Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

You have fabulous weekend plans. You’ll need someone you love very dearly, your appetite, and a loaf of Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread, a.k.a. the best thing to happen to any of us since Nutella, DVR, or Daniel Craig as James Bond.

Pumpkin Pull Apart BreadHere’s how it goes down: You begin at one end of the Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread; your friend begins at the other. Twenty minutes later, you meet in the middle with the simultaneous, elated realization that this bread (and ok, each other) are the only two things you need to be deliriously happy for the rest of your lives.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread is layer upon pillowly layer of brown butter, cinnamon-sugar bliss. We’re talking sweet golden pumpkin dough, slathered in brown butter, bathed in brown sugar and fall spices, stacked together piece by piece. Each fluffy slice is prime for peeling and popping right into your mouth. It’s all your favorite things about pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, and monkey bread baked into a single, beautiful creation. Happiness, guaranteed.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread. Every gooey bite is dripping with cinnamon sugar. A must bake for fall and holiday breakfast! Tastes like a pumpkin cinnamon roll, but even better.

Pumpkin Pull Apart BreadSpeaking of happiness, I need to tell you something: I baked (and devoured) two loaves of Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread in 48 hours. Best. Weekend. Ever. I’m already plotting to make it for my family on Thanksgiving morning (hi, mom!)…and next weekend for Ben and myself. Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread is too good to wait.

For Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread, I rely on my bread-baking BFF: Red Star Platinum Yeast. Whether I’m making Honey Swirled Coffee Cake, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, or No Knead Oatmeal Bread, Red Star Yeast is the only brand I use, because it’s foolproof. If baking bread gives you the heebie-jeebies, take a deep breath, grab yourself a bowl of ice cream (or glass of wine), and settle in with Red Star Yeast’s baking tips, which guide you through the entire process. For more inspiration, follow Red Star Yeast on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus. You are going to dominate this whole bread thang!

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Recipe for a weekend you will not regret: You + a friend + Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread. Layer by luscious layer, pull apart the sweet pumpkin dough from both ends, munch away to the pumpkin-cinnamon-brown-butter heavens, and may the best (wo)man be the first to reach the middle.

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

Layers of pumpkin dough, cinnamon filling, spices stacked together for the perfect fall treat. Just like pumpkin cinnamon rolls, but in an even more fun shape!

Yield: 1 9x5-inch loaf, Serves 6


For the Dough

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1/2 cup additional for kneading
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or use substitute all purpose flour)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package Red Star Platinum Instant Yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk or whole milk, heated until very warm but not hot (120 degrees F – 130 degrees F)
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a small saucepan, brown butter: Melt butter over medium heat until it begins to foam and sputter, swirling the pan occasionally. Continue to heat and swirl until it begins to smell nutty, its color darkens, and small gold bits form on the bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat immediately and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl, combine 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom. With a small whisk, stir the browned butter to scrape up any brown bits, then pour into the dry ingredients. Add the warm milk, pumpkin, egg, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed (or by hand with a wooden spoon) just until the dough comes together.
  3. If using a standing mixer: Switch to a dough hook and mix for 5 minutes on low, stopping periodically to scrape down the bowl. If mixing by hand: Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 7 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. By hand or by machine, knead in an additional 1/3 to 1/2 cup all purpose flour, just until the dough is moderately less sticky (it will still feel quite tacky.) Lightly spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turn the dough once to coat it lightly with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or drape a kitchen towel over the top. Let rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size. To determine if the dough has risen sufficiently: Press it lightly with two fingers. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready to use. {Alternatively, at this step you can place the dough in the refrigerator and let rise overnight. When you are ready to continue, let dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then proceed with the recipe as directed.}
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: In a small saucepan, brown the 4 tablespoons butter, following the procedure for Step 1 above. (If your pan is still dirty from browning the butter in Step 1, wipe it out first so that you do not burn any butter bits that are clinging to the bottom of the pan.) In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
  5. Turn the risen dough out onto a well-floured surface and sprinkle a bit of additional flour on top. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12-inch by 20-inch rectangle so that the long side is nearest to you (take care to measure.) With a pastry brush, spread the browned butter over the dough, all the way up to the edge. Sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture (it will seem like a lot, but use all of it.)
  6. Slice the dough vertically (slice away from yourself), into five strips of equal width. Carefully stack the strips on top of one another (a long spatula is helpful) so that you have a single stack of five strips. Slice the stack into five equal slices again, so that you are left with five stacks of five squares. Line up each stack of dough squares in the pan so that the cinnamon sides are facing the narrow end of the pan. The slices will be longer on one side—stand them on their shorter end so that each slice is taller than it is wide. Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow it to rest in a warm, draft-free place for 30 to 45 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
  7. When the dough has almost completed its rising, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Bake loaf for 25 minutes, tent with foil, then bake an additional 20-25 minutes, until the top is a deep golden brown and the internal temperature of the dough slices registers 190 degrees F. (If the top is only lightly brown, the dough may not be done in the center.) 
  8. Remove loaf from the oven and allow it to rest in the pan for 20 to 30 minutes on a wire rack. Run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread and invert it onto a cutting board. Place a cake stand or serving plate on top of the upside down loaf, and carefully invert it again, so that the loaf is right side up. Enjoy warm with coffee or tea.

