Project Food Blog Challenge #8: Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls



As you can see, my beverage of choice during Project Food Blog has become progressively stronger.

Over the past few months, I went from being a devout Japanese Sencha tea drinker, to a French Press coffee drinker, and now I pour bourbon whiskey into my baked goods.

‘Tis the season.


This year, I am preparing a special holiday breakfast for my family on Christmas morning.

Project Food Blog Challenge #8- to make a sweet or savoury baked good containing pumpkin– suddenly became the perfect dress rehearsal for my special holiday breakfast.

I decided to tackle a baked good I had been afraid to make for a long time…

Delicious, irresistible, gooey Cinnamon rolls.

In this post, I will demystify the cinnamon roll baking process in a step-by-step manner and also show you how to throw together an elegant and unique holiday breakfast that you can wow your loved ones with.

Let’s ROLL!


For the recipes, please see the attached PDF.

First, we start off with a baking science experiment. Grab your lab coat apron and let’s begin!


Proofing the yeast means that we activate the yeast by mixing it with warm water and sugar. It is important that the water you use is not too hot or you may kill the yeast. It should be the temperature you would use for a baby’s bottle.

When the yeast mixture gets bubbly and foamy, it is active (see above photo).


Meanwhile, grab your largest mixing bowl!


This bowl was originally Eric’s grandmother’s bowl and my Mother-in-Law recently handed it down to me.

It was a moment.

I polish it about 10 times a day and I refer to it as the lucky baking bowl.


In a saucepan, mix the wet dough ingredients and heat on low until dissolved. Allow to cool for a couple minutes. It should be warm and not too hot to touch. Think- baby bottle!


For this recipe, I used all vegan ingredients like vegan butter and almond milk, but it also works with non-vegan ingredients. You can adapt it to how you want it.

This saucepan mixture is sweet, buttery, and smooth. I could drink this stuff it tastes so good.

Gather 4 of the 6 cups of all purpose flour in your large bowl.


Mix the proofed yeast with the saucepan mixture and add this to the 4 cups of flour.


Stir with a big ‘ol wooden spoon.


The dough mixture will be very wet and sticky, but have no fear! This is a good thing.

Add in 2 more cups of flour.


Get in there with your hands and roughly knead it all together. Don’t be shy, it won’t bite!


Your dough is now a hot mess.


If you think this is bad, wait until you see what your kitchen is going to look like in a couple hours!

Fill your bowl with hot water and soap and let it soak while you knead the dough.



Thanks to Project Food Blog, specifically the Pizza Challenge, I have fallen in love with bread making and I have since made all kinds of bread recipes.

I’m in my happy place when I’m kneading dough!


I swear that is not the bourbon talking…

Knead the dough for 8 minutes, but first, crank your favourite music.


I grant you permission to consider this your workout for the day.

Tomorrow, you shall awake with arms so toned Jillian Michaels will be envious.


8 minute arms. A future baking workout DVD perhaps? ;)

Now, finish cleaning the bowl and spread some oil all over the interior. This prevents the dough from sticking to the surface as it rises.


The oil is also a great moisturizer for dry winter hands!


Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.


Turn on the light in your oven (it gives off a very slight heat) and leave the bowl in the oven for 90 minutes.

Don’t do something silly and turn the oven on to preheat it while the dough is rising in there.

…Not that that has happened to me or anything!

While the dough rises, prepare the frosting, pumpkin pie filling, and pecan cinnamon streusel.

You didn’t think you were going to rest did you? This is a workout!


This is an incredibly smooth cream cheese frosting.


Stir the icing ingredients by hand.


Feel the burn.

Oh, will it burn.

This is the point where you feel like adding milk because your arm is tired, but you must resist every urge to add liquid. Stay strong, my dear bakers, stay strong.

It will all come together with some elbow grease…



Smooth cream cheese frosting with the perfect consistency for piping.


Now get busy with the fillings.

step7toastthepecans step20cinnamon sugar

After 90 minutes, you will be left with dough that has more than doubled in size.


