Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

Halloween Dessert Alert!!  If you’re going to consume a lot of sugar this Halloween, why not do it with this Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl?  At its most basic level, it’s a spicy pumpkin cake with a thick cream cheese frosting swirled through the middle of it rather than slathered on top.  Shortly out of the oven (while still a little warm), the top layer is a little hard and crispy, but when you break through that layer, underneath it lies the cream cheese swirl which is rich, smooth, creamy, and sweet.  The pumpkin bread layer below that is super tender, cinnamony, and reminiscent of all things good about fall baking and the holidays.    I encountered a few issues while making this recipe, one being that the cake wasn’t very good looking when it came out of the oven (as a result of the cream cheese swirl seeping up to top, foaming, and then cooling to hard, crispy shards that I then peel off from the top of bread), and it’s also a bit of a guessing game as to when it’s ready to take out of the oven (the top layer of my bread had crisped up, but the cream cheese filling below had seeped up through the top batter and was causing the bread to have a weird bounce when I pressed down on the top for doneness).  That said, this bread is absolutely delicious and will give you a sugar rush like no other.

I was a little annoyed that it wasn’t very pretty out of the oven.  The lighter areas of the cake are where the cream cheese frosting seeped up through the top batter.

Pumpkin Bread w cheesecake swirl- kitchn1

But slicing it open revealed some deliciously beautiful layers.

Pumpkin Bread w cheesecake swirl- kitchn3 Pumpkin Bread w cheesecake swirl- kitchn7

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

(from the kitchn)
Makes one (9×5-inch) loaf
My notes are in [italics] below.

Ingredients

Pumpkin Bread

1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
1 cup (8 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) canola oil
1 cup (8 1/2 ounces) pumpkin purée [I only used 7.5 ounces of pumpkin puree which is half of a 15 oz can]
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper so there is an overhang on each long side. Coat the parchment paper with baking spray or butter and flour. [I forgot to coat the parchment paper and my bread still released easily.  Don’t omit using parchment though; if you do, your cake will be a mess to get out of the pan.]
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the egg and sugar.  Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Turn the speed down to low and, pouring very slowly, drizzle the oil down the side of the bowl.
  6. Add the pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.
  7. Turn the mixer off.  Add the flour mixture and fold in by hand until just combined.
  8. Transfer the mixture back to the bowl used for the flour, and set aside.
  9. Rinse out and dry the bowl of the stand mixer and the paddle attachment in order to make the filling.
  10. Combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup of the pumpkin batter, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Pour half the pumpkin bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading evenly. [Make sure you divide the batter evenly.  If you don’t have enough batter for the top layer to fully cover the cream cheese filling, you’ll have a bit of a mess on your hands.]
  12. Spoon the cream cheese filling over the batter and smooth it out.
  13. Cover the cream cheese filling with the remaining pumpkin bread batter.
  14. Bake the pumpkin bread for 1 hour, or until the center springs back when pressed with your fingertip. (If your finger sinks, bake 10 to 15 minutes longer.) [I baked mine for 1 hour 5 minutes, but it was difficult to tell if the bread was ready to be taken out of the oven.]
  15. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then pull the loaf out using the parchment paper “handles” to cool completely.

Note: The pumpkin bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to three days, or frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw overnight at room temperature before serving.

Carrot-Pecan Loaf Cake

I love carrot cake, and it’s not just because of the thick layer of rich cream cheese frosting.  This recipe for carrot-pecan loaf cake is for the carrot cake purists as it’s so packed with flavor that it doesn’t need any frosting to make it totally irresistible.  The brown sugar topping provides a nice crunch and just a shot of sweetness which makes this hearty cake perfect for breakfast, snacking, or dessert.
Carrot-Pecan Loaf Cake- BonAppetit2
A closeup shot of all the goodness.  Carrot-Pecan Loaf Cake- BonAppetit7

Carrot-Pecan Loaf Cake

(from Bon Appetit)
Makes one 9″x5″ loaf

Ingredients

1 cup canola oil, plus more
1¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; plus more
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 ounces carrots, coarsely grated (about 2 cups or 2 1/2 large carrots)
2 teaspoons light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly oil and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  3. Whisk baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and 1 ¼ cups flour in a small bowl.
  4. Toss raisins, walnuts, and remaining 1 Tbsp. flour in another bowl.
  5. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs and granulated sugar in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  6. With mixer running, gradually drizzle in 1 cup oil,
  7. then add vanilla.
  8. Fold in dry ingredients, raisin mixture, and carrots;
  9. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
  10. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  11. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 65–75 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: Bake up to 2 days ahead. Store wrapped at room temperature.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

Summer is bikini, bbq, and banana bread season.  The weather has been so warm lately that my bananas have been ripening at warp speed.  Rather than going with the usual banana bread recipe, I made Double Chocolate Banana Bread.  This version of banana bread is super moist, tender, rich and chocolatey, with a hint of banana.  I especially like the crispy top and edges.  This recipe is is definitely in my top 10 favorites and had everyone asking for seconds.

Double Chocolate Banana Bread- KAF1
Double Chocolate Banana Bread- KAF8

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

(from King Arthur Flour)
Makes one 9″ x 5″ loaf or two mini loaves.

Ingredients

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) King Arthur All-Purpose Baking Cocoa, or Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces) soft unsalted butter
1/2 (3 1/2 ounces) cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed banana (8 ounces; about 2 medium bananas)
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold sour cream
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, chocolate mini chips preferred

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 3 1/4″ x 5 3/4″ mini loaf pans, or one 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa in a medium size bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  4. Beat the egg into the butter-sugar mixture.
  5. Stir in the vanilla, banana, and sour cream to the wet ingredients.
  6. Gently mix in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips until well incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into the pan(s) and bake for 45 to 60 minutes (bake for the shorter time for two mini loaves and the longer time for the larger loaf), until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove the bread(s) from the oven, and allow to rest in the pan(s) for 10 minutes. Turn the bread(s) out onto a rack to cool completely.