Celebrate All That is Fall by Making Decadent Sweet Rolls Topped with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Glaze

To some, the cooling weather of autumn brings memories of falling leaves, bonfires and time spent snuggling under blankets around a campfire. For others ushering in the new season is marked with football games, spiced (and spiked) cider and seasonal baking. No matter what fall means to you, celebrating with food is always in the mix. 

Food memories hold a special place in our hearts. This is why we here at Nielsen-Massey try to bring you new and exciting recipes to build memories with each year, no matter the season. This autumn, our favorite baked treat is a twist on an old favorite–the traditional sweet roll. With the addition of pumpkin and chopped apple, this colorful temptation guarantees an unforgettably unique taste of fall. 

The Roll Recipe

Dough ingredients
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110° to 115°) 
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  1. Combine warm water and honey in a small bowl, then add yeast.  
  2. Mix the canned pumpkin, brown sugar, pie spice, butter, eggs, yeast mixture and 1 ½ cups flour. Continue to beat on medium until the dough has turned smooth. Then stir in the remaining flour to make a soft dough that will be slightly sticky. 
  3. Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes until it is elastic and smooth. Then place dough into a bowl that has been greased, making sure to turn the dough over to ensure that the top is greased.  
  4. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and place the dough in a warm spot so that it can rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour). 
Filling ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted 
  • 1 small apple, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup) 
  1. Mix the cinnamon and sugar.  
  2. Punch the dough down after it has doubled. Then press it into a rectangle that is roughly 14X12 inches. Use melted butter to brush within ½ inch of the rectangle’s edges.
  3. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon-sugar and then with the chopped apple. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. Seal the seam by pinching the dough together.  
  4. Cut the long roll into 12 equal slices. Place the slices in a greased 9X13 baking pan with the cut sides down. Let the rolls rise in a warm spot until they double in size (about 30 minutes). 
  5. Preheat oven to 350°. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes, just until golden brown.  
Glaze Ingredients
  1. Mix melted butter with sugar, water and vanilla extract. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls and enjoy! 
Sweet Roll Tips and Tricks 
  • If your earlier attempts at making sweet rolls have ended in a sticky mess, we’ve got some tried-and-true techniques that will help make the process simple. 
  • Measure out a space that is approximately as large as your dough rectangle should be (in this case, 14X12 inches). Prep the entire area by lightly sprinkling the rectangle with flour before you roll out the dough. This way, the outline of the flour will help you to know when your rectangle is the right size. 
  • It’s ok to measure and mark the dough before you begin cutting your long roll into slices. This ensures that your cuts are equal and your rolls bake evenly. 
  • You may think cutting with a long, serrated kitchen knife is the only way to go, but many baking pros swear by dental floss. They simply guide a long piece of floss under the dough and gently pull an end up on either side (as if forming the letter “U”). By bringing the ends of the floss together, then crossing and gently pulling the ends, the floss cuts the roll completely.  
  •  Using parchment paper as a liner under the rolls helps to ensure even baking and no sticking. 

A Taste to Come Home To

Though these autumn sweet rolls topped with Nielsen-Massey Vanilla glaze may take more time than simpler desserts, this finished product is sure to delight your friends and family. Trust us when we say that it’s well worth the time. These rolls are a tasty masterpiece that will be heartily gobbled down. You might even be able to save one or two for a morning treat the next day! 


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