them get puffy again, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. TIP: Put them in the warmest spot in your kitchen. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F halfway through so it’s ready for you.

Bake and frost.

  1. Bake the cinnamon rolls for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. While the rolls cool, make the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat on high until smooth and there are no lumps. Frost and sink your teeth into these pillowy, sweet fall treats!

Notes

Helpful Tips!

  • Check the expiration date on the yeast. You don’t want to go through all the effort to make these heavenly treats only to have flat rolls.
  •  Make sure the temperature of the milk is not too hot. You don’t want to kill the yeast. I recommend an instant-read thermometer. They are inexpensive and save you the guesswork. Amazon has all sorts of them. If you don’t have one, lukewarm temperature is what you want.
  •  Use dental floss to cut the rolls. It cuts them clean and smooth without tearing or squishing them. If you use a knife, use a serrated one,
  •  Room temperature is a must! Make sure the eggs, butter, and cream cheese chill out. But hey- we all get sidetracked and forget sometimes (guilty!). A quick way to help the butter and cream cheese reach room temp is to pop them in the microwave with the “soften” option. Put whole eggs in a cup of warm water for about 10 minutes.

Kneading By Hand Option

  •  Use an electric mixer until the dough becomes too thick and sticky, and then stir with a large wooden spoon or spatula. Once most of the flour is mixed, turn it out on a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. If it is sticky, add a small amount of flour at a time (about 1 tablespoon) until you have the desired consistency.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

3 Comments

  1. Celeste Jenae

    These Chai Pumpkin Spiced Cinnamon Rolls were absolutely amazing! This recipe combines the warmth of chai spices with the comforting sweetness of pumpkin. The soft, pillowy texture and velvety glaze make it a perfect indulgence for the autumn season. It’s a must-try for anyone looking to savor the flavors of fall in a single, heavenly bite. This batch was shared here in our beauty salon, everyone loved them! Our clients and hairstylists , begged for the recipe. I can’t wait to make these again for my family this holiday season! Absolutely delish!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star