Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns // savvyeat.comIt’s a… GIRL!

We had our 20 week ultrasound yesterday, and Baby G looks healthy and right on track as far as development goes. She was wiggling around too much to get a few of the pictures they wanted, so we have to go back in a few weeks…darn, we get to see our baby again!

It still feels a little surreal. Everyone was convinced we were having a boy (and had convinced me of the same), so we were especially surprised to hear that we’re having a girl. But I spent most of yesterday excitedly exclaiming “There’s a girl in there!” to the dog and “You’re going to be a sweet baby girl!” to the bump, so I think the news has finally sunk in.

To celebrate the Baby-G-is-healthy, we-can-stop-saying-‘he-or-she’-whenever-we-refer-to-HER good news, we’re celebrating with some pumpkin butter-stuffed sticky buns this weekend. We may or may not have celebrated with these last night in a breakfast-for-dinner situation, too. Hey, it’s exciting news worthy of many pumpkin spiced pastries!

These were originally going to be plain old pumpkin butter cinnamon rolls. But I’m all about the texture lately, and really wanted to include some crunchy, caramel-y nuts, so I transformed them into sticky buns. Really, there isn’t much difference between the two, except one is covered with icing and the other with a sticky pecan topping.

Let the weekend brunch planning begin!

Pumpkin pecan sticky buns are perfect for Sunday brunch! via savvyeat.com

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Prep Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

These pumpkin pecan sticky rolls are a little time consuming, but you can do most of the work the night before your next autumnal brunch!


    For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 cups pumpkin butter
  • For the topping:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped pecans


    For the dough:
  1. Stir the warm milk with the yeast and allow to sit for 3-4 minutes, or until the yeast is bubbly.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the flour, the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Stir until just combined.
  3. Add the rest of the flour and knead for 3-4 minutes. You can do this by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  4. Cut the butter into 5-6 pieces and add to the dough. Knead for an additional 5 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until nearly doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough and knead it a few times. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The dough will be fine in the refrigerator overnight, so feel free to take the rolls to this step the night before your brunch.
  7. To fill the rolls:
  8. Roll the dough into a 12" x 15" rectangle. Spread the dough with the pumpkin butter in a thin, even layer.
  9. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough up as tightly as you can. Slice the rolls into 8 even pieces, and allow to rise for 1 hour.
  10. For the topping:
  11. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Stir the brown sugar, butter, honey and nutmeg for the topping together in an 8" or 10" oven-proof skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until it is bubbly and a shade or two darker in color.
  13. Stir in the pecans.
  14. Place the rolls in the skillet, cut-side down. Start from the middle and work your way out towards the edge of the skillet. They shouldn't fill the pan entirely yet, as they will expand and rise as they cook.
  15. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, or until the buns are golden and the topping is bubbly. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving, pecan-side up.

Pumpkin Sausage Baked Ziti

Pumpkin sausage baked ziti is perfect for autumn and very freezer-friendly.

Pumpkin Sausage Ziti - Freezer-Friendly! // SavvyEat.com

It is finally happening: we’re painting our kitchen. When we first bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, there weren’t many big repairs to be made, but there were a lot of things we wanted to update from an aesthetics or functionality standpoint. We tackled some of those projects right away: we tore down the 1950s wheat print wallpaper in the dining room, painted the office a light blue instead of chocolate brown, and refinished a freestanding closet into a pantry. But there is one thing we never got to: the kitchen walls and cabinets.

The cabinets are dingy and the paint is chipping, and are the kind of off-white that looks dirty no how much you scrub. Now, enough is enough. By this time next week, the walls, shelves and cabinets will be a clean, sparkling white. Hooray!

Unfortunately, this means that the kitchen will be largely unusable for most of next week. To prepare, I’m prepping some freezer meals so that the only thing we need to do is defrost in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven. I’m starting with this baked ziti: pumpkin replaces the typical tomato sauce to make the pasta seasonally appropriate. I also added my favorite Italian sausage and a whole bunch of sage, because I love that flavor combination, especially at this time of the year.

To freeze baked pasta dishes, just follow the same instructions you would for freezing lasagna. Freeze the casserole before you bake it, and defrost in the refrigerator the day beforehand. I prefer to freeze in disposable aluminum pans because they are more sturdy, but you can also line a glass pan with foil and lift the pasta out once it is frozen.

So let’s make some baked ziti!

Pumpkin Sausage Ziti // savvyeat.com

Pumpkin Sausage Baked Ziti

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 6-8

Pumpkin Sausage Baked Ziti

This baked ziti is layered with flavor thanks to the pumpkin cream sauce, two types of cheese and sweet Italian sausage. To freeze for later, follow these instructions .


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, crumbled
  • Scant 2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sage, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and grease either a disposable aluminum casserole pan or a glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. Cook the pasta to al dente in salted water, according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute just until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the crumbled sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is n olonger pink on the inside.
  5. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, sage and salt. Cook, stirring just every once in awhile, until the sauce is bubbly and thick. It should take 7-8 minutes.
  6. Toss the pasta with the pumpkin sauce and the Parmesan cheese and pour into the prepared pan. Top with an even layer of sliced mozzarella.
  7. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375°F for 10 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10 minutes.
  8. To make the cheese browned and bubbly, turn the broiler to High and broil for 5 minutes. Otherwise, cook for an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.