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!
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
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (or half and half)
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
- Add ingredients for cream cheese filling to the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Set the bowl aside.
PUMPKIN BREAD BATTER
- In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, eggs, melted butter, sour cream and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
- 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.
- Mix in the baking soda and baking powder. Do not over-mix!
ASSEMBLE PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE BREAD
- With a clean spatula, transfer the cream cheese in a line down the middle of the pan, directly over the pumpkin batter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Carefully remove loaf from pan. Transfer to a wire rack.
- Let the bread cool completely, about 1 hour, before icing.
While the bread is cooling on a wire rack, assemble 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.
- 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.
- Prep Time: 20 Minutes
- Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
- Category: Desserts
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread, Pumpkin Bread, Pumpkin Loaf