Pumpkin and Walnut bread with cream cheese swirls

Pumpkin Bread with cream cheese swirl
Pumpkin Bread with cream cheese swirl

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I did a lot of baking (and cooking!) this past thanksgiving weekend and was too tired to post the recipes. Now slowly I am getting my energy back and so you are going to see a lot of  thanksgiving and ‘pumpkin’ recipes!  These would also actually make some great ‘Christmas goody gifts’ if you are among a few of us rare folks who like to bake gifts instead of shopping for them!

In my desire to always incorporate some healthy ingredients into my baking, this year I decided to substitute whole wheat flour for part of the flour.  And I also spiced it up a notch with a liberal dose of ‘all spice and pumpkin spice’.  I have been making this bread for several years now using a recipe that I found in a book making some slight modifications, reducing the sugar and sodium content mainly.  The whole wheat flour addition did not significantly reduce the deliciousness of this bread – in fact they were a great hit with family and friends and I never told them about my secret addition of a healthier ingredient!

So here’s the recipe:  I used a 9 * 13 rectangular pan.  If you would like the filling to appear only in the middle and not on top, you should use a smaller size pan so that you can form 3 different layers – pumpkin, cream cheese and pumpkin.

This recipe will make a large 9*13 inch rectangular cake

Ingredients:
1 cup All purpose flour
2/3 cup Whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp or a pinch of salt
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp all spice
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade(if using homemade,
make sure you add no water when you make the puree)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts

For the cream cheese filling:
1  pkg 8 oz cream cheese (not cream cheese spread)
softened at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 egg
1 tbsp freshly grated orange or lemon zest
pinch of nutmeg powder

Method:
Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Lightly grease your pan and set aside.
In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and beat using a hand mixer until smooth and creamy.  Keep this aside.IMG_2588

In another larger mixing bowl, add the pumpkin puree, the oil, the eggs and the sugar and mix well using a hand mixer.

Mix all the dry ingredients separately in a tray or a plate or just wax paper. Now add the dry ingredients slowly little bit at a time into the mixing bowl with the pumpkin mixture.  Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the chopped walnuts and at this point turn the mixer off and mix by a spoon.

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Now pour a little bit of the pumpkin batter onto the pan.   Then add the cream cheese layer and keep alternating so you get cream cheese swirls. (If you like just 3 layers, use a smaller pan )

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Bake at 325 deg F for about 50-55 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. (Start Checking every 5 minutes after 45 minutes).IMG_2594

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