This Pumpkin Kouign-Amann recipe yields sweet, yeasted pastries made with laminated pumpkin dough coated in a salty spiced sugar that caramelizes when baked. This version is baked in a muffin pan and rolled up like a cinnamon bun into rounds, instead of a typical crown shape.
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One bite of this pumpkin kouign-amann pastry will feel like fall is hugging you. Truly there is no better pastry than kouign-amann in my humble opinion. I do not make them often, because they are a true day project with how much folding and waiting involved. But at the end of it they are ALWAYS worth it. The outsides are crispy crunchy caramelly and the inside is a soft brioche-like dough.
I used the base recipe from my original Kouign-Amann recipe, which is folded into the typical crown shape. I used the shaping method from my second iteration, Kouign-Amann (round). Either way you fold or flavor the kouign-amann dessert, you will not be disappointed.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- These have a robust pumpkin flavor.
- A few simple ingredients are needed for this recipe.
- These can be made without a stand mixer.
- The grated butter eliminates the need to prepare a butter block for laminating.
- Bread flour, with its higher protein content, gives better structure and chew to the final product.
- These are risen with active-dry yeast.
- Plenty of kosher salt provides a level of interest to this otherwise simple sweet pastry.
- Pumpkin puree flavors the dough.
- Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and cloves flavor the seasoned sugar mixture that creates a caramel in the baking tin.
- Unsalted butter brings richness to the dough and provides the steamy lift during baking to create flaky layers.
- Water brings moisture to the dough.
- Granulated sugar sweetens the dough and seasoned sugar which creates a caramel.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions and variations
Here’s how to customize these pastries to your liking:
- No spices — leave out the spices from the sugar and salt mixture for the seasoned sugar.
- No pumpkin — leave out the pumpkin from the dough and increase the water to 1 cup. Leave the spices as is or remove.
- Different shapes — create a crown shape, see my original recipe for instructions.
- Black pepper — add ⅛-¼ teaspoon of freshly-cracked black pepper to the seasoned sugar.
- Spices inside — add the spices to the dough instead of to the seasoned sugar mixture.
This recipe has not been tested with any substitutions or variations. If you try any, please let me know how it turned out by commenting below!
How to shape kouign-amann
Step 1: Roll out the dough into a rectangle with seasoned sugar on top and bottom.
Step 2: Make five equal cuts, length-wise.
Step 3: Make one cut in the center, width-wise.
Step 4: Roll up each segment of dough into a cinnamon roll shape.
- Work as quickly as you can through each step as you do not want the butter in the layers to melt. If the dough and butter get too warm the layers could fail to puff when baked.
- If you do not have a pastry roller to cut the dough, use a large, sharp knife.
- Trimming the edges of the rolled dough is vital to allowing the layers in the pastries to express themselves once baked. Braid or tangle the scraps together and bake them off as a little treat for yourself!
Yes, use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour 1:1. You may not get the same level of structure and chew that the bread flour provides.
Bake the rolls all together (sides touching) in a 9×13 pan. You may need to increase the baking time by a few minutes.
No, this is not recommended. The amount of butter is vital to the richness and flaky layers of this pastry.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. These are best served day-of, however leftover kouign-amann can be reheated in a 375F toaster oven for 5-7 minutes to be restored to their original crunchy form.
More recipes you’ll love
Lastly, if you make this Pumpkin Kouign-Amann recipe be sure to leave a comment or give it a rating. I love to see when people make my recipes, so please tag me @youthsweets on Instagram if you post!
- ¾ cup water warmed to 110-115°F
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted, plus more for brushing
- ½ cup pumpkin puree canned (116g)
- 2 ½ cups bread flour divided, more as needed (325g)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 oz unsalted butter frozen (2 sticks, 226g)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar (133g)
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated or pre-ground
- Small pinch ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- Place the butter in the freezer to prepare it for grating. Get out a 12-cavity muffin tin and set aside.
Make the dough
- Combine the warmed water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add the melted butter and the pumpkin puree. Whisk together until combined. Add the salt and 2 cups of the bread flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is fully hydrated.
- Sprinkle remaining ½ cup bread flour onto your work surface. Turn out dough and coat in the bread flour. Knead until soft and elastic, about 10 minutes*, adding a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky. This can also be done in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover and proof for 90 minutes. While you wait, make the seasoned sugar.
Make the seasoned sugar
- Thoroughly whisk together the ⅔ cup sugar, 2 teaspoon kosher salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a medium bowl.
- Brush the insides of the muffin tin cavities with some melted butter. Sprinkle some of the seasoned sugar to coat the tin evenly. Set aside the rest of the seasoned sugar for later.
Laminate the dough
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about ⅛-¼ inch thick. You may need to stretch your dough into a rectangle shape, as it may not roll out perfectly rectangular.
- Grate 1 stick of frozen butter onto the dough, leaving a 1-inch unbuttered margin around the sides. Flour your hands and gently press the butter into the dough.
- Fold in thirds, like a letter (Fold #1). Square up the dough by pressing or pulling the sides, then transfer to a sheet pan, wrap it in plastic and chill it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the fridge and roll it back out into a rectangle roughly the same size as the first one. Grate another stick of frozen butter leaving a 1-inch unbuttered margin around the sides. Flour your hands and gently press the butter into the dough.
- Make another letter fold (Fold #2), then roll it back out into a rectangle again. Make another letter fold (Fold #3), then roll it back out into a rectangle again. Make a final letter fold (Fold #4).
- Transfer to your sheet pan, wrap it in plastic again and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Sprinkle seasoned sugar generously on your work surface. Remove dough from the fridge and place onto seasoned sugar. Top with more seasoned sugar and roll out into a rectangle about ⅛-¼ inch thick, applying more seasoned sugar generously as you go. Work quickly, as the seasoned sugar will start drawing moisture out of the dough.
Shape the rounds
- Trim edges with a pastry cutter or pizza cutter wheel. Then, make five vertical cuts and one horizontal cut at the center of the rectangle to create 12 long ribbons of dough.
- Roll each ribbon up like a cinnamon bun. Dip the ends into the sugar mixture before placing into the prepared pan. Sprinkle more seasoned sugar onto each one.
- Let kouign-amann sit for 10 minutes while preheating the oven to 375°F.
Bake and remove quickly
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove kouign-amann from the hot pan immediately. The caramel that the seasoned sugar created will harden if you leave them too long in the pan. Cool for 15 minutes and then enjoy. These are best enjoyed fresh.