Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns

These pumpkin cinnamon buns are made a little healthier with whole grains and can be topped with either maple cream cheese frosting or caramel sauce!

These pumpkin cinnamon buns are made a little healthier with whole grains and can be topped with either maple cream cheese frosting or caramel sauce!

When Red Star Yeast asked me if I’d like to develop a few new recipes, I knew that I had to make pumpkin cinnamon buns! I was so determined to make them 100% whole grain, thinking that the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice would cover up the whole grain taste. As my supply of white whole wheat flour is about done for (and we don’t have it over here), I did a 50 / 50 mix of traditional whole wheat and white whole wheat. They tasted pretty bad and the texture was terrible! That was a huge bummer. So I went back to my yeasted sweet treats default of 50% whole grains. When I put effort into something like cinnamon buns, they better be really good or it’s just not worth it.

These pumpkin cinnamon buns are made a little healthier with whole grains and can be topped with either caramel sauce or maple cream cheese frosting!

These are a little denser than your typical cinnamon bun but they’re so gooily delicious I don’t think anyone will mind. They’re best fresh out of the oven but they do reheat well. What’s important here is not to frost more than you intend to eat in one sitting. I don’t recommend reheating cream cheese frosting or caramel sauce in the microwave, so reheat the buns first, and then add your frosting. This recipe only yields about 8-10 rolls but next time, I’m going to freeze half the rolls after shaping them and freeze half of the frosting. Then I have oven fresh buns two times without any real additional work. :)

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns – great with either caramel sauce or maple cream cheese frosting!

The pumpkin flavor is very subtle but the added spices give these cinnamon buns a nice autumnal taste. But if you’re like me, what you’re really in it for is the frosting. In a few of these, I used the maple cream cheese frosting recipe listed below. In some, I used maple caramel sauce, which I’ll be posting on Wednesday. I really liked them both but I loved how the caramel seeped down into the cracks of the cinnamon buns. It was incredibly sweet but SO good.

These Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns are great with caramel sauce or maple cream cheese frosting!

And like my last few yeasted treats, I used potato flour and vital wheat gluten. I always make an effort not to use unusual ingredients in my recipes but there’s just no way around it when using whole wheat. If you don’t have all the ingredients on hand, you’ll have to experiment as I haven’t made them with all white whole wheat or without the potato flour or vital wheat gluten.

Whole wheat pumpkin cinnamon buns with maple cream cheese frosting

I chose to use those ingredients so that my cinnamon buns wouldn’t be super dense, wouldn’t taste overly of whole wheat, and would hopefully stay fresher longer. I’m assuming if you choose to use another flour in place of potato flour or vital wheat gluten, it’ll affect the texture negatively, but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t say for sure! If you want to use all all-purpose flour, I’d recommend just finding another recipe. This one probably has a little more liquid than needed for a totally all-purpose flour version.

Whatever you do, definitely go with this maple cream cheese frosting recipe! There’s a lot less powdered sugar than in most frosting recipes, which really allows the maple flavor to shine through. You could even add in a little maple extract, if you have it on hand! More maple flavor is always better, right? :)

For something a little different, try these ube bread rolls!

Or need a gluten-free recipe? Check out these awesome looking gluten-free cinnamon rolls!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon buns

Rated 5.0 by 2 readers
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8-10 buns


    For the dough:

  • 2/3 cup (158 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (20 grams) potato flour
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons Red Star Platinum yeast
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (121 grams) canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cups (167 - 188 grams) white whole wheat flour
  • For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) coconut or brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup (55 - 83 grams) chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • For the frosting:

  • 4 ounces (112 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup (I recommend Grade B for a more intense maple flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (29 grams) powdered sugar


  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the milk and heat to between 120 °F and 130 °F (49-54 °C). If not using Red Star Platinum yeast, follow the directions on the back of your yeast package.
  2. While the milk is heating up, mix together the all-purpose flour, potato flour, vital wheat gluten, yeast, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  3. When the milk has reached the correct temperature, pour it into the flour mixture and use a silicone spatula to stir it in until well combined.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and stir.
  5. With the mixer on low, start gradually adding the white whole wheat flour. Let the flour be fully incorporated before adding more flour. The dough should still be a little sticky and won't completely pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  6. Knead on low for 5 minutes. The dough will still be a little sticky and won't completely pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  7. Using a silicone spatula, scoop the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a thin kitchen towel.
  8. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about one hour.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by mixing together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  10. After the dough has doubled, punch the dough down, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  11. Grease a 10" cake pan.
  12. Flour a clean surface and roll the dough into a 10" x 15" rectangle.
  13. Spread the butter evenly over the top, leaving a 3/4" border around the edges.
  14. Spread the cinnamon sugar on top, and if using, the nuts, and then starting from the shorter side, carefully and tightly roll into a log.
  15. Use a piece of unscented and unwaxed dental floss to cut 1" pieces. Try to keep the pieces the same size.
  16. Place the buns in the prepared cake pan, leaving a little room between each bun. Whole Grain Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns
  17. Cover with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  18. The last 10 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  19. Bake on the middle rack for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and the centers are cooked through.
  20. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes while preparing the frosting.
  21. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, maple syrup, vanilla and salt until well combined.
  22. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until no lumps of sugar remain.
  23. After the buns have cooled for 10-20 minutes, slather with the frosting. If not eating immediately, frost the buns just before serving.
  24. Store unfrosted buns in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  25. These are best fresh from the oven but unfrosted buns can be reheated in the microwave at half power for 20-30 seconds or until warm. After reheating, frost the buns.

