Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread

Fall is the best season. I’m pretty sure that’s an undisputed fact if you live in New England. But for some reason this year, I had a really hard time letting summer go. Maybe because it was one of the better summer’s I’ve ever had? Or because I’m just not ready to contemplate braving another winter like we had last year? Whatever the reason, I think I’ve finally turned a corner. Fall is here, and I am so excited!

I bought my first can of pumpkin a couple of weeks ago, and I think that’s what started the beginnings of this fall excitement. When I was finally able to get back into the kitchen, I made a pumpkin spice coffee syrup, and this lovely loaf of bread. And so began the fall baking spree of 2015! I’ve got my eye on about a hundred new fall recipes, of which I might make three or four, but just daydreaming of all the wonderful fall creations I might be able to make is excitement enough to make it through the workweek.

Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread recipe - Sweetly Serendipity

This bread is so simple to make, and really quite delicious. I had intended to toss a half cup of walnuts into the batter, but somehow the loaf made its way into the oven and the walnuts remained on the counter, so I ended up with a plain pumpkin loaf that is anything but plain.

Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread recipe - Sweetly Serendipity

The recipe I (mostly) followed called for a significant amount of spices, which seemed like it might be overkill, but it wasn’t! This is certainly a full-flavored pumpkin bread, but I think the spices really amp up the depth of flavor, and give it a distinct feeling of fall. The cream cheese swirl adds another layer of flavor, and makes this bread more interesting and fun than a plain pumpkin loaf.

Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread recipe - Sweetly Serendipity

To my utter dismay, when I set out to make this recipe, I discovered that somewhere during my move I lost my giant tub of coconut oil, and had also run out of vegetable oil. That left olive oil as my only option for this recipe, and I decided since it was only 1/4 cup I’d go with it. The verdict? It worked beautifully! It doesn’t lend much to the flavor of this bread since it’s so loaded with spices, but the bread is exceedingly moist, with a lovely texture that holds it’s shape and doesn’t crumble. If I had it to do again, I’d probably still use olive oil, though I think that coconut oil might add a nice touch of flavor here too.

What fall creations are you whipping up in your kitchen?

Cream Cheese Swirl Pumpkin Bread


    Pumpkin Bread
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (can substitute vegetable oil or coconut oil)
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (sour cream works too)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpose is fine too)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cream Cheese Filling
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese (I used light)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


    For the bread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the the first ten ingredients, from the egg through ground nutmeg, and whisk to combine completely.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix with spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to overmix!
  4. For the cream cheese filling:
  5. In a large bowl, add all filling ingredients together, and beat to combine with a hand mixer.
  6. To assemble:
  7. Pour about two-thirds of the batter out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula so that it's evenly distributed.
  8. Evenly pour the filling mixture over the bread batter, smoothing the top with a spatula to evenly distribute.
  9. Top the filling carefully with remaining bread batter, smoothing the top very gently with a spatula, taking care not to disturb the cream cheese layer. This part is a bit tricky, and if you end up with a swirl or two of cream cheese on top, don't worry!
  10. Bake for about 48 minutes, checking for doneness after 40-45 minutes, until the top is slightly domed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

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