If cooking isn't your forte, the yearly approach of Thanksgiving can often feel like impending doom. Whether it's a formal, sit-down Thanksgiving dinner or a casual Friendsgiving gathering, no one likes showing up empty-handed — which means you're basically forced to bring a store-bought pie (inconsistent at best), yet another bottle of wine (boring), or attempt a homemade dessert (usually nerve-wracking). For your celebrations this year, never fear: I just so happened to come upon this recipe that'll ease your holiday anxieties.
Last Thanksgiving, a shockingly-simple dessert from Meals and Munchies made its rounds on TikTok. Brooke, the recipe's creator, prefaces the video: "It's Thanksgiving Day and you want people to think you can bake. I've got you covered." She goes on to whip together a one-dish, three-ingredient dessert that I can only describe as a pumpkin pie and cinnamon roll hybrid, and the second I saw her pull it out of the oven, I knew I had to try it for myself.
The ingredients are ridiculously simple, and you'll only need three of them: 1 8-count refrigerated can of cinnamon rolls (Brooke specifies the cream cheese icing variety), 1 15-ounce can of 100% pumpkin purée, and some pumpkin pie spice.
STEP #1: You'll start by pre-heating your oven to 350ºF...
...then spraying a 9- or 10-inch pie dish with non-stick cooking spray.
STEP #2: Open your cinnamon rolls. Not gonna lie — the pop always scared me as a kid, and it still definitely scares me now. So, I can say with complete confidence that even if you can't open a can of cinnamon rolls without letting out the world's tiniest and most embarrassing shriek, you're still more than capable of making this dessert.
STEP #3: Use kitchen scissors to cut each cinnamon roll in half, then arrange the cinnamon roll halves on your greased pie dish.
Oh, importantly, hang onto the icing container! You'll need it post-bake.
STEP #4: Mix in your pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice. First, scoop the purée on top of the cinnamon rolls...
...then add about 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
Mix everything together until well combined, then smooth everything out so the cinnamon roll chunks and pumpkin mixture are equally dispersed.
STEP #5: Bake! Pop the pie dish onto a rack placed in the center of your pre-heated oven and bake for about 30 minutes.
While it bakes, wash the four tiny kitchen tools you used to make this dessert happen. Breathe a deep, necessary sigh of relief that you didn't need to take out every last piece of cookware and utensil you own.
When the cinnamon rolls are no longer doughy to the touch and they're just starting to turn golden brown on the top, they're done. Remove the dish from your oven and allow it to cool slightly. At this point, your house will smell absolutely glorious.
STEP #6: Pop your icing container into the microwave for 10 seconds, and please don't forget to take off the metal lid. When the icing is nice and melty, drizzle it all over the warm, pumpkin-y cinnamon rolls.
That's it! From beginning to end, it took me less than 45 minutes to put together — 5 minutes or less to assemble everything, 30 minutes of totally inactive time, then, about 10 more minutes of waiting so I didn't scald my mouth with piping hot pumpkin purée. TBH, it might be the easiest dessert I've ever made.
Beyond its simplicity, it's also outrageously delicious. You taste the velvety, warmly-spiced pumpkin first, which feels fitting considering the palpable Thanksgiving vibes. Then, you get that soft, pillowy chew of the cinnamon rolls. Beyond adding flavor, the pumpkin also helps to keep the cinnamon rolls moist and fluffy. Like, if you're always fighting people for the center (read: best) cinnamon roll, this dessert was basically made for you.
If baking isn't your thing and you need something to take to this year's festivities, I'm thrilled to report that this dish is practically foolproof. Hell, even if you're an experienced baker, this dish would make the world's easiest kid-friendly Thanksgiving breakfast to serve your fam while you attend to, you know, cooking five thousand dishes for dinner.
For more easy recipes, you can give Brooke (aka Meals and Munchies) a follow on her TikTok, Instagram, or website. And if you make this recipe for your friends and family this Thanksgiving, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.
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