Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Bourbon Glaze

Holy cow was this stuff good.  I’m leading with that.  Not particularly eloquent, but completely accurate. 

I wasn’t going to share this until the end of next week because I already had other recipes scheduled, but after one bite, it got moved right on up.  It’s that good.  I’m talking “make it this weekend” good.  It’s “you won’t even care that your fingers get all sticky” good.  Yum, yum, and yum.

pumpkin pull apart bread

I will say this bread takes a considerable amount of time, almost entirely due to the two rises it requires.  Because I was serving it for an early autumn brunch, I actually made the bread the night before and glazed it about 45 minutes before we ate.  You could also place the dough in the refrigerator as described in the recipe.  Let me tell you, it was so tough to look at and smell that warm bread–very reminiscent of a pumpkin cinnamon roll–and not be able to start pulling apart the layers right then and there.  Still, you will have to exercise a certain amount of self-control and allow the bread to cool some.  If you don’t, the layers won’t stick together as well. 

I made a couple of tiny adaptations to the recipe as I first saw it on Sunny Side Up in San Diego.  First, I added cloves to the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  I also made the glaze with bourbon instead of rum.  For me, exercising self control in not eating the bread straight from the oven was enough.  I knew I couldn’t resist the pumpkin and bourbon combination, as well.  I didn’t need all the glaze, but I’ve left the quantities as they are in the original recipe so you can decide how much you want to use.

If you love these flavors and fall baking as much as I do, do yourself and your family a favor and make this.  I promise it will because a favorite fall treat for your family like it already has for mine.

pumpkin pull apart bread

Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Bourbon Glaze

from Sunny Side Up in San Diego, Willow Bird Baking, and Joy the Baker


For the bread: 2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cu. milk
2 1/4 tsp. (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. bread flour

For the cinnamon-sugar mixture:

2 TBSP unsalted butter

1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg

1/8 – 1/4 tsp. ground cloves


For the glaze:
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/8 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 TBSP milk
3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 TBSP bourbon or dark rum 


1.  To make the dough, brown 2 TBSP
of butter over medium-high heat.  It will bubble; keep stirring so it browns evenly.  When it reaches a dark honey color,
remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer to

2.  Turn the heat to medium-low and warm the milk until it
bubbles.  Remove from the heat and add it to the butter in the mixer bowl.  Allow the mixture to cool to 100-110 degrees F (use a
candy thermometer to check).  Set the saucepan aside for another use

3.  Once cooled to the appropriate temperature, stir the sugar and yeast into the milk/butter mixture and allow the yeast to bloom, 6-8 minutes.  (The top should look foamy and the liquid cloudy.)  

4.  Stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 c. flour.  Fit the mixer with the dough hook.  Add the rest of the flour 1/2
c. at a time, stirring until flour is just incorporated between each addition.  Knead on low speed until smooth and elastic, 4-6 minutes.

5.  Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a cloth.  Allow to rise in a warm place, 60-80 minutes, or until it doubles in size.  (After this rise, you can put it in the refrigerator overnight to use it in the
morning.  If you do, let it sit out for half an hour before rolling.)

6.  Toward the end of the rise, make the cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Brown the 2 TBSP butter just as before.  Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar,
cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a small bowl.  When butter reaches desired color, remove from the heat and stir in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until completely incorporated. 

7.  To assemble the bread, punch down dough, then turn out on a floured work surface and knead dough 1-2 minutes.  Let dough rest for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle more flour onto your work surface and rolling pin.   Roll dough out to a 20×12-in. rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. 
If dough doesn’t roll easily, allow to rest 5 more minutes.

8.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough, patting it down
to help it stick.  Generously grease a 9×5 loaf pan.

9.  With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 strips (Tip–cut the rectangle in half, then cut each half into thirds.)  Stack strips on top of each
another, turn dough so the short side faces you, and cut into sixths. Place stacks vertically into pan, pressing them against each so they all fit. Cover pan with plastic wrap or damp
cloth and allow to rise in a warm place, 30-45 minutes more.

10.  While dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 for a glass pan).

11.  After second rise is complete, place pan
in the center of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (mine took 38 min.) until dark golden
brown on top.  Cool 20-25
minutes in the pan on a wire cooling rack.

12.  To make the glaze, bring butter, milk, and
brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat.  Remove from heat and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar and bourbon until smooth.

13.  To assemble, use a butter knife to loosen the bread from the pan.  Turn loaf out on to a plate, then place serving platter on top and flip.  Drizzle with desired amount of glaze and serve.

one year ago: focaccia with Elly

two years ago: old-fashioned oatmeal cookies

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  1. Becki's Whole Life
    October 5, 2011 / 11:04 am

    I keep seeing this bread out in the blogosphere and every time I do it keeps getting better and better. Pumpkin is great, but I am a huge fan of booze in baked goods:-)….this sounds amazing..

  2. That Girl
    October 5, 2011 / 11:54 am

    Sometimes I rack my brain for the right phrase to use to describe food and more often than not "holy cow was this stuff good" more than sums it up.

  3. Anonymous
    October 5, 2011 / 3:44 pm

    Good call on the bourbon! For me this was one of those things that I expected to be good but then it somehow exceeded those expectations and blew me out of the water. Think I'll be making another batch this weekend…. Yours looks awesome!

  4. Jessica @Sunny Side Up
    October 5, 2011 / 5:18 pm

    Hopefully the third time will be the charm – I don't know why I even try commenting on my phone!Your bread looks amazing! I think bourbon was a great call. We also had a good amount of glaze left, but I may or may not have dunked individual pieces into it… I think you've inspired me to make this again this weekend.

  5. Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles
    October 5, 2011 / 6:22 pm

    Oh my good god that looks amazing. I forget who else posted this recently but I remember bookmarking it. All these positive reviews and my leftover pumpkin (from WC recipe swap) point to me making this bread immediately!

  6. Kelsey
    October 5, 2011 / 7:30 pm

    Christine–Jessica, who commented just above you, has also made it. As soon as I saw her pics, I knew I had to make it!

  7. Cara @ The Boys Made Me Do It
    October 6, 2011 / 1:11 am

    I made the cinnamon version but I bet the pumpkin version is just as sinful!

  8. Cookie and Kate
    October 10, 2011 / 4:20 am

    Oh my, that looks good! I've already made two batches of pumpkin bread so far this fall. Your pull-apart bread looks much more decadent than mine, though!

  9. Lexie
    October 10, 2011 / 3:18 pm

    Oh goodness, daughter, you have done it again. You made my mouth water just by reading your words and looking at that picture. Yummo! It doesn't surprise me at all that you used Bourbon instead of rum, but I know that choice only made it so much better. Decadence at it's finest…thank you!

  10. Josie
    October 11, 2011 / 2:02 pm

    Great minds think alike, Kelsey! I bookmarked this recipe too, and immediately thought that I'd use bourbon instead of rum 🙂 Glad to know it's a great substitution, and I can't wait to make it!

  11. Jade
    October 18, 2011 / 12:05 am

    Wow!! This looks amazing. Must try.

  12. Steve | Healthy Lunch
    April 4, 2012 / 3:59 pm

    I have to agree with Josie with the bourbon instead of rum. A great insight of simple ingredients makes a great chef. Thanks for the recipe though.

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