This pumpkin bread with cream cheese just smells like Thanksgiving and Christmas when the bread is baking in the oven. Use your homemade pumpkin pie spice for this recipe.
Even though this is called a “bread” it’s really more of a cake. If you sneak a taste of the batter before it’s cooked, it will taste just like a rich pumpkin pie batter.
Finding the right ingredients is absolutely key to making your pumpkin bread with cream cheese taste just right.
- Pumpkin puree: Use the can of pure pumpkin, versus the ‘canned pumpkin pie”. This way you can add all your mix-ins as necessary.
- Pumpkin spice: I love a good spiced bread. Go ahead and add more spice after tasting the batter.
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour as my flour base. You can also use a cake flour for a smoother texture.
- Cream cheese: Adding a cream cheese frosting to the cake is the perfect compliment to this zesty cake. If cream cheese frosting isn’t for you, you can skip it. Make sure to use a block of cream cheese instead of the tub, the block will have less moisture and is easier to bake with.
How to Make Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese
Making this pumpkin bread is only a few more steps than making your standard pumpkin pie. Adding the cream cheese on top takes it from a bread to a cake. It’s easy to slice and easy to travel with if you want to share this recipe with friends and family. I do recommend pre-slicing it so that it’s easy for folks to grab a piece without too much hassle.
The easiest and fastest way to make this bread is to make it in three parts: the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients and the cream cheese frosting.
After mixing the wet ingredients, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a mixer. Mix until just combined. Take care not to overmix the batter. Set aside and then make the cream cheese mixture. The cream cheese will do best at room temperature. It’s best to set it out of the fridge an hour or two before you’re ready to make the bread. This way, the cream cheese will be soft enough to mix with the sugar and there won’t be any lumps.
Looking for a gluten free version of pumpkin bread? Replace the flour for almond flour for a gluten free pumpkin bread with cream cheese.
One of the best parts of this recipe is the spice that is involved when baking it. Not only does the spice fragrant the batter but it also makes the entire house smell like pumpkin spice when it’s baking.
My secret to this recipe is actually making my own pumpkin pie spice, also known as pumpkin spice. It’s just a combination of five spices that you probably have sitting in your pantry right now.
Cream Cheese Frosting
I’ll admit, the cream cheese element of this recipe isn’t entirely necessary. However, it is very delicious and adds an extra layer of deliciousness to the recipe. If you are lactose intolerant or don’t feel like adding it, feel free to omit the cream cheese entirely from the recipe.
If you do want to add the cream cheese frosting, however, make sure to grab an 8oz block of cream cheese. The kind that is packaged in foil. This cream cheese has less moisture in it and more fat, making it much better for baking.
Make sure to put your cream cheese out for an hour or so before baking, since you will need the cream cheese at room temperature before beating it with the powdered sugar. Using cream cheese directly from the fridge will make your frosting lumpy since it will be difficult to evenly mix when it is cold.
Which Pan to Use for Pumpkin Bread?
For this recipe, I used a 9×5 baking pan. You could probably use a larger flatter baking pan, such as a casserole dish (like a 10×8) in a pinch. If you do end up needing to use a different pan, just spread the cream cheese frosting out on top of the batter and reduce the bake time.
If you are using a baking pan to make a loaf, make sure to adequately spray the pan so that the bread will easily come out of the mold. In this recipe, I also lined the pan with parchment paper, to reduce any kind of friction with the pan and the batter. It also makes for incredibly easy removal.
If you don’t want that thick layer of cream cheese, you can use a more shallow pan and then add the cream cheese on top so it spreads out a bit more. This way you won’t have a dense layer of frosting.
Other Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more pumpkin recipes for the holidays?