Pumpkin Conchas: A Sweet Twist on a Mexican Classic

As the leaves begin to turn and the air grows crisp, the arrival of pumpkin-flavored treats marks the onset of autumn. Among these seasonal delights, Pumpkin Conchas stand out as a unique blend of Mexican culinary tradition and the comforting taste of pumpkin spice.

What are Conchas?

Conchas are a staple in Mexican bakeries, known for their sweet taste and shell-like appearance. The name ‘concha’ means ‘shell’ in Spanish, a nod to the bread’s signature sugar-crusted topping, which is scored to resemble a seashell.

Introducing the Pumpkin Twist

Incorporating pumpkin into the dough adds a moist, tender texture and a subtle, warm flavor that pairs beautifully with the traditional sugar topping of the concha. This recipe is perfect for those who love to bring a touch of seasonal flair to their baking.


For the Dough:

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 100g granulated sugar
  • 10g active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 200g pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120ml warm milk
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened

For the Topping:

  • 120g all-purpose flour
  • 100g powdered sugar
  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: food coloring to add a festive touch


  1. Prepare the Dough:
    • In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
    • In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, eggs, and warm milk.
    • Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
    • Knead in the softened butter until the dough is smooth and elastic.
    • Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Make the Topping:
    • While the dough is rising, prepare the topping by mixing flour, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add food coloring if desired.
    • Divide the topping into small balls and set aside.
  3. Shape the Conchas:
    • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal portions.
    • Shape each portion into a smooth ball.
    • Flatten the balls slightly and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Add the Topping:
    • Flatten each ball of topping and carefully place it over the dough balls.
    • Use a knife to score the topping to resemble a shell pattern.
  5. Bake the Conchas:
    • Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).
    • Let the shaped conchas rest for about 20 minutes.
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they are lightly golden.
  6. Enjoy!
    • Let the Pumpkin Conchas cool slightly before serving. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate for a cozy autumn treat.


Pumpkin Conchas are a delightful way to celebrate the flavors of fall while honoring the rich tradition of Mexican pan dulce. Whether for a special occasion or a weekend baking project, these sweet breads are sure to bring warmth and joy to any table.

Leave a Comment