This afternoon I was craving pumpkin and I stumbled upon this recipe from 17 and Baking and had to try it -- and you should, too, because it's wonderful.
Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used 1 cup oil)
1 – 15 ounce can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9″x5″ pans.
For the Cream Cheese Filling: Beat the cream cheese just until smooth in a stand mixer or food processor. Add the sugar and process just until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing just until incorporated. Do not over process. Stir in the flour. Set aside.
For the Pumpkin Bread: Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs until lightly beaten. Whisk in the sugar and melted butter, then stir in the pumpkin, water, vanilla extract, and (optionally) nuts.
Stir the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, being careful not to overmix. A few streaks of flour are fine. Divide the batter in half. Take one half and divide it between the two pans. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into each pan, then top with the remaining half of batter. Smooth the tops and bake an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool loaves to room temperature.