When you thought you had seen it all, a colorful bagel comes and stirs things up! And yes, these cream cheese chocolate chip blueberry bagels are as good as they look! The deep purple-blue color comes from pureed wild blueberries which add color, flavor and a lovely berry scent. And the filling of soft, tangy cream cheese and dark chocolate chips are not just pretty to look at but a perfect textural contrast to the chewy bagel dough. I used 70% cacao chocolate chips, which have just the amount of sweet but bitter flavor to keep these homemade blueberry bagel healthy but also fancy. It’s also THE perfect bagel to have with espresso or a strong cup of coffee.
Here's why I love this recipe
- No eggs, milk or butter and can even be converted into a vegan-friendly recipe! The cream cheese filling can be easily replaced with dairy-free cream cheese, and vegan chocolate chips.
- The added almond flour gives these bagels a rich, buttery flavor.
- Minimal kneading is required, and it's not too hard to stuff bagels once you know how.
- There's a good source of nutrients and fiber, thanks to the pureed wild blueberries and added almond flour
Ingredients Used to Make Chocolate Chip Blueberry Bagels
**I've linked some of these ingredients to amazon.com to give you an idea of what they are, but you should also be able to find them in your local grocery store (usually, the baking aisle, or the natural & organic food section). They are also affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate if you decide to purchase the items. The price will be the same for you, link or no link 🙂
- Bread Flour - Bread flour is highly recommended for this recipe for the best texture and structure. TIP: For the best texture and chew, use a higher protein bread flour like King Arthur Bread Flour. Please read the note in the substitution section below if using other flours.
- Almond Flour (optional)- I used blanched almond flour, but for a more traditional textured bagel, you can also replace almond flour with more bread flour (more details on the recipe card).
Why almond flour? Almond flour is not a traditional ingredient for bagels, but I like adding it for the extra boost in flavor and nutrition. It also produces more tender (easier on your jaws) bagels which my family prefers.
- Instant Yeast - you can find instant yeast in the baking section near the flours. My favorite is SAF Instant Premium Yeast, which works quickly and consistently produces great results. I recommend using instant yeast over active yeast for this recipe since active yeast needs to be activated in water.
- Sugar - I used raw cane sugar, but you can use regular granulated white sugar, or healthier alternatives like coconut, date, or maple sugars. Sugar-free substitutes such as monk fruit sweetener or stevia powder can be used in the filling, but for what goes inside the bread, I would NOT RECOMMEND using sugar-free substitutes since they can cause the bread to not rise properly.
- Salt - Pink Himalayan salt is what I have at home, so it’s what I use, but you can use any kind for this recipe.
- Frozen Wild Blueberries - like this one - I've previously used fresh blueberries to make my blueberry yeast bread recipe, but I found out that wild blueberries are better because the berries are smaller and have more skin, which acts like the "dye" that colors the bread dough. Fresh wild blueberries are not readily available in stores, but frozen wild blueberries are easy to find in the frozen fruit section.
⚠️ Important tips for using wild blueberries:
- Completely thaw the blueberries at room temperature for 1 hour, or heat them in the microwave for 20 seconds before using them so that you get a better blueberry puree that's evenly blended and without large blueberry chunks. THE COLOR OF THE BAGELS WILL DEPEND ON THE PUREE, so blend it twice if neeeded.
- THE BREAD DOUGH WILL RISE SLOWER IF THE BLUEBERRY PUREE IS TOO COLD. Yeast doesn't rise very well if it's in a cold environment. It's ok if the blueberry puree is cool to the touch, but the puree shouldn't be freezing-cold either. For best results, make sure to thaw the blueberries before pureeing them.
- Cream Cheese of Choice – I used reduced fat cream cheese, but you're welcome to use low fat or full fat. For vegan options, you can also use dairy-free cream cheese (such as Tofutti, or cream cheese made from almond milk).
- Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate Chips - I used 70% cacao dark chocolate chips which is slightly on the bittersweet side, but delivers an intense chocolatey flavor that contrasts with the wild blueberries! Here is a vegan chocolate chip brand I also like.
More Blueberry Recipes (HERE)
Step by Step Guide
How to Make Stuffed Chocolate Chip Blueberry Bagels
In a clean mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients: the bread flour, almond flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt.
Make blueberry puree by blending thawed wild blueberries in a small blender until fine, with no large chunks of blueberry or blueberry skin.
