⅔ cup milk (we used 1% milk)
1 (¼ ounce) packet instant yeast (about 2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (meaning softened and a little liquidy, but not piping hot straight from the microwave)
⅓ cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
3 cups whole wheat ﬂour (we used white whole wheat ﬂour)
¾ cup pitted dates (about 20 dates)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
⅔ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
3 tablespoons milk (we used 1% milk)
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Put the dates in a small, heat-safe bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes, while you prepare the dough.
To make the dough, warm the milk in the microwave or on the stovetop until lukewarm, but not bubbly. Pour the warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer ﬁtted with the dough hook attachment. Stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar, then cover the top of the bowl with a clean towel and let rest for 5-10 minutes, until the yeast starts to foam a little.
Put the mixer on low speed, and gently add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, along with the salt, the softened butter, the pumpkin puree, and the egg. Add the ﬂour slowly, until a soft dough forms and pulls gently from the sides of the bowl (usually around 2 ¾ — 3 cups ﬂour total).
Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly ﬂoured surface and let it rest for about 10 minutes, while you prepare the ﬁlling.
To make the ﬁlling, reserve about ¼ cup of the soaking liquid from the dates and add it to the bowl of a food processor. Pour oﬀ any excess liquid remaining in the dates, and add the softened dates to the food processor as well. Blend until smooth. Add the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice and pulse until well combined.
Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a large rectangle (about 9x14, or about the size of a sheet pan).
Spread all of the date ﬁlling atop the surface of the dough like icing, trying to cover as much of the surface as possible in a thin layer of date ﬁlling. Roll the dough up tightly, jelly roll style, to create a long cinnamon roll log. Slice the log into about a dozen equal sized pieces.
Place a sheet of parchment paper into your slow cooker and carefully arrange the cinnamon buns so that they all ﬁt in the bowl of the slow cooker. Line the slow cooker lid with a single layer of paper towels before securing the lid closed, to help absorb some (but not all) of the moisture.
Cook on high for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until just golden.
A few minutes before the cinnamon rolls are set to ﬁnish, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, pumpkin puree, milk, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Drizzle over the cooked cinnamon rolls before serving.
Oven Instructions: While we haven’t tried this recipe outside of the slow cooker, we suggest letting the dough rise for 1-2 hours in a warm environment after step 3 until noticeably puﬀy; letting the dough rise for about 1 hour after step 7 until noticeably puﬀy; and baking in an oven safe dish at 350°F for 20-30 minutes. If you try it this way, do let us know!
An Oldways recipe, courtesy of Kelly Toups
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Total Sugar: 16g (Added Sugar: 9g)