Recipe by  | www.texanerin.com

Be sure to follow Red Star Yeast on Facebook and Pinterest for some more delicious yeasted recipes! And if you ever have issues with your yeasted treats, check out their super helpful troubleshooting guide!

I was compensated by Red Star Yeast for the development of this recipe but as always, my opinions are my own.

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39 comments on “Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns” — Add one!

  • Katherine Petty says
    March 18, 2021 @ 9:04 pm

    Do you have a gluten free version for these or for hot cross buns? I’ve found a great gluten free bread flour (Dhillon’s) on a U.K. website: Eton Millers, but need recipes!🙏

    • Erin replies to Katherine Petty
      June 22, 2022 @ 8:07 pm

      Hi Katherine! I searched for your name in my comments (I wanted to make sure you had actually said you live in the UK before asking about the flour in that other post) and came across this comment. I’m SO sorry. 🤦‍♀️ I, unfortunately, don’t have a single GF bread recipe! I tried years ago, a lot, and just gave up. I’ve made some highly-rated recipes from other sites and didn’t like them, either. This will be a challenge for when my kid is older. But if you’ve found a GF bread flour brand, hopefully they have some recipes on their site. GF mixes can vary so much! I’d be afraid to use it in anything that doesn’t already call for that specific type of bread flour. I know that’s not much help. Sorry again!

      • Katherine Petty replies to Erin
        June 22, 2022 @ 10:29 pm

        Thanks for your reply, I notice I sent that a while ago & mentioned another brand of GF flour which, unfortunately has become unavailable since then (the company selling it suddenly stopped supplying & I had trouble getting a refund so would not want anyone else to risk buying from them. I have found another, better supplier & brand, as I mentioned in another comment, which is from & made by Shipton Mill, a family run business. Their flour is excellent & no grainy texture in any of the recipes I’ve used it in.

  • paul gonzalez sanchez
    November 11, 2014 @ 1:47 am


  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious says
    November 8, 2014 @ 2:28 am

    These looks so fluffy – I can’t believe they’re whole wheat!

  • kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox says
    November 7, 2014 @ 2:00 pm

    I love that these are whole wheat because I can eat five and think they’re healthier. :-)

  • Nora @ Savory Nothings says
    November 6, 2014 @ 11:37 pm

    I’ve been looking for white whole wheat flour everywhere but no luck :( these look incredible! Much better than Pillsbury cinnamon rolls ;)

    • Erin replies to Nora @ Savory Nothings
      November 10, 2014 @ 9:22 am

      White whole wheat doesn’t exist in Germany. :( I read that Type 1050 and 1600 are similar but they absolutely aren’t (I know this after buying 20 kilos online… ugh). I might even have to go to England to get some more!

  • Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet says
    November 5, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

    I am so intrigued that these have potato flour in them! They look amazing!

  • Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) says
    November 5, 2014 @ 1:54 pm

    Oh man, you are speaking my love language!

  • Nikki @ NikSnacks says
    November 5, 2014 @ 5:33 am

    Wow! Your buns look great! I love whole wheat anything and these look like they fit the bill! Woot!

  • Nutmeg Nanny says
    November 5, 2014 @ 3:44 am

    I want to marry these cinnamon buns. Is that too extreme? But seriously they look amazing.

    • Erin replies to Nutmeg Nanny
      November 5, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

      Haha. I don’t see anything wrong with that. ;)

  • Lora @cakeduchess says
    November 5, 2014 @ 3:31 am

    Love baking with RSY (esp the Platinum…I need to find where they have it here near me). Your rolls are just gorgeous, Erin!!

  • Paula - bell'alimento says
    November 5, 2014 @ 3:17 am

    I would like to roll a few of those right into my mouth ; )

  • Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes says
    November 4, 2014 @ 11:39 pm

    Can these please be my dinner??? Yes – dinner! :)

  • Lana@NevrEnoughThyme says
    November 4, 2014 @ 11:00 pm

    Now those are some gorgeous pumpkin cinnamon buns! I’ll take one with a cold glass of milk, please :-)

  • Amanda @ The Kitcheneer says
    November 4, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

    I love pumpkin in just about anything! These cinnamon rolls look delicious!

  • Cookin Canuck says
    November 4, 2014 @ 9:03 pm

    What an awesome treat for the holiday season! And I love that they are partly made with whole wheat flour.

    • Erin replies to Cookin Canuck
      November 5, 2014 @ 8:56 pm

      I wish I could have done all whole wheat but it wasn’t meant to be. Bummer. :(

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) says
    November 4, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    Congratulations! You have made the most perfectly swirled cinnamon roll I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen my fair share of cinnamon rolls.

  • Heather // girlichef says
    November 4, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

    Great minds think alike, I posted pumpkin cinamon buns today, too! Yours sound lovely..and I’m sure I’ll be ready to make another batch soon. :)

  • Charlotte Moore
    November 3, 2014 @ 11:19 pm


  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
    November 3, 2014 @ 6:13 pm

    These rolls look gorgeous! Loving the pumpkin in there!


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