Add blueberry puree and water to the dry ingredients, and use your hands or a danish dough whisk to combine it with the dry ingredients best you can. No kneading is required at this time.
*the bagel dough is supposed to be firm and somewhat stiff, since bagels require a lower water-to-flour-ratio. You can add additional 1-2 Tablespoons of water if there are still dry ingredients, but be sure to add one tablespoon at a time, so you don’t overhydrate the dough.
Loosely cover the dough with a clean wet towel or plastic wrap. Let rise, at a slightly warm place, for 60-90 minutes, until puffy.
After the first fermentation stage, choose ONE of two methods:
For no-knead (overnight) method: gently deflate the dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap loosely so that air can escape. Transfer the bowl to the fridge and chill overnight, at least for 8 hours and up to 48 hours.
For kneaded (quick) method: continue to knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer, until the dough becomes smooth, supple, and pulls easily away from the bowl. The kneading should not take too long (about 3 minutes by hand) since we allowed the dough to relax and hydrate in the previous step.
Gently place the prepared dough onto a floured surface. If you chilled the dough in the fridge overnight, let the dough first come to room temperature (about 3-4 hours) before proceeding to the next step.
Shape the dough into a ball, and divide into 4 equal sized pieces
1. Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of the bagel dough into a thin, 5 x 7 inch rectangle (thinner the better!)
2. Spread about 2-3 Tablespoons of the cream cheese onto the bagel dough. Sprinkle on chocolate chips
3-4. Roll the bagel dough over the filling.
5. Seal the ends by pinching the seams of the dough with wet fingers.
6. Bring together the two ends of the bagel dough by inserting one end of the rolled dough into the other end.
7. Pinch the seams together so that they won't fall apart during the boiling process.
8. Loosely cover the shaped bagels with plastic wrap or a clean wet paper towel. Let rise for 40-60 minutes, until the bagels look slightly puffed up.
Bring a pot of water to boil. Bring the heat down to medium-hot so that it's gently boiling. Cook the bagel for just 30 seconds on each side.
TIP: If the bagel won't float up to the surface by the end of the 60 seconds, it probably means the bagel needs to proof longer. I usually try this with one bagel first before cooking the other bagels in batches.
Bake the boiled bagels in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are glossy and slightly browned. For the extra gloss, I brushed some melted coconut oil on top.
Let the bagels cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!
Recipe Variations and Optional Add Ins:
Here are some awesome ways you can make this bagel recipe your own 🙂
- Add more flavor! Add 1 tsp of lemon zest if you want a brighter blueberry flavor.
- Add more texture! Adding chopped nuts, seeds, or dried fruits or oats is a fantastic way to increase the nutrition and flavor in breads, including this one. Dried blueberries will be perfect add ins for this blueberry bagel recipe.
- Want to add more fiber? Substitute white whole wheat flour for up to half of the bread flour called for in this recipe. You'll need to add a few more tablespoons of water to adjust the hydration since whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white flour.
More Bagel Stuffing Ideas:
- Make these bagels healthier by adding a handful of nuts, seeds and old-fashioned oats to add texture and nutrition. Here are some ideas
- Nuts - chopped walnuts, pecans, cashews
- Seeds - poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds or chiaseeds
- Dried Fruit - chopped apricot, raisins, cranberries, dried cherries, candied ginger, citrus zests, etc.
Note on Substitutions
- Unfortunately, I haven't tried making this recipe with gluten-free flours. So substitute at your own risk!
- If you don't have bread flour, you can also use All Purpose Flour instead. AP flour has less protein than bread flour, so it will yield softer bagels with less chew/ bite.
- As I mentioned in the Ingredients Section, almond flour makes these bagels more flavorful and more nutritionally balanced, but it also makes the bagels less chewy (and more tender). If you prefer a traditional bagel texture, use ¼ cup of bread flour instead of ½ cup of almond flour.
Fresh or Frozen Blueberries?
- Fresh blueberries will work fine in this recipe, but I've found that depending on the season fresh blueberries come in larger sizes. Since larger berries mean more water and less blueberry skin, this could give you a lighter colored puree = lighter colored bagels.
- You can see what I mean in the pic below: on the left is a bagel I used using fresh blueberries. The berries themselves were twice the size of the wild blueberries and the fresh blueberry skin didn't puree as finely as the frozen berries. I ended up with lighter colored bagels (still purple on the inside!) but as as deep or vibrantly purple as the bagel made with thawed frozen wild blueberries, on the right.
