Day Seven: Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll

This is Day Seven in a 8 part series featuring amazing pumpkin recipes! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.


Remember the very first recipe in this pumpkin series? That’s right, those delicious Pumpkin Biscuits! Today’s recipe starts with that same super easy biscuit dough, but it takes it to a whole new level. We roll the dough into a huge rectangle and slather it with a buttery brown sugar mixture. Then we cut it into narrow strips and roll the strips into large circles in pie plates. It’s really simple, but the result is gorgeous! This recipe actually makes enough dough and filling for two giant cinnamon rolls, so you can have one for yourself and one to share with a friend! (Who am I trying to kid…)


Step by step:



Melt 1/2 cup butter in a glass measuring cup. Mix in a pile of brown sugar, maybe a cup or so. Just add it until it seems sweet enough. Then stir in a large teaspoon of ground cinnamon.



Yep, just like that.



Here is the dough, all ready to go.



Roll it to about 1/4 inch thickness.



Spread the butter/brown sugar mixture evenly across it. As you can see below, we sprinkled on some extra sugar in a few places, because it was a bit thin.



Using a pizza cutter (or a sharp spatula) cut the dough into narrow strips, approximately 1 inch wide.




Roll the dough into circles. After the first strip, I placed it in a greased 10-inch pie plate and just wound the remaining strips around that.



It looks just a bit like a rose. A really yummy, pumpkin-cinnamon rose. It must be a special fall variety.



It’s growing!! Leave a little bit of space between the cinnamon roll and the pie plate, to allow for it to rise. Then bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes, or until it’s no longer doughy.



Let them cool for a while before you add a glaze.



We like to make a delightfully simple glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, a tiny bit of milk, and a few drops of vanilla or maple extract.



Drizzle the glaze over the cinnamon rolls. Tear them apart with your hands in a ravenous fit of hunger.

Or cut them into neat, dignified portions and serve with milk or coffee.



Giant Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (to 1  1/2) cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Dough:
3   1/2 cups flour
4   1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1   1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbsp. milk (until the consistency is right)
1/2 tsp. vanilla or maple extract

For the cinnamon-sugar filling, combine the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the dough, in large bowl combine first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, sugar, and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well. Knead 8-10 times. Roll to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread cinnamon mixture evenly across the dough. Cut the dough into strips and roll into two large circles (one in each of two 10 inch pie plates). Wrap remaining strips of dough around the circles. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 18-22 minutes or until no longer doughy. Cool on wire rack while mixing the glaze.

For the glaze, whisk together all ingredients. Drizzle across the cinnamon rolls. Serve slightly warm. Yield: 2 giant cinnamon rolls.


Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle


Day Six: Best Pumpkin Cupcakes (with Dreamy Cinnamon Frosting)

This is Day Six in a 8 part series featuring yummy pumpkin recipes. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.DSCN1974

We never let an autumn slip past without one of us girls making pumpkin cupcakes. This is a recipe that Kerstin found several years ago. She made them once, and they were immediately voted into our recipe book. The cupcake itself has the perfect amount of sweetness, and a rich balanced spice from the pumpkin pie spice. The frosting is a dream! With cream cheese to make it (you guessed it) creamy, and butter to make it smooth and light (not in the healthy sense of the word, just the fluffy sense), it simply melts in your mouth. Some powdered sugar for sweetness, a big splash of vanilla extract, and a large dose of cinnamon all take it over the top.


Make them for Thanksgiving! Or make them for the weekend! Make them for your dad’s birthday! Or shucks, just make them for Thursday.

I promise you won’t regret it. Ever.

Here we go:


Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.


This is gorgeous!


Add the eggs one at a time, and beat the mixture well after each addition.


You can see how creamy the butter mixture is! Add the pumpkin.


And beat it in.


Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl.


Add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately. I usually do three additions of each, but it doesn’t matter too much. Just be sure to beat in each addition thoroughly.



Here the batter is perfect!


Prepare the cupcake pans. I love using miniature cupcake liners! These pumpkin ones are so cute, and they are perfect for pumpkin cupcakes!!


Fill the cupcake liners three-fourths full with batter. I like to fill a Ziplock bag with batter, cut off one corner, and squeeze the batter into each cup. It keeps the cupcakes even and the pan clean.



For miniature cupcakes, bake at 350 degrees F. for about 15-18 minutes, or until they test done with a toothpick. Bake standard-sized cupcakes for 20-25 minutes, or until they test done.



