My friends and I had a Thanksgiving morning tradition when we were younger and first married. All the husbands would meet to play football and the wives would sit around one of our kitchens, drinking coffee and eating delicious home baked muffins and breads. The tradition kind of fizzled once babies and other family obligations got in the way of lazy holiday mornings, but the home baked breads have survived. This Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread is such a warm and comforting way to start the holiday, and the long weekend.
What are those things on top of the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread?
I’ll get this out of the way first – they’re pepitas! Which is just a fancy word for toasted pumpkin seeds. They’re light, crunchy and bit salty, and they make an amazing topping for this pumpkin bread. I like them even better than sprinkling the top with nuts.
For variation in texture, crush some of them up and leave some of them whole. Makes the top of the bread look really pretty.
Where’s the cream cheese swirl?
Baking is a science, and I’m always amazed at how much chemistry plays a role. For example, this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread. I started by pouring the batter into a prepared loaf pan, spooning the cream cheese over top and using a knife to drag and swirl it through the batter.
Don’t you know, the cream cheese all rose to the top once the bread was baked! This is why I cannot honestly call it a cream cheese swirl bread. I learned that if you want that cool swirl of cream cheese throughout the bread, you have to pour half of the batter into the loaf pan, followed by the cream cheese, followed by the other half of the batter.
That said, this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread came out amazingly delicious, with a creamy, tangy crust on top. I wouldn’t change it at all.
If you make this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread, I’d love to hear about it! Remember to tag me in your photos and drop a rating or comment below. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup pepitas half crushed, half left whole
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and pumpkin puree.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda and spices.
- Beat the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Pour into a prepared loaf pan (coated with nonstick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper).
- Microwave the cream cheese in 20 second intervals until smooth and looser in consistency. Dot spoonfuls of cream cheese over the batter. Use a knife to swirl the cream cheese through the batter.
- Sprinkle the top of the bread evenly with pepitas. Bake 1 hour 10 minutes. Cool completely before turning out of the pan.