Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread

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! 

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread loaf

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.

slices of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread 

What’s in Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread? 

For the homemade pumpkin bread, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Melted coconut oil
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ground nutmeg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder 
  • Baking soda

And for the cream cheese filling, you’ll need: 

  • Egg
  • Cream cheese
  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour

sliced loaf of the best pumpkin bread

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! 

sliced loaf of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread on cutting board

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.

homemade pumpkin bread with cream cheese filling

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. 

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

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. 

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread - Pumpkin bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread

Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin 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!

Yield: one 9x5-inch loaf
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 48 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 58 minutes

Ingredients

Bread

  • 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

Instructions

    1. 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

    1. In a large bowl, add the the first ten ingredients, through ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
    2. 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.
    3. 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

    1. In a large bowl, add all the filling ingredients and whisk to combine. Alternatively, mix with a hand mixer.
    2. Evenly pour filling mixture over the bread, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula and pushing it into corners and sides as necessary.
    3. 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.
    4. 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. *
    5. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
    6. Optionally, serve with Honey Butter, Cinnamon-Sugar Butter, or Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze.

Notes

*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.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 255 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 52mg Sodium: 157mg Carbohydrates: 34g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 20g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g

More Cozy Quick Bread Recipes: 

Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust — If you want to make a believer out of anyone who doubts that vegan baked goods can taste amazing, this recipe will change their mind.

Soft Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel Crust - You won't miss the eggs or the butter in this fast & easy bread from averiecooks.com

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

Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie by Averie Sunshine

196 comments on “Cream Cheese-Filled Pumpkin Bread”

  1. I was a little nervous about making this after reading the large variability of experiences with this recipe, but I decided to go for it because you’ve never steered me wrong! I substituted vegetable oil for coconut oil. I added 1.5 Tablespoons flour extra to the cream cheese so that it wouldn’t be runny like other commenters said. Mine was nice and thick. I added too much of the bread batter first so that after I put the cream cheese in and added the rest of the bread batter, there wasn’t enough to cover the cream cheese. The batter was thinner than the cream cheese so it kind of sunk into it. It looked more like a swirl by the time I smoothed it all down. I was disheartened by then that I’d messed it all up.
    I baked it 45 minutes and used a tent at 35 mins. The bread turned out delicious. Soft and moist. Some of the pieces look a little swirled and some have the nice center streak of cream cheese. Either way, huge hit!

  2. Hey there! About to try this recipe. Was wondering what size can of pumpkin do you use? Or. How much? Becuase I purchased one of the overly large cans of pumpkin puree. Thank you! Looks delicious.

    • In this recipe you definitely don’t use the whole can – of any size – of puree, you just use 1 cup. But I generally purchase 15-ounce cans.

    • So, of course, I’m the one person who reads and re-reads and re-reads AGAIN and recipe and still can’t seem to read it correctly. I kept reading one can instead of one cup. Anyway, I tried this recipe last time and it turned out PERFECT! The whole family loved it and it had a picture perfect pumpkin to cream cheese ratio. Will definitely we making again before the holidays are over!

      • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

        Can, cup, well…as long as you figured it out before you made it which it sounds like you did, it’s all good :) Glad it was a hit and that you’ll make it again!

  3. Hello! I’ve been a ‘baking fool’ (lol)  these past 2 days making 6 batches of this cream cheese – filled pumpkin bread for our friends.  I must say it took a lot of my time in making this. The pumpkin mixture is a little hard to work with as it wants to stick to the utensils when trying to smooth the layers and push it to the corners. The top layer was the hardest as it was almost impossible to spread the pumpkin mixture without disturbing the cream cheese.  As of a half hour ago my husband and I finally was able to taste this bread ourselves.  The final outcome: although the bread does taste good, the cream cheese just wasn’t what I had hoped for.  Reason is, 1) not enough of it as the ribbon looked to be too thin, and 2) cream cheese taste wasn’t strong enough as the pumpkin over powered it too much. Cream cheese is my favorite so that’s the reason for trying this recipe as the combination sounded great.  I’m just wondering what I can do different that would improve the cream cheese?

    • I haven’t made the bread in any other way than indicated. You could try doubling the cream cheese amount and seeing how that goes…but since I haven’t tried it, I can’t comment on baking time or final result. Thanks for trying the recipe.

  4. I just made this lovely pumpkin bread~ followed the recipe exactly~ except I wanted more cream cheese filling. I doubled all the ingredients for the cream cheese layer except only used 1 egg. It came out beautifully!!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Great idea on the cream cheese layer and keeping it to 1 egg was a smart move so it didn’t taste too ‘eggy’.

  5. Had a friend coming over and wanted to have a yummy baked bread ready.  Used my food processer for most steps except adding the flour mixture.  In my attempt to hurry, I forgot to add the egg to the cream cheese filling. Needless to say, it came out perfect! Looks just like your photo! Also threw in pecans, cuz who doesn’t like those in pumpkin bread! And I had just the soft spread cream cheese so I used that. Thank you for a delicious and easy clean up recipe!