I also filled some standard-sized cupcake liners. They’re really cute, too!


For the frosting, beat softened cream cheese and softened butter until it’s smooth and fluffy.


Add the powdered sugar in two additions, beating the mixture well between additions.


Yum! You can almost feel how silky smooth it is.


Add a bunch of cinnamon. This really makes the frosting special!



Pour in about a teaspoon of vanilla extract. It’s rare that I measure this stuff!


Mix it together and you are ready to smother some cupcakes!


Hmm, this is a challenge. 😉


Pipe it on, spoon it on, or slather it on with a knife.


Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting

Pumpkin Cupcakes:
3/4 cup butter, softened
2   1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin
2   1/3 cups flour
1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 cup buttermilk
Cinnamon Frosting:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients; add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fill paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20-25 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes or 15-18 minutes for miniature cupcakes, or until cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For frosting, in a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: about 2 dozen standard-size or 6 dozen miniature.


Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle


{10 Days of Pumpkin Delight} Day One: Pumpkin Biscuits with Texas Roadhouse-Style Butter

This is Day One of a 8 day series featuring pumpkins! Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.DSCN1560

At this time of year, we like to add pumpkin to all of our usual recipes to make them a bit festive! Biscuits are no exception. These light, fluffy biscuits have just the right amount of sugar and spice, but they are still versatile. They can be served as a sweet breakfast treat, or alongside a savory stew.

As for the butter…. ahh, the butter. Have you ever been to Texas Roadhouse and partaken of their complementary rolls and cinnamon honey butter? Maybe you skipped the rolls and just ate the butter. Good, we aren’t the only ones! I’m so relieved. 😉 Anyway, we believe that the cinnamon honey butter makes the noise and peanuts at TR worth enduring. Then one day while browsing Pinterest, we found a super easy recipe for the butter. As in, it’s a no brainer, because it’s so easy!

Let’s take a closer look!



Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.



Melt a stick of butter in a small microwave safe bowl.




Whisk in the pumpkin and sugar. (We used half brown sugar and half regular.)



Add the milk and whisk it until smooth.






Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients.



Stir it until completely moistened.



Fold it with a spatula a few times. This takes the place of kneading it.



Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. (We used a clean, smooth dish towel for easy clean-up.)



Roll the dough out until about 1/2″  thick.





Cut into biscuits.



Place the biscuits on a baking sheet. We like to put them close together so they help each other rise.



Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15-18 minutes, or until they are golden brown and not doughy.


These are perfect!



For the cinnamon honey butter, beat 1 stick of softened butter until light and fluffy. The key to this really is to have it at the perfect temperature. You don’t want it to be cold and hard, but it would be just as bad to have it melting.



When it’s fluffy, add the cinnamon…



… and the honey.



Beat it until it’s smooth.



Add the powdered sugar, and stir it in a little bit by hand. Then finish beating it in until it’s smooth and gorgeous!




It’s so, so delicious!



Place the butter in a cute fall dish and serve it with the warm pumpkin biscuits. This is a wonderful accompaniment to a main dish such as a hearty beef stew or soup. But you could save them for dessert instead.



Here is the full recipe!

Pumpkin Biscuits with Cinnamon-Honey Butter

3   1/2 cups flour
4   1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1   1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
Cinnamon Honey Butter:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the biscuits, in large bowl combine first four ingredients. In another bowl, combine pumpkin, butter, sugar, and milk; add to flour mixture and mix well. Knead 8-10 times. Roll to 1/2 inch thickness and cut. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15-18 minutes.

For the Cinnamon Honey Butter, beat the softened butter until light and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve immediately with warm biscuits.


Day Nine: William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake

This is Day Nine in a 9 day series featuring apples. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_0617

The recipe for this delicious moist apple cake, with a cream cheese center and an easy caramel topping, is one of our favorites to pull out each fall. The cake itself is full of apple, shredded carrot, and pecans in every bite. All of the best autumn flavors! Several times this cake has been the birthday cake choice, and it is always a gorgeous presentation. Here are more detailed directions, with the full recipe at the end of the post.


For the cheesecake ribbon, beat a brick of cream cheese until fluffy.



Add 1/4 cup sugar.



And 1 egg.



Beat until smooth and creamy.



Perfect! Set it aside.



For the cake: beat together the oil (or use half oil, half applesauce), 1  3/4 cup sugar, and 3 eggs.




Beat it until it’s good an’ frothy!



In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients.



Add the flour mixture to the oil mixture.



