Pumpkin Spice Weckmann – Happy St. Martin’s Day

Light, fluffy, sweet and spicy this recipe for Pumpkin Spice Weckmänner is the perfect treat to celebrate this year’s St. Martin’s Day. They are a fun and seasonal variation of the traditional Weckmann consumed around St. Martin’s Day in many European countries. Now you can bring this fun tradition into your home wherever you are. With a few simple changes you can make them vegan.

It is almost that time of year again, St. Martin’s Day (November 11th), when every little town in Germany celebrates the day with lantern procession. It is actually quite nice, children make their own lanterns in kindergarten or school. They learn songs they can sing as they march through town to a bonfire, usually with their lanterns lit and wrapped in a plastic bag because it is November and it will most likely rain. There the story of St. Martin is reenacted on horseback before they all receive a Weckmann, some candy and fruit before they make their way back home. I have written a post all about St. Martin’s Day a few years ago if wanted to know more about it or would like the original Weckmann recipe (here). The bonfire takes place right down the street so I can see it from the window. When baking my own Weckmann it is a win-win, because I can see it without actually leaving the house. It is a lovely tradition but most people only participate because if their children or grandkids.

I personally don’t celebrate this day but I bake my own Weckmann every year. This year I had the great idea to make a Pumpkin Spice Weckmann and I swear I didn’t do it because I wanted to be trendy. I couldn’t be trendy if I tried. It is also not because the Saint Martin’s Day Weckmann Recipe from two years ago is the most popular post on this blog to this day, a fact that still surprises me. I didn’t even know how to photograph the Weckmann so in the end it looked as if I had staged a murder scene with an owl lantern detective, which I still find funny in hindsight. I just thought that it would be nice to give the Weckmann some flavour and pumpkin is in season, in case you managed to miss that (Pumpkin Spice Not Oh So Nice?). The lightly sweet pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice works really well in the dough, especially with the glaze. Where pumpkin spice can be overwhelming the sweet glaze balances the flavour well. It is a really delicious sweet treat that can be enjoyed for breakfast or with coffee. You obviously don’t have to cut them out into Weckmann or Gingerbread man shapes, you could just roll them into buns or cut out circles. You can do whatever you want and still enjoy this delicious seasonal treat, which could easily become a staple recipe to use this time of year. Whether you celebrate St. Martin’s Day or not you will not regret trying thins recipe, especially if you happen to be a pumpkin spice lover.

Pumpkin Spice Weckmann

Dough Ingredients:
• 500 gr All-purpose flour
• 1 Packet dry active yeast
• 75 gr Sugar
• 50 gr Butter (alternative: margarine or vegan butter)
• 100 ml Milk (alternative: almond milk)
• 200 gr pumpkin puree
• 1 tsp pumpkin spice (recipe here)
• 7 gr Salt
• a splash of milk (almond milk) to wash the dough before baking

Glaze Ingredients:
• 200 gr icing sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• water

1. Knead all the ingredients for the dough into a smooth dough. Keep kneading it for at least 10 minutes. I did that with the bread machine, but feel free to use dough hooks on a hand whisk.
2. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
3. Roll the dough out about 1.5 cm thickness and cut out the desired shape.
4. Place the Weckmann (or buns or gingerbread men) on a lined and baking sheet and leave it to proof until it has doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 180 °C top and bottom heating.
6. Wash the proven dough with some milk to give it some shine.
7. Bake until golden brown between 10 and 15 minutes.
8. Leave them to cool down and enjoy.
9. Once cooled mix a glaze as thick or thin as you like it out of the icing sugar, vanilla extract and some water as needed. Brush the Weckmann with the glaze and leave it to dry.

There you have it, a Pumpkin Spice Weckmann to celebrate St. Martin’s Day and Pumpkin Season at the same time. Other than brushing a glaze on top I didn’t decorate them, mainly because I don’t like the traditionally used raisins and the candy eyes gave me the creeps. Is it just me or do they follow you across the room. I think they look nice left plain but you could go crazy decorating them, which would be fun for kids to do. I hope you enjoyed this recipe, a little early for St. Martin’s Day I know, but in case you wanted to make them you would need it ahead of time. I also hope that I didn’t offend any Weckmann purists, which is always a fear of mine when messing with something traditional. Have a wonderful day!

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