This is really exciting.

step8pokethedough poketestresized

Poke, poke, poke!

If you poke the dough and it does not spring back up, it is ready!



For this next part you can use a rolling pin, but I prefer to use my hands because I’m all rustic like that.

Make sure there is plenty of flour underneath your dough.


Much better.

Now gently and press (or roll out) the dough to form a large rectangle approximately 15 x 20 inches. Be patient as this process moves slowly and you don’t want to tear the dough.


When you have something that looks like an irregular rectangle, you have completed your mission!


Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to get a perfectly shaped rectangle. We have cinnamon rolls to eat and bourbon to drink!


Grab your man’s BBQ baster dainty pastry brush and spread on the butter.


In my first attempt, I tried using fresh puréed pumpkin and my rolls did not turn out because the fresh pumpkin contained too much water. If you are set on using fresh puréed pumpkin, I would try straining it with a cheesecloth overnight to allow the water to drip out. Otherwise, canned pumpkin works perfectly!

Now it is time to spread on the Pumpkin Pie Filling and pour on the Pecan Cinnamon Streusel.


Pumpkin Pie + Cinnamon Roll = Heaven.


If you aren’t a pumpkin fan you can simply leave out the pumpkin pie filling and still have a delicious cinnamon roll.

Or why not try making apple pie, pecan pie, or cherry pie cinnamon rolls? Have fun experimenting with all different kinds of pie flavours!


Get your roll on.

rollingresized 20101120-IMG_1785


Dental floss isn’t just for your teeth anymore!

Using floss is more effective than a knife when cutting the rolls because the string doesn’t squish or stick to the dough like a knife does.


In a desperate moment, I used mint flavoured dental floss.

Our little baker’s secret. ;)


Pumpkin Pie all rolled up.


Place the rolls in a large casserole dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let them rise for 45 minutes. They will spread beautifully and cover every nook and cranny in the casserole dish.


If you are making these for a holiday breakfast, you can prepare the rolls the night before and just pop them into the fridge overnight for the second rise. In the morning, let the casserole dish sit at room temperature for a half hour before baking.


Bake the rolls for 25-27 minutes at 350F until golden in colour.

The house smells so sweet and delicious it is intoxicating.


You can frost the rolls several ways: 1) Pipe on the frosting with a pastry bag and round tip, 2) Use a plastic baggie with one corner cut off, 3) Spread on frosting with a palette knife, or 4) Drizzle thinned out frosting with a spoon.


If you want to save time, spread on the frosting while the rolls are still warm in the pan.

It creates a roll that is effortlessly chic


These Pumpkin Pie Cinnamon Rolls are oozing with sweet, creamy pumpkin and crunchy pecan streusel all wrapped up in fluffy warm bread that melts in your mouth.

While the recipe does require some time and leg work, I was blown away by how easy they are to make! I can’t believe I waited so long to try making them.


For my holiday breakfast, I decided to make a ‘Build Your Own’ Cinnamon Roll Party!


The Frostings:


The toppings:


I rounded out my holiday menu with homemade trail mix, tea, cranberry juice, and fruit.


We made all kinds of crazy flavours that were fun to name…


I was The Indecisive, which was no surprise to Eric.

Eric was of course the Chocolate Ganache, which was no surprise to me. I thought he deserved a self-titled roll!

Oh, check out the Sticky bun bottom…


I rest my case.

By the way, if Santa is visiting your house this year be sure to leave one out for him…


Your stocking will thank you for it. ;)


This is my official entry for Project Food Blog Challenge #8. Voting is now open for Challenge #8. I appreciate your support in advancing me to round 9!

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+

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{ 248 comments… read them below or add one }

Brittany November 29, 2010

Oh I don’t know how you do it!! People are drooling throughout the world over VEGAN cinnamon rolls! If I wasn’t so deep in to studying for finals I would be making these… alas I will wait until December 16th and then it’ll be good times!! Thank you for always having amazing posts that live completely and utterly in every dream I dream at night… I’m just waiting for the moment I’ll be yelling out COOKIE in my sleep and my boyfriend Ryan will get concerned!!


