Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

These delicious Pumpkin Spice Bagels are flavoured with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices, baked to golden perfection with a sprinkling of brown sugar on top.

I have heard people say they are intimidated by the thought of making bagels at home. To that I say … bagels are just buns that take a 2 minute bath before baking. Really. If you bake bread or buns, you’ve got this!

These bagels get a seasonal nod with the flavours of pumpkin pie. Pumpkin puree and pie spices are added to the dough, along with a handful or two of raisins (completely optional, though). I flavoured my bagels with the spices of my mother’s pumpkin pie – equal parts of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. If you’re a fan of cloves (I’m not really), feel free to throw a 1/2 tsp. of that in, too.

At the last minute, I decided to throw a little sprinkling of brown sugar on top of my bagels before baking them off. In hindsight, sugar and a 500° F. oven probably wasn’t the best idea. Let’s just say, my smoke detector got a good work-out. If I were to do it again, I’d use a lower oven temperature and extend the baking time for a sugar topping.

This is a perfect rainy, Fall weekend baking project. The process takes a good part of the day, but most of it is passive, rising or chilling times. It leaves enough time between steps to do some other things, so you don’t feel like a slave to the process. At the end of it, you are rewarded with a baker’s dozen of beautiful homemade bagels, along with a great sense of baking accomplishment.

Cook’s Notes for Pumpkin Spice Bagels

I like to either start them in the morning and then cook them off at the end of the afternoon (or early evening), or start them at night and cook them off in the morning. The chill time provides lots of flexibility to work around other things you have to do.

These bagels freeze beautifully, so freeze what you can’t eat in a couple of days and enjoy them later.

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Pumpkin Spice Bagels

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: pumpkin bagel recipe
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 12 bagels
Energy: 273 kcal
Author: Jennifer
These are perfect for Fall baking. They freeze beautifully. If using the brown sugar topping, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees and extend the baking time accordingly (otherwise, your smoke detector might get a work out!)



  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups water room temperature
  • 1 tsp. instant or dry active yeast


  • 1 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
  • 2/3-1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3-4 cups bread flour
  • Optional: couple of handfuls of raisins
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda for boiling
  • 1 large egg for egg wash
  • Brown sugar for sprinkling


  1. Make the sponge: Combine yeast with water and let stand a few minutes. In a large bowl, combine the flour with the yeast/water mixture until all the flour is moistened. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  2. Make the dough: In a small bowl, combine the second teaspoon of yeast with a bit of water and let stand a few minutes. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the pumpkin puree with the salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add the yeast/water mixture and stir in. Add the sponge mixture and combine. Start adding more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball around the dough hook (*If you feel your mixer starting to strain at all, stop and remove dough to counter to finish kneading there). Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary so the dough is moist, but not sticky.
  3. Immediately form dough into 12-13 balls (see note below) - about 4 1/2 oz. each. Cover with a towel and let stand 20 minutes. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Shape dough balls into bagels by pinching through the center of each ball with your thumb and fore finger to make a hole and then gently expanding the hole, while rotating the bagel like you're turning a steering wheel. Place shaped bagels on to prepared pan. Once all are shaped, spray some plastic wrap with oil and cover bagels tightly (oiled side down). Let stand at room temperature for an additional 30 minutes, then refrigerate anywhere from 4 hours to 12 hours (overnight-ish). Be sure pan is covered tightly with plastic wrap, so the bagels don't dry out.
  4. When ready to bake pre-heat oven to 500 ° F., with rack in lower 1/3 of oven, and bring a large Dutch oven or similar-sized pot of water to a boil. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once water is boiling, add 1 Tbsp. baking soda. Remove a few bagels from the fridge and pop into the boiling water, top side down. Boil for one minute, flip over, then boil for one minute more. Remove with a slotted spoon to prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have 6 bagels boiled. Brush with egg wash and optionally, sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar. (*If using brown sugar topping, reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees for each step and extend baking time a few minutes.
  5. Bake for 6 minutes, then rotate pan front-to-bake, lower temperature to 450° F. and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack. Repeat process with additional bagels.
  6. *How to shape dough into balls: Section off a piece of dough and lay it flat on the counter. Start pinching the opposite edges together in the centre, rotating and repeating until you've pinched all the edges into the centre and made a tight ball. Flip over so the pinched part is down. You should have a smooth and tight top side.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!


