These Pecan Pumpkin Rolls with a quick sugar-free caramel sauce are the perfect way to start a cosy fall morning. Pair with a hot cup of coffee for an incredible weekend brunch.
All right, friends, this is it. I’m tearfully tucking away my tins of pumpkin for another year after today. It’s been a good run though, hasn’t it? We made Pumpkin Pie Protein Truffles, sipped on Homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and even indulged in slices of decadent Pecan Pretzel Crusted Pumpkin Pie. Now we’re going to finish off with one of my favourite autumn breakfasts: Pecan Pumpkin Rolls, complete with a quick and easy sugar-free caramel sauce. I can’t wait for you to try them!
You’ll recall from my Maple Bacon Twists post that one of my goals for the month of September was to get more friendly with yeast-risen baking. This is the other recipe I was testing out during that time, and I’m pleased to report that it went much more smoothly than the twisted rolls.
I first made this recipe when I was living in Australia and had just started blogging. I remember it took a trip to four different supermarkets before I finally located a single tin of pumpkin purée. So, obviously, the pressure was on to get it right the first time. I nailed it. The pecan pumpkin rolls were moist, had just the right levels of pumpkin spice, and I topped it with what I thought was an ingenious maple honey mascarpone frosting. I took a few (ugly) snaps and posted it. I was so proud of those rolls; I hadn’t ever tried making a yeast roll recipe before, so I was thrilled that they were neither doughy nor burnt.
Flash forward to 5 years of experience later and I found myself making these pecan pumpkin rolls again for the first time. I was jazzed because I thought I had a winner on my hands. I remembered them tasting so amazing the first time that I figured all I’d have to do is give ‘em a second test, maybe adjust the baking time, take some new photos, and this recipe would be a done deal.
Oh, what a naive little thing I can be.
I don’t know what I did the first time, but they were not the pecan pumpkin rolls I remembered. The dough was stodgy, the filling was bitter, and the baking time was insanely off. I tipped the lot into the bin (so depressing!), and went back to the drawing board.
Thankfully, I now have enough recipe testing (and Googling) experience in my arsenal that I was able to determine what went wrong – Australian cups are not equal to British cups are not equal to American cups – and the second round of rolls turned out beautifully.
How to make the sweet roll dough
Don’t be intimidated by sweet roll dough – it’s actually one of the easiest places to start when you’re making yeast-risen bakes. It’s generally very forgiving as long as you keep in mind the moisture content of your filling. Roll doughs are a bit dryer than other bread doughs since they have to account for extra butter and/or filling. Don’t try and substitute this dough for anything else, or you’ll end up with dry-as-a-rock bread on your hands.
The dough is easy enough to make, even if you don’t have a stand mixer. Simply heat the wet ingredients to a neat 46°C. It’s important not to go over this temperature, otherwise, you risk killing the yeast. If you’ve accidentally heated the mixture too high, just whack it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then test it with a thermometer. If it’s still too hot, stick it back in and check it every 10 minutes until it reaches the correct temperature.
Once you have the wet ingredients heated, add your whisked dry ingredients. Stir to combine into a ball and then knead for about 5-10 minutes, depending on whether you use a stand mixer or your hands, until the dough is elastic and springs back when you poke it with your finger. Tuck it away in a corner to rest for half an hour. And that’s it! See? Easy.
I actually love making bread now because it’s significantly less hands-on. You can spread the prep out over the day and by the end, you have delicious treats and your flat will smell like a proper bakery. #winning
Cosy up with one of these buns slathered in the super quick caramel sauce and a hot cup of coffee and you have the recipe for a perfect fall day. Follow it up with a kick through the leaves in your nearest park and a hot roast dinner, and I honestly can’t think of a better Sunday.
If you try these Pecan Pumpkin Rolls out for yourself, don’t forget to take a photo and tag me on Instagram (@naturallysweet_kitchen). It makes my day to see these bakes come to life in your kitchen!
Pecan Pumpkin Rolls
These Pecan Pumpkin Rolls with a quick sugar-free caramel sauce are the perfect way to start a cosy fall morning.
Sweet Roll Dough
- 310 g unbleached plain flour
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 40 g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 120 ml water
- 60 ml milk
- 1 large egg, room temperature
Pumpkin Pecan Filling
- 425 g pumpkin puree
- 3 tbsp raw cane sugar
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¾ tsp ground ginger
- ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 100 g chopped pecans
Quick Caramel Sauce
- 100 g coconut sugar
- 50 g unsalted butter cubed
- 2 tbsp milk
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
Sweet Roll Dough
- Lightly grease a 9 x 11 baking tin with butter and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Warm the butter, maple syrup, water, and milk in a saucepan over a low heat until a thermometer reads 46°C. Do not overheat this mixture or you’ll kill the yeast.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Crack in the egg and beat to combine. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until the dough is soft and slightly springy.
- Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rest for 30 minutes.
Pumpkin Pecan Filling
- Whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugars, and spices until well combined.
- Once the dough has rested, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch or roll it into a 30 x 20 cm rectangle.
- Spread the pumpkin filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 2-3 cm gap around the edges. Sprinkle over the chopped pecans.
- Carefully roll the dough up lengthwise into a spiral. Divide the roll into 12 even pieces and place each piece, swirl side up, into the prepared baking tin.
- Cover the tin with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes, or until nicely puffed up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190°C.
- Once the rolls have risen, bake the rolls for 25-27 minutes, or until nicely golden. Check them at the 15 minute mark; if they are browning too quickly, cover them with a loose layer of foil.
- Allow to cool for 20 minutes before serving with the caramel.
Quick Caramel Sauce
- Tip the coconut sugar, butter, and milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium heat.
- Whisking occasionally, allow the mixture to boil for 2 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and immediately whisk in the vanilla and salt.
- Allow the caramel to stand and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it cools.
- These rolls are best eaten the day they are made, but will keep for up to 2 days sealed in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Any leftover caramel sauce can be placed in a heatproof jar, sealed and refrigerated. It will keep for up to 1 week.