Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread is the ultimate recipe for pumpkin bread. It is perfectly spiced, soft, tender, and studded with a rich cream cheese swirl.
Made with warming pumpkin pie spice, earthy pumpkin puree, and a creamy, thick cream cheese filling, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread is a healthier spin on Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Enjoy it with a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the perfect fall treat!
Reasons To Love Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- The Cream Cheese Swirl. Not only does the cream cheese swirl give this pumpkin bread a beautiful presentation, but it also adds a rich, decadent flavor to this fairly healthy pumpkin bread.
- Healthier Ingredients. Pumpkin bread is often made with a hefty amount of refined sugars, refined flour, and oil. This recipe swaps out a few key ingredients to make a healthier version of pumpkin bread that tastes just as delicious as the classic recipe.
- Richly Flavor. This recipe for pumpkin bread is spiced with the best combination of warming spices and sweetened with maple syrup which enhances the pumpkin flavor.
Notes on Ingredients
- Whole Wheat Flour: Instead of using enriched flour, this recipe uses whole white wheat flour. Whole White Wheat flour is still 100% whole grain, yet bakes up light and fluffy.
- Maple Syrup: To sweeten the pumpkin bread batter, maple syrup is the perfect choice. It is a natural sweetener and the warm flavor of maple is a beautiful compliment to the pumpkin.
- Applesauce + Oil: This recipe calls for a combination of oil and unsweetened applesauce. The addition of applesauce helps to keep the bread moist and tender while cutting back on the amount of oil added. For the oil, use melted coconut oil or canola oil.
- Pumpkin Puree: Be sure to use 100% pure canned or homemade pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. If using homemade puree, you will want to strain it over a fine-mesh strainer and then measure out 1 cup of the puree in the bread.
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat or reduced-fat cream cheese, not fat-free cream cheese, as it will not bake up to be as rich and creamy.
- Spices: To enhance the pumpkin flavor, I recommend using a combination of ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice. While pumpkin pie spice already contains cinnamon, the flavor is best when you add additional cinnamon.
- No Whole White Wheat Flour? No problem! Use whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour.
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread: Use an all-purpose 1:1 gluten-free flour in place of the whole white wheat flour.
- No Pumpkin Pie Spice? Replace it with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of ground cloves for similar results.
- Don't want the Cream Cheese Swirl? Omit it and bake the pumpkin bread as directed. It will be reminiscent of my Healthy Pumpkin Muffins in bread form It will also be dairy-free.
Tips to Remember When Making Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Tip #1: Use Room Temperature Cream Cheese. It is CRUCIAL to use softened cream cheese, not cold cream cheese. Your cream cheese should be at room temperature before trying to make the cream cheese filling, as this will prevent it from being lumpy.
Tip #2: Don't Overmix Batter. The best way to prevent overmixing your pumpkin bread batter is to separately combine the wet and dry ingredients. Then gently fold them together until the flour is fully moistened, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Using a whisk or mixer can result in overmixed dough.
Tip #3: Layer with Care. Layering the pumpkin bread batter with the cream cheese swirl does not have to be perfect! But in order to help ensure a beautiful presentation, it is best to pour half the pumpkin bread batter into the prepared pan followed by the cream cheese filling. Finish by dolloping the remaining pumpkin bread batter over the cream cheese filling. Do not worry about the batter fully covering the cream cheese layer.
Due to the cream cheese swirl and the fact that this pumpkin bread is so moist, it is best to store the bread in the refrigerator once it has cooled. This will prevent the bread from growing mold.
- Refrigerate: Pumpkin cream cheese bread should be cooled fully, and then stored for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Allow the bread to cool fully after baking. Once cooled, wrap in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of foil. Place the wrapped bread into a freezer-safe bag and store it in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow the bread to defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
More Delicious Pumpkin Recipes
- Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins
- Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
- Homemade Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Roll
- Pumpkin Banana Muffins
If you enjoyed this pumpkin bread recipe with a cream cheese swirl, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
For the Pumpkin Bread
For the Cream Cheese Filling
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole white wheat flour or all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 ℉ and grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray or line with parchment paper.
- Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together over a large mixing bowl and then gently whisk to combine.
- In a separate mixing bowl, mix together 2 eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and pumpkin puree until well combined.
- Add the pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.
- Prepare the cream cheese filling, by mixing together cream cheese, vanilla extract, egg, and sugar together with a handheld mixer on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Pour ½ of the pumpkin bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Pour the filling on top of that. Then finish by gently dolloping the remaining bread batter onto the filling. (It is okay if it is not perfectly covered.)
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the loaf pan on a cooling rack for 10. After 10 minutes, remove the bread from the loaf pan and continue to cool to room temperature before slicing and/or storing.