Note: Store leftover Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread well-wrapped in plastic or foil at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Red Star Yeast compensated me for my time to create this recipe and post. All opinions are my own. As always, thanks for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to provide quality content to you!

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...


  1. Pumpkin monkey bread. My week is complete.
    Your presentation is gorgeous and the idea is amazing! What a fantastic pumpkin dessert that everyone would love. Kudos to you for homemade dough. Pinned (and hopefully made by this weekend! No volleyball … so I am free to splurge! :) THIS is what I want!)

  2. Brown butter anyting is my very favorite! This looks so so scrumptious that I wouldn’t even bother sharing it with my friend… all for myself sounds way better ;–)

  3. You know, I have yet to make pull apart bread at home! I keep bookmarking recipes and just haven’t done it! But this pumpkin version… maybe this will push me over the edge : ) Plus if this rainy weather continues I have a feeling I’ll be in a baking mood this weekend…

  4. This bread looks downright addicting! My fall will not be complete without it!

  5. mmm mmm! Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread looks divine!

  6. Oh heck yes. The only problem I see with this is I can hear the voice in my head saying, “it’s just one more layer…” until I’ve managed to consume the entire loaf myself. Going to need company around when I make this one. :)

  7. Erin, this bread is amazing!! And I love reading your posts – you are so creative and funny. :)

  8. Since I am a sack of lazy bones today, can you ship me a loaf of this bread? Please and thank you!

  9. I love pull apart bread and love your twist on it! Perfect treat for this time of year :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  10. This bread is making me drool all over my keyboard. I’ve never had a reason to make pull apart bread before, but I’ve also never seen one with pumpkin in it. Weekend plans: check.

  11. you are going to send me a loaf arent you?

  12. You have a knack of making me feel like I need to drop whatever I’m doing (in this case, my day job), rush home, cook/bake, breathe in the wonderment and then devour everything with thirty minutes. I actually have pumpkin puree in the fridge, so I’m hopefully making this tonight. Pretty sure Red Star isn’t sold here in Australian convict country but pah. I’ll still dominate baking ;) Thanks Erin!

    • Laura, you have just validated that I’m doing my job! And even if Red Star isn’t available, I’m 200% confident that you can nail this loaf! Plus, if you have pumpkin on hand, it must be meant to be :)

  13. I actually do have fun weekend plans! Heading to my university’s homecoming (for the first time since graduating). Wonder if my professors would retroactively name me favorite student if I brought them this bread?

    (PS: Much prettier. ;-) )

  14. Erin, you have made something here that looks like it could be my next addiction!! Holy mother!!

  15. Hahaa, agreed. You do a brilliant job, you should be getting paid for this ;)

  16. I just fell in love with this bread, pinning and devouring! Thanks so much!

  17. A photo of step 6 would be very helpful for visual instruction followers. Thank you.

    • Hi Lois! Great point and a confession–I did try to take a few, but my kitchen is so small and dark, they didn’t turn out. I am happy to email you what I have, and you can try to make some sense of it :-)

  18. So um… what time were you bringing this over?! Cause, Holy crap!!! I need me some asap.

  19. A question….what about the proving the yeast? I have never made bread wherein I added dry yeast directly into dry ingredients.

    • Great question! There are a couple of different approaches you can take with activating the yeast. When you add it to the dry ingredients, as in this recipe, you increase the temperature of the liquid (120-130°). I found that for instant yeast, that approach works best. If you want to activate the yeast separately, choose a dry active yeast and add it separately to liquids that are around 110° instead. Once the yeast is activated, then you can add it in the liquid to the dry ingredients. Does that make sense? Let me know if you have any more questions. I am happy to help where I can!

  20. Hi Erin! I can sure see why you enjoyed this bread! I’m drooling at my computer screen. I have a friend coming over for coffee tomorrow morning, and I hope I can make this before she gets here. She’ll be in heaven (and I will too!) Thank you for sharing it!

  21. You had me at pumpkin! Oh my goodness, Erin, this looks incredible! Only question that remains…will you be my friend at the other end of the bread? ;)

  22. those pumpkin layers…oh my gosh you are killing me Erin…looks like an amazing delicious bread!

  23. My daughter just sent me this recipe from her Ohio State dorm and I can’t wait to try it.

  24. I need more pull a part bread in my life!

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