The BEST Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Cream cheese pumpkin bread combines pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg goodness with a delicious swirl of cream cheese frosting in every slice. It’s everything you ever wanted but didn’t know you needed.

Serves: 12   Time: 1 hour 30 minutes    Cookbook: Magnolia Table

Two words are all that are needed to infuse my wife and me with excitement and joy. What are they? Pumpkin bread! Just think of it. The aroma of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The delicious pumpkiny goodness that fills the house (and our stomachs) with the feeling of fall, pumpkin season, and all things wonderful.

Then, just when we thought pumpkin bread couldn’t get any better, we discovered cream cheese pumpkin quick bread! This is everything you love about regular homemade pumpkin bread made even better thanks to a luscious cream cheese frosting swirled into the batter. With only a little extra effort, a beloved classic becomes something entirely new. Surprise your guests as the bread is sliced, revealing ribbons of sweet, rich cream cheese filling all the way through that pumpkin spice flavor goodness.

Cream cheese pumpkin bread might just be your next favorite recipe to make this fall and it’s all thanks to Joanna Gaines, host of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and co-founder of Magnolia. Be forewarned: You might become addicted. Is this the best pumpkin bread? We’ll let you decide!

Jump Ahead:

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Oh So Good!: If you liked Libby’s Pumpkin Bread, you’ll love this cream cheese pumpkin bread recipe. The flavor combination creates a one-of-a-kind bread you won’t be able to get enough of.

Crowd Favorite: Everyone who tries a slice of this bread always goes back for another. Health food it is not, but it is so delicious it won’t matter. Save this for a special occasion when people are planning to splurge anyway.

Easy: This is a pretty easy pumpkin bread recipe. Though you’ll need three separate bowls to mix things, it’s basically a “dump” recipe. Dump cream cheese ingredients into a bowl, mix. Dump dry ingredients into another bowl, mix. Dump wet ingredients… you get the idea. Easy peasy.

Kid-Friendly: While this recipe will certainly require adult supervision, this is a fun recipe to let the kids join in on. Depending on their age, they can help crack eggs, measure ingredients, place items into the bowls, mix, layer batter into the pan, and finally, taste!

Ingredients Needed to Make Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients for cream cheese pumpkin bread
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is perfect for this recipe.
  • Sugar: White granulated sugar is what you want for the right consistency.
  • Baking Soda: This helps the bread rise while it bakes.
  • Cinnamon: Powered cinnamon will infuse the bread with scents of fall.
  • Nutmeg: Nutmeg might be the key to this recipe. This is the spice that will tie it all together.
  • Salt: Kosher salt works best here.
  • Pumpkin Puree: You want 100% pure puree for this, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Unsalted butter: Make sure your butter is unsalted. You’ll be adding the right amount of salt into the batter, and you don’t want any more salt than that.
  • Eggs: Two large eggs are all you’ll need.
  • Milk: You can use any type of milk for this recipe from 2% to plant-based like almond milk.
  • Vanilla: Look for 100% pure vanilla extract for this recipe. You don’t want vanilla flavoring if you can help it.
  • Cream Cheese: This is used for the delicious swirled goodness in the middle of the batter. We suggest sticking with full-fat cream cheese, but if you’re trying to cut calories, low-fat cream cheese will work in a pinch.

Equipment Needed In the Kitchen

  • Loaf pan: A 9 x 5 inch loaf pan is perfect. The recipe makes one whole loaf with this size pan.
  • 3 mixing bowls: We love our glass mixing bowls. They’re great for jobs like these because you can visually check to make sure all of your ingredients are mixed together. You’ll want two medium and one large bowl.
  • Mixer: You can use a hand mixer or a stand mixer. We used a hand mixer for the cream cheese frosting and then switched to a whisk for the rest of the recipe.

How to Make Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

Sliced cream cheese pumpkin bread

First things first!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

Make the cream cheese filling

First, soften the cream cheese. Then, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth with a hand mixer. Set aside.

