How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
Kick your pumpkin season up a notch with this pumpkin cream cheese bread recipe! All of the sweet, fluffy lusciousness of a classic pumpkin loaf, plus a gorgeous swirl of indulgent cream cheese filling. Pretty much, it’s like a pumpkin CHEESECAKE bread with a comforting, baked, bread-y texture. Great for a tasty teatime snack or an impressive dessert!
Honestly, I’ve made a lot of different pumpkin breads over the years—from the most basic loaf, to gluten free options, to paleo and low carb options—but this beauty is my absolute favorite. It’s perfectly moist and fluffy, the cream cheese filling is just sweet enough, and I love how it gets baked to perfection between the layers of pumpkin-y goodness.
Plus, even though it looks fancy and complicated, this pumpkin cream cheese bread is so easy to make! The bread batter is super simple to prepare in just a few minutes, and then you simply pour part of the batter into the pan, layer on the cream cheese filling, and finish with the rest of the batter on top. I promise, it’s way easier than any layered cake or other baked good!
Most importantly, the result is delicious—especially if you finish it off with a dusting of powdered sugar. (Unfortunately, I forgot to do this when I made the recipe…) I’ll show you how to make pumpkin cheesecake bread with a cream cheese filling, along with which substitutions can work in this recipe.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread Ingredients
½ cup avocado oil (or light/extra light olive oil) ½ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup coconut/brown sugar 1 egg 1 cup canned pumpkin 2-3 Tbsp milk, dairy or non- 1⅓ – 1½ cups flour (all-purpose, wheat or gluten-free*) ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract optional: powdered sugar for topping
Cream Cheese Filling 8oz cream cheese, softened ¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt 1 egg
Oils: It’s important to use a high smoke point oil with a neutral flavor for baking, such as avocado oil or light or extra light olive oil. (Extra-virgin has a low smoke point, so don’t use it for cooking!)
Sugars: In this recipe, granulated white sugar and brown sugar work best. Or, you have the option to replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar instead.
Eggs: At this time, I haven’t found a suitable egg substitute for this recipe and I haven’t tested it with a vegan egg alternative!
Pumpkin: If you want to make this pumpkin cream cheese bread you’ve gotta have some pumpkin! But, if you wanted to experiment with a different type of loaf like a banana bread with a cream cheese filling, you could try replacing the pumpkin with mashed banana.
Milk: Use whichever type of milk you refer in this recipe, dairy or non-dairy.
Flour: All-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a 1-to-1 gluten free flour can all work in this recipe. Oat flour can work, but the loaf won’t set as well. My personal favorite 1-to-1 gluten free flour is Cup 4 Cup’s gluten free multipurpose flour! If you do plan on keeping this recipe gluten free, it can help to bake your loaf for an extra minute or a few to ensure it’s cooked through. (If it’s underdone, it may crumble!)
Mix-Ins & Toppings: For this pumpkin cheesecake bread recipe, I haven’t personally tried it with any mix-ins like nuts or chocolate chips, etc. These might work, but they also have the potential to disturb the layering of the bread batter and the cream cheese filling—you’d have to experiment with it to find out! Personally, I love the texture and taste of this bread without any mix-ins, and I recommend sprinkling with powdered sugar on top!
Cream Cheese Filling: You can use either sour cream or Greek yogurt to make the filling, but I can’t say whether using dairy free alternatives will work for this recipe. Again, you’re welcome to experiment, but I haven’t personally tested this.
How to Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread
First, prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan—this bread will be large because of the cream cheese filling, so an 8.5×4.5-inch loaf pan may be too small, or you won’t be able to us all of the batter. I prefer to line mine with parchment and then spray it with cooking spray for easy removal. Also, I use metal loaf pans, so keep in mind that a glass dish will bake at a different rate.
Next, start by combining all of the cream cheese filling ingredients with a hand mixer, then set that aside. For the base pumpkin bread batter, beat together the wet ingredients in one bowl. Then, in a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Finally, pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture, mixing well until smooth and integrated.
Now, it’s time to layer everything into your loaf pan! Start by pouring in about ⅔ of the bread batter, then stop. Dollop your cream cheese filling on top of that, gently smoothing it out and leveling it off as you go. Lastly, pour or spoon the rest of the bread batter on top, doing your best not to disturb the cream cheese layer. Finally, this pumpkin cream cheese bread is ready to bake!
Pop it into the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 60 minutes, and it’s done when a toothpick comes out clean. (Use a longer toothpick or skewer to check that the middle of the loaf is cooked through!) Make sure to let it cool completely before removing, sprinkle on some powdered sugar if you like, and then slice into pieces. Admire that fancy cream cheese swirl and enjoy!
Sweet, fluffy pumpkin cheesecake bread with a baked cream cheese filling.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:60 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 10 minutes
Yield:12 servings 1x
½ cup avocado oil (or light/extra light olive oil) ½ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup coconut/brown sugar 1 egg 1 cup canned pumpkin 2–3 Tbsp milk, dairy or non- 1⅓ – 1½ cups flour (all-purpose, wheat or gluten-free*) ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp salt 1 tsp vanilla extract optional: powdered sugar for topping
Cream Cheese Filling
8oz cream cheese, softened ¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ cup sour cream or Greek yogurt 1 egg
Preheat oven 350°F (180°C).
Prepare 9×5” loaf pan. (I prefer to line my loaf pan with parchment & spray with cooking spray.)
Use a hand mixer to combine cream cheese mixture ingredients. Set aside.
Beat together oil, sugars, eggs, milk, and pumpkin for bread batter.
Separately, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices and vanilla. Add dry to wet and mix to combine.
Pour about ⅔ of bread batter into loaf pan. Add cream cheese filling, smoothing/leveling it off. Top with remaining pumpkin bread batter—do your best not to disturb the cream cheese layer.
Bake 60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle of the loaf.
Cool completely before removing from pan. If desired, dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.
Storage & Freezing:
Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
To freeze, make sure pumpkin bread loaf or slices are completely cooled. Wrap loaf or slices with plastic wrap or foil, then place into a freezer bag and freeze.
When ready to enjoy from frozen, transfer to the fridge to defrost overnight or allow to defrost at room temperature for a few hours. Feel free to reheat in the toaster oven or microwave!
*Note on Gluten Free Flour:
The best option for this recipe is a 1-to-1 gluten free flour. My personal favorite is Cup 4 Cup’s gluten free multipurpose flour! Also, consider baking your gluten free loaf for an extra minute or a few to ensure that it’s cooked through. (If it’s underdone, it may crumble!)