Pumpkin Bread with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling
This holiday favorite has a surprise - a stripe of creamy filling inside! This recipe will make 2 standard-sized loaves, which are ideal for entertaining, or 8 individual loaves, which are perfect for gift giving! Decorative ceramic mini-loaf pans (2-cup capacity) are readily available at craft shops and gourmet stores. Once the cakes have cooled completely, enclose each mini-loaf in clear cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon. The recipient will have the decorative pan as a reminder of your thoughtful gift long after the last morsel of this delicious holiday treat has been savored.
For the Bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F; position a rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray the insides of two 9-inch loaf pans with vegetable oil spray; dust with flour, tapping to remove the excess, then set aside.
Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and walnuts in a medium mixing bowl; stir to mix evenly, and set aside.
Combine the eggs, sugar, oil and orange liqueur in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix until very smooth. Add the pumpkin and mix until incorporated and smooth. Add the flour mixture, and mix until thoroughly moistened, but do not over-mix.
Pour one fourth of the batter into each of the loaf pans. Carefully spread one half of the cream cheese mixture evenly over the batter in each pan. Top the cream cheese with the remaining pumpkin batter, dispensing evenly between the 2 pans. (Note: It will appear that there is barely enough batter to cover the cream cheese. Use the back of a spoon or an offset spatula to gently spread the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese.) Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the surface of the batter.
Bake until the tops are golden brown and a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.*
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans. Let cool for another 10 minutes before slicing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (or in the freezer for up to 2 months).
Tips and Techniques
* For miniature loaves, the baking time should be about 25 to 30 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves
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