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Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake

Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake
I love cinnamon buns, but homemade buns can be a bit time consuming to make from scratch when the craving hits. I’m not one to run out and buy a cinnamon bun in a situation like this. Instead, I made a batch of Quick and Easy Cinnamon Bun Bread, a yeast bread that tastes just like a cinnamon bun, complete with brown sugar and cinnamon filling, and comes together without kneading, shaping or waiting for the bread to rise! The original will always be a favorite of mine, but for a fall twist I turned it into a Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake.

The Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake is a sweet, yeast bread that is so tasty that it is more like a coffee cake than just a bread with a sweet topping. The dough is mixed up and there is no long rising time before putting the pan in the oven. This is achieved by using more yeast than you might ordinarily put into a bread of this size, and by putting the pan into a cold oven and letting it rise while the oven preheats with the bread inside! You can go from mixing dough to eating fresh cinnamon bun goodness – with a little fall flavor thrown in – in less than an hour.

The dough has pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice (I use a homemade mix) mixed into it for flavor and is topped with a streusel/filling of brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans. It bakes up to be sweet, moist and with a great balance of pumpkin and spice flavors. The topping is sweet, but the bread itself is only mildly sweet. The little bit of icing drizzled on top adds just the right amount of extra sweetness to bring everything together. It is best within a day or two of baking, but this is easy to serve up in generous slices and you won’t have a problem eating through a batch. You might even have to make two, if you happen to have a lot of cinnamon bun lovers to feed!


Pumpkin Cinnamon Bun Cake
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup warm milk (100-110F; low fat is fine)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

Filling/Topping
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp milk or cream

Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Dissolve the yeast in a small bowl filled with the warmed milk and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Stir milk mixture, pumpkin puree, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth.
Pour into prepared pan and let rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, make the topping. Mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips (or swirl in with a spatula).
Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bread is golden brown at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.
Cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then prepare the icing.
Whisk the powdered sugar and milk together to form a smooth, pourable icing and drizzle it onto the bread using a spoon.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers can be reheated in the microwave.

Serves 9.

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22 Comments
  • michelle
    November 12, 2010

    Wow! These look delicious and would be a great dessert for Thanksgiving.

  • the blissful baker
    November 12, 2010

    i like that this cake has yeast – it looks delicious!

  • LimeCake
    November 12, 2010

    I love cinnamon buns! I think I love it even more in your cake form. Yum!

  • Dadá
    November 13, 2010

    ¡Delicious!, it´s fantastic.

    (dadá flavors)

  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    November 13, 2010

    this looks so delicious, definitely saving the recipe!

  • Jen
    November 13, 2010

    do you bake it 30 minutes from when you put it in the cold oven, or 30 minutes after it reaches 350 degrees? thanks!

  • Nicole
    November 13, 2010

    Jen – It’s 30 minutes total from being in a cold ovem

  • Anne
    November 13, 2010

    Wow – this looks delicious AND easy!

  • Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie
    November 13, 2010

    I love how quick and easy this is! YUM!

  • Tiffiny Felix
    November 13, 2010

    Oh, Yum! I’ve never used yeast in a bread like this…I can’t wait to try it! 🙂

  • Melissa
    November 13, 2010

    if i wanted to double the recipe, any idea about how long to bake it for a 9×13 pan? guess i could just use two smaller pans if doubling wouldn’t work well.

  • Scott at Real Epicurean
    November 14, 2010

    Another use for pumpkins is always welcome here!

  • Leesa
    November 14, 2010

    I’m making this right now.. Hope it turns out as good as yours looks.. I’ll post it on my blog! Thanks for the great recipe idea…
    I’m cooking sooo many things with pumpkin right now and it’s my fav. flavor!!
    Thanks, Leesa

  • Deborah
    November 15, 2010

    I love anything with a streusel top, and this is perfect for this time of year!

  • ingrid
    November 15, 2010

    I bet this is seriously good. I’ve had the plain version and it was outstanding!
    ~ingrid

  • Tiffiny Felix
    November 16, 2010

    Yippee!! My bro-in-law and his wife are very hard to buy for. I usually mail him cookies in some kind of tin and make her earrings. My husband will be at their house this holiday so I’m going to make this in a nice ceramic baking dish and he’s going to take it with him on the plane. The cake for him (I’m sure he’ll share) and the dish for her. Thanks!! 🙂

  • Tiffiny Felix
    November 18, 2010

    Just had to add to my earlier comment: I made this tonight and it’s awesome!! Thanks so much! 🙂

  • pumpkinpie
    November 20, 2010

    I made this for breakfast, and it was devoured in minutes. Thanks for the fantastic recipe.

  • Leesa
    November 25, 2010

    Hi there!

    Okay, I’m now getting back to you… In fact, this recipe was FANTASTIC!!!!! I ate most of it, as it reminded me of a cinnabon and we don’t have that here in France- In fact, cinnamon is not widely used here in desserts so it’s always nice for me to use one of my FAV. spices!!!
    I also LLLLLLLOOOOOVVVVEEE anything with pumpkin!! Great recipe and it turned out PERFECT!!!!!

  • Julia
    January 17, 2011

    A great idea when you don’t have space to roll out dough for regular cinnamon rolls.

  • Linda
    October 1, 2011

    I’m getting ready to make this for my librarians. Hope they like it as much as I like the idea of it. Thanks for the reminder on your site header. I love that new header!

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