Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns

Yesterday, I was supposed to post something Thankgiving-y… but got sidetracked in favour of a big political rant. So, with less than a week to go before Thanksgiving, here’s that post 🙂

We were up in Duluth this weekend, enjoying the fall colours, and photographing the Northern Lights for our first time ever. (My first time seeing it!).

All that crisp, clean air and warm autumn colours put me right in the mood for baking.

On a grocery stop, we passed a display of cinnamon buns, and my mind wandered. What about doing “pumpkin spice” buns? With actual pumpkin in the bread? Of course, I need to put maple syrup in it… and here we are!

I actually started with my Buffalo Chicken Buns recipe! I don’t make a ton of cinnamon buns, usually preferring savoury baking. A few tweaks, and these were AWESOME. Says my husband:

“It’s autumn in my mouth! I love the complexity of the flavours all together. It’s well balanced, with nothing overwhelming anything else. The soft bready texture with the creamy glaze, the stickiness from the filling, and the crunch of the walnuts all compliments and contrasts each other, and keeps it all interesting.”


Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns

Makes 6 giant buns

1 1/2 cups warm – not hot! – water
4 tsp yeast
2 Tbsp brown sugar
5+ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pie filling mix)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2-1 cup chopped walnuts

Extra butter or pan spray
1 Tbsp granulated sugar

Stir yeast and brown sugar into warm water, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine about half the flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, pumpkin, and vanilla, stir well to combine. Add remaining flour, combine. Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes. (OR: mix it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes or so!)

Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

Once dough has doubled in size, roll out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 20 x 12″ or so.

Combine melted butter and maple syrup, evenly brush over dough, leaving a 1″ border around the edge. Combine brown sugar and spices, sprinkle evenly over the butter/maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle chopped walnuts evenly over sugar mixture. Starting with one of the shorter edges, tightly roll the dough up.

Generously grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan with extra butter or pan spray, sprinkle with sugar.

Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 6 even rounds. Carefully place each roll into the pan, spacing them evenly.

Cover pan with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes. While waiting for the buns to rise, heat oven to 375F. Once final rise is over, pop the pan in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and perfect.

As buns are baking, make the glaze:

Maple Glaze:

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract, and salt until smooth and well combined. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, whisking until smooth and well combined – glaze will be THICK. It should be only barely spreadable – think with a tsp or two of milk if needed.

Spread glaze onto buns while still hot.

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