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Pumpkin Chai Rolls

For years, I’ve made these pumpkin rolls for my family as a Thanksgiving treat for breakfast while we watch the Thanksgiving parade and start preparing for our meal.

Already loved by my daughters and my four grandchildren, they reached new heights this year with the addition of P.S. Flavor!™ Mai Chai. The warm flavors of cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom, combined with cinnamon and turbinado sugar fill the house with the aromatics of fall as they bake. The flavors and texture delight tastes buds with each bite. The best part is that they can be assembled in the pan a day or two before, all ready to pop in the oven and coated with a delicious buttermilk cream cheese icing while still hot. 

For spreading on the icing, and to cut and serve the rolls, reach for Cutco’s Spatula Spreader. This amazing knife, with its sharp edge and wide, flexible blade works as both a prep tool and a serving utensil.

Pumpkin Chai Rolls

10-12 rolls
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Rolls

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon PS Flavor! Chai Spice (alternatively use 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • Additional flour, for sprinkling
  • 1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, divided
  • Chai filling (recipe follows)
  • Cream cheese frosting (recipe follows)

Chai Filling

  • 1 cup Sugar in the Raw (or a blend of brown and granulated sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon P.S. Flavor! Chai Spice (alternatively use 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg)
  • 1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. Butter one 10-inch round cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the parchment. Dust the parchment with flour and knock out the excess flour.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and Mai Chai blend on medium speed. Add the butter and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute. Add the milk and egg; mix on low speed until incorporated. Add the pumpkin puree and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will be a light orange in color and feel soft and sticky.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, carefully form it into a large ball, smooth the top with your hands, and place it in a clean, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the Chai Filling.
  4. Chai Filling: In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and Chai Spice. Add the melted butter and stir until combined.
  5. When ready to make the rolls, preheat the oven to 350 F and position the rack in the center.
  6. Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately 20x10-inches, brush the dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter, and sprinkle the filling over the butter, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Use the palms of your hands to press the filling lightly into the dough.
  7. Roll up the long side of the rectangle to form a tight log and place it seam-side down. Slice the log into ten 2-inch rolls. Place one roll in the center of the cake pan, and then fill in the rest of the pan with the other rolls. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside until the rolls have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tops of the rolls are browned. While the rolls are baking, prep all the icing ingredients (this will only take about 5 minutes), to top rolls immediately after they come out of the oven.
  9. Cream Cheese Icing: In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, buttermilk and vanilla on medium speed until the mixture is lump free. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on medium-low speed until a smooth, fluid mixture forms.
  10. Invert the pan of rolls onto a serving plate or leave them in the pan for a rustic look. Spread (or drizzle) the frosting over the warm rolls. It is okay if a little bit of the frosting drips down the sides – it’s even encouraged. Serve immediately.

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