Homemade pumpkin bread is given a delicious upgrade with an easy cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of chopped nuts - the perfect sweet bread for any pumpkin lover to enjoy with a cup of coffee.
We love to use the same thick cream cheese frosting in our cookie recipes, especially these soft Ricotta Cookies.
Flour - All-purpose flour is a sturdy option for this easy pumpkin bread recipe. You could use gluten-free flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill (with xanthan gum), or plant-based flour.
Butter - I’ve used melted butter (unsalted) in this pumpkin bread, but you could use salted butter instead and omit the salt in the recipe. Once melted, allow the butter to cool before combining it with the other ingredients. Vegetable oil or coconut oil can be used instead of butter.
Spices - I’ve used ground cinnamon and pumpkin spice in this recipe. You could omit the cinnamon since pumpkin pie spice typically includes cinnamon, but the extra cinnamon adds great warmth.
Sugar - I’ve used half brown sugar and half granulated white sugar in the pumpkin bread batter. The white granulated sugar adds sweetness and a crispy crust, while brown sugar creates moist pumpkin bread. I suggest using both of these sugars.
Baking powder and baking soda - Check the expiry date on the packaging of these products so that they cause a good rise in the bread.
Egg - Room temperature is best for mixing the egg into the dry ingredients, creating a smooth textured bread batter.
Pumpkin puree - Pumpkin pie filling is not a suitable substitute. The puree gives the bread a cake-like texture and a good amount of moisture. A good brand of canned pumpkin is Libby’s pumpkin puree, but you can use another brand of choice instead or make your own pumpkin puree from roasting pumpkin.
Vanilla extract - I use good-quality vanilla extract in most dessert bread and other baked treats.
Cream cheese frosting - I’ve made a vanilla cream cheese frosting to top this pumpkin bread. All you need is softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. You could also make maple cream cheese frosting by adding pure maple syrup to the tangy cream cheese icing. Have you tried my Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread yet? It's super moist and delicious!
Chopped nuts - This is optional, but I love the added crunch from sprinkling chopped pecans or walnuts over the freshly made cream cheese frosting.
For the full list of ingredients, please scroll down where you'll find the recipe card.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Beat the eggs with a hand mixer on a low speed, and add butter, sugars, and vanilla. Mix again until combined.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour mixture and add to wet ingredients. Mix on low until everything combines.
Add pumpkin puree. I like to keep the puree wrapped in linen or some sort of cloth and squeeze out the excess moisture, even with canned pumpkin puree. It really helps with the bread's texture.
Pour the batter into a 9 x 5 inch prepared pan (greased or lined with parchment paper).
Bake for 55 minutes to an hour until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, dry or with a few breadcrumbs. Let the bread rest in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring it onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
While the bread is cooling, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until softened and add in the remaining ingredients.
I recommend adding 2 cups of powdered sugar first to see if you have the thick and creamy frosting. If you want it to be more thick, add another ½ or 1 cup of powdered sugar.
Cover the entire top of the bread with frosting and add walnuts along with some ground cinnamon. Cut into individual slices and serve right away.
- Since every oven differs, I recommend that you check on your pumpkin bread after 55 minutes of baking. If the bread requires further baking, but the top is getting too brown, cover the bread with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking.
- Measuring - be sure to measure all your ingredients using the correct tools for this including a digital kitchen scale (measuring the ingredients in grams will give more accurate results). This chart is a quick reference for volume, ounces, and grams equivalencies for common ingredients.
- I always prefer to eat this pumpkin bread within 2 days of baking for the best texture and taste, but it can be stored longer in the fridge.
- Whether you’re using homemade pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin puree, it’s best to remove as much moisture from this ingredient as possible so that the excess liquid doesn’t affect the baked bread. Squeeze excess water from the pumpkin puree using a clean fine cloth and a fine mesh strainer.
- I prefer to make my own homemade pumpkin puree by roasting the pumpkin in the oven at 400F until it is soft enough to puree. Making your own pumpkin puree will also produce a better-tasting pumpkin quick bread.
- If you want a thicker cream cheese frosting, consider chilling it in the fridge or freezer. Alternatively, you can add more confectioners' sugar, which will sweeten it.
- For a more decadent pumpkin loaf cake, add chocolate chips to the batter.
Freezing and Storing Instructions
Allow your pumpkin banana bread to cool completely and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
You can keep it longer, for about 4-5 days as well but the texture may not be the same and moist anymore.
Freeze in an airtight container, preferably wrapped individually in parchment paper, for up to 3 months.
More in-depth about storing pumpkin bread in this post.
Frequently Asked Questions
Using too much baking powder in your bread batter is a leading cause of bitterness in dessert bread. That’s why it’s so important to measure ingredients accurately when baking. Ingredients past their expiry date can also create bitterness in recipes.
Over mixing bread batter will result in tough baked bread that can cause the bread to bake unevenly and create holes.
One sign that bread has cooked all the way through is if it has puffed up and cracked on the top of the crust. You can also insert a skewer or knife into the center of the bread loaf, which should come out clean. If there’s wet batter on the skewer/knife, the bread will need to be baked for longer.
Cream cheese frosting will change in consistency depending on the temperature of its environment. The frosting will naturally stiffen when chilled in the refrigerator as all the fats from the cream cheese and butter cool and solidify.
Chilling the cream cheese frosting in the fridge before topping the pumpkin bread will help you to pipe it better if piping is what you want to do.
Yes, you can! Over whipped cream cheese frosting will break it down and cause it to become runny instead of fluffy, light, and stiff.
Thank you so much for reading about how to make Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting. Please feel free to comment with any questions you may have! I love reading your feedback.
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Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Frosting
For Pumpkin Bread
- 2 cups + ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 + ½ cup pumpkin puree such as libbys or homemade, I prefer to roast it in the oven at about 400 F until pumpkin is soft enough to blend it into puree easily
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temp
- ¾ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups powdered sugar depending on which consistency you are going for
- Top with chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Beat the eggs with a hand mixer on a low speed, and add butter, sugars, and vanilla. Mix again until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Mix on low until everything combines. Add pumpkin puree. I like to keep the puree wrapped in linen or some sort of cloth and squeeze out the excess moisture, even with canned pumpkin puree. It helps with the bread's texture.
- Pour the batter into a 9 x 5-inch prepared pan (greased or lined with parchment paper).
- Bake for 55 minutes to an hour until the toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, dry, or with a few breadcrumbs. Let the bread rest in the tin for 15 minutes before transferring it onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
- While the bread is cooling, beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until softened and add in the remaining ingredients. I recommend adding 2 cups of powdered sugar first to see if you have the thick and creamy frosting. If you want it to be thicker, add another ½ or 1 cup of powdered sugar.
- Cover the entire top of the bread with frosting and add walnuts along with some ground cinnamon. Cut into individual slices and serve right away.