Take the popular cinnamon breadstick dessert and give it a fall twist! These pumpkin cinnasticks with maple cream cheese dip are a snack that the whole family will enjoy.
- ½ cup warm milk, between 100-105 degrees F (125 ml)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (6 grams)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (122 grams)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (370 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided (85 grams)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (50 grams)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar
Maple cream cheese dip
- ½ cup heavy cream (125 ml)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup maple syrup (125 ml)
- Make the dough. Combine the milk with sugar and active dry yeast in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast is activated and the mixture is foamy. Add the pumpkin puree and stir until combined.
- Combine the yeast mixture with flour, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and egg yolk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead the dough until smooth, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead the dough by hand. The dough will be soft and a little sticky. Place the dough in a clean bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Mix ¼ cup melted butter with brown sugar and pumpkin spice seasoning. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust a clean counter with flour. Punch down the dough and roll it out into a 24x16 inch rectangle. Spread the pumpkin spice butter evenly over half of the dough so that 12x8 inches of the rectangle is covered in the butter. Fold the dough in half lengthwise so that it's 12x16 inches in length. Cut the dough into 1-inch strips for a total of 16 strips. Grab the ends of one of the strips and twist the ends in opposite directions. Place the cinnastick on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
- Lightly cover the cinnasticks and proof for 30 minutes in a warm area.
- Meanwhile, make the maple cream cheese dip. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese with maple syrup until well combined. Then, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bake the pumpkin cinnasticks for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from the oven. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter with 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar and brush the butter on the cinnasticks. Let cool for 5 minutes then serve warm with the maple cream cheese dip.
Watch how to make this:
As a kid, I was skeptical about pumpkin desserts. But over the years, I began to enjoy all things pumpkin. Now, I'm obsessed. As soon as fall rolls around, I immediately begin to think of all the pumpkin desserts I need to make. This year, I'm starting the season with pumpkin cinnasticks. Yup, pumpkin cinnasticks. Take the classic cinnastick, add pumpkin, and serve it with maple cream cheese dip. It's the best way to start fall!
- Pumpkin puree: I used canned pumpkin to prepare the pumpkin cinnasticks but you can also cook a fresh pumpkin and puree it until smooth. Make sure the puree is completely cool before using it.
- Active dry yeast: A type of yeast used in baking to leaven bread. To activate active dry yeast, you need to dissolve it in warm milk with a small of sugar. You can also use instant dry yeast if you prefer to skip this step.
- Milk: To make an enriched dough, we're using ingredients with fat including milk and egg yolk. These additional ingredients yield a softer, richer, and more tender dough.
- Spices: To incorporate warm spices into the dough, we're using a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Pumpkin spice seasoning: A blend of spices that typically includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice. If you can't find pumpkin spice seasoning, you can make your own blend with the spices listed.
- Maple syrup: To sweeten the dip and compliment the fall flavors, we're using maple syrup. You can substitute it with honey if you prefer.
- Cream cheese: A soft, creamy cheese with a mild and slightly tangy flavor. It is the base for the dip but you can also use mascarpone for a thicker, richer option.
How to Make Pumpkin Cinnasticks
Step 1: Prepare the dough
I first heard of cinnasticks from Pizza Hut many years ago and yes, I still crave them once in a while. It's a simple idea but they're delicious. To give the classic a little update, we're adding pumpkin to the mix.
Although I'm betting that Pizza Hut uses their pizza dough to make their cinnasticks, I'm using an enriched dough. This will ensure that they'll be soft and delicious. We're also adding warm spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to the dough for the ultimate fall treat.
Activate the yeast with warm milk and sugar and add it with the remaining ingredients. Knead the dough until it's smooth. It'll still be slightly sticky but avoid adding more flour. Cover the dough and let it rise until doubled in size.
Step 2: Shape the cinnasticks
After the dough doubles in size, punch it down and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 24x16 inches. Since the dough is a little sticky, you'll need to dust your work counter with a good amount of flour.
Now spread that delicious spiced butter over half of the dough. Fold the dough in half to make a rectangle that's 12x16 inches in diameter. Then, cut the dough into 1-inch strips for a total of 16 portions.
For the filling, we're going to mix together melted butter with brown sugar and pumpkin spice seasoning.
Working with one piece at a time, grab the two ends of one of the strips and twist them in opposite directions. Don't worry if they're not perfect, that's what makes them so unique!
Lightly cover the pumpkin cinnasticks and proof for another 30 minutes.
Step 3: Bake
Meanwhile, make the maple cream cheese dip. Whip the cream cheese, with maple syrup, fold it with the whipped cream, and voila! The dip is the perfect pairing and adds extra creamy sweetness to the bread.
Bake the sweet bread until the bottoms are golden brown. Since the dough is already golden brown, it's hard to tell when they're done baking. So instead of looking at the top of the cinnasticks, turn them around. They should be done when the bottoms are beautifully browned.
Finish the breadsticks with a touch more cinnamon sugar butter and let them cool slightly. Serve the pumpkin cinnasticks warm with a generous serving of the maple cream cheese dip.
Guys, I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I couldn't stop eating these. They seem so basic but boy are they delicious...and addicting!
How do I know when the dough is done proofing (for the first proof)?
Rather than relying on time, asses the dough itself to check if it's ready. It should be doubled in size, becoming puffy and airy. You can also give it the poke test. Gently press your fingertip about half an inch into the dough. If the indentation remains and doesn't spring back immediately, the dough is likely ready. If it springs back quickly, it needs more time.
Why weren't my cinnasticks ready in the time stated in the recipe?
This can depend on several factors. One, it could be the strength of your oven. Two, it could be the shape of your cinnasticks. If your cinnasticks are thicker, they will take longer to bake. If they are thinner, they will bake quicker.
Can I freeze the pumpkin cinnasticks?
Yes, absolutely. Let the cinnasticks cool completely before storing them in an airtight container and chilling in the freezer.
For more pumpkin inspiration check out these browned butter pumpkin madelines!