Pumpkin Cream Cheese Braid

November 13, 2013

We’re entering the season where I stop making “real” food and do nothing but bake for two months.  That might sound like an exaggeration, but it’s pretty much not.  If it’s cold outside, I want something warm, fluffy and comforting – the only exception might be spicy food, how can THAT not make you warm!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Braid

When I posted the apple braid last week, I heard several comments about how great it would be with Thanksgiving.  I thought it was a little funny, because I had actually made this pumpkin braid first and thought the whole time about how I’d want this for Thanksgiving breakfast.  Make it ahead and it’s ready for nomming while you’re mashing, whisking, and basting.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Braid

The pumpkin mixture is very lightly sweetened.  Normally, a braid like this would have a sweet fruit and less a sweet cream cheese, but I like it to be opposite.  Especially when pumpkin is involved, because too much sugar can mask its great flavors.  If you’re feeling super lazy, you could always use pumpkin butter for the filling.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Braid

  • Frozen bread or pizza dough, thawed, or 1 loaf or pizza worth of homemade whole wheat dough
  • 8 oz low fat or vegan cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk or preferred milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp unsweetened almond milk or preferred milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
  • ½ c powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, 3 tbsp sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Spritz a baking sheet with nonstick spray and roll the dough out into a 12 x 8” rectangle. Spread the cream cheese down the middle (the long way) and top with the pumpkin – you may need to dollop it on top and then spread.
  4. On either side of the filling, cut the dough into 1” strips, perpendicular to the filling.
  5. Alternating sides, pull the strips over the filling at a slight angle, creating a braid appearance.
  6. Brush the top of the braid with the 1 tbsp of milk and sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until the edges of the bread is browned and the dough is cooked through.
  8. Let the braid cool completely. Meanwhile, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and remaining almond milk to form an icing, using additional milk if you prefer a thinner icing. Drizzle the icing over the braid and serve.

Nutritional estimate uses the same pizza dough as the taco pizza (linked in the ingredients).
Use vegan cream cheese for a vegan and dairy free braid.
If you’re looking for a little crunch, toast up pecans and sprinkle on top while the icing is still wet.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 175 Fat: 1g Carbohydrates: 35g Fiber: 5g Protein: 8g


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    Rachel @ Bakerita Nov 15, 2013

    OK, seriously?! This looks amazing, and so perfect for the holidays. Your photos are gorgeous and making me so hungry!

    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl Nov 14, 2013

    My husband doesn’t love pumpkin as much as me but I think I can talk him into the pumpkin way with this cheese braid! YUM!

    huntfortheverybest Nov 13, 2013

    it looks yummy!

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Nov 13, 2013

    You and me both, sista! I dread doing anything outside in the cold so that is when I get creative in the kitchen #twss 😉 This bread looks amazing and I think you need to make a trek to Chicago right now to bring some to me!

      Kelly Nov 13, 2013

      Haaa! Maybe when I’m back from Florida and Jamaica and need cold/windy weather to make me really appreciate Michigan.

    makingthymeforhealth Nov 13, 2013

    Wow, this looks amazing! I love pumpkin and cream cheese together. I actually made a vegan pumpkin cheesecake pie and it was really good the day I made it but the next day the texture got really weird. Sigh…I have had terrible luck with desserts lately.

      Kelly Nov 13, 2013

      🙁 That happens to me with healthy desserts sometimes, too. This kept nicely in the fridge

    Joanne Nov 13, 2013

    Can I just eat this whole braid instead of an actual Thanskgiving meal?! Because that would make me so happy.

      Kelly Nov 13, 2013

      Ha! I’m actually tempted to do that this year.

    Em @ Love A Latte Nov 13, 2013

    YUM YUM YUM!!! Looks perfect for Thanksgiving for sure! =)

      Kelly Nov 13, 2013

      It comes together so easily! No real talent required 😉