We Made Joanna Gaines’ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread—and It’s the Best Fall Treat

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With a moist, tender crumb and plenty of flavor, this pumpkin bread with cream cheese is an excellent quick bread for fall.

When the weather starts to cool down, it’s time to turn on the oven and make quick breads. Even though “quick” breads still take an hour to bake, it’s so worth it—especially for this pumpkin bread with cream cheese. With a moist, tender crumb, flavors of pumpkin and fall spices and a tangy cream cheese swirl, this is the ultimate quick bread for fall.

Ready to learn how to make pumpkin bread with cream cheese at home? It can be made entirely from scratch with a recipe from home and lifestyle guru Joanna Gaines. Since we love her other recipes, like chocolate chip Bundt cake and banana bread, we knew Joanna wouldn’t steer us wrong.

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bread to cool!

How to Make Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese, Just Like Joanna Gaines

Ingredients

Pumpkin cream cheese bread ingredientsMolly Allen for Taste of Home

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the pumpkin bread:

  • 1-¾ cups flour
  • 1-½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Tools You’ll Need

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the cream cheese filling

cream cheese filling for pumpkin breadMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix with a hand mixer or in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth. Set aside.

Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients

mixed dry ingredients for pumpkin breadMolly Allen for Taste of Home

In a separate bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Step 3: Mix the wet ingredients

In a mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, melted butter, egg, milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed until smooth. Gradually add in the dry ingredients mixture, mixing slowly until just combined. Mix for 30 seconds on medium-high speed.

Step 4: Layer the batter and filling

pumpkin breadMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Scoop one-third of the pumpkin batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread half of the cream cheese filling over top with a spatula. Add another third of the pumpkin batter. Spread the rest of the cream cheese filling over top, and then drop spoonfuls of the remaining pumpkin batter over top. Use a knife to cut through the batter to create a swirl on top.

Step 5: Time to bake!

showing how to make pumpkin bread with cream cheese swirls in loaf panMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Place the prepared loaf pan in the oven. Bake the pumpkin bread for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Insert a toothpick to be sure it comes out clean!. Once fully baked, remove the pumpkin bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 20 minutes in the pan before transferring the loaf to a cooling rack. Then cool for one hour before serving.

Here’s What I Thought

finished pumpkin breadMolly Allen for Taste of Home

To me, there’s nothing better than a thick slice of a quick bread paired with a cup of coffee. It’s the ideal breakfast, and it can also be a wonderful afternoon snack. And for fall? This pumpkin cream cheese bread is at the top of the list.

While the ingredients list looks long at first glance, this pumpkin cream cheese bread comes together quickly. It’s a simple mixture of wet and dry ingredients to form a tasty batter. Just be sure not to overmix after you’ve added your flour mixture. Overmixing any quick bread results in the gluten developing too much, ultimately giving you a tough, chewy bread.

Every bite of this pumpkin bread is full of flavor. However, if you love the fall flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg, I’d say you could certainly double the amount of those spices! Once the loaf has cooled, you’re left with an incredibly moist pumpkin bread, of course, with the surprise of a cream cheese swirl when you cut it open. There’s a smooth tanginess from the cream cheese swirl, making the flavor and texture of the bread that much more interesting.

And as a bonus, it has even more flavor the next morning! It’s truly addictive and honestly difficult to stop at just one slice. I’ll definitely be making this recipe all autumn long.

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Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.