Kirbie's Cravings

Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites

photo of a bowl of Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites

I had a lot of success adding pumpkin and spices to some of my favorite baked goods. A few weeks ago, I thought about making pumpkin soft pretzels.
close-up photo of a bowl of Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites

Rather than keeping the pretzel savory, I added some cinnamon and sugar to make it a little sweet to match with the pumpkin. I only added cinnamon to the actual dough. But next time I make these, I want to add a coating of cinnamon sugar to the exterior before baking them to get more cinnamon in the bites and to make the bites sweeter in general.
close-up of one pretzel bite
Unfortunately, the pumpkin got very lost in the dough. I had to add so much flour to keep the dough from being too wet, that it diluted the pumpkin added to the dough. The dough when baked was slightly more golden yellow than soft pretzels without pumpkin, but the dough definitely wasn’t as orange as other recipes where I incorporated pumpkin.
Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites
The pretzel bites still tasted great; I just didn’t taste much pumpkin. But I liked the slight sweet and cinnamon taste. I’ll have to play around with this recipe some more. If anyone has any suggestions on how to incorporate more pumpkin into the dough, please share!

I am also submitting this post to yeastspotting

Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American
Soft pretzel bites made with pumpkin and fall spices. They're a fun treat for fall!


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water 110 to 115°F
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 5 1/2 - 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 oz unsalted butter melted
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg yolk


  • Combine the warm water and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, and 5 1/2 cups flour and butter and using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. If dough is too wet add, another 1/4-1/2 cup flour. Change to medium speed and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl, and place the dough in a glass bowl oiled with vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 12-inch rope. Using a sharp knife, cut rope into 1-inch pieces.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Using a large saucepan, fill with water. Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda.
  • Place the pretzels into the boiling water for 30 seconds each. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Place pretzels on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  • Beat one large egg yolk. Brush the top of each pretzel bite with the beaten egg yolk. (I didn't do this but next time I think I want to coat the pretzels with a cinnamon sugar mixture before baking). Bake until golden brown in color, approximately 6-8 minutes.


Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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15 comments on “Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Bites”

  1. This is another option that should be considered. Try juicing the pumpkin, and instead of using water use the juice. You can even intensify the flavor by juicing a couple of pumpkins and slowly reducing it until you are at 1 1/2 cups. Now you would have to use Highly active dry yeast or instant yeast for this recipe. These yeast are self activating so there is no need to mix the yeast with warm water, so the water can be replaced. What ever kind of sugars are in the pumpkin should still react during baking, and hopefully you can get a nice baked pumpkin flavor. Who knows?

    • Thanks for your suggestion. Hm, I’ve never juiced anything before. I dont think I have the right equipment but I will look into it.

  2. Now THAT is an interesting use of pumpkin!

    • Yeah I only wish I got it to taste more pumpkin-y. I’m going to try the suggestions to make my own puree, pumpkin spice, remove water from canned purree, etc. See if that helps

  3. My suggestion is to get rid of the water. Substitute one cup of Pumpkin Stout beer. Then make your own pumpkin puree by slow roasting cubes of peeled and seeded sugar pumpkins, to remove as much liquid as possible from them while amping up the flavor of the pumpkin. That should give you a much better flavor profile for the pretzel bites.

    Best wishes!

    • Thanks. I wonder though, if I add beer how they will play with the yeast already in the recipe. Hmm, pumpkin stout beer sounds great for some other recipes too though.

  4. To me it looks like the only thing you can do is remove moisture, and that would be some of the water. I would start by eliminating 1/2 cup, and if it’s still too wet, go a little more. The only thing you really need the water for in this recipe is to get the yeast started.
    I would also think about having the pumpkin warm before adding it, so you don’t kill the yeast action.
    It’s not a big deal! Just try it, it didn’t work the other way either, and it would be a shame to give up on it. Go for it!

  5. What about adding some pumpkin pie spice to the dough?

  6. Can you strain pumpkin puree like yogurt and then get a denser product to mix in the dough? And/Or could you reduce the water or butter used/leave out the egg yolk and not affect the dough chemistry too much?

    • I don’ think I can reduce the water or butter. There’s very little used and it would likely be too dry. Egg yolk is actually just for brushing on top at the end, it’s not in the dough batter. The pumpkin puree straining sounds interesting. I will have to try that because I think I can get a less watery puree.

  7. These look great! Sorry the pumpkin flavor didn’t come out as much.

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