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Pumpkin cream cheese bread

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Celebrate the season with a frosted loaf of pumpkin cream cheese bread! If you enjoy bran muffins, easy popovers, or white bread, you’ll love this delicious fall recipe. This moist pumpkin bread is irresistible!

When the frosted loaf is sliced, it’s delightful to see a beautiful cream cheese swirl inside. Double the recipe to share the goodness. Make one for you and one for a friend. Give loaves to neighbors. They’re perfect holiday gifts!

PIN PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD!

4 slices of frosted cream cheese bread on a stack of 3 dessert plates.

ABOUT PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

Over the years, I’ve tried a lot of pumpkin bread recipes. The results have been mixed. There’ve been burnt loaves with uncooked middles. Dense loaves with deeply sunken centers. And loaves that just didn’t taste that good.

This weekend I was on a mission. I experimented in the kitchen, honing the recipe to perfection. I was looking for the best taste, texture and crumb. I baked pumpkin bread in 3 different loaf pan sizes to see which worked best.

It took 6 loaves until I was completely satisfied with the results. Then I made 2 more loaves, just to be sure. Now I can say with confidence, this is the best pumpkin cream cheese bread recipe. And with frosting it’s even better.

A loaf of pumpkin bread cut in half so you can see the cream cheese swirl inside.
TALL LOAF BAKED IN A 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-INCH LOAF PAN

recipe ingredients

This moist pumpkin bread recipe is made with easy to find ingredients. Most are common refrigerator and pantry items.

Overhead image of pumpkin cream cheese bread ingredients laid out on a white rustic table.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING INGREDIENTS

Why flour in the cream cheese filling? It makes it thick and sturdy. You’ll see this ingredient in most pumpkin cream cheese bread recipes. A thinner mixture would ooze out the sides of the loaf.

Additionally, without a bit of flour the filling would not be strong enough to support the pumpkin batter layer on top. There would be no rising or doming. The loaf would sink in the middle.

  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Sea salt

PUMPKIN BREAD INGREDIENTS

For the pumpkin, a small 15-ounce can is all you need. We’ll be using just one cup of the pumpkin puree, not the whole can.

However, if you’re doubling the recipe, you’ll need a few spoonfuls from a second can.

  • Canned pumpkin (100% pure)
  • Large egg
  • Sour cream
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light-brown sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Sea salt
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder

FROSTING INGREDIENTS

This powdered sugar glaze is the final touch on this beautiful pumpkin cream cheese bread. Don’t skip it. It’s like frosting on a cake!

Frosted pumpkin cream cheese loaf on a wire cooling rack.
WIDE LOAF BAKED IN A 9 X 5-INCH LOAF PAN.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk or half-and-half

BEST LOAF PAN FOR PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

  • TALL LOAF: 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (1 lb size).
  • WIDE LOAF: 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (1.25 lb size).
  • NO LOAF PAN? Use a muffin pan! Bake pumpkin muffins at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes.

GET READY FOR HOLIDAY BAKING: Invest in high-quality pieces of USA Pan bakeware. Click the image below to start your collection! It’s an Amazon affiliate link.

moist pumpkin bread recipe

Make this easy recipe on crisp-weather days! As the loaf bakes in the oven your whole kitchen will smell like fall.

Please note, this recipe calls for one cup of pumpkin, not one entire can!

Double the recipe to make two loaves at once!

Two USA loaf pans with pumpkin bread batter and a spatula with a Thanksgiving turkey design.

Here’s how to make a tender loaf of pumpkin cream cheese bread.

PUMPKIN BREAD BATTER

RECIPE PREP: Grease a loaf pan with butter. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • STEP 1: In a large mixing bowl, mix egg, pumpkin, melted butter, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  • STEP 2: Add in granulated sugar, brown sugar, sea salt and pumpkin pie spice. Blend them in. Add flour and mix well to incorporate.
  • STEP 3: At the last moment, add baking soda and baking powder to the batter. Gently blend them in. You’ll immediately notice the mixture getting a slight airy lift. Do not over-mix!
  • STEP 4: Transfer half the batter to the prepared loaf pan. With a spatula, spread it into an even layer. Reserve the remaining batter for later.
Four helpful images how to make pumpkin bread, step by step.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  • STEP 1: Add all cream cheese filling ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  • STEP 2: With a clean spatula, place the cream cheese filling down the middle of the pan, directly over the pumpkin batter.
  • STEP 3: Leaving a 1/2-inch border around all 4 sides, spread the creamy mixture into an even layer. The border is to prevent the filling from oozing out the sides of the loaf while baking.
  • STEP 4: With a clean spatula, gently spread the reserved pumpkin batter over the cream cheese mixture. Try not to disturb the creamy layer beneath. Lightly smooth the top.
4 images showing how to make delicious cream cheese filling for pumpkin bread.

HOW TO BAKE PUMPKIN BREAD

Use a conventional oven for this recipe. A convection oven may result in the outside of the loaf being done while the middle is still uncooked.

