Do you remember the bantam bagel bites that Starbucks used to sell?! When I first saw them introduced on the show Shark Tank, I knew right away that it was a genius creation. You just cannot go wrong with a soft, chewy bagel ball that has a warm pocket of cream cheese tucked inside. Sadly, the original isn’t as easy to find these days so naturally, I had to create my own version.
I started with my Soft & Chewy Bagel dough. I first tested these with plain cream cheese in the middle (which was delicious) but I wanted to add a little something more so I mixed in chives and a bit of garlic powder. The flavors in the cream cheese perfectly complement the everything seasoning coating on the outside. You can mix up the flavors too and create whatever your fav bagel and cream cheese combo is. Gotta love that! Don’t let their cute, small shape fool you though – they are so addicting and I know you’ll be hooked!
The bagel dough only requires 5 ingredients and just 3 ingredients for the cream cheese filling. Nothing overly complicated here! Let’s go over a few of the key ingredients.
- Water + Yeast: I prefer to use instant yeast in my bread recipes because there is no need to activate it before adding the other ingredients. You can use active dry yeast instead but you will need to activate it with the water first, which takes about 10 minutes. Make sure that your water is between 90° – 110°F if using active dry yeast so it activates properly.
- Bread Flour: Bread flour is best here to get the chewy, dense texture of a classic bagel. All-purpose flour has a lower percentage of protein which means that it will produce a softer texture. You need the higher protein content from the bread flour which creates more gluten resulting in a more elastic dough and the ideal chewy bagel.
- Cream Cheese: I’ve only tested this recipe using a block of cream and haven’t tried using a cream cheese spread. If you go that route, I would recommend portioning your cream cheese balls ahead of time and allowing them to chill in the fridge since the softer mixture will be more prone to oozing out of the bagel bites.
- Chives: I use freeze-dried chives but if you can find fresh ones, go with those. I find the freeze-dried ones in the produce area of the grocery store.
- Everything Seasoning: If you haven’t tried this trending seasoning, it’s just the seasonings that you’d see on the top of an everything bagel. Everything seasoning, also labeled “everything bagel seasoning” is pretty widely available but if you have trouble finding it, you can make your own mix with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, and flaky salt.
How to Make Everything Bagel Bites
- Make the bagel dough. This dough is so easy and comes together quickly. Only 5 ingredients and everything gets tossed into the mixing bowl at once. Since we want a nice chewy bagel dough, be sure to let the dough mix with the dough hook for around 10 minutes. This helps develop the gluten and will give you a tight, firm dough.
- Mix the garlic chive cream cheese. You want to prep this while your dough is resting so that it’s ready to go as soon as the dough is proofed. You’ll simply mix together the cream cheese, chives, and garlic powder then scoop it into 16 equal portions. Each scoop should be about 2 teaspoons or weigh 12-13 grams (if you want to get really precise). A small cookie scoop makes this process much easier!
- Assemble and Shape. Divide the proofed dough into 16 equal portions, about 2 ounces (53-54 grams) each. I prefer to use a scale for this but it’s not absolutely necessary. Fatten each piece of dough, place the ball of cream cheese in the center, then fold up the corners and pinch them together. Then gently roll it into a ball, creating a smooth top and keeping the seam on the bottom. I always pinch the seam one more time for good measure, before placing the bagel bites on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Honey Water Bath. This is a simple step but makes a big difference. Bring your water to a boil, then add the honey and reduce the heat to a simmer. Each bagel bite will take a dip in the honey bath for about 1 minute, flipping halfway through. Then place them back on the baking sheet.
- Bake the bagel bites. Brush the egg wash all over the top and sides of the bites then give them a dunk into the everything seasoning. They bake at 425°F for about 12-14 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking to make sure they brown evenly. Allow them to cool slightly and enjoy warm or at room temperature!
Tips for the Best Stuffed Bagel Bites
- Use a kitchen scale. I’m a firm believer that you should use a kitchen scale to measure your ingredients when baking, as opposed to traditional cup measurements. Weighing your ingredients is far more accurate because a cup measurement can actually be a different weight every time. Crazy, right? Don’t even get me started on the number of dishes it will save you too. I find it especially important to use a scale with bread recipes because doughs made with yeast must be accurate to turn out properly.
