Recipe: Sourdough Pecan Cinnamon Rolls with Citrus Infused Cream Cheese Frosting

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

I remember growing up and having access to Louisiana pecans from the tree in our backyard. I didn't really know what they were, but I knew they were free and delicious so I would eat them all of the time. Fast forward into adult hood and realizing how delicious pecans are, not just alone, but with cinnamon as well. I like to snack on pecans with a sprinkle of cinnamon on them and realized that it's a no brainer to include them with this recipe. Everyone loves things that are either cinnamon rolls or some sort of sticky bun with pecans in it, so voila. And the frosting? Divine. There is a nice dose of lemon and orange juice in it to add a little punch to the sweet creaminess. If you aren't too into citrus, just dial it down or leave it out (don't know who this applies to, because citrus and soft sweet bread is the best). You don't really need an excuse to make cinnamon rolls. You just need to make them.

What You'll Need (for levain build):

100 grams Mature Sourdough Starter

50 grams Organic Whole Wheat Flour

150 grams Organic Bread Flour

180 grams Warm Water

What You'll Need (Final Dough Mix)

500 grams Organic All-Purpose Flour

500 grams Organic Bread Flour

175 grams unsalted butter

130 grams sugar

500 grams whole milk

400 grams levain

30 grams cinnamon

7 grams salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1/2 large orange

What You'll Need (Filling)

150 grams unsalted butter

150 grams brown sugar

25 grams cinnamon

150 grams crushed pecans

What You'll Need (Frosting)

226 grams cream cheese

130 grams butter

150 grams powdered sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1/4 large orange

What You Need To Do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all final dough mix ingredients together and mix until it is all incorporated. Use your fingers to squeeze everything together.

  2. Once incorporated, turn out onto the counter top and use your palm to knead the dough until it is smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit on your counter top for 12 hours. My kitchen is usually 70-75f so adjust for your environment as needed.

  3. Make your filling by softening your butter and adding to a bowl. Next, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cream this together. Finally add the crushed pecans and mix until you have an even distribution.

  4. After your bulk fermentation has concluded (usually overnight), flour your work surface and dump out the dough. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle.

  5. Spread the filling onto the entirety of the dough rectangle. I use a silicone spatula for ease.

  6. From the top, longer side of the rectangle, roll into a tight log. Slice the log into pieces that are about two inches thick. I ended up with 14 cinnamon rolls.

  7. Place a sheet of parchment on a half sheet pan and line them up 3 x 4 on the sheet pan. When they bake, you want them to touch a little bit.

  8. Proof in a warm environment, like in your oven with a pot of boiled water in it. The proof will take about 3 hours.

  9. While the dough is proofing, make the frosting by adding the ingredients from above into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. You can also mix by hand with a spatula and whisk. Mix/whisk until the frosting is slightly thick and creamy. Add or subtract powdered sugar as needed.

  10. Bake the cinnamon rolls at 375f for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

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