This recipe is based upon my desire to bring a pumpkin dessert to Thanksgiving dinner that covers four bases:
- Tastes great,
- Looks impressive,
- Is easy to make,
- Isn’t pumpkin pie.
This bread is in the spirit of autumn and all its pumpkin spice greatness; the cheesecake layer adds an element of tart richness people appreciate around the holidays. Bonus: it really is easy to make, and it’s delicious with coffee (breakfast, anyone?)
Step 1: Cheesecake Layer
- 1 package (8 oz) of cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tbls all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp orange extract
Don’t be intimidated by the orange extract. It adds a mild hint of flavor that gives depth to the cheesecake layer.
Step 2: Pumpkin Layer
- 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups of granulated sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (not ready-made pie filling)
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp of cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
Step 3: Orange Glaze
- 1 ½ cups powdered (confectioners) sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice
Preheat oven to 325º. Grease a Bundt (standard 12 cup) or standard (9″ x 5″) loaf pan.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients of Step 1: cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, egg, 1 tablespoon flour, and orange extract. Using a hand mixer, beat at medium speed until smooth and set aside.
Using the ingredients in Step 2: Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pie spice, and salt into a medium bowl, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, and sugar, beat on medium speed until well blended. Fold in the spiced flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
Add approximately half of the pumpkin batter to the pan, gently smooth the surface of the batter to ensure an even layer. Top the pumpkin batter with dollops of the cream cheese mixture, using a spoon or small scoop; again smoothing to ensure there’s a cheesechake layer throughout the bread. Top the cream cheese layer with the remaining pumpkin batter.
No need to swirl the layers – the idea is to have a yummy, creamy layer of cheesecake in the middle!
Bake for approximately 60 minutes (slightly less time for the Bundt pan, slightly more for the loaf pan) until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool. If using a Bundt pan, invert to a wire rack to continue cooling after about 10 minutes cooling in the pan.
For Step 3, the orange glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of orange juice, mix well. Slowly add additional orange juice until the glaze is a thick, yet pourable consistency. Drizzle atop the cooled pumpkin bread, add sprinkles if desired. (Tip: if cooling on a wire rack, set the bread, on the rack, in your sink, then drizzle with glaze. The extra glaze will drip into the sink, allowing easy clean up!)
Store loosely covered at room temperature – if chilled, allow to warm slightly to ensure the cheesecake layer softens.