Pumpkin Pecan Pull-Apart Bread with Maple Bourbon Icing


I flavored the dough with the pumpkin and added cardamom.  I love the warmth of cardamom and it is a great partner with pumpkin.  The filling was simple, toasted pecans, sugar and melted butter.  The dough is only lightly sweetened so a filling with sugar is perfect for this recipe.  The cream cheese icing was really the star of this bread.  We love maple.  We love bourbon.  And the two together with cream cheese and a little sugar is … heavenly.


  • 2.75 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 0.5 tsp cardamom
  • 2 large egg, room temperature
  • 0.5 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 Ounce unsalted butter
  • 0.33 cup whole milk
  • 2.25 tsp instant yeast
  • 0.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 0.25 cup sugar

Making the dough:

  1. Stir together 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a mixer.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and set aside until 120 – 130 F, about 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture and using a rubber spatula, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  4. Attach the bowl to the mixer, and fit with the dough attachment.
  5. With the mixer on low speed, mix for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the pumpkin, cardamom and vanilla. Mix well.
  7. Add one egg, at a time, mixing well after each addition just until incorporated.
  8. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 – 45 seconds.
  9. Add 3 more tablespoons of flour and mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth, soft and slightly sticky; about 2 minutes.
  10. If the dough is still a little loose, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until slightly sticky.
  11. Sprinkle a work surface with 1 tablespoon flour and center the dough on the flour.
  12. Knead gently until smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 – 2 minutes, adding an additional 1 – 2 tablespoons flour only if necessary to lessen the stickiness.
  13. Lightly oil a large bowl, and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl securely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place (70 degrees) until doubled in size, about 60 minutes. Gently press the dough, if your finger indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step.
  14. While the dough is rising make the filling.

Pecan Filling

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 0.5 cup sugar
  • 0.75 cup toasted pecan

Making the filing:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Scatter the pecans on a cookie sheet. Slide into the oven.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir and continue baking for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cover with a clean dish towel.
  6. Lightly break apart the pecans.
  7. In a small mixing bowl add the pecans, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Lightly stir with a fork.
  8. Set aside.
  9. Putting it all together:
  10. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350.
  11. Lightly butter a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan.
  12. Gently deflate the dough using your hands.
  13. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20 by 12 inch rectangle.
  14. Using a pastry brush spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the dough.
  15. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 equal strips. I use a pastry cutter.
  16. Evenly distribute the pecan mixture over the slices of dough.
  17. Gently stack the strips on top of each other until you have a stack of 5 rectangles.
  18. Using a very sharp knife, slice the stack crosswise through the layers to create 6 equal strips, about 4 by 2 inches.
  19. Fit the layered strips into the loaf pan, cut edges up and side by side. There will be plenty of space on either side of the strips, that is fine because the space will fill up with rising and baking.
  20. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place (70 degrees) until puffy and almost doubled in size, about 30 – 40 minutes.
  21. Lightly press the dough with a fingertip to check for that indentation.
  22. Place the loaf pan onto a cookie sheet. Bake the bread for 30 - 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
  23. While the bread is baking make the icing.
  24. Transfer the baked bread to a wire baking rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  25. Remove from the pan onto a serving board and smear with the icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 0.33 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 Ounce cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Making the icing:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  2. Beat until light and fluffily at medium speed for 2 minutes.

Note: If you don't drink or like bourbon add more maple syrup to the icing.


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