Pumpkin buns for Halloween

These delicious pumpkin buns make the perfect Halloween treat. Spiced up with pumpkin in the dough and a gooey pumpkin filling, these buns look and taste amazing.

BABYBJÖRN Magazine for Parents – Delicious pumpkin buns for Halloween
Photo: Robin Karlsson

This recipe from Robin Karlsson at Swedish food blog ätabörman.se does take a little time (as all baking with yeast does), but it’s not too difficult to get a wonderful result. The creamy pumpkin filling guarantees melt-in-your-mouth buns.

If you want to make things a little easier, you can do steps 1–4 the day before and allow the dough to rise slowly overnight in the fridge. This also gives the dough an even better flavor!

Please note: Certain ingredients in the recipe are given in both weight and volume measurements for several reasons. It isn’t always possible to accurately measure some ingredients, such as flour, by volume – it can vary as much as 50% depending on how firmly packed the flour is – and because it’s much easier to use kitchen scales! You just put your bowl on the scales and tip in your ingredients and don’t need to use (and wash up) a lot of measuring spoons and other equipment. If you don’t have kitchen scales, you can use the volume measurements instead, but we highly recommend buying kitchen scales. They don’t cost a lot and are an invaluable help, especially when you’re baking.

Pumpkin buns filled with pumpkin cream

Time to make: About 7 hours
Active time: About 3.5 hours

10 buns


1 baked pumpkin (approx. 3 lbs/1.5 kg raw classic Halloween pumpkin or Butternut squash)


14 oz/400 g pumpkin purée from the baked pumpkin (approx. 1.7 cups/4 dl)
¼ cup/2 oz/50 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
4 tsp corn starch
4 tsp water


11 oz/300 g plain flour (approx. 2½ cups/5 dl)
1 oz/30 g sugar (approx. ⅛ cup/0.3 dl)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
5 g salt (approx. 1 tsp)
1 sachet/5 g dried yeast (approx. 1.5 tsp)
5 oz/130 g pumpkin purée from the baked pumpkin (approx. ½ cup/1.3 dl)
4 oz/110 g milk (approx. ½ cup/1.1 dl)
1 oz/30 g room temperature butter (approx. ⅛ cup/2 tbsp)
A little yellow food coloring, liquid or powder (optional)


1 egg whisked with 3 tbsp/0.5 dl milk to glaze the buns
Pastry brush
Approx. 85 cm food-safe string per bun
Kitchen scales

  1. Set oven to moderately hot (400F/ 200C/ Gas Mark 6). Cut the pumpkin into wedges and scrape away the seeds (set aside for Step 5 if you plan to use them for decoration). Bake the wedges in the oven on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet for about 30 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is completely soft.
  2. Allow the pumpkin wedges to cool until they are safe to handle and scrape the pumpkin flesh into a bowl. Weigh 14 oz/400 g pumpkin purée in a saucepan for the filling and 5 oz/130 g of pumpkin purée in a bowl for the dough. Save any extra pumpkin to use for other things.
  3. Add the sugar and vanilla sugar to the saucepan and heat on medium, stirring constantly for about 10–15 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. Mix the corn starch and water in a small glass and stir into the mix in the saucepan. Allow to simmer while stirring for a couple of minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Keep in the fridge until needed.
  4. For the dough: Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with a dough hook attachment. Mix in the milk and the butter (and coloring if you are using it) in the bowl with the 5 oz/130 g pumpkin purée and pour everything over the dry ingredients. Knead at low speed until everything is mixed together, raise speed to medium and knead for 15–20 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise until dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
  5. While the dough is rising, you can clean the pumpkin seeds in a sieve, place them in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 400F/200C/Gas Mark 6 for about 8 minutes, allow to cool and then remove skins.
  6. When the dough is ready, press to expel the air and knead lightly for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth again (only flour your work surface and hands sparingly). Divide the dough into 10 pieces (approx. 2 oz/60 g pieces), shape into buns (watch e.g. this video for instructions), place the buns under a clean cloth and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Roll the buns with a rolling pin (only flour your work surface and rolling pin sparingly) into flat circles of about 6 inches/15 cm in diameter. Make sure the middle of each circle is not too thin – they should preferably be a little thicker than the edges. Place a spoonful of the pumpkin filling in the middle of each circle (use a spring-action ice cream scoop if you have one) and then fold the dough around the filling, pinch the seams, and shape with your hands until you have a smooth and round bun. Place the buns with the seam side down, place the string over the bun and tie it so it divides the bun into 8 segments (like tying a gift but once more, so that it looks like this from above when you’ve finished). Don’t tie too tightly: the string should just rest against the bun, not cut into it.
  8. Place the tied bun under the cloth and repeat with the other nine buns. Allow them to rise under the cloth for 1 hour, glaze with the egg and milk mixture and bake at the center of the oven for approximately 15 minutes until they’re golden brown on top.
  9. Allow to cool on a wire rack and place in a plastic bag at room temperature until you serve them, or freeze for later and allow to thaw for 1 hour at room temperature before serving. Remove the strings by cutting with scissors where they meet at the top and bottom and then carefully pulling them off (or let your guests do this themselves). Decorate with the pumpkin seeds before serving (optional).

This recipe comes from Robin Karlsson at the Swedish ätabörman.se food blog, where you’ll find more recipes, reviews, news and lots more about food and cooking.