And beat it until it’s combined.






Add the chopped apple, shredded carrots, and pecans!



Fold it together!



Grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan. Time to put this cake together!



Spoon most of the batter into the pan.



Then scoop the cream cheese filling by little spoonfuls around the center of the cake, being careful that it doesn’t touch the pan.




Spoon the rest of the batter over the cream cheese filling.



Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until it tests done with a toothpick.



Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes before inverting it onto a wire rack to cool completely.



Absolutely lovely!



For the caramel icing, combine the brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan.




Stir it until it’s smooth.




Let it come to a boil, stirring it occasionally. When it’s boiling, cook and stir it for 1 minute.



Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar and vanilla until the icing is smooth.






Drizzle over the cake. The icing will cool and harden quickly, so be sure to work fast!



Scatter pecan pieces across the icing, and press them in gently, so they stay put.






William Tell’s Never-Miss Apple Cake

Cream cheese Filling:
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Apple Cake:
1 cup oil (may reduce to 1/2 cup and substitute applesauce for the amount you leave out)
1  3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups chopped peeled tart apples
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Caramel Icing:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. 2% milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans

For cream cheese filling, in a small bowl beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in egg; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat oil, 1  3/4 cup sugar, and 3 eggs until well blended. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients; gradually beat into oil mixture until blended. Stir in apples, carrots, and pecans.

Transfer half of the apple batter to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan; layer with cream cheese mixture and remaining apple batter. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 50-60 minutes or until cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack to cool completely.

For the icing, in a large saucepan bring the brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Drizzle over cake. (Icing will cool and harden quickly.) Sprinkle with pecans.

Yield:   12 servings


Let us know how this cake turns out for you!! 🙂

Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle


Day Eight: Caramel Apple Slices

This is Day Eight in a 9 day series featuring apples. Click here to start reading at the beginning of the series.IMG_0337

Caramel apples are one of the most traditional fall treats out there, second only to pumpkin pie. However, most of us (including myself, I must admit) are a bit intimidated at the thought of making caramel at home. Doesn’t it always burn, or harden beyond edibility? And doesn’t it require rare ingredients that are difficult to obtain? Not this recipe! It’s super easy, and it didn’t burn for us, and we had all of the ingredients loafing in our kitchen. Most other caramel recipes call for heavy whipping cream, which we rarely keep on hand because it spoils so quickly; this gem of a recipe uses sweetened condensed milk instead. And anyway, wouldn’t most of us rather drink pure sweetened condensed milk than heavy whipping cream? No? Okay, maybe that’s just me. 😉


First of all, we prepared all of the toppings that we wanted to dip the caramel apples in. We chose bright fall sprinkle decorations, chopped walnuts, chopped chocolate chips (or mini chips), and chopped fall-colored M&Ms.



For the caramel, we place the butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sized sauce pan with a heavy bottom.



Then we add the sweetened condensed milk.



Stir it together over medium heat. We were simply frantic when we saw some brown specks after about 30 seconds, but (to our extreme relief) the caramel hadn’t burned. So don’t be too hasty in throwing it away if it’s starts looking speckled. For we know: waste not; want not!



Stir it until the caramel is silky smooth. Clip a candy thermometer on the side of the pan, too.



When the caramel starts boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to watch and stir until the thermometer reads approximately 248 degrees F.



When the temperature is at 248 degrees F., remove from heat and stir in a splash of vanilla extract.



Superbe. See that rich color? It looks just like…well…caramel!



Slice a few crisp apples.



Place them somewhere easy to reach. You can dip them in lemon juice, if you wish.



This is where the fun starts! We dipped each slice halfway into the caramel, but you could do almost any style. I think it would be cute to put them on little skewers and completely cover them.



Then dip the caramel end of the apple into any of the toppings that you prepared earlier.



Set the caramel-dipped apples on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and allow them to cool.





Here is the full recipe.

Caramel Apples

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup, plus 2 Tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (Note: We just used about half of a 14 oz. can)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 or 3 large tart apples

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk; bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 248 degrees F. (firm-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 15-20 minutes. Reduce heat if necessary to keep it from scorching. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Slice apples into desired sizes. Dip each slice into hot caramel mixture, turning to coat. Decorate with favorite toppings (sprinkles, chocolate chips, chopped nuts, etc.) Set on parchment paper to cool.


Thank you for visiting A Homespun Country Life!

~Kerstin, Elisabeth, and Gabrielle