These pumpkin spice soft pretzels are fluffy and full of all the cozy autumn spices both inside and out. Fun to make and really fun to eat, these soft pretzels are the perfect fall treat!
If you love pumpkin and spice, make sure to check out all of my fall recipes, including: pumpkin swirl cheesecake bars, pumpkin banana muffins (so easy!), spiced pumpkin scones, cinnamon sugar cream cheese muffins, and more!
And if you love soft pretzels, be sure to check out my easy soft pretzel recipe. Easy because boiling is optional! I know the pretzel purists will come for me, but I almost never boil mine. It is such a hassle and I find I don't miss it and even like them better without that step. I have given instructions if you want to boil and if you don't.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
Texture and Flavor! These are the softest pumpkin soft pretzels. The dough reminds me very much of a cinnamon roll dough and they stay soft and tender for days! And the flavor is just all the best things about fall baking. The pumpkin is not too strong, it just lends moisture, softness, and color to the dough. But the pumpkin spice in the dough and again in the buttery cinnamon sugar coating is out of this world and so flavorful.
Quick and Easy! The neat thing about soft pretzels is they only rise once. After you shape them they go right into the oven. And like I wrote above, I don't bother boiling but feel free to do so if that is your preference. If I ever write a recipe for an authentic Bavarian style pretzel, I promise to boil them!
Ingredients You'll Need for Pumpkin Spice Soft Pretzels
Yeast: I use active dry, but you can use instant. If you use instant you do not need to bloom the yeast in step 1 of the recipe.
Brown Sugar: Light or dark both work for this soft pretzel recipe.
Milk: I always use whole cow's milk, but feel free to sub in your favorite milk.
Vanilla Extract: A little splash just to elevate the flavor - trust me it is so good!
Canned Pumpkin Puree: Not pumpkin pie filling. I find the brand really doesn't matter.
All Purpose Flour: I always use unbleached and often organic.
Butter: For the dough as well as brushing on the pretzels. I almost always use salted butter, but unsalted works fine.
Pumpkin Pie Spice: This is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves. You can buy it premade or make your own.
Salt: I test all of my recipes with Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you use a fine table or sea salt you will want to use about half of what the recipe calls for.
How to make pumpkin spice soft pretzels:
Here are some step-by-step photos of the process. I did not include photos of the optional boiling step but it is pretty straight-forward. Feel free to check out this video at the 2:11 mark for boiling instructions.
Pumpkin Soft Pretzel Storage Tips
Storing at room temperature: Store the cooled, naked pretzels in an airtight container or bag at room temperature - do not butter or sugar them until you are close to serving them as sugar pulls moisture from the dough and from the air and they will become very wet. See reheating instructions below.
Freezing: The un-coated pumpkin soft pretzels can be stored in the freezer tightly wrapped in foil and placed in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and coating.
Reheating: Un-coated pretzels can be warmed in a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes before proceeding with butter and spiced sugar. Leftover pretzels that are already coated can be warmed in the oven as well or just pop them in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. If the coating gets wet or sticky they are still delicious, but if you want to freshen them up, you can toss them in the sugar mixture again.
Soft Pretzel FAQs
Boiling pretzels before baking gives the exterior a chewier, darker texture and appearance. I choose not to boil these pumpkin soft pretzels because the butter and spiced sugar coating adheres better without the boiling step and I really don't miss it!
Soft pretzels have a shorter baking time and are more of a doughy, bread-like pastry. Hard pretzels are often thinner and smaller than soft pretzels and are baked much longer to essentially dehydrate the dough and become very crunchy as a result.
If you don't boil pretzel dough before baking you will not have a chewy, dark exterior. Your pretzel will be softer, more like a cinnamon roll dough - which is perfect for these pumpkin spice soft pretzels.