'How to's Autumn Bread and Yeast Doughs Snacks

Spiced, Brown Butter Pumpkin Pretzels with Coffee Cream Cheese Icing (+ How to shape pretzels)

It’s no secret that it’s Autumn now – it’s already getting dark and cold at 4 pm, I’m constantly wearing jumpers, Starbucks has brought the Pumpkin Spice Latte to the UK, and Whole Foods has a huge stack of Libby’s Pumpkin tins piled up.

I’ve never usually been one for following themes – I’m 16 and I already barely even celebrate Halloween – so I’m not quite into baking ‘themed’ food – unless you count DELICIOUS as a theme that is 😉 But, after being bombarded by images of delicious pumpkin type things on the internet, the idea of pumpkin was really starting to appeal to me. Then I saw the new pumpkin spice latte in Starbucks,  and decided to take the flavour combo (pumpkin, coffee, pumpkin pie spice), and make it better by (of course) adding carbs into the mix.


Specifically, the bread kind. Soft, pretzel-y bread. Oh yeah, and then I coated them in browned butter. Sassy.

There’s spice mix in them, spice mix on them. Then comes the coffee cream cheese icing.

A rogue sprinkling of pecans.

I’m so sorry…

I’m not sorry.


– If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice mix, you can make your own by combining 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground allspice and 1/4 tsp ground cloves.

-Not a fan of coffee? Just sub it for 1 tbsp of warm water!

Spiced, Brown Butter Pumpkin Pretzels with Coffee Cream Cheese Icing

bread dough adapted from King Arthur Flour

makes 10-11 pretzels

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (150ml) warm water
1 tbsp active dried yeast
1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar
3 1/4 cups (425g) all purpose flour (plus 1/3 cup (45g) more for kneading)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix (see notes)
2 tbsp neutral oil (e.g. vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, melted coconut oil)
3/4 cup (185 ml) pumpkin puree
1 egg

For dipping:
1 cup (250ml) hot water
2 tsp baking soda

For rolling:
1/4 cup (55g) butter
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice mix (see notes)
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar

Coffee Cream Cheese Icing
1/2 cup (50g) powdered sugar
2 tbsp cream cheese
strong coffee
optional: 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) chopped pecans


In a small bowl, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tbsp of the brown sugar. Stir, and set aside.In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, spice mix and the rest of the brown sugar. Add the yeast mixture, oil, pumpkin and egg to the bowl. Stir together until you get a rough ball of mixture.

Tip the entire contents of the large bowl out onto a work surface. Knead together for about 10 minutes, gradually adding the 1/3 cup of flour, using it to stop the dough sticking to your hands and the work surface, until you get a smooth-ish, slightly sticky dough. Pop the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl, turning it to coat, cover with a clean tea towel . Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour-ish until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 10-11 equal pieces (roughly weighing 3 oz each) and roll into balls. Dip the bottom of the dough balls lightly into some flour to stop them sticking to the work surface.

Roll each dough ball into a rope about 20″ long.

Shape into a U, cross the ends of the U over each other and fold down to make the pretzel shape.

Combine the hot water and baking soda in a jug, then pour into a shallow bowl. Dip the pretzels into this mixture and place onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Leave to rest while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (210 degrees C). Once preheated, bake the pretzels for 7-10 minutes, rotating the tray 180 degrees, halfway through baking, until golden brown.

While the pretzels bake, brown the butter: melt the butter, and continue to cook over a medium heat until it foams up and brown solids appear at the bottom of the pan. Take it off the heat. Combine the granulated sugar and spice mix in a large shallow bowl.

Brush the pretzels all over with browned butter, then coat with the spiced sugar mixture.

Combine the powdered sugar and cream cheese in a small bowl. Add some coffee, little by little until you get a drizzle-able icing, and drizzle over the spice-sugar coated pretzels. Top with chopped pecans, if you want them. Store in an airtight container – they’re best eaten warm 😉

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  • bianca @ sweet dreaming October 16, 2012 at 12:53 am

    oh my goodness, these are gorgeous! my mouth is watering. what a smashing combo of flavors!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      thannnkk you 🙂

  • Melissa Klotz October 16, 2012 at 5:40 am

    WOW These just look incredible!! I wish it wasn’t so late or I’d start making them right now!!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      haha, I always end up wanting to bake things at like 10pm :/ thanks!

