A dense and moist pumpkin loaf, packed with spices and topped with cream cheese frosting.
Today, I’m celebrating National Homemade Bread Day and what better way to celebrate than with a loaf of pumpkin bread topped with cream cheese frosting? I know. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate either. The only thing better than actually eating the pumpkin bread is having the scent waft through your home as it’s baking. Ahh… amazing.
I’ll be honest — fall wasn’t always my favorite season. Summer was my favorite for the longest time, until I finally realized that fall = pumpkin everything, sweaters, and colorful leaves. Gimme more fall! More, more, more!
Ahem. Moving on.
This is an easy peasy pumpkin bread. The recipe was adapted from my holy grail cookbook The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book. This book (more like a tome) is ring-bound and contains more recipes than I know what to do with.
The result is a wonderfully dense loaf, jam-packed with spices and pumpkin flavor. It’ll be hard to keep yourself from gobbling it all up, but trust me, you’ll want to wait.
Once the bread has cooled, it’s time to slap on a nice big helping of cream cheese frosting. I really feel like cream cheese frosting just goes with everything, don’t you? Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon on top to give it that extra pop and cut the first slice. Pure pumpkin bliss.
The original recipe calls for a cup of either pecans or walnuts, and a cup of dried cranberries. Since I’m allergic to nuts and I’m not a huge fan of dried fruit in my baked goods (sorry to all my dried fruit fans), I chose not to include it in this recipe. Feel free to add it if you want though! I’ll include it in the recipe notes. In the meantime, please let me know if you’ve tried baking this and how it turned out!
I still have to figure out what I’m going to make for Thanksgiving dinner, but this will definitely hold me over for now.
What will you be baking for Thanksgiving?
Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting
The classic pumpkin bread, topped with a decadent cream cheese frosting.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 (15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree *make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 ounces full-fat block cream cheese softened
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- A dash of ground cinnamon
Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray (I use the kind that contains flour).
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together.
In a medium bowl, mix the canned pumpkin, sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla together until smooth.
Use a spatula or wooden spoon to push the dry ingredients against the bowl to create a well. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the well and fold all of the ingredients together with a rubber spatula. Make sure not to over-mix - it's okay if the batter is lumpy!
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and flatten the top with your rubber spatula.
Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden brown. Insert a toothpick into the center and make sure it comes out clean before removing from the oven.
Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. After that, turn it out onto your cooling rack and let it cool for at least 1 hour before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Whip the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract together using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer at medium speed until combined.
Slowly add in the confectioner's sugar, about half a cup at a time until the frosting is smooth and thick. Depending on your desired consistency, you can add less/more confectioner's sugar.
Use an icing spatula to spread the frosting on top of the loaf.
Once the frosting has set, sprinkle just a tiny of bit of cinnamon on top and gently swirl it around with your icing spatula.
If you'd like, you can add the following right before pouring the batter into the loaf pan:
1) 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
2) 1 cup dried cranberries