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Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists

Posted by tspbasil
December 19, 2014
Featured in: Sweet Splurges
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Pumpkin adds a seasonal flavor to these lower-sugar puff pastry Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists.

Pumpkin adds seasonality and flavor to these lower in sugar, puff pastry cinnamon roll twists ~

Once in a while, I’ll take the time to make pie crust from scratch (case in point → Whole Grain Pie Crust Cookies) but more often than not, I’m using the ready-to-bake pie crust and puff pastry that’s always in my freezer.

To me, they are essential ingredients this time of year for last minute appetizers and desserts - like these delectables from fellow Healthy Aperture contributors:

Cheesy Mushroom Puff Pastry Bites via The Law Student’s Wife
Chutney & Cheese Spirals via Amuse Your Bouche
Pastry Wrapped Caramel Baked Apples via Your Little Advisor
Roasted Spiced Pears in Puff Pastry via  In Search of Yummyness

Ok, so crust and puffy pastry: not exactly low calorie but today, we are splurging on the butter calories vs. the sugar calories.

These Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists are a variation of Annie’s Noms recipe where you get to enjoy the flavor of cinnamon rolls without spending all the time waiting for the dough to rise. The trick is to make them with puff pastry instead of a yeast dough. 

Pumpkin adds a seasonal flavor to these lower-sugar puff pastry Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists.

I decided to add pumpkin puree to the cinnamon sugar spread as well as to the icing. I cut back on the sugar so the actual pastry part wasn’t overly sugar-y but the icing gives the twists just enough sweetness.

Warning: these were definitely messier to make and handle because of the consistency of the pumpkin spread and you need to cook them a bit longer but I’d say the sticky hands are worth the effort.

In the end, I made these twice – once using the store bought puff pastry and a second time using Regan’s Puff Pastry recipe showcasing the simple technique she learned at the King Arthur Baking Education Center a few years back – it involves an easier way to incorporate the butter into making the dough. Plus her recipe has a little bit of whole wheat pastry flour to boot.

Both ways delivered delicious twists so if you are pressed for time, go to the freezer but if you have a lazy day of baking ahead of you, give the homemade puff pastry a try.

Pumpkin adds a seasonal flavor to these lower-sugar puff pastry Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists.


Enjoy a seasonal twist on cinnamon rolls with these Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists!
Pumpkin adds a seasonal flavor to these lower-sugar puff pastry Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Twists


Makes 24 twists


  • 1 (8 ounce) sheet of ready-to-bake puff pastry OR this Puff Pastry recipe
  • For the spread:
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • For the icing:
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Splash of milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. On a floured surface, roll out puffy pastry to a 10 x 15-inch sized rectangle.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread evenly across the entire rolled out pastry.

  4. Using a pizza cutter, start on the long end of rectangle and cut into 24 strips (approximately ½-inch each.) Taking two strips at a time, carefully twist the strips together. Place on parchment paper and repeat until you have 12 twists.

  5. Cut twist in half with pizza cutter and then bake for about 18 – 20 minutes, until puffy. Remove from oven and let cool.

  6. To make icing, whisk together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin and vanilla. If icing is too thick, add a splash of milk. Drizzle over twists. Serve or store in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

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Deanna Segrave-Daly is the author of the SWEET SPLURGES Feature on HealthyAperture -- a monthly column designed for the reader who wants to eat healthfully most of the time but who also enjoys indulging now and then, too. Deanna is a food-loving dietitian who writes, develops recipes and dabbles in food iPhoneography for her blog Teaspoon of Spice. Along with being the {Sweet Splurges} Features Editor at Healthy Aperture, she is also the co-founder of The Recipe ReDux and Blog Brûlée. Her 8-year old daughter and picky eater husband keep her inspired to create appealing, good-for-you family cuisine.
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