Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze

So I’m currently joining the rest of the blogosphere in doing a happy dance and singing, “Pumpkinnnnnnnn!”

Before I gush about this Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread, though, I have to tell you about my other Pumpkin: my little pumpkin-wumpkin fluffypants.

…no fluffypants, here.

Pets make people weird. One day you’re a normal, reasonable adult that people can take seriously. Then you get a pet.

Suddenly you’re schnookie-wookums-ing, buying them furniture that is bigger and more expensive than your own, dressing them up in Santa hats for the annual Christmas card, and giving them their own theme posts on your blog (Caturday is the best day!)

I’ve been a little weird from the beginning, so when I got my pets (Byrd the toy poodle and Squirt the red eared slider), all bets were off. Sure enough, a couple of years ago I got this idea. You’re going to make fun of me, so let’s just get this over with.

I decided to, um, commission a painting of my pets.

Here’s that pull-apart bread again to distract you from what I just said.

I would try to defend myself, but I know plenty of you are in the process of making a birthday cake for your cat or buying your dog one of these right now. You don’t have even a millimeter of room to talk. Ha!

Anyway, the painting was going to be an ironic interpretation of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. It would have the same surreal quality, but look something like this:

Don’t worry, Squirt’s happy. He always frowns.

The painting unfortunately never came to fruition, but I got an email a couple of weeks ago that revived the dream. It was from Easy Canvas Prints, a company that transforms pictures to canvas. They asked if I might like to create a canvas from one of my photos and write up a review.

I often turn down product reviews because they don’t fit my vision for Willow Bird Baking (I could talk for hours about my philosophy on blog-brand relations and the role of bloggers in journalism and integrity, etc., but I’ll spare you). But when I’m asked to review a product I’m genuinely excited about, I have no problem giving it an honest try.

I want to give this an honest try, too. Or a dozen honest tries.

Easy Canvas Photos offered me a free small canvas print or a discount on a larger one to review. I chose to get a larger one and, though I seriously considered printing a big ol’ cheesecake on it, decided to finally create that pet portrait. Thankfully, my new camera had just been ordered and Byrd had a grooming appointment scheduled. Once she was coiffed, we had a little photo shoot.

Some of the photos were, um, less than canvas-worthy:

Really, Byrd? Really?!

We finally got a good one, though, and ordering my canvas took literally minutes. Once you choose a canvas size, you upload your photo. The site determines if it’s high enough quality for the canvas so you don’t have to wonder. You then choose how to have the canvas wrapped (you can get a solid color on the sides of the canvas, or let the image wrap around the edges — I chose the latter). And just like that, your work of art is finished.

When my canvas arrived in the mail, I was overjoyed with it. It’s high quality and downright adorable. If I weren’t just about as poor as a pile of dirt (and if I had infinite patience) I would put a bowtie on Squirt and take a billion photos (“FLIPPIN’ HOLD STILL AND WILL YOU GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR SHELL!!”) to make one of him, too. Maybe someday.

Want to see how it turned out?

Awwww. Sweet haircut thanks to Tami at the Dog Salon.

In short, my experience with Easy Canvas Prints was a great one. It was an easy process with reasonable prices and a lovely result. I think you should go immortalize your pumpkin-wumpkin, too.

Now about that other pumpkin — Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread! Hopefully you’ve seen this lovely loaf being rebaked and reposted around other blogs, but Willow Bird Baking is the home of the original recipe. I cobbled it together from pumpkin yeast dough and cinnamon pull-apart bread recipes and had no idea if it would be the right texture or even come together at all. I’m so glad I had the courage to experiment, though, because it was phenomenal.

The aroma of yeast dough alone was enough to make it a success, but the sweet autumn flavors were the real victory. The buttery rum glaze complemented the mild pumpkin and cinnamon spice of the warm, tender yeast dough. The recipe takes a bit of time, but most of that is waiting for dough to rise — and of course the taste more than makes up for every minute of work.

Okay, spill it: What silly things have you done for your pets?

Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking, adapted from All Recipes, Joy the Baker, and Pumpkin Tart
Yields: one loaf, about 8 servings
Prep Time: (including dough rising) about 3 hours

This sticky, sweet pumpkin pull-apart loaf is irresistible. It’s made from layers of fluffy pumpkin yeast dough coated with browned butter, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. Let it cool until it has just a hint of warmth left, drizzle on some glaze, and enjoy — preferably with the windows open to let in a crisp autumn breeze. Oh, and by the way, this recipe makes use of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, but there’s no reason you can’t knead this dough by hand. It’ll just take a little longer (and a little more elbow grease).

Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups bread flour

Filling Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Butter Rum Glaze Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon rum (the original recipe called for extract, which I found too strong)

Make the pull-apart bread dough: Grease and flour a loaf pan and set aside. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the 2 tablespoons of butter. Let it bubble and foam and when you see it start to brown, stir it so that it browns evenly. When it’s the color of dark honey, remove it from the heat and pour it into a large heat-safe mixer bowl to cool. In the same saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the milk until it bubbles. Remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl with the butter. Let these cool until they’re about 100-110 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to check). Set the saucepan aside for another use later. I use the same one throughout the entire recipe; why do more dishes?

Stir the sugar and yeast into the milk/butter mixture and let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof (it should foam; if it doesn’t, discard it yeast and try again with new yeast). Stir in pumpkin, salt, and 1 cup flour. If you haven’t already, fit your mixer with a dough hook. Add the rest of the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between each addition. When the dough is combined, knead on low speed with a dough hook until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes with a mixer).

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Let it rise in a warm place for about an hour until it doubles in size (After it rises, you can put it in the fridge overnight to use it in the morning, but let it sit out for half an hour before rolling if you do.)

Make the filling: While the dough is rising, whisk the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Toward the end of the rising time, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter for the filling in the saucepan over medium-high heat and brown it as directed above. Put it in a small heat-safe bowl to cool for use later.

Shape and bake pull-apart bread: Knead a sprinkling of flour (about 1 tablespoon) into the dough, deflating it, and recover it. Let it sit to relax for 5 minutes. Flour a large work surface and turn your rested dough out onto it. Roll it out to a 20 inch long and 12 inch wide rectangle, lifting corners periodically to make sure it’s not sticking. If it seems to be snapping back, cover it with your damp towel and let it rest for 5 minutes before continuing (I had to do this twice during the process).

Spread the browned butter over the surface of the dough with a pastry brush and then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the top, patting it down to ensure it mostly sticks. Joy the Baker encourages you to use it all even though it seems like a ton, but I admit I got squeamish at the amount and only used most. It was fine despite my nerves. Go ahead and pile it on.

With the long edge of the rectangle toward you, cut it into 6 strips (do this by cutting the rectangle in half, then cutting each half into equal thirds. I used a pizza cutter). Stack these strips on top of one another and cut the resulting stack into 6 even portions (again, cut it in half, and then cut the halves into equal thirds). Place these portions one at a time into your greased loaf pan, pressing them up against each other to fit them all in. Cover the pan with your damp cloth and place it in a warm place for 30-45 minutes to double in size.

While dough rises, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 if you have a glass loaf dish instead of a metal pan). When it’s risen, place the loaf in the center of the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until dark golden brown on top (if you take it out at light golden brown, it’s liable to be raw in the middle, so let it get good and dark). Cool for 20-30 minutes on a cooling rack in the loaf pan while you make the glaze.

Make the glaze: In your saucepan, bring the butter, milk, and brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove it from heat, add the powdered sugar and rum, and whisk it to a smooth consistency.

Assemble and serve: Use a butter knife to loosen all sides of the bread from the loaf pan and gently turn it out onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip it to turn it right side up. Drizzle glaze over top. Serve each piece slightly warm with a drizzle of glaze.

Easy Canvas Prints offered me a discount on the canvas I ordered and asked for an honest review. My opinions are unvarnished and never influenced by products or discounts provided.

