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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