Although it’s 102 degrees in Tucson right now, Michelle and I are both taking afternoon naps wrapped in blankets and comforters. That’s the beauty of having an air conditioner. And you know what else helps us cope with the summer heat? Pretending that we’re in October with a fresh baked loaf of pumpkin cinnamon swirl bread.
Do you see that swirl in the middle? And then that cream cheese layer on top? Ya, it’s good. So good that you shouldn’t wait till it’s fall season to bake this.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bread
For the pumpkin bread:
1(15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
½ cup applesauce
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt or ¾ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
For the cream cheese swirl:
8 ounce block cream cheese (softened)
½ cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8.5 by 4 inch bread pans.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, applesauce, oil, water, vanilla, and sugar until well blended. You can stir by hand or use a stand mixer.
In another large bowl, stir together both kinds of flours, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.
Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until it’s just blended. Do not over mix.
For the cream cheese filling, stir together the softened cream cheese with the sugar in a medium bowl. Next, add the egg and stir until well incorporated. Finally, add the flour.
Fill both loaf pans with about a ¼ of the batter each so they are each half-way filled. Then dollop ¼ of the cream cheese mixture into each pan. Just plop it in the middle (lengthwise) and if you want to get fancy, you can take a knife and swirl the bread with the cream cheese. Divide the remaining batter in each of the pans, covering the cream cheese layer. Then divide the remaining cream cheese batter on top of each loaf and swirl.
Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.