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  • These look amazing! I’ll have to make them ahead of time. Do you recommend freezing them before cooking them or after they have baked to keep them fresh?!

    • Hi Lindsey and thanks! I freeze after baking. I usually figure out how many will be eaten freshly baked and then freeze the rest as soon as possible.

  • Sorry – it’s me again for the last time – I promise… I’m just now getting a chance to try these bagels and I understand how you adjust the water amount when proofing the yeast for the sponge, but it’s step 2 for the dough part that I’m not sure how much water to use to proof that yeast since no other water is used for the dough? Thank you so much and have a great day!

    • Hi Erin, If you use Instant Yeast (as I do), you don’t need to proof it in water. You simply add it with the dry ingredients. If you only have dry active, you can proof it in a small amount of warm water (1/4-ish) and add. You’ll need to add a touch more flour to compensate for the extra liquid.

    • I always write (and assume) that unless specified otherwise, “salt” means fine table salt. You’re pretty safe with that assumption for most recipes.

  • These look delicious! Thank you for sharing – I can’t wait to try them! When making the dough, you say to use a bit of water with the yeast – are you talking like a 1/4 cup? Also, does the amount of pumpkin vary from 2/3 to 1 cup just based on the feel of the dough? I just want to make sure I get these right and don’t mess them up. Thank you so much!

    • Hi Erin and happy to help :) First, if you are using active dry yeast, you will need to proof it in warm water (unlike instant yeast, that doesn’t need to be proofed in water). So yes, take about 1/4 cup of the amount of water indicated in the recipe, warm it to lukewarm and add your yeast to it. Let stand 5-10 minutes, then proceed with the recipe but be sure to add only 2 1/4 cups additional water for the sponge (since you’ve already used 1/4 cup).

      As for the amount of pumpkin, it is just to allow some flexibility for how “pumpkin-y” you’d like the finished flavour to be. For a first go, stick with 2/3 cup. If you find you’d like more pumpkin flavour, you can note that and increase it the next time you make these.

      When it comes to making anything involving yeast, I always treat the flour as the variable. I always add it last and hold back at least a cup from the start, so in this recipe, I would start by adding two cups of flour. Mix the dough well at this point. It will be wet :) Then start adding additional flour 1/4 cup at a time, then 1 Tbsp at a time, until you have a smooth dough (doesn’t stick to the bowl). Don’t get hung up on the amounts of flour specified in the recipe. If you need more, add more.

      Hope that helps :)

    • Hi Robyn! Always love to find fellow local foodies and especially bloggers. Thanks so much for your nice words and so happy to have you following along. Was great to discover your blog as well!

  • Could I just use regular AP wheat flour? I can’t find bread flour at my local store. I may have to go to a few stores to find it.

    • You can, Kindra. Bagels benefit from a higher gluten flour like bread flour for a chewier texture, but regular AP will work just fine.

  • When I saw these on Pinterest I didn’t know they were yours, at first!! I’m so glad they are, because your recipes never fail. I used to bake bagels with my mom, but you’re right, I have been intimidated to try them myself. Love your tips here and love LOVE the flavors!! Autumn, finally! I can’t wait to try — these will make me some new friends, I imagine :)

    • Thanks so much, Sophie. It’s very Fall-like here already (frost-warning for tonight. Yikes!), so these bagels are hitting the spot. Pumpkin, apples, cranberries, pears, squash … it’s easily my favourite cooking season :)

    • I really enjoy home-made bagels. They are a bit more work than regular baking, but not by much. Btw, just saw the cronut on your site. OMG! I have to make those soon!

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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