Fall in love with cream cheese in your pumpkin bread recipe

Illustration by Olivia Havre | Photographer

By Avery Ballmann | Staff Writer

It’s finally fall, which means all things pumpkin. Whether you like it or not, pumpkin-flavored food items have already hit the stores, so why not hop on the fall bandwagon and make yourself a loaf of pumpkin bread, but with a twist.

Getting Started

First, grab your favorite pumpkin bread mix. I picked mine up from Trader Joe’s. To spice up the boring pumpkin bread mix, we’re going to make a homemade cream cheese filling with just five simple ingredients.

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon zest

I was inspired to add this twist because every time fall rolls around, my grandmother makes a cream cheese pumpkin roll. This is by far one of my favorite desserts she makes, and I had to put my own spin on it with my pumpkin bread.

Mix It Up

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, combine the pumpkin bread and cream cheese filling in separate bowls. Before you begin mixing, be sure to preheat your oven to what the mix requires and spray down your pan or line it with parchment paper.

Cover and Bake

Once all of the ingredients are mixed, fill up the pan a third of the way with the pumpkin bread mixture.

Then cover the pumpkin bread with the cream cheese filling, but save some of this mixture for the end to decorate. After you place the cream cheese filling, pour the rest of the pumpkin bread on top.

To garnish, drizzle the cream cheese mixture on top of the bread.

Wait and Watch

As you wait for your bread to rise, play Halloween music, listen to a spooky podcast, watch your favorite fall movie or just enjoy the aroma of pumpkin filling your house. Please note that all ovens are different, so set a timer with the shortest baking time the mix suggests.

Once the timer goes off, stick a butter knife into the bread; if the knife comes out relatively clean, the bread is fully cooked. If not, place the bread back into the oven. Once the bread has completed baking, set aside and let cool completely. This will help set the cream cheese and make slicing easier.

Now that the pumpkin bread is cool, it’s time to dig in. I love the tangy cream cheese mixture swirled in between the layers of the warm, spiced pumpkin bread.

This sweet treat makes it feel like it’s really fall, despite the temperature outside. To enjoy this dessert throughout the week, keep your bread in an air-tight container.