- One easy workaround using larger fresh blueberries: cook them first! Pre-cooking the blueberries effectively reduces the water content in the blueberries so that we can utilize more of that blueberry skin that is responsible for coloring the bagels. Here are some Blueberry Bagel Recipes that use this technique. The Practical Kitchen - the blueberries are pre-roasted in the oven. Baking with Butter - the berries are cooked on the stovetop.
How to Store
- For unstuffed bagels, you can store these bagels in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days.
- For bagels with cream cheese filling, these bagels can be out at room temperature for a maximum of 1 day. For longer storage, you can place the bagels in a plastic freezer bag or airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, toast inside an air fryer or toaster with the filling side up.
Final Tips for Stuffed Chocolate Chip Blueberry Bagels
- Weigh your flour for the best results. 1 cup of bread flour = 120 grams / 4.23 oz. This is recommended since scooping the flour directly from the bag can pack the flour into the measuring cup, and this means you'll end up with more flour than what's called for in the recipe. If you don't have a kitchen scale, you can measure the flour by spooning pre-sifted flour into the measuring cup, then using the straight end of the spoon to level the flour across the top to sweep off the excess.
Stuffed Chocolate Chip Blueberry Bagels
Bagel Dough Ingredients
- 6 oz cream cheese of choice
- 4 Tbsp chocolate chips of choice
Combine the Dough Ingredients
- In a clean mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients: the bread flour, almond flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt.
- Prepare blueberry puree by blending thawed blueberries in a small blender
- Add the blueberry puree and water, and use your hands or a danish dough whisk to incporate them into the dry ingredients.
- note: the bagel dough is supposed to be firm and somewhat stiff, since bagels require a lower water-to-flour-ratio. You can add additional 1-2 Tablespoons of water if there are still dry ingredients, but be sure to add one tablespoon at a time, so you don’t overhydrate the dough.
- No kneading is required at this time. Loosely cover the dough with a clean wet towel or plastic wrap.
- Let rise, at a slightly warm place, for 60-90 minutes, until puffy.
After the First Rise (Choose ONE method below)
- For no-knead (overnight) method: gently deflate the dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap loosely so that air can escape. Transfer the bowl to the fridge and chill overnight, at least for 8 hours and up to 48 hours.
- For kneaded (quick) method: continue to knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer, until the dough becomes smooth, supple, and pulls easily away from the bowl. The kneading should not take too long (about 3 minutes by hand) since we allowed the dough to relax and hydrate in the previous step.
Shaping the Dough
- Gently place the prepared dough onto a floured surface. If you chilled the dough in the fridge overnight, let the dough first come to room temperature (about 3-4 hours) before proceeding to the next step.
- Shape the dough into a ball, and divide into 4 equal sized pieces
Filling the Bagel Dough
- In a clean mixing bowl, mix the filling ingredients. Set aside.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out each piece of the bagel dough into a thin, 5 x 7 inch rectangle (thinner the better!)
- Spoon about 2-3 Tablespoons of the filling onto the bagel dough. Sprinkle on 1 Tbsp of chocolate chipsTIP: For a thick cresent-shaped filling, place the filling towards one end of the rectangle. For a swirled effect, spread the filling throughout the dough so that it is evenly distributed.
- Roll the bagel dough over the filling, and seal the ends by pinching the seams of the dough. TIP: wet your fingers with some water to help with the sealing
- Bring together the two ends of the bagel dough by inserting one end of the rolled dough into the other end and pinching the seams together so that it won't fall apart during the boiling process.
- Place the stuffed bagels on a parchment lined baking pan, and loosely cover with plastic wrap or clean wet paper towel.
- Let rise for 40-60 minutes, until the bagels look slightly puffed up.
Boil the Bagels
- Bring a pot of water to boil. Bring the heat down to medium-hot so that it's gently boiling.Also, preheat the oven to 350F
- Use a wide slotted spoon or spatula to gently transfer 1 bagel into the water.
- Cook the bagel for just 30 seconds on each side. TIP: If the bagel won't float up to the surface by the end of the 60 seconds, it probably means the bagel needs to proof longer.
- Take the bagel out of the boiling water using a wide slotted spoon or spatula and back to the parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat the boiling process for the rest of the bagels.
Bake the Bagels
- Bake the boiled bagels in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are glossy and slightly browned.
- Let cool to room temperature before serving. TIP: If slicing the bagels crosswise, you'll get the cleanest cut if the bagels (and the filling) are completely cooled.