Move aside, pumpkin spice latte! This autumn, ring in the holiday season by adding some extra spice (and cheesecake!) to a beloved favorite with this moist, easy-to-make Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread.
Growing up, we didn’t eat pumpkin but we did eat an awful lot of cream cheese–and by an “awful lot,” I mean obscene amounts that would make most of our breakfast choices qualify automatically as dairy products. To me, a bagel isn’t a bagel unless I smother every last bit–yes, including the hole! This is very important–with an inch-high pile of creamy goodness, which is the way my mom would serve bagels to me throughout elementary school. Of course, Wallflour Boy finds this practice really disgusting, so I always make sure to smear on an extra spoonful and lick the residuals off the spoon for good measure whenever he’s around. You’re welcome!
One thing we can agree on when it comes to cream cheese, though, is that it is perfectly okay to eat four bricks’ worth as long as it’s baked in the form of a cheesecake (or something cheesecake-esque). It’s like how eating ten packages of string cheese straight-up from the fridge is super gross (obviously), but eating, say, ten mozzarella cheese sticks with a side of marinara sauce is perfectly acceptable because the laws of Food Logic don’t apply to appetizers, and also because tomatoes are a vegetable/fruit that negate any bad foods you might have eaten before (which is officially how science works…according to an English major).
So that’s how we’re justifying this absolutely amazing Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread today. It’s basically 5x your daily recommended intake of calcium (that’s the cream cheese) plus ample amounts of fruitables (pumpkin) with a little sugar on the side, all rolled into one easy, euphoria-inducing loaf that takes just 15 minutes to prepare. How can you NOT say yes?
We’ve been using a version of this Downeast Maine Pumpkin Bread recipe from Allrecipes now for years–it produces an unbelievably moist and indulgent loaf that can’t be beat IMO, though my recipe ups the amount of cinnamon for an extra little spice. But it’s the cream cheese filling (which I also use in my Super Chewy Molasses Ginger Cookie Bars) that sets this Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread apart from the rest: the slightly tangy cheesecake cuts into the spicy overtones of the bread, creating the perfect flavor balance and making each slice even more irresistible than the next.
Best of all, this recipe makes two (or more!) loaves, so you can always give one away to your loved ones this holiday season and still have one left to inhale on your own! Yeah, you can throw away that cup of pumpkin spice latte now–trust me, this sweet pumpkin treat is all you’re going to need from now on.
For the pumpkin bread:
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup oil
- 2/3 cup water
- 3 cups white sugar
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the cheesecake swirl:
- 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
To make pumpkin bread:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 5x7-inch loaf baking pans and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water, and sugar. In a separate medium bowl, sift together remaining ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients gently using a spatula, until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pans until each one is 1/3 full. Spoon half of the cheesecake mixture into each pan (see below for filling instructions), using a knife to swirl the cream cheese throughout the batter. Top with additional pumpkin batter until each pan is 2/3 full.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it. Set aside and cool completely on wire rack before slicing and enjoying!
- (Pro tip: If you have leftover batter, you can pour it into a third prepared pan OR make a separate batch of muffins by baking for 12 minutes instead!)
To make cheesecake swirl:
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.