I couldn’t help myself. Normally I try to post my recipes in order of when I make/photograph them–as long as they are seasonally appropriate–but today all that is going out the window. I got some awesome personal news this morning so we should all celebrate with cake!…ish desserts. That are seasonally appropriate.
The name is a mouthful, and not just because you are probably saying it through a mouthful of this delicious quick bread. But it combines three amazing dessert components into one super duper amazing package. I mean, pumpkin? Cinnamon chips?! CHEESECAKE?! When will the incredibleness that is this bread end? Exactly. It won’t.
So let’s celebrate good news and talk pumpkin bread extravaganzas. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a pumpkin bread this moist (why do people hate that word?), but thanks to a quadruple dose of moisture adding ingredients, this bread is impossible to make dry. We’re using oil, eggs, pumpkin, and applesauce to make this perfect crumb. The bread is simultaneously airy and dense–no idea how it manages to do that but it must be pumpkin cinnamon chip cheesecake magic! It’s perfect because the bread with no mix ins or toppings is sturdy enough to hold up texturally and flavory both sweet, melty cinnamon chips and tangy, fluffy cream cheese filling.
One of the keys to this bread is the spices. This bread is the king of the number four; we have four spices punching up this loaf. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger blend into this spicy sweet aromatic that when combined with pumpkin makes the best air freshener for your kitchen. Yet another reason why your oven becomes your best friend as a baker: the smells that waft out of it. But I have to warn you that cloves are a very strong and very prominent spice. Unlike a future recipe though, the cloves’s strength is tempered in this bread by the sweetness of the cinnamon chips. If it is still too strong for you, reduce the cloves to 1/2 tsp instead.
A few more notes about this bread before I send you all off to your kitchens: This is a sweet bread! The original inspiring recipe called for a full 2 cups of white sugar, but in my recipe I’ve reduced it and it retains its sweetness. Cinnamon chips are pretty sweet, so that helps. Also make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature before using it. You want it to beat up into a fluffy, light filling and that doesn’t happen if the cream cheese is cold. And don’t stress out about running out of the cheesecake filling. I made a full loaf and 18 muffins and still had cheesecake left over. Be generous because the cheesecake literally makes this bread. I mean, pumpkin/cinnamon/cheesecake can’t go wrong!
pumpkin cinnamon chip cheesecake bread/muffins
- 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup natural unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup lowfat milk
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 ½ cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cloves, or reduce to 1/2 tsp according to taste
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1 ½ cups cinnamon chips
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp. low fat milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray your pans of choice with nonstick baking spray. (I did one loaf and 18 muffins.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl by hand, combine pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients, folding in until just combined and there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in cinnamon chips.
Back in the stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and milk together until smooth and fluffy.
If using a loaf pan(s): Pour some batter into the bottom of the pan, about ¼ of the way up the pan. Cover with a layer of cheesecake filling. Spread it out as much as possible over the pumpkin batter. Repeat layers with batter, cheesecake, and batter again, filling the pan 2/3 to ¾ of the way. 6. Filling: Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and milk together until smooth.
Bake loaf pans for 60-80 minutes (mine took 65) until an inserted knife comes out clean. You may have some cinnamon chip smears but that doesn’t mean it isn’t done! Use your baking judgment. Remove to a wire rack to cool before turning out onto serving plate.
If using muffin tins: Spray the muffin tin cups fully! Muffins will probably stick to a liner (mine did). Fill each muffin cup about 1/3 of the way full with pumpkin batter. Spoon in a scoop of cheesecake filling. Top with another spoonful of the pumpkin batter to about ¾ of the way full. As an alternative, fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way and spoon a dollop of cheesecake filling on the top center. These ones will look more like the pumpkin cream cheese muffins you see at bakeries.
Bake muffin tins for 15-18 minutes (mine took 17) until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The toothpick may have cinnamon chip and cheesecake smears but are still baked through. Remove to a wire rack to cool before removing from muffin cups.