Brown Butter Pumpkin Rolls are temptingly fluffy, moist and with warming flavors of cinnamon and ginger and the nuttiness of brown butter. These are most delicious with a spread of homemade cinnamon butter. And they are shaped like cute little pumpkins, perfect for the season!
I'm not unbeknownst to Halloween related food. One of my favorite dinners to serve during October are these Jack O'Lantern shaped stuffed bell peppers, but also a dark Black Swan cranberry sangria or Poison blackberry martini for after hours. For dessert, why don't you try Dracula's Black Forest Cake?
All my Halloween related recipes are just as delicious as any other recipe and I will not create something just because it looks fun! These brown butter pumpkin rolls are perfect not just for Halloween, but really the entire Holidays season with Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.
These pumpkin buns are sweet, not necessarily to accompany an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner, such as these bacon dinner rolls could, but rather served at lunch hour or dessert with a delicious apple caramel latte or hot chocolate.
Homemade vs canned pumpkin puree
You need to differentiate between homemade pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin puree. Homemade pumpkin puree is much more watery, and if you use it 1:1 for canned pumpkin puree you can end up with too much water in your recipe.
It is a very easy fix though! Just pour the homemade pumpkin puree into a sieve with a cheesecloth and let the excess water drain. Now you will have a pumpkin puree with less water contents and you can use it just as you would use canned pumpkin!
And for the record, I am always using homemade pumpkin puree in my recipes. A reader once told me it was a game changer and she would never go back to canned! Tasty and actually really simple to make, so head on over to this homemade pumpkin puree post if you want to make your own!
How to use pumpkin puree in baking
Pumpkin puree is fantastic for baking. It provides moisture to any baked good with a slight hint of pumpkin.
Pumpkin puree can also be used as a healthy substitute for oil and eggs in baking, although in this recipe I'm still keeping the eggs and fat because brown butter is life and the buns are simply spectacular with them. Trust me!
For a recipe that uses pumpkin puree as a substitute for fat, check out these pumpkin banana muffins.
If you want to use pumpkin puree in baking, I would advise you to follow a recipe that is made specifically for pumpkin puree, or applesauce. You can substitute applesauce and pumpkin puree 1:1. So if you want more recipes using pumpkin puree, I'd recommend these:
- White chocolate pumpkin muffins with streusel topping
- Easy blender pumpkin spice latte (perfect when you have just a little puree leftover!)
- Creamy parmesan pumpkin pasta
- Pumpkin crème brûlée
- Soft and chewy pumpkin snickerdoodles
- Healthy spiced pumpkin soufflé
How to shape these buns into little pumpkins
It's not my original idea to shape these rolls into little pumpkins, but I'm not sure where to give credit either. I've seen so many recipes on Pinterest where they shape them like pumpkins!
So cute, right?
The easiest way to shape them like pumpkins is to use scissors dipped in oil. The oil helps to keep the two cut pieces to not grow into each other when baking.
What you do is dip a pair of scissors into any vegetable oil, and start cutting the shaped dough balls around the edges, like flower petals.
It is easier to let them keep their shape if you have the flattened balls already on a lined baking sheet so you don't have to move them around after cutting.
This shaping like a pumpkin step is completely optional, just a fun little extra step for decoration!
How to brown butter
One thing that is not optional in these pumpkin buns, is to brown butter. The nuttiness from brown butter is unbelievably delicious. I'm kind of addicted and put it in everything, like pumpkin sage brown butter soup, brown butter buttercream frosting, and even the butter sauce for wild mushroom ravioli. This list could probably go on forever, as every winter I brown butter everything.
My newest addition? Pumpkin gnocchi in a brown butter cream sauce. Yes, it is as delicious as it sounds.
And, my friend, it is SO easy!
The best way to get perfect brown butter each time, is to use a light bottomed saucepan so you can see the browning action. Cut the butter into equal sizes so it melts evenly and let it melt on medium heat for about 10 minutes, occasionally swirling the pan (or stir if you wish).
Once the butter smells nutty and there are a lot of brown bits, it is perfectly browned. It is the brown bits that taste nutty so do not strain it!
Cinnamon butter is the perfect spread for pumpkin rolls!
Cinnamon butter turns any buns quickly into cinnamon rolls! In fact, you can shape this pumpkin dough just like my regular cinnamon roll recipe. However, you will obviously not get this fun pumpkin shape. I would also recommend the cardamom filling of these cardamom buns for that extra Scandinavian flare.
I prefer to make the cinnamon butter separately, cut the buns in half and spread a generous amount on each half.
To make it, you simply need room temperature butter, maple syrup, powdered sugar and a ton of cinnamon for that deep earthy cinnamon flavor. Mix with a hand or stand mixer until creamy.
You can adjust the taste after your own preferences. This is a lot of cinnamon, so you may want to reduce it if that's more your thing!
Brown butter pumpkin rolls recipe
This recipe differs from my basic bun recipe with just some minor changes. The procedure is more or less the same, other than browning the butter for 10 minutes, adding pumpkin puree and shaping them like pumpkins.
I'll keep the instructions relatively short here, as they are more thorough in the basic bun recipe.
- Mix dry ingredients together
- Brown butter and add in milk, let this come to body temperature.
- Mix in the yeast.
- Add egg and pumpkin puree to the dry ingredients. Pour in butter mixture and knead for 10+ minutes.
- Let rise for 1 hour.
- Shape into pumpkins with oiled scissors.
- Proof for another 30 minutes.
- Bake in 410F (210C) for 12-14 minutes.
- Let cool on a cooling rack and top with a sliced pecan.
- Serve with cinnamon butter.
That is pretty much it! Once you've made rolls and buns from scratch, you'll realize it actually isn't as difficult as it may seem. My one tip is to be accurate and use a kitchen scale!
And for dinner, why don't you try a healthy butternut squash kale salad with brussels sprouts and chickpeas?
Did you like these pumpkin rolls? I'm sure you will love these buns as well:
- Basic Bun Recipe (the beginning of all my bun or roll recipes)
- Vanilla Custard Crescent Rolls
- Saffron Buns (A Scandinavian Christmas treat!)
- Vanilla Custard and Coconut Sweet Buns
- Best Ever Cinnamon Rolls
- Swedish Cardamom Buns (including a video!)
and for or savory try these:
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