Bourbon Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

You guys… we baked you the most delicious fall dessert/snack/breakfast today. These cinnamon buns take things to a whole new level, and are definitely not for the faint of heart!

Cinnamon buns have been a long-standing tradition in our family and no Easter, Christmas, or birthday morning would be complete without them. They’re one of our favourite things to bake! Although we generally stick with more traditional recipes, we decided to branch out this time and make something a bit more seasonally relevant!

The dough for these cinnamon buns is enriched with butter, egg nog, and eggs and flavoured with pumpkin and the perfect blend of fall spices. This produces a dough that is so soft and tender that no one will be able to resist eating one!

We didn’t have any pre-made pumpkin pie spice on hand so instead we used this recipe from our friend Martha. All you need to do is combine the spices together in a bowl, and then measure out the amount required for the recipe. We halved Martha’s recipe, but if you have lots of pumpkin-spiced things to be made in your baking future, making the full recipe would be totally worthwhile!

These cinnamon buns are filled with more pumpkin, cinnamon, butter, and dark brown sugar to really play up the fall flavours. You could also substitute light brown sugar, but we like the extra molasses flavour that dark brown sugar brings things.

Finally, these gorgeous pieces of breakfast confectionary are topped with a bourbon glaze that will knock your socks off. To be honest, this is the first time that we’ve used bourbon in a glaze or baked goods, but it will definitely not be our last. The bourbon glaze makes these cinnamon buns special occasion worthy, and perfectly complements the spicy pumpkin goodness of the buns.

These cinnamon buns are ooey, gooey, soft, and everything that you could possibly want a cinnamon bun to be. The addition of pumpkin and spices makes them perfect for fall and the changing weather!

Go bake.

Bourbon Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:

3 cups (380 g) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (66 g) granulated sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/3 cup egg nog (or milk; whole or 2%)

1/4 cup (57 g) unsalted butter

1/4 cup water, lukewarm

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup (116 g) pumpkin puree

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Filling:

6 tablespoons (84 g) salted butter, melted

3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 cup (106 g) dark brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

Bourbon glaze:

1/2 cup bourbon

2 cups icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups (250 g) of the flour, granulated sugar, and the yeast.
  2. Place the egg nog and butter in a small pot and heat over low heat, just until the butter melts. Remove from the stovetop and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the water and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the milk and butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combine. Add the salt and the pumpkin puree and egg, beating well after each addition. Beat in the pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  4. Add the remaining 1 cup (125 g) of flour, beating and mixing for another 2-3 minutes until the dough comes together again (we added an extra 2-3 Tbsp. of flour to achieve the right consistency). The dough should still be pretty sticky at this point. Transfer the dough into a bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Make the filling. Whisk together the melted butter and pumpkin puree. After one hour, punch the dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle, about 12-14 inches. Brush the dough with the melted butter pumpkin mixture, then sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll up the dough starting at the shorter end, as tightly as possible, until you have a pinwheel of dough and filling. Cut the cylinder into 8 equal slices then place into a pie plate or other similar-sized baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place again for 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the pan in the oven and bake the cinnamon buns for 25-28 minutes until the tops are beginning to brown.
  8. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Place the bourbon in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Cook until it reduces by about half, so you’re left with 1/4  cup of bourbon. Whisk together the bourbon, icing sugar, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until a smooth glaze forms.
  9. Once your buns are finished cooking, drizzle the glaze over them while they’re still warm. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Hey guys! Let’s talk about bread today. Bread sometimes gets a bad wrap in a lot of baker’s minds for being something that is hugely labour intensive and difficult to make. While we agree that there is a bit of an art to it (and some time investment involved for rising), we think that it’s well worth the effort of adding to your baking arsenal!

Homemade bread is out of this world. The stuff you can buy at the grocery store pales in comparison, and because you’re making it in the comfort of your own home, you can feel free to make it however you like it. Love raisins? Load them up. Hate them? Leave them out. Want to make things a bit healthier by adding some whole wheat flour? Go for it. The bread world is your oyster.