Mix dry ingredients, then wet ingredients, then both together

In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients including flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk together.

Then in a third large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Finally, add some of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, and mix. Continue adding dry to wet and mixing until the ingredients are thoroughly combined but don’t over-mix.

Layer the pumpkin batter and filling

The goal of the layering is to make this bread into an aesthetic masterpiece.

Spoon about a third of the pumpkin mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Then with a spatula, add half of the cream cheese mixture. Add the next third of the pumpkin batter, and then the rest of the cream cheese filling. Drop the remaining pumpkin batter in spoonfuls to form the top layer. Use a knife to swirl the batter.

Aaand bake!

cream cheese pumpkin bread out of the oven

Bake the pumpkin bread for 60-70 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick test starting at the 50-minute mark if you’re using a dark pan.

Toothpick test: Insert a toothpick into the middle of the bread, then lift it straight out. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it has wet batter on it, bake for another 5-10 and check again.

When done, remove the pumpkin bread from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Then, remove from the loaf and let the pumpkin cream cheese bread cool at room temperature on a wire rack for one hour.

Variations on Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

As if this bread could get any better! Here are a few fun ideas for flavor swaps we know you’ll love.

Apple Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread: Swap 2 ounces of cream cheese for 2 ounces of apple jam and continue with the recipe as written. The result is a delightful moist pumpkin bread with apple flavor throughout.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread: Use chocolate cream cheese instead of plain cream cheese for the cream cheese filling. This gives you an oh-so-delicious chocolate and pumpkin combination you cannot beat.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread: Double the cinnamon, add a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and double the vanilla extract. This variation creates a flavorful bread that is off the charts.

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread Tips, Tricks, and FAQs

Can I use flavored cream cheese instead of plain cream cheese?

Sure! Experiment and have fun with flavors like chocolate (our favorite!), blueberry, pineapple, or honey pecan for your cream cheese layer.

Will this freeze if I make too much or have extra?

Yep! You can freeze the leftovers. Wrap pieces or a whole chunk well tinfoil or plastic wrap and then place into a freezer bag or airtight container to prevent freezer burn.

How long will this keep in the refrigerator?

This bread keeps beautifully in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Print
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Cream cheese pumpkin bread

Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread


  • Author: Matt
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Loaf 1x

Description

Cream cheese pumpkin bread combines pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg goodness with a delicious swirl of cream cheese frosting in every slice. It’s everything you ever wanted but didn’t know you needed.


Ingredients

Scale

4 ounces Cream Cheese

3 tablespoons Sugar

1 Egg Yolk

1 3/4 cups Flour

1 1/2 cups Sugar

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 cup Pumpkin Puree

8 tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1 Egg

1/3 cup Milk

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


Instructions

Prep

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Cream Cheese Filling

First, soften the cream cheese. Then, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed until smooth with a hand mixer. Set aside.

Mix Dry, Then Wet, Then Both

In a second bowl, combine the dry ingredients including flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, and whisk together. Set aside.

Then in a third mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, egg, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Mix until smooth.

Finally, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix. Continue adding dry to wet and mixing until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Layer Filling

Spoon about a third of the pumpkin mixture into the loaf pan. Then with a spatula, add half of the cream cheese filling. Add the next third of the pumpkin batter, and then the rest of the cream cheese filling. Drop the remaining pumpkin batter over the top. Use a knife to swirl the batter.

Bake

Bake the pumpkin bread for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick test starting at the 50-minute mark if you’re using a dark pan.

Toothpick test: Insert a toothpick into the middle of the bread, then lift it straight out. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it has wet batter on it, bake for another 5-10 and check again.

When done, remove the pumpkin bread from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan. Then, remove from the loaf and let the pumpkin cream cheese bread cool on a wire rack for one hour.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 70
  • Category: Baking & Pastry
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pumpkin Bread, Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread, Joanna Gaines Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread

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