Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread — This is without a doubt the BEST pumpkin bread recipe! This pumpkin cream cheese bread tastes like it has cheesecake baked into the middle. You’ll definitely want a second slice!
The BEST Pumpkin Bread Recipe
It’s not too early for a pumpkin recipe. It’s almost the fall, right? Even if we weren’t closing in on the fall, pumpkin knows no seasons for me.
I did most of the baking for Cooking with Pumpkin in the spring and summer. Nothing like the scent of pumpkin wafting through the house for Easter, Mother’s Day, and the Fourth of July. It’s only fitting I made this pumpkin cream cheese bread on a warm summer day.
Ever since I made my Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread I wanted to try it with pumpkin. I adapted the recipe by swapping pumpkin puree for bananas, added warming spices, and it worked beautifully.
The bread is soft, moist, springy, dense yet still fluffy, and it’s nicely spiced. Like all my pumpkin, carrot, and sweet potato desserts, using enough spices to ensure the final result is full-flavored and satisfying is key.
The cream cheese layer that runs through the bread is like having a layer of cheesecake baked into pumpkin bread. It really makes the bread out of this world good.
It’s an easy, no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes. I used melted coconut oil so there’s no butter to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps bread softer and springier than butter, and I prefer the taste.
A little sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, bouncy, fluffy loaf. Using sour cream, Greek yogurt, or buttermilk in quick bread and muffin recipes ensures more tender results. Anything baked with pumpkin has the natural advantage of being moister because of how moist pumpkin is.
Between the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, tangy cream cheese, and the moist, soft bread with rich pumpkin flavor, this is my idea of comfort food.
It’s never too early to get started with that first pumpkin recipe of the season.
What’s in Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread?
For the homemade pumpkin bread, you’ll need:
- Pumpkin puree
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Melted coconut oil
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Ground nutmeg
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
And for the cream cheese filling, you’ll need:
- Cream cheese
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
How to Make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
To make this cream cheese-filled pumpkin bread, simply whisk together the quick bread batter and spread roughly two-thirds of it into a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan. Whisk together the cream cheese filling and spread it carefully over the batter.
Pour the remaining pumpkin batter over the cream cheese layer, then bake the homemade pumpkin bread until the top is golden and domed and the center is set. Normally I’d say to insert a toothpick into the middle to see if it comes out clean, but that’s tough to do here since the cream cheese filling never fully sets while the bread is baking.
You may want to tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 35-minute mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of pumpkin, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
Here’s a video on how to make pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling!
Can I Omit the Cream Cheese Filling?
I’m not sure why you’d want to miss out on the cheesecake-y filling, but you’re welcome to omit it if desired.
Is There a Coconut Oil Substitute I Can Use?
Coconut oil adds a nearly imperceptible undertone that’s sweeter and more fragrant than canola or vegetable oil, but substitute with them if you’d like.
Can I Add Mix-Ins to the Bread Batter?
Mix-ins like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and raisins would taste great in this cream cheese-filled pumpkin bread. However, these kinds of mix-ins are quite heavy, so they may sink into the cream cheese layer and your bread wouldn’t turn out looking perfectly polished.
If that doesn’t bother you, try adding in the mix-ins and see what happens.
Can I Freeze Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread?
Very easily! Let it first cool completely, then wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to eat the frozen bread, set it on your counter overnight to thaw.
Tips for Making the Best Pumpkin Bread
Make sure you’re using pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling for this pumpkin cream cheese bread recipe. Pumpkin pie filling is sweetened and spiced and will mess up the flavor and texture of this bread.
Also note that you need to use brick-style cream cheese and not the kind that comes in a tub. Cream cheese in a tub is often moister than brick-style cream cheese, which can turn the cream cheese filling into a runny mess.
Finally, feel free to add more or less spices to this pumpkin bread. I like my pumpkin breads to be well flavored, but I know not everyone likes as much cinnamon as I do.
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- 1 large egg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional and to tast
Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 large egg
- 4 ounces softened brick-style cream cheese (lite is okay)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pan; set aside.
Make the Bread Batter
- In a large bowl, add the the first ten ingredients, through ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don’t overmix; set aside.
- Turn about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary; set aside.
Make the Cream Cheese Filling
- In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
- Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
- Top filling with remaining pumpkin bread batter, smoothing the top very lightly with a spatula as to not disturb cream cheese layer and pushing batter into corners and sides as necessary.
- Bake for about 48 minutes or until the top is domed, golden, and the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Note this is tricky because the cream cheese never gets totally solid so the toothpick test isn’t the most accurate. *
- Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Optionally, serve with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, or Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze.
*Tip: Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped over it at the 35 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. Baking times will vary based on moisture content of pumpkin, cream cheese, climate, and oven variances. Bake until done; watch your bread, not the clock.
Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Recipe adapted from Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g
More Cozy Quick Bread Recipes:
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The Best Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread — This pumpkin chocolate chip bread is truly the best homemade pumpkin bread you’ll ever make. It’s moist, packed with chocolate chips, and tastes like fall!
Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Bread — Super soft, tender, moist pumpkin bread with a slightly crunchy cinnamon sugar topping!
Carrot Apple Bread — This apple carrot bread tastes like carrot cake that’s been infused with apples. It’s a no mixer recipe that goes from bowl to oven in minutes!
Pumpkin Banana Bread — This pumpkin banana bread is topped with a homemade browned butter frosting. It’s super moist thanks to the mashed bananas, pumpkin, yogurt, and melted butter in the batter!
Cinnamon Spice Applesauce Bread with Honey Butter — This applesauce bread is packed with fall flavors and comes together quickly. I serve mine with homemade honey butter, because why not?
Mini Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread – Super soft, tender, moist pumpkin bread that’s loaded with chocolate chips!! The mini loaves are EASY, brimming will fall flavors, totally IRRESISTIBLE, and accidentally vegan!!
Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie – My second cookbook with over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon
Originally posted August 2014 and republished October 23, 2019 and August 13, 2021 with updated text.