  • BAKE TIME: For a nice dome on top, bake 15 minutes at 425°F. Then lower the temperature to 350°F. Total baking time: 60 to 80 minutes, or until done. For me, the sweet spot is 1 hour 12 minutes.
  • PREVENT OVER-BROWNING: Tent loaf pan with foil after 35 minutes. This protects the top of the pumpkin bread and keeps it from burning.
  • BAKING VARIANCES: Baking times vary based on moisture content of ingredients (pumpkin, sour cream, butter), climate, and oven calibration.
  • HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE BREAD IS DONE: The loaf is done when the top domes, the crack down the middle is no longer moist, and a toothpick inserted in 3 different spots comes out clean.
Freshly-baked pumpkin cream cheese bread in a 1-lb metal loaf pan on an orange-checkered kitchen towel.

HOW TO COOL PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

To ensure this moist pumpkin bread maintains its structure when sliced, it’s important to let the bread and its cream cheese filling cool all the way down.

  • Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • Carefully remove loaf from pan. Transfer to a wire rack.
  • Cool pumpkin bread for 1 hour before icing.

FROSTING

While the loaf is cooling on a wire rack, prepare the powdered sugar glaze.

  • Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until the frosting is completely smooth.
  • For a thinner glaze, add more milk. To thicken, add more sugar.
  • Drizzle or spread glaze over the top of the cooled loaf.
Powdered sugar glaze inside a stainless steel mixing bowl with paddle attachment.

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD FAQ

  • WHAT TYPE OF PUMPKIN FOR THIS RECIPE? 100% pure pumpkin (puree). I use Libby canned pumpkin. Don’t use “pumpkin pie filling.” It has extra ingredients that will create a recipe fail.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR BUTTER IN PUMPKIN BATTER? The best swaps are canola oil, vegetable oil, or liquid-state coconut oil. It’s a straight substitution: 1/4 cup oil for 1/4 cup butter.
  • BEST SWAP FOR SOUR CREAM? For this recipe, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt is an excellent stand-in for sour cream. It’s thick, rich and tangy. Use an equal amount in place of the sour cream.
  • WHAT TYPE OF CREAM CHEESE FOR THIS RECIPE? Use the brick-style cream cheese, not the spreadable type that comes in tubs. We need a sturdy ingredient. Spreadable cream cheese has way too much moisture.
  • CAN I SKIP THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING? Yes, it can be omitted. But the creamy filling makes this pumpkin bread extra special!
  • CAN I SKIP THE FROSTING? You can, but I highly recommend you ice the loaf. Like frosting on a cake, it’s so darn good!
  • BEST MIX-INS FOR THE BATTER? Try chopped walnuts or pecans. Mini chocolate chips are also delicious! But keep in mind, these add-ins may seep into the layer of cream cheese filling.
  • DOES PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED? Yes. For food safety baked goods with cream cheese should be stored in the fridge. Place loaf in an air-tight container or a zip-top bag. Refrigerate.
  • CAN PUMPKIN BREAD BE FROZEN? Yes! After the bread has cooled, wrap the whole loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped bread in a large freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge, or warm slices in the microwave.
Loaf of pumpkin bread cooling on a white oblong platter next to 3 small pumpkins.

expert tips for recipe success

These kitchen tips will help you achieve recipe success. You’ll have the information you need to produce a beautiful moist loaf of pumpkin cream cheese bread!

  • TIP FOR MEASURING FLOUR: Too much flour can produce a dry loaf of pumpkin bread. Never scoop directly from the container as this compacts the flour. Instead, use a spoon to fluff up the flour inside the bag. Sprinkle flour into the measuring cup. With a knife, level off the excess.
  • ABOUT BAKING SODA: It provides a fast-acting chemical reaction. As soon as this leavening agent hits the batter and gets moistened, it starts to react and release CO2 gas bubbles. The pumpkin batter must be baked immediately. With this in mind, make the cream cheese filling first. Then assemble the pumpkin batter. Read more on how baking soda works!
  • WHY NOT TO USE A CONVECTION OVEN FOR PUMPKIN BREAD: A convection oven helps cook things quicker. However, this feature is not recommended for cooking any type of bread, including this moist pumpkin bread recipe. It can make the surface and/or interior dry. It will also be harder to tell when the loaf is done. Learn more about when and when not to use the convection setting!
Loaf of bread in a USA loaf pan fresh from the oven on top of a wire cooling rack.

MORE DELICIOUS FALL RECIPES

The best part of the cool-weather season is enjoying cozy comforting recipes that warm the body and soul. If you loved this pumpkin cream cheese bread, you’ll love these fall favorites too!

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Four frosted slices of pumpkin cream cheese bread stacked vertically on a plate next to a pumpkin loaf.

PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD > RATE THIS RECIPE ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Family and friends love this moist pumpkin bread recipe. They say it’s the best! If you agree, give this yummy loaf a 5-star rating in the comments.

