Wednesday, October 10, 2012


This little slice of heaven is a re-mix of the first recipe I ever posted on this blog. Yikes, that was over 3 years ago! I'm always making pumpkin bread in the fall, and when I recently read Dana Ramsey's recipe for pumpkin bread that included a cream cheese center, I  hopped on the Dana bus and wanted to share with everyone who'd listen. Her recipe uses 3 loaf pans, mine uses two. And I incorporated some oatmeal in my batter, used Splenda no calorie sweetener but kept the same crunchy topping I did in the original bread. I will admit this is a bit time consuming, but absolutely worth it. You get two nice size loaves of bread, and from what I can see since last night, they won't last long. There are three basic steps: the topping, the cream cheese mixture and the actual bread batter. Give this a whirl. I made it on a work night and still got to bed at a decent time.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
makes two 8 x 4 inch loaves

1/2 cup ground oatmeal- I use my small spice grinder for this
1/2 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener
4 T softened butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 8 oz packages of nufchatel cheese softened- lower fat cream cheese
1/4 cup Splenda no calorie sweetener
1 large egg
1 T fat free half and half
1 tsp maple extract

1 cup ground oatmeal
2 cups AP flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 cups Splenda no calorie sweetener
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
1 15 oz can pure pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup water

Cooking spray
2 T AP flour for dusting bread pans

Prepare 2 loaf pans with cooking spray, dust with flour and set aside. Shake out any extra flour and make the crumble topping. In medium/small bowl combine all ingredients and mash with a fork until combined. Taste it, the butter and cinnamon are just an introduction of the flavors to come. You can also add a pinch of salt, that's a nice addition. Set aside.

On to the cream cheese filling. If you're not a fan of maple flavoring, feel free to substitute vanilla extract or any other extract you find appealing. The other day I saw a coffee extract in the market and I think that could be a reasonable subsitution. In medium size bowl with hand mixer combine all ingredients until creamy. I don't worry too much about eating raw eggs, so I had to give this a taste. Yummm.  Set aside and pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

Now comes the  most important part of the mix- the pumpkin bread. I am not a fussy person when it comes to baking. I'm careful about my measurements, but not so careful about what goes in first, or adding one egg at time. I believe in the dump method. The first thing I do is combine all the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl with a whisk: that would be the ground oats, flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. When combined set aside and get out a large bowl to mix the wet ingredients.

With hand mixer combine sugar, canola oil and eggs. Beat until incorporated, then add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla and water. I have at times dumped everything in at once and can't tell whether the end result was any differnt.

After all the wet ingredients have become acquainted with one another, pour in half the dry ingredients and mix on low. Now add the rest of the dry. When there are no white patches of flour apparent, you're ready to layer the bread.  In each of 2 loaf pans add half of the bread mixture. Now add half of the cream cheese mixture.

Oh be still my heart. Doesn't that look good? With a small knife or spoon, smooth out the cream cheese.

Cover cream cheese with remaining batter and add the crumble topping. I take little crumbles, drop them right on top and press them down with my fingertips. This is an important step because if they don't make proper contact with the batter, removing the bread from the pan (tipping it upside down) can be a messy experience, such as crumble topping all over the place.

Bake 60 minutes and let cool at least a half hour before removing from pans.

When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.Thanks Dana for this fabulous idea. I just may try the coffee extract next time. It seems all the coffee shops have pumpkin in their brews, maybe it will work in the bread. I'll keep you posted.

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