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!
- ½ cup warm milk, between 100-105 degrees F (125 ml)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 1 ½ active dry yeast (6 grams)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (122 grams)
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (333 grams)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg yolk
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon melted butter, divided (85 grams)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (50 grams)
- 2 tablespoon 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 ¼ cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
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.
For the filling, we're going to mix together melted butter with brown sugar and pumpkin spice seasoning.
After the dough doubles in size, punch it down and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 24x16 inches. 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.
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.
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 the 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!
For more pumpkin inspiration check out these browned butter pumpkin madelines!