Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed Bread Rolls
It’s pumpkin season, so these pumpkin cheesecake stuffed bread rolls are a must! Filled with a spiced pumpkin and cream cheese filling, these bread rolls are vegan and surprisingly easy to make. They're the perfect treat for an Autumn or Halloween celebration!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed bread rolls are one of my favourite things to bake during pumpkin season! They’re a fun way to incorporate pumpkin into your baking and the realistic pumpkin appearance is sure to impress at any party! These pillowy, soft pull-apart bread rolls are stuffed with a creamy pumpkin spiced cheesecake filling and are surprisingly easy to make. What’s more, they are more nutritious than plain old bread rolls, so they’d be perfect for breakfast.
Why Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed Bread Rolls?
You don’t need any fancy baking equipment to make this recipe
It’s a great way to incorporate seasonal pumpkins into your baking
They’re aesthetically pleasing so they’d be perfect for serving at parties
Easy to customize the fillings
Made with easily available store-bought ingredients
Are these pumpkin rolls difficult to make?
These sweet bread rolls are surprising easy to make. The only part that can get a little fiddly is tying the twine around the buns to create the pumpkin shape. The key thing to remember when making any kind of yeasted bread is to use lukewarm liquid when making the dough, and letting the dough prove at room temperature as this will ensure the dough rises properly. It’s also important to allow the filling to chill before shaping the rolls as it’ll make it much easier to handle.
Ingredients for the Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed Bread Rolls
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the bread dough, you will need:
Flour: Bread flour is always preferable when baking bread as it has a higher protein content, but you can use all-purpose flour if you can't get your hands on bread flour.
Yeast: I used instant dry yeast as it is easier to find in supermarkets.
Sugar: a little bit of sugar will help to activate the yeast.
Milk: Unsweetened almond milk is my go-to plant-based milk when it comes to cooking and baking. Depending on which brand you use, the taste is quite mild so it’s great for both sweet and savoury dishes. You could substitute almond milk with other neutral tasting, unsweetened plant-based milks such as oat or soy milk.
Orange food colouring: This is optional, but for a more intense colour, you can add a few drops of vegan orange food colouring.
For the pumpkin cheesecake filling, you will need:
Pumpkin: I’d recommend you use small, sugar pumpkins as they have a more dense and creamy flesh. You can also used canned pumpkin puree.
Vegan cream cheese: I used a dairy-free cream cheese spread, but as an alternative you can use extra thick coconut cream.
Light brown sugar: The light brown sugar is used to sweeten the filling. Either dark or light brown sugar can be used. As an alternative, coconut sugar also works well.
Spices: A combination of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger will give the filling a delicious pumpkin spice flavour.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used to thicken the filling. As an alternative, potato starch or wheat starch can be used.
To shape and decorate:
Twine: You will need some kitchen twine to create the pumpkin shape. I’d recommend using extra thin kitchen twine as it’ll give the baked rolls a more realistic pumpkin appearance.
Bell pepper stalks: I’ve used the stalks that I’ve cut out from some bell peppers as they look very similar to pumpkin stalks, also known as peduncles. If you don’t have any bell pepper stalks at hand, you can use some thin bread stick pieces or you can insert pumpkin seeds into the tops.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed Bread Rolls
Add the warm almond milk and instant dry yeast to a large measuring jug, give it a whisk and let it sit for about 2 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bubble up. Add the flour, sugar and optional food colouring to a large bowl, then pour the almond milk and yeast mixture into the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together.
Lightly dust a clean counter with flour and transfer the dough onto the surface. Knead for about 10 minutes to form a smooth and elastic dough, or until the dough is not sticking to your hands. Transfer the dough to clean bowl, cover the top with cling film and let it prove at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Add the pumpkin puree, vegan cream cheese, light brown sugar, cornstarch, and spices to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the freezer to set for around 20-25 minutes. Freezing the filling will make it easier to shape the pumpkin rolls as it’ll keep the filling in place.
Once the dough has risen, divide it into 8 even pieces. Roll one of the pieces of dough out on a lightly floured surface to create a 13cm (5 inch) circle.
Add 1 1/2 tsp of the filling in the centre of the dough and pinch the edges into the centre until the filling is sealed. Make sure not to add too much filling because it'll make it more difficult to create the pumpkin shape. Roll the filled dough to create a smooth ball. Repeat the process with each piece of dough.
To shape the rolls using the kitchen twine, take a long piece of twine and find the halfway point. Place the halfway point on top of the ball of dough and flip the whole thing over. Pull the two pieces of twine together and cross them over to create a cross on the bottom of the dough. Flip it over again and do the same thing until the bun is divided into 8 segments. It is important to make sure that the twine isn't too tight as the dough will continue to rise. Also, if the twine is too tight the rolls will burst as they bake and you'll end up with a hot mess. Tie the twine at the top and cut off any excess.
Preheat the oven to 220°C. leave them to prove for a further 20 minutes. Place the rolls in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden on top. Leave the baked rolls to cool down before carefully cutting and removing the twine from the rolls, then brush each roll with melted butter. This step is optional, but if you’d like your rolls to look more like pumpkins, you can push a bell pepper stalk into the top of each roll. I’ve used the stalks that I’ve cut out from some bell peppers as they look very similar to pumpkin stalks, but If you don’t have any bell pepper stalks at hand, you can use some thin bread stick pieces instead, or you can insert pumpkin seeds into the tops.
Storing Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed Bread Rolls
Store these rolls in an airtight container and they’ll stay good for up to 3 days at room temperature or store them in the fridge and they’ll keep well for up to 5 days. To reheat, place in the microwave for 20 seconds or bake in the oven at 180C for 10-15 minutes.
Can these Rolls be Frozen?
If you’d like to prepare these rolls in advance, follow the instructions, then freeze the rolls in a baking tray. Once frozen, they won’t stick together anymore, so you can place them in a freezer bag. Let them thaw and rise for about 3-4 hours, then bake. You can also freeze the baked bread rolls and store them in the freezer for up to a month.
Notes and Tips
I’d recommend you use the gram measurements rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
I’d recommend using extra thin twine to shape the rolls as it’ll give the baked rolls a more realistic pumpkin appearance. If the twine if too thick, the rolls can end up looking like flowers rather than pumpkins.
Customize the filling: if you’re not a fan of some of the ingredients or you don’t have them at hand, you can play around with the fillings.
Although bread flour is recommended for this recipe, you can easily substitute it for regular all-purpose flour or whole-wheat flour.