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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl

So by this title, you can probably see that the pumpkin respite is over!! (I’m not sure if I’m using that word correctly, but I was trying to find a fancy way to say break). This was a difficult week, I had to try very hard to not speak of pumpkin recipes and not make anything pumpkin. Well, the other night, I decided that I was just going to make this most perfect recipe and if I was the only one that ate it, so be it. As I pulled the cake out of the oven, the hubby turned and said “Can I have some of that?” My heart skipped a beat, I got a little light headed, and a huge smile formed on my face as I brought him a slice of cake. This little cake did more than satisfy my craving, it opened the door for future generations of delicious pumpkin recipes!!

I truly believe that pumpkin and cream cheese were meant for one another. Out of all of the great relationships in all of culinary history (mashed potatoes and gravy, bread and butter,  strawberry and chocolate), there are no 2 flavors more perfect for one another than pumpkin and cream cheese. I don’t even know why they work so well together, maybe it’s because the pumpkin is so spicy and warm and the cream cheese so creamy and sweet, so opposite, but so perfect for one another. Sounds a little like my relationship, but I’m getting off track… Anyway, these flavors just work. You don’t need to know why. Don’t think about it too much, just make this cake and enjoy the relationship made in culinary heaven.

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl
Yield: 24 servings
printer friendly version

6 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cups white sugar
3 large eggs (divided: 2 for the pumpkin, 1 for the cream cheese)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (divided: 1 tsp for the pumpkin, 1/2 tsp for the cream cheese)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/3 cup water
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with non-stick foil or parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar until smooth. Add the 2 eggs, pumpkin, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and beat until well blended. Then add 1/3 cup water and mix in, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.

Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan

In another bowl, add cream cheese, remaining egg, 1/4 cup white sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon of vanilla and beat until smooth.

Drop cream cheese mixture in evenly spaced portions over the pumpkin batter.

Pull a knife tip through filling to swirl slightly into batter.

Bake in a 350° oven until center of the pumpkin batter (not cream cheese mixture) springs back when touched or a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely in pan, then cut into 24 bars.

Adapted from: My Baking Addiction


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