Savory Pumpkin Dinner Rolls with Whipped Cranberry Butter



I’m usually not the best at posting recipes on the blog just in time for large special occasions–It’s my poor planning skills that get in the way of that, plus 85% of the work I do is the result of momentary inspiration, and 100% of my blog posts fall under that category.  But this time, I was inspired in the knick of time to share something I think is the perfect food for a crowd: sort of festive, pull-apart dinner rolls! Friendsgiving up in Somerville on Saturday night had me in front of a hearty plate of savories like mashed potatoes and herbed stuffings, which naturally got me thinking extra hard about the flavors of Thanksgiving, and really helped open the floodgates of my Thanksgiving creativity.  Suddenly, BAM! There it was, a picture, clear as day, flashing radiantly in the middle of my forehead screaming “PUMPKIN DINNER ROLLS!” And I knew I had to make them for you guys as soon as I got my hands on that lonely box of cooked pumpkin stashed in the back of my upper pantry. Truthfully, I’m pretty much over pumpkin flavored things, or so I thought which is why I left that orange box to sit there until probably sometime next year when I’d forgotten how put-out I had felt this fall. I think we’ve all suffered enough from the relentless influx of pumpkin crap, uh…I mean recipes… over the past few years to keep any pumpkin cravings at bay.  We could just leave that job up to Starbucks and their lattes for the rest of time; however, the idea for dinner rolls just seemed so simple and flavorful I had to jump on it like The Sugarhill Gang! Rest assured my pumpkin-weary friends, these rolls won’t be spiced with that overbearing nutmeg stuff aka Pumpkin spice this time. No.  Just salt, a pinch of sugar, and a little vinegar. Here the pumpkin will offer a warming glow, a fluffy density, and a flavor that will just take regular dinner rolls to soaring creamy, heights. And to pair with it? Nothing other than a whipped cranberry butter. Everything vegan.  Everything comforting. Everything fall.  And I hope you love them just as much as I do!


Here’s the recipe:

Makes 12 dinner rolls:

Savory Vegan Pumpkin Rolls 

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp pure cane sugar (or other sugar)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp fast acting yeast
  • 2 tbsp Softened coconut oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup organic pumpkin 

In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water, sugar, and apple cider vinegar, then pour over the yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast begins to foam. Add the softened coconut oil, flour, salt, and cooked pumpkin. and combined with your hand until it forms into a dough. Flip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands until the dough feels slightly elastic. 

Brush the sides of a clean mixing bowl with more coconut oil and toss the kneaded dough in the oil so it’s well coated. Cover with a dampened cloth and place in a warm dry place (like an unplugged microwave) to double in size (about 1 hour)

Once the dough had doubled press down slightly and cut into 12 even pieces.  If you need to use a scale for this step so they are all are the same size I understand. but I just eyeballed mine

Shape the pieces into balls and then, without pressing down too hard, roll the balls between your palms until they are completely smooth. Place in a parchment lined baking dish. Do this for the final 11 rolls, loosely cover with plastic wrap and a damp towel, and place in the fridge to double in size overnight.  

Remove from the fridge, brush with more softened coconut oil, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until puffed, browned on top, and completely cooked through. Serve warm.

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Christopher did a double take when he started to smell the rolls baking haha!



            Whipped Cranberry Butter

  • 2 sticks vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • splash of water
  • 1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, and orange zest and cook until the sugar dissolves and the cranberries break apart. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. In a bowl, whip the butter with a handheld mixer until fluffy, then fold in the cooked cranberries. Transfer to a container and keep in the fridge until ready to use. 


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