Pecan Pumpkin Butter Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing

in Bread, Breakfast, Pastry, Pumpkin

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing

Remember that pecan pumpkin butter? Today I’m going to how you to use half of it and, at the same time, take care of breakfast (or dessert) for the week.

These non-cinnamon “cinnamon” rolls use pecan pumpkin butter, brown sugar, and roasted pecans for the filling. After baking, the warm rolls are topped with a cream cheese icing spiked with bourbon, vanilla, and molasses. They’re sweet, they’re rich, and they’re intense.

Just like the Apple Cinnamon Rolls we made a couple of weeks ago, the recipe is simply our favorite “plain” cinnamon roll recipe dressed up with a different filling. And a little booze. You assemble them the evening before, let them rest in the fridge overnight, let them rise the next morning, and then bake.

If booze for breakfast isn’t your thing, replace it with milk. If you’re thinking “I’m going to have the bourbon out pouring a glass anyway…” then you and I were likely separated at birth.

Just kidding. I don’t drink bourbon. For breakfast.

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing

Dress up a plain cinnamon roll for fall with pecan pumpkin butter and an icing spiked with bourbon and molasses.


  • For the dough:
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract (or the scrapings from 1 vanilla pod)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 cups flour (20 oz), plus more for dusting surface
  • 1 pkg (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • For the Filling:
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup pecan pumpkin butter
  • 1/4 cup barely packed dark brown sugar
  • For the Icing:
  • 2.5 oz cream cheese (low fat is fine)
  • 2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  1. Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, buttermilk and half the flour together until well combined. Add yeast, salt, and the next 1 1/4 cup flour (leaving about 3/4 cup remaining) and knead on low for 5 minutes.
  2. Add additional flour by the spoonful if necessary - you want the dough soft and moist but not overly sticky. Knead another 5 minutes until the dough clears the sides of the bowl (but might still stick to the bottom a bit).
  3. Transfer dough to a lightly greased, large bowl and let double, 2-2.5 hours.
  4. Just before the dough is finished, preheat the oven to 375.
  5. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and roast 5-7 minutes, until brown and fragrant.
  6. Set aside to cool.
  7. Spray or butter a 9-inch pan. Turn out the dough onto your lightly floured work surface. Stretch and roll the dough into a ~12x18 rectangle with the long edge nearest to you.
  8. Spread the pecan pumpkin butter over the dough, leaving the top 1-inch bare. Spinkle the pecans and brown sugar over top.
  9. Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the the seam to seal. Gently press, squeeze, and stretch the roll to get an even thickness.
  10. Cut the roll into 1 1/2-inch slices and place in the baking dish (you'll get 12 rolls). Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  11. Place the rolls in the oven with the heat off. Fill a shallow pan 2/3 full of boiling water and place it on the rack below the rolls. Close the oven and let the rolls rise for ~30 minutes.
  12. Remove the water pan and rolls from the oven and preheat the oven to 350.
  13. Bake rolls on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  14. While the rolls are cooling, beat the cream cheese, bourbon, molasses, vanilla, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the rolls and serve.
  15. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered. Rewarm in the microwave for best results.


Yields: 12 servings

Adapted from Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

18 comments… add one
  • Drool-inducing…

  • these look sinful. i can’t wait to give them a try!

  • I think I just fell in love.

  • I cannot even begin to imagine how many I would end up eating

  • I hope you’re writing a book soon because I seriously love your pics and way with words!

  • Wow. These look perfect. I only cook with bourbon (have tried and failed at drinking it neat or on the rocks) and I’m always looking for new recipes to help use up my large bottle. Thanks 🙂

  • I love that there are so many ways to dress up the same roll. Fantastic!

  • These. Look. AAHH-MAZING!

  • Seriously, Shawnda, STOP IT! All this bourbon and pumpkin is sending me into a sugar-laced fall coma!

  • Oh, these sound so good.

  • Awesome! These look amazing!

  • would love to include these in my friday link roundup.
    ok to steal the photo too?
    if not please email me.
    they look so good!

  • Those look incredible! Such a unique way to use pumpkin. Wish I had one right now 🙂

  • Now this is an exciting cake ~ love that frosting!

  • Masha

    Great recipe! My only suggestion for those about to make the dough: warm up the buttermilk and sprinkle instant yeast over it. Let stand for 10 min, then add this mixture into the eggs, vanilla….mixture. Most yeast doughs require this step and I was surprised not to see it in the instructions here. Since I followed the recipe as is, the grains of instant yeast felt strange and rough in the dough as it was kneaded. Looking forward to eating!

  • Brooke

    These look amazing. Do they freeze well?

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