Add a sweet autumnal twist to a snack favorite with a top-rated recipe for pillowy soft Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites perfect for dunking in whipped cream or caramel sauce.
Few foods surpass soft pretzels on my list of World’s Greatest Snacks. The combination of chewy, pillowy textures and delicious yeasty flavor make them irresistible, no matter the shape. They’ve appeared in classic form, as braided twists, as rolls, as nuggets and even as bagels (now that’s one you definitely don’t want to miss!). I’ve even devised a shortcut alternative to those looking to cut the prep time by turning to store-bought pizza dough.
All of those savory favorites are studded with salt, but it’s about time we take this carb to the sweet side with the ultimate recipe for Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites!
You get double the dose of warming spices with a blend of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg in the dough as well as in the coating. Pumpkin spice enthusiasts, this one’s for you. So let’s break down a few of the basics with some of the most frequently asked questions about all things soft pretzel!
Can the Dough Be Made Ahead?
Yes, but how you store it will dictate just how long. The soft pretzel dough can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 24 hours or in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. After chilling or freezing the dough, it’s important to let it come fully to room temperature before continuing with the recipe as directed.
Why Do My Pretzels Taste Bitter?
If your pretzels have any sort of a metallic, bitter taste, it all comes down to the baking soda bath. Plunging the nuggets into the boiling baking soda water bath is what gives them their deep-golden color and characteristic chewy texture, but leaving them in for too long can result in an unpleasant, bitter after-taste.
The goal? Work quickly! Dunk a handful of the nuggets into the bath for a maximum of 30 seconds then quickly remove them. A sieve works best for fishing as many of the nuggets out as quickly as possible.
Can Pumpkin Spice Pretzel Bites Be Frozen?
Absolutely! See above for how the unbaked dough can be frozen, but if a faster freezer-to-snack time is your goal, freeze the baked (uncoated) pretzel bites then pop them in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes before coating them in butter and the pumpkin spice mixture.
How to Reheat Soft Pretzel Bites
If you’re craving a warm, straight-from-the-oven snack in seconds, these Pumpkin Spice Soft Pretzel Bites can be rewarmed in the microwave, the oven or even in an air fryer. And you know how much I love my favorite air fryer! Here’s a general guideline for rewarming times starting with room temperature soft pretzels:
- Microwave: 15 to 20 seconds
- Oven: 325°F for 3 to 5 minutes
- Air Fryer: 320°F for 2 to 3 minutes
For the pretzel bites:
- 1 1/2 cups
warm (110-115°F) water
- 1 Tablespoon
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (1/4-ounce)
package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup baking soda
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
For the pumpkin spice coating:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Make the pretzel bites:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, salt and butter to the bowl and mix on low until the ingredients are combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl, grease it with vegetable oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm, dark place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F and position the oven racks in the middle two positions in your oven.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper then lightly oil the paper.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot, stir together the 10 cups of water and the baking soda then bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
- Turn the dough onto your work surface and divide it into 6 pieces. (Do not flour your work surface.)
- Roll each piece into a rope roughly 1-inch in diameter then cut each rope into 1-inch pieces to form the pretzel bites.
- In batches, add the bites to the boiling baking soda mixture for 30 seconds then use a slotted spoon to remove them onto the oiled baking sheets.
- Brush the bites with the egg wash then bake them until golden brown in color, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans (between racks and turning to rotate pans) halfway through.
- Remove the soft pretzel bites from the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes before coating (recipe follows).
Make the pumpkin spice coating:
- Add the melted butter to a large bowl. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
- Working in batches, dip a portion of the pretzel bites in the melted butter then add them to the bowl with the pumpkin spice mixture and toss to combine. Repeat the coating process with the remaining pretzel bites then serve.
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