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Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

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It’s that time of year again: pumpkin season. And, as any self-respecting pumpkin lover knows, there’s nothing better than a warm slice of pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting.

sliced pumpkin bread

Mahalo to Foodland Hawai’i for sponsoring this post. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

But why is it so delicious? I’ve got some theories:

It’s the smell: The smell of freshly baked pumpkin bread is like nothing else in the world. It’s like you can taste it already!

The texture: The texture is just right—not too thick and not too thin—and it feels like your mouth is being wrapped in pure goodness every time you take a bite.

The taste: The taste is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. It’s sweet but not overpowering, nutty without being too nutty, creamy without being too creamy. With a side of cream cheese frosting. It’s perfection on a plate.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make some.

pumpkin bread top down view

Ingredients for pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting

(Full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post)

For the pumpkin bread

  • Flour. All purpose flour works well here.
  • Baking soda. This will give your bread an airy lift.
  • Pumpkin pie spice. Make your own or get it store bought
  • Salt. To balance out the sweetness and make that pumpkin flavor pop.
  • Unsalted butter. If you only have salted, omit the added salt.
  • Golden brown sugar. This gives the bread some added moisture. You can use dark brown for a deeper molasses flavor. Or light brown for a more mild flavor.
  • Maika’i Organic Cane Sugar. You can find this at your local Foodland in the baking aisle.
  • Eggs. Also used to give the bread some lift.
  • Pumpkin puree. Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vanilla extract. Make your own vanilla extract or get it store bought
pumpkin bread ingredients

For the cream cheese frosting

  • Cream cheese. Softened is best. This allows it to mix smoothly with the other ingredients.
  • Powdered sugar.
  • Cool Whip. You can find this in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store.
cream cheese frosting ingredients

How to make pumpkin bread

First let’s start with the bread. Preheat your oven to 350F.

The great thing about this bread is there is no rising time. It’s really just a matter of mixing. Take your dry ingredients and add it to a bowl. Mix until well combined.

Now for the wet ingredients. Grab yourself another bowl and add the wet ingredients. Mix those until well combined.

Now where it all comes together. Add your wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just incorporated. Be sure not to over mix. Mixing causes gluten to form and too much gluten can make the bread dense and chewy.

I like to bake these in loaf form. For that you’ll need a loaf pan (9″x5″). Spray with nonstick cooking spray. You’ll thank me later for this. It’ll help the bread come out of the pan much easier. Add your batter.

Now time to bake. Pop it in the oven for 60-65 minutes or until golden brown. A great way to see if the bread is done is by using a toothpick. Insert the toothpick to the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out cleanly or very little crumbs. If so then you’re done. If the toothpick has wet batter on it, let it bake a little longer.

slice of pumpkin bread on a plate

And of course one of the best things about pumpkin bread is the delicious frosting that goes with it. Start the frosting while the bread is baking.

To a bowl add cream cheese, powdered sugar, and Cool Whip. Whisk those until well combined. Using softened cream cheese helps get a smooth mixture. Place in the refrigerator to chill while the bread finishes baking.

Cream cheese frosting in a bowl

Once the bread is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting. Frosting hot bread will melt the frosting and make a not-so-pretty mess.

Tips for the best pumpkin bread

  1. Don’t skimp on the pumpkin. Pumpkin is what gives pumpkin bread its signature flavor, so if you’re using canned pumpkin purée, don’t use just half a can—use the whole thing! The recipe will turn out much better if you do.
  2. Don’t skip the spices. Pumpkin is pretty sweet all by itself, but a little bit of spice goes a long way when it comes to making sure that your bread has some complexity and depth of flavor. A dash pumpkin pie spice will do wonders for your pumpkin bread!
  3. Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature before mixing. This allows better incorporation and smoother batter and frosting.
  4. Use a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar for sweetness and moisture. The combination of the two gives this recipe a great depth of flavor and moisture that you won’t find in other pumpkin bread recipes.
  5. And lastly, don’t over mix the batter. Over mixing will give you dense chewy bread and no one likes that.
close up of sliced pumpkin bread

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store?

A completely cooled pumpkin bread without frosting can be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. If frosted, be sure to store in the refrigerator. This will keep for 5-7 days.

How to reheat?

While it’s better to reheat before frosting to prevent the frosting from melting, it’s ok to reheat frosted bread too. You can use an oven or air fryer to reheat. Or if you’re in a rush a microwave. Be careful not to over heat in the microwave. Start with 15-30 second increments and check for doneness.

Why is my pumpkin bread soggy?

This can occur from using too much wet ingredients or not baking for long enough. Be sure to correctly measure your ingredients. You can also pop the bread back in the oven and bake for a few more minutes to get it to bake through all the way.

Why is my pumpkin bread dry?

Dry bread commonly can occur from over mixing, too much flour, not enough wet ingredients, or leaving the bread out uncovered for a prolonged period of time.

Other great pumpkin recipes

sliced pumpkin bread

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Relle
It's that time of year again: pumpkin season. And, as any self-respecting pumpkin lover knows, there's nothing better than a warm slice of pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 362 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the pumpkin bread

For the cream cheese frosting

Instructions
 

For the pumpkin bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • To large bowl add flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  • To another bowl add butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Whisk until butter and sugar are well combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • Next add pumpkin puree and mix until well combined.
  • Then add eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until just combined.
  • Spray a loaf pan (9”x5”) with non-stick cooking spray and add in the pumpkin mixture.
  • Bake for 60-65 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the pumpkin bread is baking, start the frosting.
  • Once the bread has finished baking, allow to cool to room temperature before frosting and ENJOY!

Notes

Tips for the best pumpkin bread

  1. Don’t skimp on the pumpkin. Pumpkin is what gives pumpkin bread its signature flavor, so if you’re using canned pumpkin purée, don’t use just half a can—use the whole thing! The recipe will turn out much better if you do.
  2. Don’t skip the spices. Pumpkin is pretty sweet all by itself, but a little bit of spice goes a long way when it comes to making sure that your bread has some complexity and depth of flavor. A dash pumpkin pie spice will do wonders for your pumpkin bread!
  3. Bring the cold ingredients to room temperature before mixing. This allows better incorporation and smoother batter and frosting.
  4. Use a mix of brown sugar and granulated sugar for sweetness. The combination of the two gives this recipe a great depth of flavor and moisture that you won’t find in other pumpkin bread recipes.
  5. And lastly, don’t over mix the batter. Over mixing will give you dense chewy bread and no one likes that.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 362kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 4gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 329mgPotassium: 152mgFiber: 2gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 7001IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 2mg
Keyword bread, bread recipe, cream cheese frosting, desserts, easy desserts, easy desserts recipe, keeping it relle, pumpkin bread
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By on November 9th, 2022

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

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