Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bread

Sweet, spiced pumpkin bread is swirled with a ribbon of cream cheese filling for a fall-inspired dessert that will be impossible to resist.

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Friends! It's that time of year again - Halloween has come and gone, the skies are chilly and grey, and Starbucks has already rolled out holiday cups because of course they have, I didn't care about Thanksgiving anyway, it's whatever.

(Says the girl who is going to Italy with another person's family for Thanksgiving and abandoning my own family for the 3rd year in a row, it's okay they just go to Cracker Barrel every year anyway)

TBH my liver and bank account are both very happy that Halloween is over. My best friend Kelsey was in town, so that means my judgment and self-control took a little vaca somewhere far away from my body. Let's recap here:

Friday night consisted of a happy hour sangria date with my friends Riannon and Amanda at La Tasca, followed by some Forever 21 costume shopping and dinner at Lauriol Plaza. Post-Plaza, we changed into our outfits (an Astro-thot for me, some sort of animal for Kels) and headed to Johnny Pistola's, where we danced, laughed and flirted our way into free drinks until bar close.

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Then, there was Saturday - a birthday party at Top Golf into the late afternoon, followed by a quick run home to change into our Netflix & Chill costume, dinner at DC Noodles with our friend Riley, and then a couple of house parties from which we did NOT make it out. It happens.

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Sunday was our day for recovery. Kelsey and I brunched at Busboys and Poets (their French Toast was INCREDIBLE), then meandered up to Adams Morgan to grab Mint Mojito Iced Coffees from Philz Coffee. Although it was starting to drizzle, we spent several hours walking around Dupont and Foggy Bottom before heading into Cava for "dinner" at 4 PM so Kelsey could make it to her flight on time.

But then her flight was delayed 15 minutes... 30 minutes... 2 hours... so we ended up huddling under my covers and watching 298746 episodes of You're the Worst (world's greatest show). Finally Kelsey headed out to the airport, and I threw on some cat ears and drew on whiskers to meet Amanda at Jackpot.

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Amanda and I were each a beer in when Kelsey called to say that her flight was cancelled and that she needed a drink immediately. I excitedly alerted our bartender/new BFF Doug, and we instantly knew the night was going to spiral out of control. 

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And spiral it did, as more people came in and flooded the bar, and we each tossed back no less than 5 beers. I have found my new Sunday night spot. We finally retreated to my house around midnight, slept soundly despite my power having gone out. A weekend well spent!

So, here I am, sharing a wholly unrelated but incredibly delicious recipe for pumpkin bread I whipped up on Monday. What better way to make up for the fact that I'm too old to trick or treat? And guys - it's DELICIOUS. If you have a Friendsgiving or Girl's Night coming up, I would highly recommend bringing this crowd pleaser to the table!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Bread

To make this bread, you will need:
Bread
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/2 T cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (I used dark, but light would also work)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup vegetable, canola or coconut oil
- 1 t vanilla extract
Filling
- 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 a standard brick)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 T unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the long sides that will help you remove your bread.

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To begin, whisk together your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, salt) in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together your pumpkin puree, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Add the dry mixture to the wet and stir gently, until just combined.

In a separate small bowl, beat your cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar, egg and flour until smooth and fully combined.

Pour 2/3 of your pumpkin batter into your loaf pan and spread to create an even surface. Pour the cream cheese filling on top, spreading to distribute evenly. Finally, add the remaining pumpkin batter in dollops, then spread to cover the top and gently swirl with the cream cheese filling.

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Bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out fully clean. If you don't wait this long, nbd - it will just sink a little like mine did. Darn my complete and total lack of patience. Let the bread cool fully in the pan, then remove, slice and enjoy!

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So, who wants to come help me eat some of this? I'll make coffee!

XOXO,
Jesse