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126 responses to “Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Butter Rum Glaze

  1. Yum this looks AMAZING! I’m right there with you doing the pumpkin happy dance πŸ™‚

  2. Love it! Bookmarking it and will be trying it soon!

  3. I spy with my little eye… ‘White Oleander’ on your bookshelf! Such a good book, right? Byrd’s canvas print turned out gorgeous! She is so precious, Julie! xo

  4. The canvas came out so good! And that pumpkin-spice bread looks and sounds amazing!

  5. What an adorable fur baby! I have been counting down the days of when pumpkin and fall like spices will begin waifing from the kitchen. Beautiful photography.

  6. Your dog is so adorable. I love poodles!

    This bread also looks awesome…I tried to get pumpkin at the store today, but there seems to be a shortage in my area for the third fall in a row 😦

  7. Aww gorgeous print! And it’s a shame that you don’t live near me as my dad paints and he loves painting people’s pets for them. It happens more than one would think! πŸ™‚

  8. Gorgeous pull apart bread! The flavors sound beautiful. Yum! Lovely shots too.

  9. Sounds (and looks) wonderful. LOVE pumpkin as well πŸ™‚ (And ‘White Oleander’)

    The print looks great. So sweet.

    And you are so right about what pets do to you! I HATE baby talk for actual babies, but totally do it to dogs! And, my dog DOES have a snuggie! It was at Ollie’s and I bought it to be funny, but it is pretty dang cute.

  10. The pumpkin pull apart bread looks amazing and delicious! Definitely a fall treat that I am going to have to try. Also, your dog is very cute! I have a Coton de Tulear named Charlie and I am just as crazy about my dog as you described in your post. An animal changes your personality very quickly…

  11. This looks so fantastic! I have seen a few recipes in the blogosphere lately about pull-apart bread (cinnamon, lemon, etc.), but this one just screams Fall to me, and I looooooooove Fall! I need to hop aboard this pull-apart bread train, stat!

  12. Our pumpkins are the size of golf balls at the moment, but as soon as they are ripe, this will be the first thing I make. Thanks for a fab recipe.

  13. terry

    love your blog, Julie. I have a problem..hope you could shed some light on it. every time I bake a scratch cake from any cook book, the chocolate cake comes out dry, as opposed to a boxed mix. what is going on? help?

  14. This looks amazing! Please come over and make it for me:-)

  15. The canvas turned out beautifully. Nice shot!

    The pumpkin bread sounds super tasty, too. I’ll probably be trying it this fall πŸ™‚

    I love my dog, but I don’t do a lot of crazy stuff for him. I made him dog biscuits once, but that wasn’t terribly special. I just kind of love him and he loves me… It’s a simple relationship, but it’s a good one πŸ™‚

  16. I love recipes with rum, and pumpkin makes it even better! I must make this.

  17. That sounds amazing! Can’t wait to try it!

  18. Oh Julie, I love pumpkin and your bread looks sooo goood!!! Only one problem…I can NOT find pumpkin anywhere. None, zilch, nada. Just empty shelves, gone, sold out. I think I’m going to cry. Can someone have pumpkin withdrawel?

    • Yes, they sure can! I tell ya, Karen, maybe try some farmer’s markets and see if they have the actual squash in the flesh (ha ha, get it?) — they’re easy to roast and you get enough meat to use some and freeze some. I hate that there seems to be another shortage! 😦 Maybe they’re just staggering the supply.

  19. Both pumpkins are ALMOST too cute to eat!

  20. Amazing. D’ya think it’d work doubled, assembled in a tube pan vs. a loaf pan?

  21. Andrew

    That looks awesome, I’ll be making this as soon as the pecan pie leftovers are gone.

    Here’s a pumpkin tip. You know how most recipes for pumpkin stuff don’t call for a whole can of pumpkin puree? Freeze the unused pumpkin in ice cube sized lumps. Toss a pumpkin cube into nearly anything for a very subtle flavor and some extra nutrition. Soups, curries, stir fries, Hamburger Helper, cakes, pies, whatever.

