The first time I ever had pumpkin bread was way back in the beginning of elementary school, when my Girl Scout troop decided we should hone our culinary skills. One of the moms had us copy down her recipe, and as an oblivious little urchin who had yet to learn about mixed fractions, I interpreted “1 1/2 cup” as “one half-cup” and was very perplexed as to why you wouldn’t simply write it as “1/2 cup” …needless to say, when I tried to replicate the delicious pumpkin bread, it didn’t quite turn out the way I expected.
I’ve only tried one other recipe for pumpkin bread since then, and this is it. I’ve never had to touch another one because this light, moist loaf with the ribbon of cream cheese down the middle is so perfect, it’s become a fall staple. The first can of pumpkin puree I buy every fall is almost certainly earmarked for the purpose of this fragrant bread. There are few scents more comforting than the whiff of the pumpkin spices drifting upstairs from the kitchen. Go ahead – break out the cinnamon and nutmeg, because if you haven’t already jumped on the pumpkin-baked-goods train, you’re late! 🙂
Recipe: Cream Cheese Rippled Pumpkin Bread
Cream Cheese Mixture:
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1– 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9″x5″ pans.
For the Cream Cheese Mixture:
- Beat the cream cheese just until smooth in a stand mixer or food processor. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour. Set aside.
For the Pumpkin Bread:
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the sugar and melted butter, then stir in the pumpkin, water, and vanilla extract.
- Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to overmix. A few streaks of flour are fine. Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it between the two pans. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into each pan, then top with the remaining half of batter. Smooth the tops and bake an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool loaves to room temperature.
Number of servings (yield): 2 9″x5″ loaves
Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good