Pumpkin spice. Devotees crave it while haters despise the annual #PSL frenzy of October. I’m not gonna go so far as to say it divides families, but it’s probably caused a rumble or two.
If you fall on the pro-pumpkin-spice side of the fence, then this Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dutch Baby recipe will be your jam. It’s got all the flavors of fall mixed up perfectly with the nostalgia of a warm and gooey cinnamon roll.
But what’s a Dutch Baby? History goes that the Dutch Baby is really just a regrettably renamed German pancake. This style of pancake is believed to have originated in Germany rather than the Netherlands, but somewhere between 1900 to 1950 a Seattle restaurant owner named Victor Manca is credited—or blamed—for the new name.
Dutch was a mispronunciation of the German word “Deutsch,” which means German, by his young daughter. Originally served as three small pancakes, or babies, the name continued on even after the recipe evolved into one larger pancake, then referred to as the Big Dutch Baby.
Traditionally served with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of powdered sugar, it’s sometimes also called a Bismarck, a Dutch puff, or a Hootenanny. Essentially a large popover, the Dutch Baby is similar to a Yorkshire pudding in that the batter puffs up as it bakes.
Because there aren’t any leavening agents in the recipe, the milk and eggs create steam and this causes the beautiful rising effect. The poof goes kaput almost as soon as it leaves the oven, sadly.
Today, the Dutch Baby recipe has been adapted and reimagined many times over, incorporating creative flavor combos, both sweet and savory. One of my favorite go-to recipes for Sunday brunch is a Lemon-Blueberry Dutch Baby (parade.com/646423/alison-ashton/lemon-blueberry-dutch-baby) and this one has a beautiful poof.
The poof on this pumpkin Dutch Baby was disappointing, but it still tasted delicious, although it is incredibly sweet. I’m not sure why it didn’t really poof much, but this recipe calls for adding butter to the batter, while the lemon-blueberry recipe melts all the butter in the skillet. I may try making it without butter in the batter next time for more poofiness.
A few other notes: You absolutely do not need the chocolate chips in this recipe! It’s super-sweet without adding them. I grated a touch of nutmeg into my batter along with the cinnamon to amp up the spice factor. Also, you can definitely get away with halving the glaze recipe. My son has a sweet tooth so we went heavy on the glazing and still had about a half-cup left over.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Dutch Baby
Adapted from halfbakedharvest.com
2/3 cup flour
2 1/2 tbsp. cold butter, divided
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp. brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 1/3 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp. salted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tbsp. cream cheese at room temperature
2 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place one tbsp. butter in a 9- to 12-inch cast iron skillet (or 9-inch pie plate or 4 mini cast iron skillets). Place in oven for 5 minutes to melt. In a blender, add flour, milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, and remaining cold butter and blend well, scraping down sides as needed and blending more. Prepare cinnamon swirl mixture by stirring together butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Fill a disposable piping bag or plastic baggie with a small hole cut in the corner with mixture. Remove heated skillet from oven and swirl butter all around and then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Pour batter into skillet and sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips (if desired). Gently pipe cinnamon swirl mixture into batter. Place in oven at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce temperature to 400 degrees, but DO NOT OPEN the oven for the first 15 minutes, and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until edges are puffed and golden. Make glaze by beating cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar together and then add milk and mix. Remove skillet from oven and let cool for 3 minutes. Drizzle with glaze while still warm.