  22. Wow! This looks AMAZING. Can’t wait to try it!

    I have four fur-babies. Two Shih Tzu pups and two kitties. Yes, they are spoiled! When my pups have a Birthday, I take them to a local fast food restaurant and go through the drive thru. We get little mini kiddie-cones. The pups love them! No snuggies for my guys– they pout and act like you’ve beat them if you put any ‘clothes’ on them.

    • LOL, Byrd doesn’t quite love her snuggie, I have to admit. I make her wear it after she gets groomed in the winter, though, because her fur coat’s all gone! I bet your fur-babies LOVE their mini-cones — what a special birthday treat!

      Thanks, Josie!

  23. AWE! That drawing is too cute!

  24. Ok, the name squirt now makes sense =D. I had been going to ask …This recipe sounds … just wow–in a totally super awesome yummy way of course! I think the silliest thing we ever did with my little cocker was wrap his Christmas present and put his name on it. It was my idea … My mom made fun of me. hee hee

  25. I made the lemon version of this a bit ago and loved it…pumpkin is next. Love this!

    Oh pets. I ordered my canvas of my pup weeks ago and have been patiently awaiting it, my sister made cake pops resembling my dog for me, and my dog goes to daycare that has puppy pools and jungle gyms for them to run over. I never would have pegged myself for one of those pet people until it just happened.

    • I want to try that lemon version! And all the savory versions! πŸ™‚

      Yay, you’ll have to post a link to a photo of your canvas when it arrives. It’s such a fun thing to have done! “I never would have pegged myself for one of those pet people until it just happened.” — EXACTLY! haha.

  26. I must try this! It looks and sounds incredible.

  27. Jen

    I am still being distracted by that Pumpkin pull apart roll oh that looks good.

    Bootsie our cat, [and hey Caterdays? Love it] is a prince. He rules the roost here, and is currently on his third ever increasing in price run of antibiotics. We love him dearly, and hope that he will be fine soon.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  28. I’ve had great success with easy canvas–have a bunch of food pics in my kitchen now that I love! Yours turned out great πŸ™‚

    And this bread? The best version of the pull apart bread that I’ve seen so far! Must make this fall!!

    • Thanks, Natalie! I was torn between getting a really great food print (for just that purpose!) and the pet print! I’m glad I went this way this time around, but I still want a big ol’ cheesecake print for my wall πŸ˜€ Maybe someday…

  29. This sounds delicious and I love how rustic it looks too. Very Fall!

  30. I do this with the cinnamon sugar version. But I have to try this one!!

  31. Barb

    For the last year or so, I have been in a relationship with a stray cat. He now lives on my front porch but won’t come in the house. I even put a cat bed in one of my adirondack chairs on the porch. Seriously, a cat bed on the porch. My neighbors have stopped talking to me. They are scared. But, the cat loves it!

  32. I just made this bread, and WOW! It’s delicious. I made one change: I used pumpkin pie spice in the filling (homemade from Joy the Baker!). It’s super spicy and tastes just like fall! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  33. Morgan

    I made this today……omg. phenomenal! I created my own cream cheese/walnut/honey glaze and it was all absolutely delicious. A great recipe to help me get over my fear of yeast!

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  36. Lisa Burger

    Recipe looks great! Here’s a link to someone I have heard great things about: http://www.rachaelrossman.com/category/pet-portraits/

  37. Pingback: Project No. 20: Happy Fall, Y’all

  38. MMmmmm YUMMY! This looks absolutely SCRUMPTIOUS!! I cannot wait to try this recipe!!! This is another reason why I love Fall Season.. because of all the great recipes..Thank you so much for sharing..
    Sincerely Jackie – a new happy follower of Willow Bird Baking :)))

  39. I could have sworn that I left you a comment already, but now I don’t see it so I must have thought about it and not followed through. We loved loved loved this bread. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  40. Abbey

    I am *so* excited to make this! My roommate and I are having a pumpkin dessert bake-off on Saturday, completely with judges and probably fake prizes, lol.

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  42. I just fell in love with your dog and your bread. We have two toy poodles, and they just make my heart melt. And well, who doesn’t love ooey gooey pumpkin bread? And rum.

