Pumpkin-Shaped Nutella Buns, a fantastic Fall treat that tastes as delicious as it looks. The sweet buns have a light brioche texture and are stuffed with nutella for an indulgent touch, then shaped into pumpkins before being baked to perfection. What a treat!
Harvest season wouldn't be the same without pumpkins, I am sure you will agree with me. From decorating to cooking sweet and savoury dishes, to carving for Halloween, pumpkins are all around these days.
And while these cute little pumpkin buns aren't actually made with pumpkin, but have the shape of one only, they certainly look impressive and will go down amazingly well with everyone.
Stuffing them with nutella or any other chocolate hazelnut spread makes them very yummy and certainly very well appreciated by little tummies, so that's a big win for sure.
It's a super easy recipe based on my Brioche Bread, which was plaited and shaped as a loaf, and had no stuffing in. But both are equally delicious and worth a go, even if proving the dough can take a while.
- nutella - or any other chocolate hazelnut spread, or just melted chocolate would do
- flour - I used white bread flour as it brings the best results
- yeast - I usually go for dried fast-action yeast, one sachet has 2 teaspoons of yeast which is the right amount we need for this recipe
- milk - full-fat milk is recommended, but semi-skimmed one also ok
- eggs - one goes in the dough, the other one is used to brush the buns for a nice shine
- sugar - regular granulated sugar would do
- butter - I used salted butter, but unsalted also ok - just add a pinch of salt if you use unsalted one
Instead of using nutella or any other chocolate hazelnut spread, you can also fill the buns with pumpkin pie filling, jam of any kind, custard or simply leave them as it is.
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- warm up the milk and transfer it to a jug
- add the yeast and give it a good stir, then set aside for 1 minute
- in a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the sugar, soft butter and egg
- pour in the yeast mixture and mix everything into a dough that is elastic and does not stick to the hands - add more flour if necessary
- cover the bowl with a kitchen towel, and leave the dough to prove it a warm place for 2 hours or until it doubles its volume
- divide the dough into 4
- roll one dough at a time using a rolling pin, then add a teaspoon of nutella, spreading it a bit, but not all the way to the edges - see photo 6
- shape it into a ball, making sure the filling is sealed in very well
- use a string to shape it into a pumpkin, then brush with the beaten egg
- repeat with the other 3 buns
- bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes
- remove the string, then leave the buns to cool down completely
Like any product that uses yeast, a warm environment is crucial for the dough to prove and the texture of the nutella-stuffed brioche buns to be light and well risen, otherwise you will end up with a tough dough that is badly underproved.
If the kitchen is not warm enough, I usually set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, and keep it on for 5 minutes. Then I switch the oven off and place the mixing bowl in until the dough is ready.
Once you remove the bowl, you can set it to the right temperature to preheat well until you work the dough into buns - it always works for me.
Make sure the milk is not hot, or the yeast will not be active! The milk has to be warm to touch in order to work.
Absolutely! If it's not pumpkin season or you don't really want them shaped as one, you can just leave them as a regular round bun. Once you spread the nutella, shape the dough into a ball, making sure you seal the stuffing in well.
I highly recommend this step, as the baked buns will be nice and shiny with a delicious golden touch. If you don't use the egg wash, the buns will still be baked, but they won't have the same shine.
The main reason for that would be that the yeast was not active, or the room was to cold, thus preventing the dough from proving well. The dough should double its size after proving.
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Pumpkin-Shaped Nutella Buns
- 250 g strong white bread flour (2 cups)
- 125 ml milk (½ cup)
- 2 teaspoon fast-action dried yeast
- 20 g butter, soften ( 0.7 oz)
- 2 eggs
- 50 g granulated sugar ( ¼ cup)
- 4 teaspoon nutella
- cinnamon sticks to decorate - used as stalks
- Warm up the milk, then add it to a jug together with the yeast.
- Mix well, and set aside for 1 minute.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, add the sugar, soften butter and one egg, and pour in the yeast mixture.
- Knead it well into a dough that is elastic and does not stick to your hands - add more flour is necessary.
- Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside to prove in a warm room for 2 hours or until the dough doubles its volume.
- Divide the dough into 4.
- Roll one ball using a rolling pin, and spread one teaspoon of nutella over.
- Shape it back into a ball, making sure the stuffing is sealed well.
- Using a string to shape it into a pumpkin.
- Repeat with the remaining 3 dough balls.
- Beat the remaining egg well, and brush each bun well.
- Bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes or until golden and well risen.
- Remove the string and leave the buns to cool down completely.
- Like any product that uses yeast, a warm environment is crucial for the dough to prove and the texture of the nutella-stuffed brioche buns to be light and well risen, otherwise you will end up with a tough dough that is badly underproved.
- If the kitchen is not warm enough, I usually set the oven at the lowest temperature possible, and keep it on for 5 minutes. Then I switch the oven off and place the mixing bowl in until the dough is ready.
- Once you remove the bowl, you can set it to the right temperature to preheat well until you work the dough into buns - it always works for me.
- Make sure the milk is not hot, or the yeast will not be active! The milk has to be warm to touch in order to work.