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Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting

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This pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is infused with the warmth of fall spices! The bread's deep flavor and the frosting's creamy tang combine to create a comforting, tasty treat, especially good with a mug of hot apple cider.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
A 45° view of a sliced pumpkin loaf with cream cheese frosting.

As the leaves turn red and the air grows crisp, I feel refreshed and ready for a new start. It’s a season of cozy sweaters, hot drinks, and a rich tapestry of flavors I look forward to all year! Among those flavors, pumpkin sits at the top of my list. I love the way it captures the essence of fall.

Enter this moist pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting. Loaded with real pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice and then topped with rich cream cheese icing, you may as well put on a warm sweater and snuggle in right now! My favorite part of this recipe is how quick it is to make. Mix the dry and wet ingredients, mix the two, and bake! That’s it! Also, you can make this by hand with a whisk and a spatula—no mixer required. And if you love fall baking, check out my other popular recipes for Dutch oven apple crisp and snickerdoodles without cream of tartar made with sugar and spice and everything nice.

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

✔️ This is a simple, old-fashioned pumpkin bread recipe for any level of baking experience.
✔️ With canned pumpkin purée and the classic warmth of pumpkin pie spice, this recipe is perfect for cool weather.
✔️ The rich, creamy frosting takes a simple loaf to a special dessert.

Ingredients For Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients to make pumpkin loaf.

Ingredient Notes

For The Pumpkin Bread

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: A warm blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice.
  • Baking Soda: Essential for leavening, it helps the bread rise. Ensure it’s fresh for the best results; an old box might not give you the lift you want.
  • Canned Pumpkin Puree: This is pure pumpkin with no added spices or sugar. Please don’t confuse it with pumpkin pie filling, which has added ingredients. For a richer flavor, consider making your purée from fresh pumpkins.
  • Eggs: I use large eggs for all of my recipes.
  • Vanilla Extract: I omitted vanilla in this recipe, but feel free to add up to 1 ½ teaspoons if you like.

For The Cream Cheese Icing (Not Pictured)

I’m not sharing an image of the icing ingredients because I already have a whole post about whipped cream cheese frosting.

  • Cream Cheese: Provides a creamy, tangy flavor to frostings. For the best texture, let it come to room temperature before mixing.
  • Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioners’ sugar, it’s finely ground, making it perfect for smooth frostings. Sift before using to avoid lumps in your frosting.
  • Butter: Like cream cheese, it’s best used at room temperature, especially when creaming or blending with other ingredients.

It’s important to note that when making substitutions in recipes, the texture and flavor may be slightly different. However, these substitutes are the best options for changing the original recipe.

Ingredient Substitutions

For The Pumpkin Bread

  • All-Purpose Flour: If you don’t have all-purpose flour, you can substitute cake & pastry flour at a 1:1 ratio.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice: If you’re out of pumpkin pie spice, you can mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon of ground cloves, and ⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg per teaspoon of pumpkin spice needed.
  • Baking Soda: If you need a substitute for baking soda, use three teaspoons of baking powder for every teaspoon. Please note this could alter the final texture slightly.
  • Granulated Sugar: For 1 cup of granulated sugar, you should be able to substitute 1 cup of raw sugar, cane sugar, or coconut sugar. I haven’t tried this substitution myself. Results may vary.

For The Cream Cheese Icing

  • Cream Cheese Frosting: If you don’t want to use cream cheese icing, make this simple spiced streusel topping instead. Mix two tablespoons of dark or light brown sugar, one tablespoon of flour, two teaspoons of soft butter, and ½ teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl until crumbly. Scatter the streusel crumbs evenly over the top of the pumpkin loaf before baking. For more information about the streusel topping, including photos, visit this post for pumpkin banana muffins.
  • Butter: You can substitute your favorite dairy-free margarine in equal amounts.

Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top of this post, or scroll to the bottom of the post, to see the PRINTABLE recipe card with ingredient measurements and complete instructions.

How To Make Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting

Process shots one through four.

STEP 1: Add the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl.

STEP 2: Whisk well to combine and set aside.

STEP 3: Place the pumpkin purée, sugar, vegetable oil, milk, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.

STEP 4: Whisk until smooth and well combined.

Process shots five through eight.

STEP 5: Add the whisked flour mixture to the large bowl of pumpkin. Stir gently to combine and stop when the flour is just mixed in.

STEP 6: Spoon the batter into a greased loaf pan lined with parchment paper and smooth the top.

STEP 7: Bake the pumpkin loaf for 45 to 50 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.

STEP 8: Mix all the cream cheese frosting ingredients until smooth and then spread over the cooled loaf before slicing and serving.

Expert Tips

1. Spices lose their potency over time, so using freshly or recently opened pumpkin pie spice will give your pumpkin bread a more vibrant flavor.
2. When combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just until they’re incorporated. Overmixing can lead to a denser loaf.
3. Before frosting, ensure the pumpkin bread is completely cooled. Frosting too soon can cause the cream cheese to melt and become runny.

Recipe Notes

  • To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it’s ready.
  • If your frosting is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or cream to thin it out. If it’s too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Storage

  • You can store the frosted pumpkin bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (the cream cheese frosting requires refrigeration).
  • To freeze, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. I sometimes like to pre-slice the loaf and freeze the slices in an airtight container between squares of parchment paper. 
Pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting on a green decorative tray with two slices showing.

Did you make this pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting? Please rate the recipe and tell me how it went in the comments below. Also, stay in touch with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more delicious food and recipes!

Printable Recipe Card

A 45° view of a sliced pumpkin loaf with cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting

Author: Kelly Neil
This pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is infused with the warmth of fall spices! The bread's deep flavor and the frosting's creamy tang combine to create a comforting, tasty treat, especially good with a mug of hot apple cider.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breads & Loaves
Cuisine American / Canadian
Servings 10 servings
Calories 413 kcal

Special Equipment

  • Measuring cups and spoons or digital kitchen scale
  • 2 Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
  • Loaf tin
  • Parchment paper
  • Offset spatula optional
  • Wire cooling rack
Need Metric Measurements?Use the button options below to toggle between US cups and Metric grams.

Ingredients
 
 

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • cup vegetable oil, or canola oil
  • cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • ¼ cup salted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, also called icing sugar or confectioner's sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180ºC). Lightly spray a standard 9×5 inch loaf tin with baking spray. Line the tin with parchment paper for easy removal, allowing some overhang on the sides. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Ensure they are well combined and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the pumpkin purée, sugar, vegetable oil, milk, and eggs. Whisk by hand until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold them together until just combined. It's essential not to overmix; a few streaks of flour should remain, and the batter will appear slightly lumpy.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin, smoothing the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake the loaf for 45 minutes, then check it every 5 minutes for doneness using the toothpick test. Transfer the tin to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then lift the loaf out to cool completely before frosting.
  • Mix all the cream cheese frosting ingredients until smooth, then spread it over the cooled loaf before slicing and serving.

Recipe Notes

  • To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the bread. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, it’s ready.
  • If your frosting is too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or cream to thin it out. If it’s too runny, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Storage

  • You can store the frosted pumpkin bread in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (the cream cheese frosting requires refrigeration).
  • To freeze, wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. I sometimes like to pre-slice the loaf and freeze the slices in an airtight container between squares of parchment paper. 

Nutrition

Serving: 113gCalories: 413kcalCarbohydrates: 64gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 353mgPotassium: 117mgFiber: 1gSugar: 46gVitamin A: 4328IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know on Instagram @kellyneildotcom or tag #kellyneil!

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