Pumpkin Cheesecake Bread

We are a mere 4 days away from Halloween but rather than carving pumpkins, I’ve decided to bake yet another pumpkin filled treat. But wouldn’t you rather bite into a soft cinnamon scented pumpkin bread than dig your hand into the goopy innards of this quintessential October vegetable? Not that there is anything wrong with pumpkin carving. It is definitely fun to transform a plain orange gourd into a cute little jack o lantern…or an homage to your favorite football team:

Over the years my pumpkin carving skills haven’t really improved. I can really only manage a pathetic little smile, and maybe some  triangle shaped eyes. So I was pretty excited that the Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest we are having at work is a team based contest. Each department at my hotel contributes a pumpkin to the contest and our creations are set out in the hotel lobby for our guests to vote for the best one. Apparently it gets pretty competitive. Our pumpkin plans have been shrouded in secrecy and I have been told if I give away our plans to the enemy (i.e. the Food & Beverage Department) I will be in big trouble. Thanks to the Chef being the captain of the Food & Beverage Department team…they have won almost every year. Apparently last year’s Food & Beverage pumpkin was incredibly impressive. I guess that’s what you get from Culinary School Knife Skills. But hopefully the Sales Department will reign supreme this year. And since my decorating & carving skills are pretty pathetic, I think I’ll just contribute some festive baked goods to make up for it. Like this delicious Cheesecake Swirled Pumpkin Bread. The bread recipe is originally from Cooking Light magazine, and I added a Cheesecake topping for a little something special. The result is an incredibly moist, subtly sweet bread that tastes far more decadent than it really is. Enjoy!

Ingredients: Makes 2 loaves, Adapted slightly from Cooking Light

  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute (such as Egg Beaters)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin

Cheesecake Topping

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour through allspice)
  2. In a medium bowl, place sugar, egg substitute, oil, buttermilk and eggs; beat on medium speed with an electric mixer
  3. Add 2/3 cup water and pumpkin to wet ingredients and beat on low until well blended
  4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients until just combined
  5. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans
  6. For the cheesecake topping, beat cream cheese and vanilla until soft and creamy; beat in sugar
  7. Divide cheese cake mixture into two equal portions and drizzle over unbaked bread batter
  8. Use a knife to swirl the topping into the bread batter
  9. Bake the loaves at 250 for 1 hour

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