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  • carey October 16, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    sweet jesus! there are so many delicious things going on here, my brain doesn’t even know how to handle all the information. just awesome. (:

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      ahaha thanks, I know, there was going to be maple syrup in the icing too… I decided that would be too much 🙂

  • Loretta E October 16, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Oh my goodness. These look so good! I’m just picturing the taste right now and I want them, big time!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      This is the problem with photographing food – it’s normally all been eaten by the time I make the post! thanks!

  • brighteyedbaker October 16, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    These may be the most decadent pretzels I’ve ever seen. They look so incredibly amazing… I WANT ONE!
    P.S. I love your “Submit” button for the comments. 🙂

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      yay, thank you! 🙂

  • Amanda @ The Dormestic Goddess October 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    You’ve taken everything good and right in this world and made it acceptable to eat at once. For breakfast. Thank you!!! These look phenomenal.

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      You do not know how excited I was for breakfast the day after I made these! Thanks 🙂

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  • marla October 17, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    These look heavenly and such beautiful photos!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum October 17, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    I came here to comment on your gorgeous photos and then I saw those cute little how-to GIFs. Wow. I love it all. 🙂

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:48 pm

      Man, I’m pretty obsessed with .GIFs haha, thanks 😀

  • Erin October 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Ohmygosh. I’m so wishing that I could do gluten and dairy right now. They look amazing. Had to come over as soon as I saw the photo on FoodGawker. My gosh. And I love the animated gifs showing how to make them. Fav. Love. Swoon.

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      aww 🙁 sorry for tempting you 🙁 Thank you though!!

  • Danielle October 17, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    omg! what kind of camera are you using? great photos!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:40 pm

      I use a Canon 550D 🙂 thank youuu!

  • Nik@ABrownTable October 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Beautiful, no and don’t be sorry about the butter. I just came across your photograph on foodgawker and had to drop by and say hi.

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:45 pm

      Yay for browned butter! Thanks 🙂

  • ally October 17, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    seriously… are these for real, or am i dreaming? flawless work, my lady. perfection.

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      ahahah, thanks. They were a reality, about 3 days ago.. they’re all gone now though 🙁

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Wow, this looks amazing! I could definitely use one right now for breakfast! And then another one for lunch and dinner 🙂

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      I think I ate about 3 when I was coating them in the butter + spiced-sugar mixture – you know, the ‘taste-testing’ part is essential 😉 thanks!

  • Ashley October 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    yumm! look so good. i can’t get enough pumpkin, and the cream cheese icing sounds incredible!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      thank you! I keep adding pumpkin to everything now haha

  • Rita October 17, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    They look amazing and look forward to making them. Spent the last 3 years in Europe during Halloween. The American holiday seems to becoming more popular each year. I would love these pretzels for Thanksgiving, too. Thanks for sharing and @ 16 you have a bright epicurean future.

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      yeah, it definitely is – being able to buy Libby’s Pumpkin Puree is a pretty new thing in the UK! Thank you!

  • Alexa October 17, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    WOW. I can’t believe I just discovered your site… these look AMAZING! And your photography is beautiful. Totally believe your motto- “top it with cinnamon.” Hope you check out my site as well!

    • Izy October 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      thank you so much! hah, yes, cinnamon makes everything better 😉

  • Ala October 18, 2012 at 5:44 am

    Pumpkin spiced lattes! So I get serious headaches when I drink straight-up-anything-coffee, but I believe you’ve just hurdled that tiny barrier with this recipe. Headaches, meet exponential waistline expansion. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Izy October 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm

      haha, oh god, I occasionally get headaches from coffee too, but it’s so delicious; I just have to POWER THROUGH IT 🙂

  • Chloe@EveryCraving October 19, 2012 at 5:53 am

    You’re a genius.. that is all 🙂

    • Izy October 19, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      ahahaha, thanks 😀

  • Frances October 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Those pretzels look delicious! I’m glad that “pumpkin” has finally become “interesting” across the pond. My brother used to live in Spalding Lincolnshire, where their primary crop was PUMPKINS! Though sadly no one really cooked, much less baked with them! My brother, being a homesick American, craved the pumpkin pie he was missing for Thanksgiving here in the states. Keep exploring pumpkin and I love the great work you are doing with your blog.