Gloria November 29, 2010

Forget Project Food Blogger, move over Ina Garten, you are the next big food star. Period. I am constantly blown away by your detailed instructions, creative ideas, and delicious food. Vegan or not, people LOVE you! Congratulations in advance, because you are going to blow everyone out of the water! And now I shall wipe the drool off my face and make these cinnamon rolls ;)


Chelsea November 29, 2010

Angela, you are like my hero.


sippitysup November 29, 2010

I don’t even know what to say, or how to explain that I can smell these baking all the way to Los Angeles. Beautiful in every way. GREG


Anna November 29, 2010

I’ve always declared my grandmother’s cinnamon rolls as being the best there is, but I think these have won. I can’t wait to try making them!


Alicia November 29, 2010

Great idea! Very helpful pictures. I love the idea of adding personalized toppings to these. Yum!


Sarah November 29, 2010

Please tell me you’re working on a cookbook!? I’d love to have all of your recipes compiled into one b/c it seems like I’m constantly looking at OSG for recipes! You are super talented. I’m making the “Twix or Treat Fingers” right now for my kiddos….mmm!


Cathy Breit November 29, 2010

you consistently top yourself, angela! This is amazing..can’t wait to try this! Great job on PFB!!
cathy b. @ brightbakes


Nichole November 29, 2010

These look amazing, and given my pumpkin obsession, these are right up my alley. I am soooooo making these.


Margaret November 29, 2010

Hi Angela

These look amazing. Love all the photos included this time.

I am sooooo gforward to having these on MY table on Christmas morning.

Love the toppings on the side – a great way for everbody to make their own finished roll. I also love the ideal of serving the topings in your Cups and Saucers…. what a GREAT idea.

Like a lot of your friends, I agree (as do a number of my friends) that you should do a Cook Book.

Perhaps all the amazing work you have done for PROJECT FOOD BLOG can be the start of your very own FIRST COOK BOOK.

Judging from your comments, it seems that everybody is just waiting for it to come HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!

Way to go again….. Good luck to the next round and I have already voted.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2010

so kind, thank you!


Jenna November 29, 2010

Wow! Cinnamon rolls are probably one of my favorite guilty pleasures! I am going to make these for Christmas morning, and I definitely think I am going to need to make your bourbon expresso sauce to go on top! I’m a little scared to use yeasted dough (I’ve never attempted to use yeast before), but thanks to your wonderful instructions and pictures, I think I might be able to do it!

You have my vote yet again! Oh, I also just wanted to say that I made your Pepperment Walnut Crunch Blondies this weekend and my meat eating boyfriend loved them and couldn’t believe they were vegan! He especially liked looking at how ground flax seeds gel up to make a vegan egg replacer ;) He also LOVES your vegan gravy!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2010

that’s great! Glad you enjoyed them :)
Thanks for your support!


amy gray November 29, 2010

these pictures are soo beautiful! this recipe looks amazing thank you!


Mauimandy@Thegrainsofparadise November 29, 2010

Wow! I’m impressed ( and now very very hungry! ) Just beautiful :) Aloha!


Annie@stronghealthyfit November 29, 2010

Unbelievable. You should win PFB right now!


Balanced Healthy Life November 29, 2010

What a great post! I just got done voting for you! I am so happy you remembered one for Santa! : )


Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life November 29, 2010

This is fantastic…hands down! You are amazing girl! :-D


Virginia @ YtotheUmmy November 29, 2010

UGH. adopt me! I want allll of these cinnamon rolls!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 29, 2010

sure, can you make glo bars? lol ;)


momgateway November 29, 2010

I love the idea of “Build your own cinnamon roll party” with different toppings and frosting! Superb!


Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 30, 2010

Another great entry, Angela. I just love this! I now think it is achievable to tackle them myself!! yum. what a fun breakfast. I love everything about it. Just voted for you!
Heidi xo


Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) November 30, 2010

I love that font that you’ve been using in your photos! Can I ask which one it is??