  6. Made this, followed the recipe to a T except I used butter-flavored coconut oil instead of plain coconut oil. Turned out great, and looks similar to your picture. Loved it!

  7. I have a question. Could I just make the pumpkin bread? I have some pumpkin to use up, and don’t really want the cream cheese layer. Thanks!

  8. I just made this bread, and it turned out fantastic except all the cream cheese oozed to the sides so there’s not a thick layer of it in the middle of the bread. I added roughly ½ cup of flour to the pumpkin mixture to thicken it up, then I doubled the cream cheese mixture but didn’t use it all, so I don’t know if that was necessary. It looks beautiful and is approved by my 18 mo old daughter. I’ll definitely be using this for holiday parties! 

  9. Thanks for the recipe. I made it over the weekend following the ingredients but I used cake flour instead. The only ingredient I was a little concerned with was the 2 tsp of cinnamon. I thought it was a bit much for a recipe. It smelled great while baking and turned out okay. The problem was as I previously mentioned, the cinnamon over powered the pumpkin. Next time, I’ll follow my gutt and use only 1 tsp of cinnamon. Thanks again!

  10. Can i make this recipe with the cream cheese filling? I have a canned pumpkin in my pantry but i don’t have any cream cheese on hand.

  11. Hi! Just wanna say I’ve done this recipe in the past and it was delicious. I want to try it again but I want to do almond/coconut flour. What do think about that?

  12. I have been making this recipe for years now for the holidays and everyone loves it! I even give it out for Christmas!

  13. So I just tried this out and it tastes great! Super moist and balanced. Thanks for the recipe and instructions!

  14. This was delicious! Mine didn’t quite need the full 48 minutes, but I loved it. Next time, I’d like to try adding a chocolate drizzle or dark chocolate chips to it (I love pumpkin and chocolate together)

  15. Tried this recipe yesterday…delicious! I doubled everything though as I needed a bigger yield. One question…the cream cheese supposed to be cakey or creamy? Mine was cakey. Also I didnt have pumpkin pie spice so I substituted with tumeric. Thanks for sharing…def a keeper!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you as a double batch. The cheesecake layer is somewhere in between cakey and creamy. You could experiment with different ratios of ingredients if you want to take the texture more in one direction or the other.

  16. I tried this recipe yesterday…delicious! I doubled everything though as I needed a bigger yield. Question:the cream cheese whrn baked supposed to be cakie/breadie or creamy? Mine was cakie/breadie. I also didnt have the pumpkin pie spicd so I used tumeric instead and it turned out fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

  17. My son has an egg and nut/peanut allergy – do you think I can use Bobs red Mill egg replacement?

  18. I made this recipe last night and it turned out great! I baked it for 40 minutes and the cream cheese wasn’t solid but once it cooled it was. The flavor was amazing and it was super moist. I might double the cream cheese next time as well. The only suggestion I might make is to use a mixer for the cream cheese mixture as there were chunks instead of it being smooth. I will definitely make this again!!

  19. This was great. I did change couple things. I used 120 grams of einkorn flour for the bread batter and gluten free flour in the cream cheese layer. I pumped up the spices, and next time I will add even more. I was out of coconut sugat, next time I will use that because it was too sugary, even though I used less than what was called for and I’ll try maple syrup or honey in the cream cheese layer. The basic recipe was excellent!

  20. If we dont have pumpkin pie spice. what spices (and how much) do you recommend substituting in its place? Thanks!

  21. This pumpkin bread is really good, very dense and can really taste the pumpkin. Delicious!

    Rating: 5
  22. Just made this bread last night and had some problems with it. I baked it for 48 minutes at 350, as stated. Seemed done when I took it out and I let It cool completely. But when I took it out of the pan I realized the bottom was still all batter. I managed to get it back in the pan and baked it for 30 minutes more and again let it cool completely. And still when I took it out of the pan the bottom wasn’t done. I can’t figure out if I’m doing something wrong or what happened with it.

    • Obviously something is going wrong on your end since it’s not cooking through. Always bake until things are done, and if that takes 58 minutes in your oven, then that’s what you need to do. I will say that from experience, when I’ve taken something out of the oven and thought it was done and then put it back in the oven, it almost never seems to really get done. I would start over, bake longer from the get go, and that should do the trick.

  23. Amazing recipe! The bread comes out so moist and delicious!

    Rating: 5
  24. Ot looks very delicious and thinking about making it for a work potluck. I was wondering I’d you softened the cream cheese before mixing in the other ingredients? Also could you mix the first 10 ingredients with a mixer instead of wicking it together? Thank you Jessica

  25. I love this recipe! It came out moist and perfect. This is now a Thanksgiving staple at my house.

    Rating: 5

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