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Pear-Ginger Cinnamon Rolls


If you want to mix up your cinnamon roll game a little, these rolls are filled with gingered pears (plus other fall spices) and topped with either cream cheese or brown butter frosting!


  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1/2 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 scant tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups diced pears (about 3 medium pears; you can peel them if you’d like; please see instructions in this blog post)
  • Juice from 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (fresh or dry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 teaspoons melted, salted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Brown Butter or Cream Cheese (see instructions on this recipe for links)


  1. To make the dough, combine the milk, sugar, and oil In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.
  2. If you’ve got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain.
  3. When the milk is warm (around 105-115 degrees), remove from ice and sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.
  4. Mix remaining 1/2 c. flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days. You can also allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour if you want to make these right away.
  5. When you’re ready to make the rolls, lightly spray a work surface with non-stick cooking spray and roll the dough out into a rectangle that’s about 6×18″.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix the pears, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt and set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter, white sugar, and brown sugar Spread the butter mixture over the dough and then top with the pear mixture. Roll up tightly, making a log about 18″ long. With a very sharp knife or dental floss, trim off about 2 inches on either side.
  8. Preheat oven to 375.
  9. Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  10. Using dental floss or a sharp knife, mark the dough into 12 equal pieces. Use the dental floss to cut the dough along the spots that you marked (grab about 8 inches of floss and slip it under the log. Cross the top pieces and pull, so it cuts the dough.) Place the dough pieces, cut side up, in the pan. Cover and rise for 30 minutes. Bake the rolls for 15-22 minutes or until golden brown and the innermost rolls are cooked through. If the edge pieces are getting too brown, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to prevent further browning.
  11. When done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the frosting. When the rolls have cooled, spread the frosting over the rolls. Makes 12 rolls.