Pumpkin Spice Bagels


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bagel with cream cheese on a wooden table

The dough for these Pumpkin Spice bagels gets just enough pumpkin puree to give it a soft orange hue and just enough pumpkin pie spice to make the kitchen smell like fall while it’s baking.

I made bagels on Saturday.  Lots and lots of bagels.  It was therapeutic.

Not to mention that 30 minutes of kneading unwieldy bagel dough beats free weights any day.

I’ve got to tell you that I think this bagel-making is around to stay.  Even when I tried to start the dough in the stand mixer (to shave a few minutes off the whole kneading thing) and flour exploded all over the counter, the result was worth every bit of the time it took to make these.

a stand mixer with a dough hook

What with it being fake fall in our apartment (hot outside, but smells like apple cider inside), I am on a mission to add pumpkin to everything I can.

needing bagel dough on a countertop

The bagels were no exception.

bagel dough and a serrated knife on a countertop

dividing dough for bagels

As it turns out, there’s only one thing better than a plain bagel, hot out your own oven.  A pumpkin spice bagel.  Hot out of your own oven.

uncooked bagels on a parchment lined sheet pan

The sight of mini bagels all in a row makes me feel like all is right with the world.

pumpkin spice bagel on a wooden cutting board

Biting into one is even more convincing.

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Pumpkin Spice Bagels

The dough for these bagels gets just enough pumpkin puree to give it a soft orange hue and just enough pumpkin pie spice to make the kitchen smell like fall while it's baking.
Prep: 2 hours
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 regular bagels (32 minis)


  • Stand Mixer
  • Half Sheet Pans
  • Parchment Paper
  • Stockpot


For the Sponge:

  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 3 cups Unbleached High-Gluten or Bread Flour
  • 2 3/4 cups Water, room temperature

For the Dough:

  • 1 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 4 cups Unbleached High-Gluten or Bread Flour (plus up to an additional 1/2 cup, if needed)
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda


  • To make the sponge, in the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the yeast, flour and water. Stir with a wooden spoon until evenly combined. Let rest on the counter at room temperature for 2 hours, until doubled in size. (The dough will be full of large bubbles and very sticky.)
  • To the sponge, add the additional yeast and place the bowl in a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low until the yeast is incorporated. Add 4 cups of the flour, pumpkin puree, vanilla, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt. Begin mixing on low until the flour is incorporated. Increase the mixer to medium speed just until the ingredients begin to form a consistent ball of dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, adding up to an additional 1/2 cup flour as needed to keep the dough from becoming sticky. (I did not need to add any flour to the pumpkin spice dough. The dough should be smooth, firm, and cool to the touch.)
  • Immediately divide the dough into 16 even pieces (I roll it into a ball and cut it in half, and cut those halves in half, and so on until I have 16 even pieces.) Cover the rolls with a damp towel and allow them to rest on the counter for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Shape the bagels and refrigerate. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil. Holding one piece of dough in both hands, gently press your thumbs through the center to form a hole. Pull gently, working your way around the bagel with your fingers, until the hole is about 2 inches wide (it will close up slightly as the dough rises). Place the bagels 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Mist them lightly with oil and cover gently with foil or plastic wrap. Let the pans rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Refrigerate the bagels overnight. (Note: I have made these without refrigerating them at all and have still found the results to be great.)
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F with the two racks set in the middle of the oven. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (the wider the pot the better – I use my wok), and add the baking soda.
  • Remove the bagels from the refrigerator and gently drop them into the water, boiling only as many as comfortably fit without touching. Boil for 2 minutes. Then turn the bagels and boil them on the other side for 2 minutes more. After boiling, return the bagels to the parchment-paper lined baking sheets.
  • When all the bagels have been boiled, place the pans on two middle shelves in the oven. Bake for approximately five minutes, then rotate the pans to allow them to bake evenly. After the rotation, lower the oven setting to 450°F and continue baking for about 5 minutes, or until the bagels turn light golden brown. (You can continue to bake them for a few minutes more to get a darker, chewier crust.) Allow to cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before serving.
  • For storing: I find that these do very well frozen. I allow them to cool completely, slice them, and then store them in tightly sealed plastic bags in the freezer. With a quick toast (5 or 6 minutes) in the oven right out of the freezer, they are fantastic.


Adapted just a bit from this recipe.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.00
Keyword: baking, fall, homemade bagels, pumpkin
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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    1. Pola, it’s so much fun, and so satisfying to make these yourself. Definitely let me know how it goes if you try making bagels!

  1. Fake Fall! I love it! I like to create fake winter here at Christmas time so we can eat our turkey and ham without melting.

    That is quite some bagel making you have going on there!

    1. I remember your fake winter last year, and it was totally convincing! Fake winter is definitely in order here this year too. 😉

  2. I’m normally a little leery of flavoured bagels, but now that it’s officially October, I am all over this pumpkin-spice baked good bandwagon like a fat kid on an orange smartie. 🙂 Also, those bagels just look too delicious to pass up. Thanks for the recipe… it’s going on my must-bake list!

    1. I’m totally there with you, Isabelle. This time of year I become a woman on a mission…to put pumpkin in everything!