  43. Sally Strong

    My cat (Kitty) has a facebook page. Her profile picture is the one of her wearing her tiara for the Royal Wedding. She is also known as Babycakes, BooKitty, Sweetcheeks, and whatever else happens to fly out of my mouth that is cute. So, yes, I understand ❀ I'm going to make this pumpkin pull-apart bread. It looks and sounds wonderful!

  44. Pingback: Pumpkin Pull Apart Muffins |

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  47. Raven Danielle Pfaff reblogged this on The Rattle of Bones and commented: Definitely going to try this! It’s getting kind of chilly in Alabama, and this would be perfect to eat with a hot cup of coffee right before class.

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  50. Savannagal

    Oh my! That does look delicious. I can’t wait to give it a try. I love pumpkin and love your blog. Thanks!

  51. this looks immense! I have to make it asap

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  54. I made this last night with AP flour instead of bread flour and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. I also cut the strips from the short end instead of the long end, I think I stacked them in the loaf pan the wrong way, but alas! I ended up with quite a tasty result πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe!

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  56. Karen

    I was up at 6am with the dogs (they do tend to take over your life!) and decided today was a good day for pumpkin bread. There’s not much left but sticky smears on the plate , so I think it’s safe to say it was a hit. πŸ˜€

  57. i made this today, and it is awesome!!!! I had alot of fun doing it too πŸ˜€

  58. Pingback: Pumpkin Cinnamon Spice Bread « Eat the Earth

  59. Hi Julie,
    I just found your site while I was searching for recipes for my Fall Recipe Roundup. This is definitely on my weekend baking list. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Pingback: Pumpkin Spice Pull Apart Bread {Willow Bird Baking}

  61. Okay firstly everything I do for my Dolly dog is weird for me cause I have never been really silly about a dog before but she and I have just clicked and she owns me now so for me the weirdest thing I have done is give her her own cookie jar.
    the pumpkin pull apart bread is great as I have two cans of pumpkin that I didn’t use for thanksgiving because I found farmers market pumpkin pie that was cheaper and just as good as home made (Canadian gal here).

  62. YUM!! Finally made this bread and it is SO good! I hope you don’t mind, I shared it on my blog. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the awesome recipe!!

  63. Susan

    Help……my dough did not rise the first time??

    • Hi Susan! Don’t panic — I think there was someone else whose dough didn’t quite rise and the recipe still worked out. Some troubleshooting: what sort of yeast did you use? Did you proof it for ~10 minutes when you initially mixed it with the warm milk/butter mixture and did it foam? If not, it may not be alive/active. Did you let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free area? Sometimes I turn my oven on to “warm” for a few minutes, then turn it off and leave the door open. When it’s just a touch warmer than room temp, I put my dough in and close the door to let it rise in there.

      If all of these things seem right, I’d just keep going with it and hope for the best! Please keep me posted!!

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  66. I painted a picture of my dog, Goldie, a few years after her death. I wish I had taken more pictures of both her and her brother, Mattie, while they were still alive. You can see the portrait of my dog here: http://suitsandaprons.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/goldie-the-painting/

    And I just made this pumpkin bread and blogged all about it, because it was wonderful! I love your blog!

  67. I have seen this recipe floating around for what feels like forever, now. Not only has it been on my radar, but each day I think back to it and tell myself that today is going to be the day I make it. This entry just cemented it for me.

    It looks unbelievable, here. Well done, well done.

  68. Pingback: Pumpkin Spice Pull-Apart Bread with Maple Glaze | The Whimsical Cupcake

  69. This is gorgeous. I’d love to bake it and give it as gifts. It sounds like you ate it right away. Do you think it could be reheated? Or frozen?

    • Hi Tracy! Sorry for the delay. I think if you prepared it to the point of baking, you could freeze it and they could bake it straight from the freezer (it may take a little longer). You could also freeze it before the 2nd proof and give it to them with instructions to leave it out a couple of hours at room temperature before baking. I DO think you could freeze the fully baked version as well, but I’m not totally sure on the quality. Reheated slices were delicious to me, but they weren’t AS good as freshly baked. Let me know what you decide!

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