Pumpkin Bagels & Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese

Story time!

Once upon a time, I bought my very first pumpkin bagel with pumpkin schmear at my local bagel shop.  I loved it so much that I went back at lunchtime and bought another one.  I tried to go back after work for another one but the bagel shop closed at 3pm so I had to wait until the next morning.  On the third day (yes, THIRD day) of this behavior, the cashier said to me, “Wow, you must really love these bagels.”

I think I paid him before I ran out of the door, ten shades of bright pink, vowing never to go back.

The End.  I’m not proud.

I did eventually go back, but I’m pretty sure they still remember me as the pumpkin bagel girl.

I suppose there are worse things.

Fast forward about seven years to the day when I discovered I could make pumpkin bagels at home without judgement from the bagel-place cashier guy.  Best day ever…take that judgemental bagel man.
I always tell people that bagels aren’t as hard as you think they’d be, and people never believe me.  Seriously folks, if I can do this stuff, so can you.  Make sure you have fresh yeast on hand, and you’re golden.  Take it step by step and follow the directions exactly and you can’t go wrong!
Homemade bagels, in my opinion, are best toasted . I like to toast them and slather them with whatever my current favorite version of cream cheese schmear happens to be.
Today, it’s whipped pumpkin.

Let’s talk about this whipped pumpkin cream cheese schmear.  Let’s talk about how it took every ounce of my very limited self-control not to eat it with my finger a spoon before it even made it to the bagels.

Oh.  My.  GAWSH.  It’s fabulous.  Tangy, creamy, cinnamon-spicy and pumpkiny.  Pumpkiny?  Yep.  It’s a word.

If you’re feeling particularly fancy, you can whip up some of this cream cheese and serve it in a hollowed out pie pumpkin with some Nilla Wafers, graham crackers or ginger snaps.  You’ll be famous…except you’ll be famous for your amazing homemade goodies – I’ll forever be the pumpkin bagel girl.

It’s ok.  This cream cheese is the best therapy ever.  A couple more batches of this stuff and the emotional scars will be forever erased.

I hope you give the bagels a try, but even if you don’t, definitely give the whipped pumpkin cream cheese a go.  I promise, you’ll love it.


Pumpkin Spice Bagels & Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese
Yield:  approx 9 bagels & 1.5 cups of cream cheese
Prep Time:  20 minutes ♦ Proof/Boil Time: 10 minutes ♦ Bake Time: 15-20 minutes

Bagel Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar.  Whisk together slightly and allow to sit for 3-5 minutes or until slightly foamy.
Add the pumpkin puree and mix using a dough hook, then begin to slowly add the flour mixture.  Mix for 5 minutes or until smooth, alternating between slow and medium speeds as you add flour. You want to mix it until the dough is no longer sticky. After 5 minutes, if the dough is sticky, you can incorporate another 1-2 tablespoons of flour (or a combination of flour and pumpkin powder).
Form the dough into a ball and place in a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow the dough to double in size, around 1 hour.
Remove the dough and punch it down. Divide into equal pieces.  A digital scale is very helpful, but if you don’t have one just eye out 7 to 9 even pieces of dough.  Press your finger through the middle of the ball, and form into a bagel shape.  They will rise some more, so if you want a hole, make it bigger than the size of a quarter.  Repeat with the the rest of the dough. Place on a lightly greased surface and let rest until risen but not doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and bring 12 cups of water to a boil with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In batches, boil the bagels for around 20 to 30 seconds per side.  Remove from water and place on prepared baking pan.  Bake for 5 minutes, flip, and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving. 

Whipped Pumpkin Cream Cheese Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 to 1/3 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all ingredients.  Using the paddle attachment, beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from:  Williams Sonoma 

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