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Brown Butter Pumpkin Rolls Recipe

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!


Pumpkin roll on a white plate on top of a black vintage suitcase.


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.  


Sweet rolls shaped like pumpkins on a cooling rack.


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!


Rolls on a white plate, vintage photos and card in the background.


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.


Pumpkin roll with cinnamon butter on a white plate, seen from above.


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:



Hand holding a cut open bun to show the insides.


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.


How to shape the dough into pumpkins.


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!


A cake stand with little pumpkin shaped buns.


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. 


How to slice pecans, on a cutting board.


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! 


Pumpkin shaped sweet rolls on a cooling rack.


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.


Pumpkin rolls seen from above with cinnamon butter on top.


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:



and for or savory try these:


I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later! To make sure you’re never missing another recipe, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. As a thanks you will receive a free e-cookbook Travels Through the Seasons, with many delicious recipes from around the world that suit different seasons of the year.


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📖 Recipe

Pumpkin shaped roll with more blurred in the background.

Brown Butter Pumpkin Rolls Recipe

Yield: 27
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 2 minutes

Brown Butter Pumpkin Rolls are temptingly fluffy, moist and with warming flavors of cinnamon and ginger and the nuttiness of brown butter.


Pumpkin Rolls

  • 8 cups flour (1000g)*
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar (120g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 9 tablespoon butter (130g)
  • 1 cup milk (250ml)
  • 1.7 oz. fresh yeast (50g)**
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (225g)
  • 1 egg + 1 for brushing
  • 9 pecan nuts (sliced in three)

Cinnamon Butter

  • 1 stick butter (120g, room temperature)
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (90g)
  • 2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt and spices.
  2. Brown the butter: Melt butter let this brown for about 10 minutes or until it smells nutty. Swirl the pan to see if there are any brown bits - there is all the flavor!
  3. Add milk to the butter and let this mixture come to about body temperature, 99F (37C).
  4. Crumble the fresh yeast and mix with the warm butter and milk. If using instant dry yeast, add it directly to the flour mixture instead.
  5. Add egg and pumpkin purée to the dry mixture, along with the yeast butter. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough starts to let go of the bowl.
  6. Cover with a towel and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  7. Divide the dough into 27 equal sized balls (or you can make them bigger but will need a little more bake time). Flatten them out a little and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
  8. To shape them like a pumpkin; dip scissors into oil and cut each ball around the edges. Dip the scissors in oil after each bun.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 410F (210C). Let the shaped balls proof under a towel under doubled in size again, this time around 30-40 minutes.
  10. Cut the pecan into three lengthwise. Take one and make an indent on top of each bun, but don't bake with the pecans in them.
  11. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a hollow sound when you tap the underside of a bun. Let them cool on a cooling rack.
  12. To make the cinnamon butter: cream all the ingredients together with a handheld or stand mixer.
  13. Add sliced pecans into the indents, and you've got yourself super cute pumpkin rolls!


* I always recommend using a kitchen scale to ensure the same results each time.

** If using instant dry yeast, use approx. 5 teaspoon (1 sachet it Norway and 2 in the US). Mix it directly with the dry ingredients.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 27 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 238Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 153mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information isn't always accurate, estimate for informational purposes only.

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