These chocolate chip pumpkin pretzels have the classic texture of a soft pretzel with a fluffy pumpkin spice center. Loaded with sweet chocolate chips in every bite, they’re easy to make for a satisfying fall treat!
Inspired by the giant pretzels found at Oktoberfest celebrations, these pumpkin pretzels are thick, fluffy, and nearly the size of your head! Soft and buttery, they take traditional soft pretzels up a notch with the addition of warm pumpkin spice, sugar, and chocolate chips. Even better, you don’t have to wait in line, because they’re made with ease right from the comfort of your own home! Seriously delicious, they’re guaranteed to become your new favorite snack and are perfect for feeding a crowd.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Water - Used to “wake up” and reactivate the yeast when warm.
- Active dry yeast - Forms the base of the pretzel dough creating a fluffy batter.
- Sugar - Brown sugar or coconut sugar is incorporated into the dough for a sweet batter, and coarse sugar is sprinkled on top for extra goodness.
- Pumpkin puree - Crucial to creating the pumpkin spice taste. Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling which contains added sweeteners and spices.
- Butter - Melted butter is used to add extra flavor and help incorporate the pumpkin evenly into the dough. Use dairy-free butter or melted coconut oil, avocado oil, or olive oil if needed.
- Flour - Combined with the yeast, flour adds structure to the dough, creating the chewy exterior we love. For gluten free pretzels, use 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour instead, and incorporate apple cider vinegar with the pumpkin puree.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - A pumpkin season staple! Use pre-made pumpkin pie seasoning, or combine ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon cloves to make your own.
- Salt - Helps enhance the natural flavors of these pumpkin pretzels.
- Mini chocolate chips - A match made in heaven when combined with pumpkin spice, I love semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, but white chocolate can be used, too. If needed, opt for dairy-free versions.
- Baking soda - The secret to creating extra fluffy and tender pretzels.
- Egg - Whisked until smooth to form an egg wash, this helps the sugar stick to the outside for extra flavor.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pretzels
You will need a medium-sized bowl, a large mixing bowl or stand mixer, and a medium-sized pot to make these pumpkin spice pretzels.
Step 1: Form the batter. In a bowl, add the warm water, yeast, and brown sugar, and gently mix to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to feed. It will begin to foam at the top of the bowl within a few minutes. This is normal!
In a separate large bowl or a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or paddle attachment, combine the pumpkin puree and melted butter with the activated yeast mixture. Then, add 2 cups of flour, the pumpkin spice, and sea salt, and mix on low speed. Incorporate the remaining flour in ½ cup increments, and gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Step 2: Knead and let rise. Transfer the dough to a clean and floured surface, and knead until it is smooth and soft.
Grease a large bowl with oil, add the dough and cover it with a towel. Then, keeping the bowl in a warm environment, allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Form the pretzels. Place the dough back on the floured surface, and knead again. Next, cut the dough into 4 large pieces, and slice each piece into thirds.
Taking one piece at a time, roll the dough on a flat surface until it’s roughly 2 feet long. Then, make a ‘U’ shape, and cross the right side over the left to form a twist. Fold the twist into the middle of the circle to form a traditional pretzel shape. (See pictures for a step-by-step of this process.)
Step 4: Boil the bake. Bring a pot of water and baking soda to a boil. Drop 1 or 2 pretzels into the water at a time, and boil for 30 seconds.
Transfer the pretzels to a lined baking sheet, and brush them with an egg wash and coarse cane sugar. Bake until the pretzels have puffed up and are golden brown and fragrant. Then, let them cool slightly, and enjoy!
How to Store
These soft pumpkin spice pretzels are best enjoyed fresh while warm the same day they are baked, but they can be saved for later once they have completely cooled. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature on the counter for up to 3 days.
When you’re ready to eat, I suggest warming them up in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften them up again.
