Pumpkin Bagels with Cranberry Cream Cheese: An Inspired Post

Every day or so I get emails from the handful of food blogs I’m subscribed to. I’ve signed up for them to get inspiration for recipes, ideas for methods of blogging and to support their creativity, joy of cooking and website. One of these bloggers is Erin on the Spiffy Cookie, a baking lover, just like me. (Though I’d say she’s had much more practice :))

This week, she sent out a recipe for pumpkin bagels. I’ve wanted to make plain-ole bagels for a while, but have yet to. After reading this post, though and seeing how easy it is, I decided to give it a shot.

Pumpkin Bagels with Cranberry Cream Cheese

Bagels with cranberry cream cheese


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat, but half white half wheat would probably be the best)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (I used 3 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg*
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves*
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger*
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 TBS white or brown sugar for the dough
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 12 cups water
  • 1/2 TBS white sugar for the boiling water

*I used 5 spice instead, but pumpkin spice would work, too.

Cream Cheese Spread:

Mix together…

Directions for bagels:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl (preferably one with a stand mixer), combine warm 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.
  3. Add the pumpkin purée and mix using a dough hook (or a spoon), 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. (Note: this is the key to a good dough!)
  4. 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.
  5. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down. Divide into equal pieces.  A digital scale is very helpful, but if you don’t have one just eye out 8 even pieces of dough.  Press your finger through the middle of the ball (or roll in a tube and pinch the ends) to form a bagel shape.  They will rise even 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 in a warm place until risen but not doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bring 12 cups of water to a boil with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease with cooking spray) and set aside.
  7. In batches, boil the bagels for around 20 to 30 seconds per side.  Remove from water and place on prepared baking pan.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool before serving.
  8. While the bagels are baking make the cream cheese spread. :)

adapted from – The Spiffy Cookie’s recipe

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The finished bagels were not as I expected, but I’d like to try again to see if any modifications change the flavor or texture:

  • Warm the water more before mixing with the yeast to help the dough rise more (it surprisingly barely rose at all…)
  • Add more sugar when using whole wheat flour (because they tasted really bland)
  • Be more careful measuring the ingredients (too much flour caused me to over-mix the dough)
  • Don’t over-mix (created a tough and chewy bagel)
  • Sprinkle white sugar in the boiling water instead of forgetting to (perhaps this makes the bagels sweeter?)
  • Place the bagels in a warm oven before boiling to let them rise there, instead of on the countertop

Bagels with cranberry cream cheese

All in all, the best part about the bagel is definitely
the cranberry cream cheese!!

Bagels with cranberry cream cheese

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P.S. If you’re in the mood for some Greek yogurt, I found some at Aldi that tastes phenomenal! There are 4 “fruit on the bottom” flavors: pineapple, peach, blueberry and strawberry. The peach is my favorite :)

Greek yogurt

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Added some whole oats, cinnamon and crushed almonds. Lovely snack or part of a complete breakfast!

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6 thoughts on “Pumpkin Bagels with Cranberry Cream Cheese: An Inspired Post

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