You're probably thinking this is a mistake. A huge unseasonal mistake. Because pumpkin isn't supposed to show up on blogs at the beginning of Spring. Is this girl crazy? Pumpkin belongs only in the Fall, you say! Well I say heck with that business. I'm an all-year-round pumpkin eating kind of lady. I keep it on hand 24/7. The world just feels chaotic and uneasy without a huge stockpile of cans of pumpkin puree in the cupboard. That's just how I roll.

Speaking of rolling, have you ever made cinnamon rolls? You know, you roll out the dough after you let it rise over an hour, then let it sit a bit longer before you bake em. You roll up the filling and then slice the rolls and put them in a baking dish so they all clump together. These are pretty much the same thing. They require the rolling part. Except these are baked separated in a muffin pan.

Can I just say that these are ridiculously amazing? Honestly these are one of the best things I've ever baked in my entire life. I've always been a little scared of baking with yeast. I feel like it takes too much time and isn't always worth it. But this morning I hung out in my pajamas till noon, cleaned the house, played a little Hall & Oates on the piano, and baked these pumpkin chocolate swirl rolls. You gets it done. It all works out. The yeast eventually rises. You make buns.

The dough turned out perfect. I baked them for 15 minutes, and they were just golden on top, still moist in the center. They're best right out of the oven when the chocolate is still melty and warm. The crunchy sugary topping is also a lovely, unexpected touch.

It's really pretty simple. Just set aside about 3 hours to make these and you and your buns will be golden. And sugary. And chocolatey. And pumpkiny. And full of only your wildest dreams. I considered taking these to work tomorrow but I kind of changed my mind after the first bite and 3 buns later... I am going to eat all of these myself. No joke. (Sorry coworkers.)

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Buns

Slightly adapted from Hungry Girl Por La Vida and Smitten Kitchen

Makes 12 buns


  • 1/3 cup warm milk of any kind

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active-dry yeast

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 1/4 cups flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel sea salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted, softened butter


  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 cup dark chocolate (60%) chunks

  • pinch of fleur de sel sea salt

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg

  • 1 Tablespoon cream

  • white granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top

  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine warm milk with yeast and a pinch of sugar. Allow to proof 5 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and the egg. With a hand mixer, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add the yeast-pumpkin mixture and mix on low to combine. Add the butter 2 Tablespoons at a time, mixing until the butter is incorporated before adding the rest. The dough will be quite sticky and stringy. Using your hands, knead the dough for 1-2 minutes until shiny and throughly combined. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  2. While the dough rises, make the filling. In the bowl of a food processor, process all ingredients until all of the butter is distributed and you have an uneven, gravely mixture. Set aside.

  3. Liberally butter a 12-cup muffin tin. Set aside.

  4. Once dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and gently deflate. Allow to rest 5 more minutes, before rolling the dough out into a large rectangle, the short end measuring about 12 inches–the long edge can be about 18-22 inches. Sprinkle the chocolate filling evenly over the rectangle (it will be bumpy) and begin rolling from the short end all the way up into a 12-13 inch log and pinch to seal. Gently saw off about 1-inch spirals, placing each into a prepared tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise another hour.

  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325*F.

  6. Whisk together the egg and cream, brush gently over the tops of the proofed buns and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake in the center of the oven for 15-20 minutes. Mine took 15 minutes as my oven runs hot, as I also reduced the temperature from the original 350*F and they still cooked on the lower end. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Thank you! XO The Baking Bird