Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

This pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is the absolute softest thing I’ve ever had. It straight up melts in your mouth and gives you all the warm and cozy feelings with the fall spices. And of course can’t forget the vanilla bean cream cheese frosting on top. 

Another pumpkin recipe for you! I’ve had pumpkin bread on my to do list for quite some time and I finally got around to making it. I’m telling you, this is not one you want to miss out on. 

Why is this the best pumpkin bread?

  • It is the absolute softest loaf cake I’ve ever had. 
  • It’s super easy and quick to make
  • Stays *moist* for dayyyyyss
  • Does pumpkin bread count as breakfast?

If you love this pumpkin bread, you have to try my FAVORITE carrot cake loaf, my streusel gingerbread loaf (a big hit for holiday breakfasts) and my classic banana bread


  • Flour: I use all purpose flour in most of my recipes and I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as flour is so often over measured. 
  • Baking Powder: I used just baking powder here. Baking soda will give it a good rise as well but it’ll definitely make the edge brown even more .
  • Sugar: I used a mix of granulated sugar and dark brown sugar but you can also use light brown sugar. 
  • Butter: I would typically opt for oil in recipes using pumpkin because oil makes the texture spongier HOWEVER, butter is what gives it that very fine crumb that makes it “melt in your mouth”. 
    • I like salted butter but unsalted butter works fine too. I would increase the salt by ¼ tsp if using unsalted butter.
  • Eggs: I use room temperature, large eggs.
    • Pop them in hot water for a few minutes if they’re cold.
  • Pumpkin: I usually use Libby’s pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling). I’ve also used Kroger brand or Whole Foods 365 brand interchangeably in other recipes. 
  • Spices: I make my own pumpkin pie spice at home or you can just buy some. It’s just a combination of spices with a higher ratio of cinnamon. 
  • Cream Cheese: I warmed the cream in the microwave for 5-10 seconds to make it easier to mix with the powdered sugar. 
    • You can also let it sit at room temperature for a couple of hours before using, instead. 
  • Vanilla Bean Paste: I love using vanilla bean paste or vanilla powder to get those vanilla bean speckles but vanilla extract also works fine.
  • Milk: I use 2% or whole milk and only use as much as you need. Start with one tablespoon for the frosting and then add the other if needed. 
  • Powdered Sugar: it’s best to use a digital scale to measure powdered sugar. Slightly too much and the frosting will be too thick. Slightly too little and the frosting will run off the bread. 

How to make pumpkin bread

Step 1: Combine the drying ingredients, by whisking together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.

Step 2: Add the butter and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until the mixture looks starts looking more pasty than crumbly. 

Step 3: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing the batter for 30-60 seconds between each egg. Scrape the edge of the bowl if necessary.

Step 4: Add the pumpkin and mix just until the batter is combined and smooth.

Step 5: Spread into the loaf pan and bake for about an hour. The loaf will be puffed, crusty and dark orange on the outside. Insert a knife of a toothpick and it should come out with moist crumbs but not gummy batter.

Step 6: Allow the loaf to cool completely before making the cream cheese frosting.

Step 7: Heat the cream cheese for 5-10 seconds to soften it and mix it with the powdered sugar and vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract). Add the milk only if it’s too thick to mix, start with one tablespoon of milk at a time.

Step 8: Drizzle onto the pumpkin bread and allow it to drip off the edge. It should be runny enough to drip half way down only and still be thick on top. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I add in other mix-ins?

Omg yes. You can add some toasted pecans, walnuts, chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to this pumpkin bread.
I would do about 1 cup full of add-ins 

What kind of pumpkin should I use

I just use canned pumpkin puree. Someday I’ll get to making my own pumpkin puree but that day is not today. I recommend Libby’s brand or something of similar consistency.
Make sure you don’t accidentally buy pumpkin pie filling.

Can I make these dairy free?

Yup! Just swap the butter for dairy free butter. For the cream cheese frosting, either use vegan cream cheese or just use a dairy free milk to make a traditional glaze.

Can I make these gluten-free?

I have not tested this recipe specifically but all of my cake recipes work with a 1:1 substitute of gluten-free flour so I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. I recommend King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill.

How to store this pumpkin bread

Don’t make the mistake that I made when I first made this. The cream cheese will go bad at room temperature overnight so make sure to cover the loaf and refrigerate it for up to a week, if it’s frosted.

I recommend slicing it fresh as it’s being eaten so that it retains its moisture.

How can I make this ahead of time?

The loaf can easily be made ahead of time. Just bake it, cover it and store it at room temperature for 1-2 days. Then make and top with the cream cheese frosting fresh. 

How to freeze pumpkin bread

Bakes stay way more fresh when they’re frozen. You can wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag.

You can also wrap each slice individually in plastic wrap and then place those in a freezer bag so you can easily remove one at a time.

Freeze for up to a couple of months. Bring back to room temperature before serving. 

Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below. Make sure to leave it in the comment section because I can’t answer in the rating section :).

If you loved this recipe, make sure to leave me a star rating below as well 🙂

As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!

Love, B

Yield: 10- 12 slices

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

pumpkin loaf with cream cheese frosting

This pumpkin bread with cream cheese frosting is the softest thing I’ve ever had. It melts in your mouth and gives you all the warm and cozy feelings with the fall spices. And of course can’t forget the vanilla bean cream cheese frosting on top.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


Pumpkin Bread

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cups (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp (10g) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (227g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (244g) pumpkin puree

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar, spooned and leveled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp (15-30mL) milk


Pumpkin Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/177C convection (325F/163C conventional) and grease and line a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the all purpose flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt until they're evenly distributed.
  3. Add the room temperature butter and use an electric mixer fit with the whisk attachment to beat the mixture for 2-3 minutes, at medium speed, until pea size chunks form.
  4. Turn the mixer up to high for 1 minute, until the mixture starts to look more like a paste.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed until each egg is fully incorporated. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl every so often.
  6. Add the pumpkin puree and beat just until it's combined.
  7. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan bake for about 55-60 minutes, until it springs back when you press on the tallest part.
  8. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15-30 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow it cool to room temperature. 

Cream Cheese Icing

  1. Microwave the cream cheese for 10-15 seconds, just to soften it a bit.
  2. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla bean paste AND HALF THE MILK (only 1 tablespoon) and use a whisk to mix it until it's completely smooth. If it's too thick, add the second tablespoon of milk.
  3. Spread the icing on top of the cooled pumpkin loaf and let it drizzle off the sides a bit.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 389Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information may not be fully accurate.

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  1. This is pumpkin bread is absolutely fantastic!!! It is super soft and moist, with a slightly cake-y texture. The cream cheese frosting really just takes it out of the park. I left mine in the oven for 60 minutes, and I did let it cool in the pan a little bit longer than was recommended. Overall, this is a Fall must-bake!

  2. I love all your recipes but I’m curious to know why you don’t use fresh pumpkin purée. As far as I know we can’t get tinned purée in our supermarkets in Australia. I’d love to know the equivalent weight of one tin of purée and fresh pumpkin purée cause we grow our own

    • Hi Meredith, thank you! I don’t make my own pumpkin puree because I usually develop my recipes a few months in advance so that would be way before pumpkin season lol. Homemade pumpkin puree should also work fine, one can is 14oz and its usually about the same consistency as applesauce 🙂

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