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

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Four frosted slices of pumpkin cream cheese bread stacked vertically on a plate next to a pumpkin loaf.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread


  • Author: Denay DeGuzman
  • Prep Time: 20 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Yield: 1 Loaf of Bread 1x

Description

Pumpkin cream cheese bread is a fall favorite! Tender and moist, it has a ribbon of cream cheese down the middle and frosting on top. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, snack time, or dessert!


Scale

Ingredients

PUMPKIN BREAD BATTER

  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled (no longer hot)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light-brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

NOTE: The ingredient quantities below produce a wide ribbon of cream cheese filling. If you prefer a thinner ribbon inside the pumpkin bread, use only half of each item for the filling.

  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch sea salt

FROSTING

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (or half and half)

Instructions

RECIPE PREP: Melt 1/4 cup butter for the pumpkin batter. Set it aside. It needs time to shed heat and cool. Grease a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan (1-lb size) with butter or cooking spray. Read instructions all the way through before beginning this recipe.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING

  1. Add ingredients for cream cheese filling to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Set the bowl aside.

PUMPKIN BREAD BATTER

  1. In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, eggs, melted butter, sour cream and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
  2. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Add in the flour. (Don’t add the baking soda or baking powder just yet!) Blend well until fully incorporated.
  3. Mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Do not over-mix! 

ASSEMBLE PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

  1. With a clean spatula, transfer the cream cheese in a line down the middle of the pan, directly over the pumpkin batter.
  2. Leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges of the pan, spread the creamy mixture into an even layer. The reason we are leaving a border is to help prevent the filling from oozing out the sides of the loaf during baking.
  3. With a clean spatula, gently spread the reserved pumpkin batter over the cream cheese mixture. Try not to disturb the creamy layer beneath. Lightly smooth the top. 

HOW TO BAKE PUMPKIN BREAD

Use a conventional oven for this recipe. A convection oven can produce dryness or uneven results.

  • BAKE TIME: For a nice dome on top, bake 15 minutes at 425°F. Then lower the temperature to 350°F. Total baking time: 60 to 80 minutes, or until done. For me, the sweet spot is 1 hour 12 minutes.
  • PREVENT OVER-BROWNING: Tent loaf pan with foil after 35 minutes. This is very important to keep the beautiful top from burning!
  • BAKING VARIANCES: Baking times vary based on moisture content of ingredients (pumpkin, sour cream, butter), climate, and oven calibration. 
  • HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE BREAD IS DONE: The loaf is done when the top domes, the crack down the middle is no longer moist, and a toothpick inserted in 3 different spots comes out clean. 

HOW TO COOL PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD

To ensure this moist pumpkin bread maintains its structure when sliced, it’s important to let the bread and its cream cheese filling cool all the way down.

  1. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes. 
  2. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Transfer to a wire rack. 
  3. Let the bread cool completely, about 1 hour, before icing.

FROSTING

While the bread is cooling on a wire rack, assemble the powdered sugar glaze.

  1. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until the frosting is completely smooth. 
  2. For a thinner glaze, add more milk. To thicken, add more sugar.
  3. Drizzle or spread glaze over the top of the cooled loaf.

Notes

  • WHAT TYPE OF PUMPKIN FOR THIS RECIPE? 100% pure pumpkin (puree). I use Libby canned pumpkin. Do not use “pumpkin pie filling.” It has extra ingredients that will make this recipe fail. 
  • BEST SWAP FOR SOUR CREAM? For this recipe, plain whole-milk Greek yogurt is an excellent stand-in for sour cream. It’s thick, rich and tangy. Use an equal amount in place of the sour cream.
  • BEST SUBSTITUTE FOR BUTTER IN PUMPKIN BATTER? The best swaps are canola oil, vegetable oil, or liquid-state coconut oil. It’s a straight substitution: 1/4 cup oil for 1/4 cup butter.
  • WHAT TYPE OF CREAM CHEESE FOR THIS RECIPE? Use the brick-style cream cheese, not the spreadable type that comes in tubs. We need a sturdy ingredient. Spreadable cream cheese has way too much moisture.
  • CAN I SKIP THE CREAM CHEESE FILLING? Yes, it can be omitted. But the creamy filling is what makes this pumpkin bread recipe extra special!
  • MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS RECIPE: Additional information, helpful tips, and step-by-step images are available in the recipe post. 
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Loaf

Gold Line: Sprinkles of Inspiration | confettiandbliss.com

MOIST PUMPKIN BREAD > join the conversation

Do you enjoy baking fall recipes? Would you like to bake a loaf of pumpkin cream cheese bread? Share your thoughts below!

6 thoughts on “Pumpkin cream cheese bread”

  1. This was so easy. I loved all the step by step photos to make sure everything looked right along the way. Will definitely be making more to share, it was delicious!

    Reply
  2. Such a delicious recipe, and the step-by-step photos are so helpful, thanks so much! So glad pumpkin season is here again, hooray!

    Reply

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