Ben November 30, 2010

I last made cinnamon rolls in a home ec class in jr high. These look better. :) Sticky bun bottom with bourbon, please!


Julie @ Willow Bird Baking November 30, 2010

These look delectable, and I LOVE the idea of a toppings bar for cinnamon rolls!! Great job!


Kristy H November 30, 2010

Hi, yummmmmm! these look so good and I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for all the cookie receipes, I am making your soft peanut butter cookies tonight for dessert. I have been trying to go dairy free for the last couple of Months and have succeded with milk and butter but am finding it hard to cut cheese out of my diet. Do you have any tips that might help? did you find this difficult when going vegan?


retro sweets November 30, 2010

I really like it here because your’re taking a picture of every step. Can’t wait to try this! Yum!


retro sweets November 30, 2010

And by the way, I’ve voted for you on foodbuzz…. Goodluck! :)


traci November 30, 2010

Do you ever get tired of hearing the word delicious ? :) Because well these look so delicious !
They also looked lke they were fun to make :) You have my vote :D


Roz November 30, 2010

You SO deserve to win this challenge. Your photos, ideas, recipes and presentation are without comparison!!!! You have my vote for SURE!!! And if a publisher doesn’t jump at the chance and get you a book offer, well, I just don’t get it!!!
Dental floss? LOVE that idea!!!


Heidi November 30, 2010

Wow wow wow. I am humbled on so many levels! Everything looks breathtaking!!

I’m off to vote for ya!


Amy November 30, 2010

I love your blog!! I made a username just to vote for you on project food blog! i have been a vegan for 6 months you are total inspiration! thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 30, 2010

thank you!


Liz @ IHeartVegetables November 30, 2010

Wow those look SO amazing!!!! I love the pictures, and the lucky baking bowl ;) Your whole family is lucky to have such a talented cook!!! :)


Jess - The Domestic Vegan November 30, 2010

I am SO making these!!! I loooove making cinnamon rolls, but have never even thought of pumpkin pie cinnamon rolls! That almost sounds TOO delicious…

GORGEOUS pictures!


Cassidy Wilson November 30, 2010

Beautiful as always. Your creativity and sense of whimsy is so inspiring. Keep up your hard work : )


stephchows November 30, 2010

WOW simply amazing and delicious! Good luck!! voted!


Lindsey November 30, 2010

You are amazing!! I want those so badly on my Christmas morning that I think I’m ready to concur my bread making fear.
PS – I wish I was a part of your family because they must be really, really happy when you come over for dinner :)


Theresa November 30, 2010

Angela – you are beyond incredible!!!! Quick question though – at what point did u freeze them? And how long would u allow them to thaw before baking – and bake for the same time? I am dying to make them this weekend for visiting family but need to make them ahead of time.
Thanks so much!!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 1, 2010

I froze the dough (in a ball), but I think I did hear you can freeze the rolls too. I’m not 100% sure on that one!


Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen November 30, 2010

What an amazing post, I loved to step by step direction photos! I’ve recently fallen in love with yeast breads too and might have to give these a try. (I made some chocolate cinnamon rolls a while back but pumpkin sounds great for this time of year!) Good luck this round!


Heather November 30, 2010

Hoooo-kay….I LOVE Bulleit. It is so freakin’ good. You won me over with the first photo.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 1, 2010

i concur!


Lisa November 30, 2010

You are INCREDIBLE! You are going to win this whole contest!!!! New Buick for YOU. :)

It makes me consider being a vegan (although seriously don’t think I can give up meat, I do love it), I didn’t know you could make everything in a vegan way!


Lauren November 30, 2010

Wow. These look seriously amazing! I always enjoy reading your blog – it makes me smile. And drool a bit too. =)


Michaela November 30, 2010

I love how many pictures you have. When it comes to making yeasted recipes, more pictures is always better. Something is always confusing otherwise.

The recipe looks delightful. I can’t wait to experiment with my cinnamon rolls!


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