Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Crusade


I have a slight obsession with perfecting the cinnamon bun. It's quite possibly my favorite thing to bake because it combines my childhood love for bread with that tiny sweet tooth we all try to control.  Bread + Sugar... anything other than amazing is impossible.

As the world of baking opened up, I was stunned to find all the possibilities that the cinnamon bun method holds. Who says it has to be the traditional "Cinnabun" (a treat my brother still uses to lure me into Tysons mall during the holidays)? You can use apples, raspberries, raisins, chai, and even cereal. Endless potential in a relatively easy method!

Then I saw the holy grail of cinnamon buns: pumpkin. This version is from Smitten Kitchen. Time permitting, I have a whole hit list of pumpkin cinnamon bun recipes:
Oh you don't know about my powerful attraction to pumpkin? Pumpkin is without a doubt that perfect fall flavor. I chug pumpkin spice lattes and chai. Pumpkin muffins are a sinful pleasure, especially with cream cheese. I even like toasted pepita seeds. Pumpkin pumpkin everything! 

Well. Almost anything. This is my second attempt at pumpkin cinnamon buns and I got to tell you... not impressed. I don't blame you pumpkin, God no. I have a sneaking suspicion that pumpkin does not work well as a yeast product. There's too much moisture and the flavor is so subtle that it can easily be overpowered by spices. Even the Panera pumpkin spice bagel doesn't do it for me... yet pumpkin squares are a win every time.

Now don't get me wrong, it's not that like these cinnamon buns are gross. They have all the classic cinnamon bun attributes- warm, cinnamon, and a gooey top. As for being a PUMPKIN cinnamon bun? We didn't taste pumpkin... something was different about the flavor and we struggled to describe it. Mike found it dense but he did like the caramelized edges. I didn't like having to rely so much on the frosting for sweetness. I prefer the Amish girl version with caramel icing. Don't worry pumpkin cinnamon rolls, we'll get there!

Have a killah pumpkin cinnamon bun recipe? Don't hold out! Please share! And if you're on the East Coast, hang in there. This storm should be mellowed out by tomorrow afternoon.  Sending love and sunshine from our townhouse basement.