    • Izy October 19, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      thanks! Yeah, it’s really strange, pumpkins in the UK are mainly used for carving faces into at Halloween, nobody seems to use them for anything else!!

  • Frances in Pasadena October 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Well now you’ve introduced a new way to use pumpkin. Keep those recipes coming!

    • Izy October 21, 2012 at 12:23 am

      hah, Indeed! I will, don’t worry 😉

  • Martina October 20, 2012 at 11:46 am

    OMG, I’ve just discovered your blog, I’ve no words, so amazing! 🙂
    I simply love your pictures and recipes, congrats for all. 😉

    • Izy October 21, 2012 at 12:24 am

      aww, thanks so much!!!

  • Rachel M. October 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I’m a bit jaded by all the pumpkin in everything here in the states, but I couldn’t resist trying this recipe. So, so amazing. The brown butter is a perfect touch, and the pumpkin really does a lot for the texture of the dough. Thank you!

    • Izy October 21, 2012 at 12:25 am

      yay, awesome, so glad you liked them! Yeah, I dunno why I’ve never coated anything in brown butter before!! thanks!

  • Brant October 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I’m curious. Is it possible that i freeze the dough after i a roll and shape them into their pretzel form, and just take them out of the freezer, thaw them, dip in baking soda water, then bake when i wanted one? i just can’t see myself eating 10 or 11 pretzels before they got stale.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Izy October 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      I think that would be fine! Just one thing – once thawed, leave the pretzel in a warm place for about 15-25 minutes to let it rise a bit, before dipping + baking. No prob 🙂

  • Laura October 23, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    These are amazing! I didn’t roll them thin enough but my goodness they are beautiful.

  • Jen October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    You are awesome. At 16, my “cooking” was running to the 7-11 for a Dark Chocolate Hershey bar. Now I’m old(er). Anyway, I am having a toddler party this weekend, and wanted to try your pretzels, but without all the sugar (toddlers+lots of sugar=disaster). Have you tried these without tossing them in sugar? Maybe just with the cream cheese drizzle?

    • Izy October 25, 2012 at 1:00 am

      hahaha, thanks! Yes, I can see that getting a bit hectic! – I definitely ate one warm from the oven and they’re pretty dang delicious even without being rolled in sugar; I’d say just add 1/2 tsp extra pumpkin pie spice (or you could just add more cinnamon or another spice) to the dough to amp up the flavour a bit, then drizzle with the icing and you should be good to go!

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  • Jessica | Portuguese Girl Cooks November 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Oh my gosh! These are absolutely spectacular! Your photos are beautiful as always!

    • Izy November 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      thank you 😀

  • Jessica B. November 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    So, I’m a graphic designer and I love food too — great post. I may be trying to make a gluten-free version of these. But in the meantime, I just had to drop a note and let you know that the gif tutorials you made are hot. I can see this trending all over. Well done!

    • Izy November 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      Ooh, sounds good, let me know how they turn out! Yay, thank you :’) I make .gif video tutorials for whole recipes too on my vimeo account – I’m addicted to .gifs

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  • Alistair Lane November 4, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I made these today and they were so awesome. Lots of flavour, light and not too sweet. Mine weren’t quite as pretty as yours but they didn’t look too shabby. : )

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  • bec April 15, 2013 at 4:50 am

    hi these pretzels look amazing! i want to make them for a friends birthday but was hoping that once the dough is made into little balls it could be put in fridge for a few hours and then baked, or will this ruin the dough?? thanks 🙂

    • Izy April 15, 2013 at 9:37 am

      Thanks! Yep, that sounds like a good plan to me! 🙂

  • Caitlin June 15, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Oh wow, these look awesome. Do I have to wait until Autumn, when it’s Pumpkin season, to make these?

  • Sonya August 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Oh My Gosh! I love everything pumpkin! Today is cooler than it was yesterday here in IL. Close enough to that fall feeling for me. Making these today!

  • Emily Ann August 20, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    These look amazing! I will try them soon! Ill let you know how they turn out! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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    Oh nooo. Now I HAVE to make these! Im feeling guilty already and yest somehow i really dont care. These look amazing! 😀

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    Okay, these look incredible! Just purchased your cookbook and I love it!

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    You should make some youtube videos! Lots of people out there who have never used yeast and watching you do it in a video would be uber helpful. 🙂

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