Expert Tips for the Best Soft Pumpkin Pretzels
- Mix the pumpkin puree well. You’ll want to make sure to fully incorporate the pumpkin with the butter and yeast mixture until it’s smooth and no clumps of pumpkin remain. This ensures the pumpkin flavor will distribute evenly throughout the dough and you won’t have little clumps of pumpkin in your pretzels.
- Make sure to use enough flour in the dough so that it’s not super sticky. If the dough is sticking to your hands or the countertop, there isn’t enough flour in it, and you should continue to knead some into the dough until it is no longer tacky.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place. This can be in the oven (before you turn it on) or by the window if it’s warm outside.
- Don’t let your pumpkin soft pretzels sit. Once the pretzels have been boiled in the baking soda bath, make sure to pop them in the oven within the next ~10 minutes. Letting them sit on the counter after the baking soda bath for too long will cause them to go through a second rise and become too puffy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, simply add it straight in with the flour instead of combining it with warm water.
Yes, swap the butter with a dairy free butter or melted oil, and make sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips, too!
Substitute the all purpose flour with gluten free 1:1 flour, and add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with the pumpkin puree to make these pretzels gluten free.
More Recipes for Pumpkin Season
Chances are, you’ll have leftover pumpkin puree when you make these pretzels. Luckily, there’s an abundance of pumpkin-filled recipes to go around! Finish off the can with these sweet treats:
- Almond flour pumpkin muffins
- Chocolate pumpkin butter cups
- Chocolate chip pumpkin bread (gluten free & dairy free)
- Healthy vegan and gluten free pumpkin scones
Check out these recipes for more fall favorites
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pretzels
- 1 ⅓ cup water - warm
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast - this is 1 packet
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar - or coconut sugar
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoon butter - melted, or melted dairy free butter or oil if dairy free
- 4 ⅓ cups flour - plus about ¼ cup to knead dough, use gluten free 1:1 to make gluten free
- 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup mini chocolate chips
- 6 cups water
- ⅓ cup baking soda
- 1 egg - for egg wash, or melted butter or oil
- Coarse sugar - to top (optional)
- Add the warm water, yeast, and brown sugar to a bowl and mix gently. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to feed. You will notice the yeast begin to foam at the top of the bowl after a few minutes.
- In a separate large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or paddle attachment, mix the pumpkin puree, melted butter, and yeast mixture until well combined.
- Add 2 cups of the flour along with the pumpkin pie spice and sea salt to the bowl and continue to mix on low speed. Add the remaining flour in ½ cup increments until a large ball of dough forms. Fold in the mini chocolate chips until well disbursed. The dough will be slightly sticky but you should be able to handle it with your fingers without it sticking.
- Transfer the dough to a clean lightly floured surface and begin to knead it to gather the flour underneath, adding more as necessary, until the dough is smooth and soft. This should take 3 - 5 minutes.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl greased with a little oil. Lay a towel over the top and let the dough rise in a warm space for 30 minutes until it has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, transfer it back to a working surface and knead a few times. Then use a sharp knife to cut the dough in half. Then slice each half in half again so you’re left with 4 large pieces of dough. Slice each of those pieces into thirds to make 12 total pieces.
- Take one of those pieces and roll it in between the palms of your hands and a flat surface until it’s about 2 feet in length. Make a ‘U’ shape with the strand of dough and then cross the right side over the left. Take the side on the (now) right and cross it over the side on the (now) left again to make a twist. Then fold the twist into the middle of the circle you created beneath it to form a pretzel shape (see above pictures for a step by step of this process). Repeat this process with the remaining pieces of dough to make 12 total soft pretzels.
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Fill up a pot with 6 cups of water and the baking soda and heat over high heat on the stove to bring to a boil. This is the “baking soda bath”. Gently drop the pretzels, no more than 2 at a time, into the boiling water with a slotted spoon and allow them to boil for 30 seconds.
- Transfer each boiled pretzel to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave about 2 inches in between each pretzel. Brush each pretzel with an egg wash and a generous sprinkle of coarse cane sugar. Bake the pan in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes until the pretzels have puffed up and are golden brown.
- Let the pretzels cool down slightly before enjoying!