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Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread with Garlic & Sage

Pumpkin bread doesn’t have to be sweet. This Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread with Garlic & Sage is a super-savory and super-tasty treat that would be right at home on your holiday table.

pumpin garlic sage pull apart bread

I was in the mood to do something savory rather than sweet since I do so many sweet recipes.

I happened to have some pumpkin puree left over in the fridge from making pumpkin ganache filling for my Gingerbread Cookies. So, pumpkin it would be.

I think winter squash and sage are just natural flavor partners. They go together like tomatoes & basil or chocolate & orange.

When we get winter squash in our farm share I always make squash lasagna with lots of sage, garlic & Parmesan cheese. Another favorite is butternut squash risotto with, you guessed it, lots of sage & Parmesan cheese.

So as soon as I decided to go savory with the pumpkin bread I’d already decided on the flavor profile.

This bread is soft and luscious with a bold flavor from the garlicky sage pesto. I love it and I hope you do too!

How to make Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread

  • Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
  • Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
  • Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
  • Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
  • Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
  • Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
a spatula coated with custard.
  • Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
  • Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
  • Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
  • Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
  • Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
  • Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
  • Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
  • Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
Orange batter in a metal bowl.
  • Mix the wet ingredients in a mixer bowl.
  • Add the flour and knead for 5 minutes.
Orange bread dough in a glass bowl.
  • Set the dough aside in an oiled bowl until it has at least doubled in volume.
cheese, garlic and sage in a food processor.
  • While the dough rises, make the pesto.
  • Combine the cheese, garlic, sage and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.
4 strips of dough covered with pesto.
  • Roll the dough to a 16″x16″ square.
  • Spread the pesto onto the dough and cut into 4″ strips.
stacks of pesto coated squares of dough in a loaf pan.
  • Cut each strip into four 4″ squares and stack them in sets of 4 squares.
  • Line the squares into a parchment lined loaf pan. Make sure the square at each end of the loaf has the plain side facing the pan.
two loaves of pumpkin bread, before and after rising
  • Set the bread aside to rise.
  • The bread should almost fill the pan when it’s done rising.
  • Bake until golden brown. Enjoy warm from the oven.

More Pumpkin Recipes

a hand pulling a slice of bread from pumpkin pull apart loaf
two slices of pumpkin pull apart bread on a plate

For a slightly spicy treat, try this Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a hand pulling a slice of bread from pumpkin pull apart loaf
Print Recipe
5 from 1 review

Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread with Garlic & Sage

Savory pumpkin bread layered with a garlicky sage filling. Simply “pull apart” the layers of bread to enjoy this delicious bread.
Prep Time45 minutes
Bake Time45 minutes
Rising Time2 hours
Total Time3 hours 30 minutes
16 slices


  • 2 oz warm water (¼ cup)
  • 6 oz canned pumpkin puree (¾ cup, room temperature)
  • 6 oz Greek yogurt (¾ cup, room temperature)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 ½ oz honey (2 tablespoons honey)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 17 ½ oz all purpose flour (3 ½ cups)


  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • 2 oz olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 1 ½ oz Parmesan cheese (½ cup grated)


  • Combine 2 oz warm water, 6 oz canned pumpkin puree and 6 oz Greek yogurt in a microwave safe bowl. Warm in the microwave for 30 second increments until the mixture is about 100°F, or slightly warmer than body temperature. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast, 1 ½ oz honey, 1 large egg and 1 teaspoon salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
  • With the mixer running, add 17 ½ oz all purpose flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough is elastic, but still soft, about 5 minutes. The dough will cling to the hook and clear the sides of the bowl.
  • (If mixing by hand add flour until you can no longer stir with a spoon then turn the dough onto a floured surface and continue kneading.)
  • Transfer to an oiled bowl, turn 1x to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and allow the bread to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Brush a 9″x 5″ loaf pan with olive oil. Line the pan with a strip of parchment paper then brush the paper with more olive oil.

Make the filling

  • Combine 2 large garlic cloves, ½ cup fresh sage leaves, 2 oz olive oil and grated 1 ½ oz Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until it forms a thick paste

Assemble & Bake

  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to a 16″x 16″ square. If the dough starts pulling back let it rest for 5 minutes then continue rolling. Spread the filling over the dough. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the rectangle into four 4″ strips. Stack the strips, filling side up. Cut the stacked strips into 4 equal squares.
  • Arrange the stacks, standing up, in the pan, make sure a plain dough side (without the filling) is facing each end of the pan (see note). Cover the pan and let the dough rise for 1 hour, it should fill the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the bread until it's well puffed and golden brown, and the temperature in the middle of the bread is 200 °F, about 45 minutes.
  • Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then use the parchment to lift the bread from the pan.
  • Serve warm.


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To work ahead you can make the bread up to this point, cover the pan and refrigerate overnight. Proceed with rising and baking the next day.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1691IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!
Recipe Rating

Denise Severson

Wednesday 22nd of November 2023

This bread is amazing: heavenly aroma, gorgeous color, fantastic taste; will absolutely be baking this one again!! Thank you for sharing!

Eileen Gray

Thursday 23rd of November 2023

Thanks, I love this bread too. The combination of pumpkin, sage and garlic is magical.

sneha datar

Monday 20th of November 2017

I have still not made a pumpkin bread and your bread is so flavorful and perfect now I must try this soon.

Eileen Gray

Monday 20th of November 2017

Thanks, Sneha!

sharanya palanisshami

Friday 17th of November 2017

Wonderful bread Eileen with pumpkin, the colour was so tempting......

Eileen Gray

Friday 17th of November 2017

Thanks, Shranya! I love the color too. It's pretty with the orange bread and the green flecks of sage.

Mayuri Patel

Friday 17th of November 2017

Love the colour of the pull apart pumpkin bread... perfectly baked. Never used sage for baking... have to try it.

Eileen Gray

Friday 17th of November 2017

Hi Mayuri. I love baking with sage. It's got such an assertive flavor it really holds up in baking.


Friday 17th of November 2017

Hello Eileen, Your bread is awesome. Such fantastic flavours and perfectly baked bread. I loved the filling. Bookmarked for sure :)

Eileen Gray

Friday 17th of November 2017

Thanks, Namita!