Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Chai Buttermilk Glaze

I hope you aren't experiencing pumpkin overload....I know, I know, it's everywhere right now, but believe me when I tell you that these buns are pretty amazing.  So amazing, that yes, I kinda sorta devoted a Sunday to them, but with the first bite, I knew it was worth it.  And look at them, all gooey in their glorious glaze.  I know you want one.  As we enter into the eating holiday season (holy man tell me where 2012 went, please) these buns are good to have around, to feed loved ones at brunch or a late night snack, or let's be honest, any time is cinnamon bun time.  When I first told my mom I was making pumpkin cinnamon buns, she was like, why can't you just make regular cinnamon buns?  That's my mom.  Always asking the hard-hitting questions.  My response of wanting to try something new seemed to suffice.  I've never put pumpkin into a yeast product before and you know what?  It was worth it.  The dough is incredibly soft and lovely and easy to work with, all of the pumpkin-y spices are hanging out and having fun.  The glaze; oh boy, the glaze kinda blows my mind.  And who would have thought of steeping Chai in buttermilk?  Crazy? Crazy good!  So let's do this already!

Making anything with yeast can intimidate some people and I fall into that category.  I'm always a little scaredy cat when I have to open a packet of yeast and bake bread and what have you, but like anything good in life, you just have to get over the fear and do it already.  So that's the pep talk of the day.  All you do is combine the dough ingredients in a mixer, and beat the crap out of it for 3 minutes. (It's real life technical talk happening right now.)  After it's soft and supple, form into ball and let it rise for an hour or until doubled in size.  My house is cold, like all the time (I have extra pairs of slippers for guests), so I placed the dough bowl on top of my warm stove, hoping it would rise properly.  Even still, it was slow going and I would peek at it all the time, wondering, is it rising?  But yes it rose, eventually, and in the end the buns turned out perfect.  (Note to self:  inquire about more insulation, you silly girl.)

Guess what?  I totally made my own brown sugar for this recipe.  All I did was pour granulated cane sugar into a large bowl, and stirred in molasses until it reached a dark brown stage.  I stirred it lots and lots and I totally love it.  No way I'll buy brown sugar again, that's a true story.  I store it in an air-tight glass jar and it's perfectly lovely, one week later. Okay, so back to the buns...

Roll dough out, into a large rectangle.  Combine sugar and spices and butter and sprinkle over dough.  Roll up tightly...

and slice into 2 inch pieces.  Place in a buttered 10 inch baking dish.  Doesn't everyone have a piece of Corning Ware in their cupboard?  Let them rise again, another hour.  Yes, this recipe does take a chunk of your time, but most of it is rising time, leaving you precious moments to do up your dishes and laundry and maybe even call your sister.  Once the buns have risen again, bake them off, and 25-30 minutes later...

glory be, look at those buns.

And the glaze is pretty simple and all kinds of awesome.  Steep Chai tea bags in buttermilk and butter, then add sugar and maple syrup and bring it all to a boil.  It might get foamy and crazy, but keep stirring, you are on the right path.  After five minutes, you have something that looks like this.  And it's awesome.

Invert your warm cinnamon buns onto a platter and pour the glaze over, then dig in.  And share these, please.  I packed up a bunch for my mom, so she could see what the fuss is about.  And not wanting to have more than a couple in the house, I froze the rest, for those days when only a perfectly gooey, scrumptious, pumpkin cinnamon bun will do.  With a cup of steamy tea, and a blanket and maybe a kitty, these cinnamon buns will pump you into your happy place.  Let's linger there, shall we?  

Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns with Maple Chai Buttermilk Glaze

Pumpkin Dough

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 package (scant tbsp) instant dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, softened, cut into 1/2' cubes
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup half and half or 10% cream
1 large egg
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned, but if you use homemade, be sure to have it strained of its liquid)

Cinnamon Filling
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp butter, melted

2  Chai Tea bags
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, cubed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla

To make the dough:  butter a 10 inch round baking dish.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugars, yeast, salt, and spices on medium speed.  Add the butter and mix until incorporated.  Add milk, cream and egg and mix on low until incorporated.  Add the pumpkin puree and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Dough will be light orange and feel pretty soft and sticky.  Remove dough from bowl and form into ball, placing it in a lightly greased large bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for one hour in a warm place.  
Meanwhile, make the filling:  stir together sugars and spices and salt, then stir in 1/4 cup melted butter.
To assemble the rolls:  once dough has risen for one hour, roll it out on a  lightly floured work surface, into a large rectangle, approximately 20" by 10".  Brush dough with 2 tbsp melted butter, then sprinkle with your filling mixture, leaving a 1/4' border around the edges.  Use the palms of your hands to lightly press the filling into the dough.  Starting with the long end, roll the dough up tightly and place it seam side down.  Cut into 10 2" pieces and place in the greased baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour.
Preheat oven to 375*F and arrange the rack to the centre position.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops of buns are golden brown.
While the buns are baking, make your glaze:  In a small, deep saucepan, melt the butter and buttermilk together on low heat.  Turn off heat and steep the Chai tea bags for 15 minutes.  Remove bags, squeeze out tea into the buttermilk.  Add the sugar, maple syrup and baking soda, stirring well and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, stirring often.  It will be quite foamy, and that's normal.  When it's a nice dark amber, or 5 minutes, turn off heat, and stir in the vanilla.  Set it aside, let it cool a bit.
When buns have finished baking, invert onto serving platter, and pour the warm glaze over.
Buns are best when warm, and eaten that day or the next.  They freeze well too.  Makes 10 buns.  


  1. Glory Be Indeed! These look amazing and I can imagine how delicious your kitchen smelled while these were baking!

  2. Sweet baby Jesus, these look good!

  3. During this time of year I cannot get enough pumpkin- keep it coming, Renee! I do love cinnamon buns and this recipe looks so good.

  4. Who tires of pumpkin? Puh-lease. Pumpkin cinnamon buns are right up my alley and that glaze sounds to die for. Love the chai tea/buttermilk twist. I'll bet it really added a kick. Stay warm!

  5. love, love, love chai....that glaze looks magnificent!

  6. And so....did your mom love them as well?

  7. omg.. those look so so good. I want pumpkin everything right now (tis the season) but I especially want these!!!

  8. Thank you so much everyone! Candus, my mom did love these buns, and she knows her cinnamon buns :) Thanks for asking!

  9. ohhhhhhhhhhhh... MY! that glaze! I think I might make that and just pour it on everything. If you're freezing them, do you put the glaze on beforehand?

  10. Bob, thank you!
    Melissa, yes, go ahead and put the glaze on the buns as in the recipe. Freeze them just like that. I defrosted some just today, and wrapped them in tin foil to reheat and they were just as good as the day I made them. Yumma!


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...