The very first bread recipe that we’re bringing to you is the stuff of our bread dreams. Tender, lightly sweetened dough swirled with raisins, chopped apples, and cinnamon for a loaf that screams to be toasted and slathered with butter.

Challah is a traditional Jewish bread, served on the Sabbath and at special events, often times with the addition of apples and honey for the Jewish new year which falls in September. It’s generally made with a dough that’s been enriched with eggs and either butter or oil, similar to a brioche dough if you’re familiar with that. This leaves it with a soft crumb and richer flavour than your average white bread.

Often times, challah is braided into a long loaf like sandwich bread. We took our inspiration from Deb at Smitten Kitchen though, and braided ours into a round instead. It looks impressive, but it’s actually very easy to create. You only need 4 lengths of dough and it only really gets braided twice. We’ve included lots of pictures, since we found that looking at the process visually was the easiest way to learn how to do this.

We took our flavours a step further as well and added raisins and cinnamon to the tradtional apples and honey since cinnamon, raisins, and apples go together like pumpkin and spice. Think cinnamon raisin bread, but better.

This bread would be absolutely brilliant toasted with butter and/or jam, it’s also great with peanut butter or almond butter slathered on it. We were thinking that French toast would be absolutely phenomenal when made using this bread, but you’ll have to check back in here on Thursday to get the recipe for that?

Go bake.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Challah

Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 standard packet) active instant dry yeast

1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon honey

1/3 cup neutral oil (we used canola oil)

2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

1 1/2 teaspoons table salt

4 1/4 cups (530 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for your working surface

For the filling:

1 apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (we used Granny Smith)

1/2 cup (80 g) Thompson raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Squeeze of lemon juice to keep the apples from browning

Egg wash:

1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Start by whisking together the yeast, 1 teaspoon honey, and 2/3 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand until foamy, about a 4-5 mintues.
  2. To your yeast mixture, add the oil, 1/3 cup honey, eggs and yolk and give it a good stir. Add the flour and and salt all at once and stir until you get a shaggy mess of uneven dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lighly floured counter and knead it into a smooth, elastic dough, about 5-8 minutes. Try to use as little flour as necessary when kneading the dough to avoid a tough bread.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise for 1 hour, or until almost double in size. It’s important that you let your bread rise in a draft-free area. If you’re concerned, a safe place is always a turned-off oven.
  5. While you’re waiting, combine your chopped apples, raisins, cinnamon, and lemon juice and mix until well combined.
  6. Turn your dough onto a lighlty flour surface and gently press it down into a flat, oblong shape. The shape doesn’t matter! Spread 2/3 of the apple/raisin mixture over 1/2 of the flattened dough. Fold the other half over the filling and press the dough down around it, flattening the dough and sealing the edges. Spread the remaining 1/3 of the filling over half the folded dough. Fold the other half over the filling, pressing the dough down again. Your dough packet will probably look square-ish at this point.
  7. Fold the corners under using the sides of your hand and form the dough into a round. Place back into the bowl, cover, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  8. Weave your bread: Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll and stretch each one as carefully as you can into a rope, about 12-inches long.
  9. Arrange two strands in each direction, perpendicular to each other, like a plus sign. Weave them so that one side is over, and the other is under, where they meet in the middle. So, now you should have 8 legs coming out from the center. Take the for legs that come from underneath the center and move them over the leg to their right, i.e. jumping it (it’s really easiest to look at the picture here!). Take those legs that were on the right and again, jum each over the leg before, this time to the left. If you had extra length to your ropes, you can repeat these jums until you run out of dough. For us, this was enough.
  10. To finish off the shaping, fold each of the ends of dough underneath and into the center using the sides of your hands so you’re left with a round loaf. Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Let the challah rise for another hour but 45 minutes into this rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  11. Before baking, brush your loaf one more time with egg wash and then transfer to the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes. If you feel like the top of your bread is getting to brown, cover with tinfoil for the remaining bake time. Place the bread on a cooling rack to cool down completely before serving. Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe.