Tuesday Treats: Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

Woah, Tuesday treats? Yes! Somehow the desire to cook or bake that I lost for 8 months crept back over the past few weeks. Call it preparing our freezer for when I won't have time to cook or bake, but we'll still want to eat. Call it nesting. Call it whatever, but definitely try out this recipe.
I actually tried out two variations on this recipe. The first fell flat, literally. The bread was flat, flat, flat. Tasty, but flat. The second? Perfect. It's all about the filling. Then, if you lightly toast the bread before you eat it and spread on a thin layer of cream cheese. Oh my.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
makes 2 loaves

For the bread
2 c. sugar
3 eggs
24 oz. (one and a half cans) of canned pure pumpkin (not pie mix)
1/4 c. oil
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 t. cloves
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. pecans, chopped and divided (toast and cool 1 cup of the pecans before adding to the batter for an even nuttier flavor)

For the filling
1 (8 oz.) package light cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 T.  flour
1 egg
1 T. orange zest

Prepare the filling
Cream together cream cheese, sugar, flour, egg and orange zest until well combined. Set aside

Prepare the bread
1. In an electric stand mixer or with an electric hand mixer, beat the sugar and eggs for several minutes until pale and creamy.

2. Add pumpkin and oil and beat until well combined.

3. Add flours, spices, soda, powder and salt and mix until just combined. Gently stir in 1 cup of pecans just until incorporated. Do Not Over Mix!

4. Divide half of the batter evenly between two greased loaf pans. Spread half of the filling over each loaf. Pour remaining half of the batter evenly over the filling between the two pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 - 70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf is no longer wet; a few crumbs on the toothpick are ok. Cool on wire racks. Store in an airtight container or slice and freeze.

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