Homemade Pumpkin Bagels

Last weekend, a few friends and I went out to Ithaca to visit with Julie. I hadn’t been to Ithaca in years, and it was so nice to go back and spend the day there. We went to lunch, visited the annual library sale (where I bought a few fun new cookbooks for a song), walked around the commons, and ate cheese fondue.

It was pretty much a perfect day except that I didn’t get a pumpkin bagel. We had gone to the Ithaca Bakery for lunch and although my pear and blue cheese sandwich with thyme-infused balsamic was amazing, I was jealous of Julie’s toasted pumpkin bagel slathered with Nutella. We went back a little later to get drinks for our walk back to Julie’s (their Fall chai, which involves apple cider, still haunts me) and I attempted to buy a few bagels to bring home, but they unfortunately had none left. It didn’t take me very long to decide that I’d just have to make my own, the very next day.

Luckily I’ve made bagels before so I had a general idea of what I was getting into with this project. Bagels are surprisingly easy to make, but they do take a while to rise so you’ll need to make them on a day where you dont’ have much planned. They’re the perfect project for a lazy Sunday!

Since I love my original bagel recipe, I used that as a jumping off point for these. The only substantial difference that I really made was to replace most of the water with pumpkin puree. Even though it was a pretty simple swap, the effect that they had on the final product was pretty dramatic. In addition to having the subtle pumpkin flavor that I was hoping for, the puree improved the texture of the bagels as well. Their soft, fluffy interior made them some of the lightest bagels I’ve ever eaten, but with a perfectly chewy crust. I couldn’t have asked for more.


Homemade Pumpkin Bagels

Yields 9 bagels
Prep Time: 30 minutesTotal Time: 3 hours

These light and chewy bagels have a subtle pumpkin flavor that goes great with Nutella, cream cheese, or cinnamon-sugar butter. I left the flavor simple to maxmize their versatility – try them untoasted, dipped into a hearty vegetable soup! If you prefer a pumpkin spice bagel, mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger and a dash each of cardamom, nutmeg, and allspice in with the flour.


  • 2 teaspoons Yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cups Warm Water
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Whole White Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda


  1. Add yeast and sugar to 1/4 cup warm water, without stirring. Let sit for five minutes, then stir until dissolved.
  2. Combine flours and salt into a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir in the yeast mixture and the pumpkin puree.
  3. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic – about 20 minutes by hand or 10 in a mixer. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Gently punch down the dough to deflate it, then divide into 9 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then poke your finger through the center to form the hole. Gently stretch the dough to form a ring. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
  5. Arrange the rings on a cookie sheet, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
  6. While the bagels rise, add the baking soda to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Drop the risen bagels into the boiling water a few at a time, being careful not to crowd the pot. Boil for 2 minutes on each side. Replace on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 450F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bagels are a light, golden color.

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  1. YUM! These look so good!! I have never made bagels before, I want to try!

  2. I have never made bagels, but your description of these has me sold. They sound so good!

  3. Now these are something I could definitely sink my teeth into. I do love Nutella but I also have both some maple butter and apple butter in the cupboard.

  4. Pumpkin bagels – I’ve never heard of them! What a great idea, and such a nice change from the pumpkin donuts I’ve been seeing everywhere lately. These look delicious!

  5. Mmmm pumpkin bagels. I will have to make these come November, when pumpkin bagels aren’t the monthly special anymore!

  6. I can only imagine how wonderful Nutella tastes on a pumpkin bagel!

  7. Great recipe, printing as I type!

  8. These look amazing! Can’t wait to try them! But the top of the recipe says 1/4 cup warm water and the next part says to add yeast to 1/2 cup warm water. Which amount do you recommend I use?

  9. I so wanna try bagels but I am SO lazy! that seems like a days work! and I am fearful to take the plunge.
    Would it work just as well if i used all AP flour?

  10. I imagine the only thing better than a pumpkin bagel is one shmeared with hazelnut spread! That looks amazing :)

  11. OMG. I cannot WAIT to try this!!!

  12. I keep thinking about making bagels, but then getting scared off. Thanks for the reminder…maybe it’ll happen soon!

  13. Wow, pumpkin bagels sound like such a lovely fall treat! I’m glad you were inspired to try making them yourself so we can all enjoy. :)

  14. Hi!! Thank you for the recipe… I am kind of ridiculously into pumpkin these days, so I was excited when I stumbled across this. Made them last night, ate this morning for breakfast. Was my first time making bagels (although I’ve made pretzels, which is a similar process), so they turned out slightly chewier than soft in the middle, although still delicious. Could the chewiness be due to how I kneaded them? Or maybe if they didn’t rise enough in the initial rising?

    • I based these off of my recipe for New York Style bagels, which are genrally more chewy than something like Lender’s (which are more bready). It’s actually the boiling that makes them chewy – if you prefer a less chewy bagel, try reducing the boiling time to 30 seconds on each side.

      I hope you liked them anyway! :)

  15. Do you know the nutrition facts for these bagels? Specifically the calories per bagel. Thanks!! I’m excited to make these!

  16. I feel like cinnamon would be delicious in this! But i have heard problems with cinnamon, whole wheat, and yeast….have you tried cinnamon in this recipe?

    • I’m not sure what problems you mean? I’ve made whole wheat cinnamon bread and have never had problems, so although I haven’t tried it in this recipe, I’m sure it would work. You could also just use butter and cinnamon-sugar/spelnda as your topping.

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