Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Brioche Loaf


It’s not officially Fall until you’ve made some sort of pumpkin dessert.  It is almost a rule that if you have a baking blog, and it is Fall, you pretty much need to have at least one recipe with pumpkin in it.


Comfort food means different things to different people. For some, it’s a big dish of mac and cheese. For others, it’s a warm bowl of soup. For me, it’s bread and ice cream. Well not together, but could be, must look into that some more.

I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of pumpkin, which is probably why the last pumpkin thing I made was the pumpkin pie from 3 years ago that was before I moved, and it was only because I was pressured into it by my sister. So it would come as no surprise that this, too, was somehow affected by her and her infamous nagging.


So, since I had successfully mastered the brioche bread (recipe here), I decided to give it a fall twist and add pumpkin to it. I know yeast breads are definitely scary for some people and they are a definite recipe for failure, I would know since I’ve had one-too many unrisen dough. Including the first batch of this recipe.


The first attempt at the pumpkin brioche left me with a hardened piece of uncooked bread with a burned bottom and half a can of pumpkin puree. After the usual breakdown that accompanies every failed recipe, I decided to test out the yeast I had on hand, which is something I always ignore doing. By adding only the yeast and a bit of sugar to lukewarm milk/water, let it stand to proof for a few minutes until it gets frothy, this means you can make sure that your yeast is active. If it doesn’t get frothy, you throw out your packet, head to the nearest grocery store, buy a new one, and try again.


The brioche, which is already a richer yeast bread anyway thanks to the butter and eggs, is moist and subtly spiced from the pumpkin and the addition of pumpkin pie spices.Then there’s the delicious cinnamon pumpkin sugar swirl that is the perfect companion for this brioche. As for the addition of chocolate, it is totally optional, but then again, why would you not add the chocolate?


Maybe make it today and eat it tomorrow – because this bread does need some overnight rising time.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirl Brioche Loaf
Yields: 2 loaves


For the dough

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 170 grams butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all-purpose flour, as needed
  • Zest of one orange

For the filling:

  • 80 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 100-150 grams semi-sweet or dark chocolate, chopped


  1. Combine warm water, yeast and brown sugar in a large mixer bowl (I used my stand mixer) and mix on low speed until incorporated. Allow the mixture to sit about 3 minutes or until poofy.
  2. Add the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, eggs and melted butter and mix until combined. Gradually mix in the flour until the dough comes together. I used all 4 cups of flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Kneed into a smooth ball. Grease a large bowl and add the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit 1-2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. To make the filling, Add the softened butter and pumpkin to a bowl and beat together until combined. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to another small bowl and mix until fully combined.
  4. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide the dough in half. Roll each dough section into a rectangle.

  5. Spread the pumpkin butter (softened almost to a melted stage) evenly over the two pieces of dough. Spread the brown sugar + cinnamon evenly over the butter and lightly push the brown sugar into the butter. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate over each piece of dough.

  6. Starting with the long edge closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a log, keeping it fairly tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch along the edge to seal. Repeat with the remaining loaf.

  7. Use your hands to push the dough together to fit to the size of your bread pan. Gently lift the dough up and into the bread pan. Immediately cover the dough and place in the fridge overnight. Do not let the dough sit at room temperature long or it will start to get very big.

  8. The next morning, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Remove the dough from the fridge while the oven preheats and brush the dough with the beaten egg.

  9. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned on top, do not over bake. If the top becomes too brown before the inside is fully cooked, cover the top with foil.

    Allow to cool 10 minutes and then slice and eat. I can’t recommend a storing technique or how long it will keep well, since both loaves were eaten in the same day.

Bon Appetit 🙂


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