Category Archives: baking

A bite of autumn...Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spice Bread

A Preview Of Fall: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread

Summer is still in full swing, but doesn’t it feel like we’re getting whiffs of fall here and there? Maybe it’s the back to school sales, or the “clearance” signs popping up on beach towels and umbrellas. Whatever the reason, there’s definitely signs that fall is just around the corner.  And to give you a preview of what’s to come, we’re giving you a taste of autumn with a new favorite recipe:  Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread, by Faith Gorsky of

A bite of autumn...Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spice Bread

A bite of autumn…Photo by: Faith Grosky

A Fortunate Find

We stumbled across this amazing recipe the way we usually do, by salivating over delicious-looking pictures on Pinterest and the web. The first thing that immediately called out to us was the perfect-looking cream cheese icing at the top of the loaf of the beautifully shaped mini loaf. It just looked so, so, perfect, we had to absolutely try it out and share it with you.

Aromas of Fall And Sinful Cream Cheese Icing

The ingredients of this Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread are all evocative of fall, from the spicy aromas of the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, to the warm comfort of vanilla, to the muted orange reminiscent of fallen leaves. And, one might even fantasize that the layer of white cream cheese icing is a harbinger of the snows of winter? This is definitely a seasonal recipe, ideal to practice now and perfect for autumn afternoons with a warm cup of tea or coffee.

warm tea and pumpkin cream cheese icing spice bread

A steaming mug of tea and a slice of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread…heavenly fall!


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Icing Spice Bread by

Rating: 51

20 minutes

40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 3 Mini Loafs


  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • Butter, to grease the pans


  1. For the Cheese Batter: Use a handheld electric mixer to beat together all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  2. For the Pumpkin Spice Batter: Preheat oven to 350F; lightly grease 3 mini loaf pans with butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs until light and fluffy, then stir in the pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to over-mix. Divide the pumpkin batter between the 3 loaf pans, then pour the cheese batter on top.
  4. Bake until golden around the edges, about 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted inside comes out clean or with just a couple crumbs. Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Baking The Season

So while we’re fully enjoying the last stretch of summer, we’re also enjoying the taste of what’s to come, and preparing for a new, exciting culinary season! Thank you, Faith, for sharing your wonderful recipe with us! Let us know what you think of this recipe in the comments.

About Our Feature Recipe

Faith Gorsky is a food blogger who calls upstate New York home, although she has travelled extensively and declares Damascus, Syria, her favorite city. Her book, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair, is a smorgasbord of flavorful exotic middle eastern recipes, all imparted with a young, modern point of view. You can find all of her fabulous recipes on her blog –

Interested in sharing your recipes with us? Just send us an email to

valrhona cacoa

Tips and Essentials For A Busy Baking Season

Valentine’s Day is only a few short weeks away, and if you’re a baker/crafter like me, you’ve probably taken to Pinterest with a vengeance to find out the latest and greatest in V-day treats. There’s clearly no shortage of great ideas, but there’s nothing worse than embarking on the ultimate baking project only to find you’re missing some key ingredients. So, the key to face this busy baking season is to do like the Boy Scouts, and “be prepared”, and below I tell you how.

The Basics

chocolate chipsThere are certain items that every baker should have handy, as they’re the basis of most recipes. In the pantry: all-purpose flour, dark and white sugar, baking powder and baking soda, yeast (for bread and rolls), vanilla extract, and chocolate chips are absolutely essential. In the fridge: milk, salted and unsalted butter, eggs, oranges and lemons (for flavoring). Keep in mind this is just a very basic list, there are many recipes that get much more intricate and will have your running to a specialty store. Most, but not ALL of these things can be found in any supermarket, but there are some items where you shouldn’t be scrimping on.

The Splurge

An ingredient where quality really matters is baking chocolate. Invest in a great quality, gourmet bittersweet chocolate with high cacao content. No offence to the local supermarket, but chances are high you probably won’t find this on grocery store aisles, but you can shop at gourmet stores online and have it delivered. My favorite is from Valrhona, a French chocolatier that specializes in high quality chocolate for baking. Valrhona designs their chocolate for baking specifically. This distinction is super important, because it means they’ve chosen their cacao beans and developed their chocolate to perform the best when heat is applied. I’m talking about truly decadent, mouth-melting cacao, with a nice bouquet of aromas and a full-bodied flavor profile. Their chocolate selection reads like a fine wine list, with unique and exotic gourmet chocolates to choose from. This is where you should splurge!

The Décor

Cake DecoratingOnce you have your pastries baked, you’re going to want to decorate them, so you should also have some pastry decorating items handy for that. Powdered sugar is a must, of course. For cake and cupcake decorating, a super simple option is marzipan shapes. Keep some pre-made marzipan in your pantry, along with some basic food coloring for tinting. Marzipan is really versatile; you can mold it into basically any shape you want, just like if you were using play-doh (really delicious, sugary play doh!), and you can color it with any food coloring. It’s just a great, creative way to give your pastries a fun, colorful touch. Separate it in small batches, use some food coloring to tint each batch, and then start playing! If you have cookie cutters you can use those, but they might be too big to use on smaller pastries like cupcakes or muffins, so see if you can find miniature cutters for those. One tip when working with marzipan: dust the surface with powdered sugar so the marzipan doesn’t stick.

Desperate Times, Delicious Measures

Pain au ChocolatFor super last minute baking, and other desperate times, I have a delicious dirty little secret, a “cheat” of sorts: pre-made frozen gourmet pastries from Bridor. For occasions when pastry-baking seems to exhausting, and going out to a bakery, impossible, I have a selection of Bridor’s ready-to-bake gourmet pastries (the selection includes pain-au-chocolat, croissants, and Danishes)on hand. You’ll love: the pain au chocolat; it always bakes to flaky, buttery perfection, and the chocolate heart melts evenly every time. Pop in the oven for freshly baked pastries in minutes, enjoy, and save your strength for your next baking challenge!