- Don’t undermix the dough. To achieve a classic soft yet chewy bagel texture, the yeast needs ample time to develop. Make sure to let the dough mix for about 10 minutes after it has already come together. You’re looking for a completely smooth dough, that has pulled away from the sides of the bowl, and isn’t too sticky to handle.
- Don’t skip the water bath. The water bath helps puff the bagels up sightly and the honey in the water helps get the bagels brown up in the oven. This step goes pretty quickly too so don’t skip it, for the best results!
These bagel bites are best served fresh, on the day they’re made. Nothing compares to a freshly baked bagel. I have had success freezing them though, which makes for a quick and convenient snack. Store the cooled bagel bites in a zip-top bag in the freezer. To defrost, move the bagel bites to the fridge the night before, then reheat them in a 350°F oven for about 5-8 minutes. Cover with foil if the topping starts to brown too much.
There are so many flavor possibilities you can create with these bagel bites. Get creative and go with your favorite bagel and cream cheese combo!
- Plain. You can never go wrong with basic and simple, especially when it comes to a bagel. No seasoning or added flavors in the cream cheese are needed because the dough stands well on its own and they will still be SO delicious!
- Chonga. This is the cheese, onion, and garlic bagel that I’ve always loved from Starbucks. Just add some grated cheddar cheese on top of the everything seasoning. Fill with the garlic chive cream cheese or even keep it plain!
- Cheese & Jalapeño. Swap the everything seasoning for grated cheddar cheese and mix some chopped, pickled jalapenos into the cream cheese for a cheesy, spicy version.
- Maple Cinnamon. Add a bit of cinnamon and maple flavoring to plain cream cheese and dip the egg-washed bites into some cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat.
More Breakfast Treats You’ll Love
- Apple Cheesecake Pop-Tarts
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
- Almond Cream Brioche Buns
- Homemade English Muffins
- Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins
If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a comment below and tag @sweetkitchencravings on Instagram or TikTok. Or if Pinterest is more your style, you can save my recipes to your collection there. Happy bagel-making!
Everything Bagel Bites
For the Bagel Dough
- 1 ⅓ cups (328ml) water, lukewarm
- 1 ½ teaspoons (7g) instant yeast
- 4 cups (520g) bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons (10g) salt
For the Garlic Chive Cream Cheese
- 8 oz (1 block or 227g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon fresh or freeze-dried chives
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
For the Water Bath
- 2 quarts (64oz) water
- ¼ cup (85g) honey
For the Toppings
- egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water)
- everything seasoning
- Bagel Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the water then yeast, and give them a quick stir. Add the flour, then the brown sugar and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Increase to medium speed and mix until dough is firm, smooth, and forms into a ball, about 8-10 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl greased with cooking spray or oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot, or at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 ½ hours.
- Garlic Chive Cream Cheese: In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, chives, and garlic powder and mix until well combined. Divide the cream cheese mixture into 16 portions, about 2 teaspoons each, using a small cookie scoop. Refrigerate the balls of cream cheese while the bagel dough finishes proofing.
- Shaping: Once the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and gently press out any air bubbles. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions. You can eyeball this but I like to use a kitchen scale. Each dough ball should weigh about 2 ounces.
- Flatten each piece of dough with your hand and place one scoop of the cream cheese mixture in the center. Bring the corners of the dough together and pinch tightly to create a seam. Roll each piece of dough into a ball making a smooth top and the seam on the bottom. Pinch the bottom seam one last time, to ensure the cream cheese will not come out.
- Place the shaped bagel bites on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone mats. Cover loosely with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out and allow the bagels to rest while preparing the water bath.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Water Bath: Bring the 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Stir in the honey. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Gently add each bagel bite to the water bath in a single layer. Cook the bites in batches of 4-6, depending on the size of your pot, to avoid crowding. Boil for about 30 seconds on each side. Move the bagels back to the baking sheet as you pull them out of the water bath.
- Topping & Baking: Brush the top and sides of the bagel bites with egg wash, using a pastry brush. Dip the tops in everything seasoning. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown, turning halfway through.
- Allow the bagel bites to cool slightly, and enjoy!
- Storing: These are best served fresh on the day they’re made but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 2 days.
- Freezing: Store cooled bagel bites in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, place in the fridge overnight and reheat in a 350°F oven for about 5-8 minutes. Cover with foil if the topping starts to brown too much.