Pumpkin and cream cheese come together to form a creamy sweet spread we use on our pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake and pretty much just about any other cracker, bagel or even crudité looking for a pumpkin dip.
To make this I assume you are planning to make your own fresh pumpkin puree from scratch.
If so then you are in for a treat as no store-bought pumpkin puree will ever come close to the real deal homemade version.
Apart from the quick and easy 10 minutes you spend making the puree there is no much else to this recipe.
It's literally just mixing a few ingredients together and voila! You have yourself a pumpkin cream cheese spread.
You can use this silky smooth autumn recipe on repeat all through the season and impress your friends and family by slapping it onto everything that would otherwise need a spread or frosting.
The best part about this recipe apart from its simplicity is that you can tailor it to be savoury or sweet.
Kind of like a two for one scenario.
The base ingredients are simple and if you are pressed for time, in a rush or just don't care. Buy the puree ready-made and mix it with cream cheese.
In that case, no further reading required.
If you want to see how it's done properly then keep going.
- Pumpkin puree - To make the pumpkin puree you only need a pumpkin and you can read all about that in my pumpkin puree recipe. If you feeling lazy then buy this pumpkin puree.
- Cream cheese - Any smooth type will do. Make sure it's plain and unflavored. Philadelphia is my choice.
- Maple syrup (optional) - If you are using this as a frosting or cake filler or sweet breakfast toast spread or just fancy some sweet pumpkin cream cheese spread, then add some maple syrup for sweetness. It's a match made in heaven and no other combo can replace it. Use nice organic maple syrup.
- Seasoning (optional) - If you want to make a savoury dip then season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika or whatever else you fancy. Keep it classy though as pumpkin is a delicate flavour and won't appreciate you going crazy on it.
How to make it
This is how to make your own pumpkin puree in short. For detailed steps see the pumpkin puree recipe.
- Cook the pumpkin puree and let it cool down completely.
- Add in cream cheese and mix until fully homogenous.
- Add sweetness or seasoning depending if you want to use it for a sweet or savoury dish.
- Store airtight in the fridge for up to 4 days.
You can easily modify your pumpkin spread by doing the following:
- Substitute the cream cheese - Add blue cheese to make a pumpkin cheese spread perfect for spreading on toasted bagels and sourdough bread or use mascarpone to give it richer quality. Replace the dairy with a vegan cream cheese alternative to make the recipe completely vegan and lactose-free
- Add spice - Spice it up with cinnamon to make pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting to add onto your pumpkin spice cake.
- Add a different sweetener - Not everyone has maple syrup at hand or want to use it. Use honey or agave syrup instead. Even regular powdered sugar will work. to make the recipe keto-friendly use a suitable sweetener like stevia instead.
How to use it
You can be pretty creative with this spread and use it in many different ways.
In savoury dishes:
- Bruschetta - Spread on bruschetta made with toasted sourdough bread and topped with roasted pumpkin and balsamic glaze. Served alongside this roasted pumpkin salad is the perfect autumn lunch.
- Bagels - Amazing with freshly toasted New York-style bagels topped with smokey pastrami or citrus cured salmon.
- Crackers - If you just want a simple little snack for a cocktail party or reception then spread onto some savoury crackers or parmesan biscuits along with a few small bits of roasted pumpkin.
- Salads - Use as a base for roasted red peppers or stir a few spoon fulls through this Morrocan eggplant salad.
- Quiche - Use half cream and half pumpkin spread for the filling alongside roasted pumpkin pieces next time you bake a pumpkin quiche.
- Dip - The perfect autumn dip for crispy corn tortillas or any other crispy savoury snack.
In sweet dishes:
- Cakes - Use as an alternative filling for cakes like carrot cake, Russian honey cake or as a frosting for apple cake or pumpkin cake.
- Enriched bread - As a spread for pumpkin bread, banana bread, sweet potato bread or any other sweetened enriched bread loaf like raisin bread or brioche.
- Scones - Delicious autumn topping for scones with pumpkin jam or young walnut preserve.
- Muffins - Can be sweet or savoury. Spread onto a freshly baked steaming muffin is a thing of beauty.
- Crumpets - Often overlooked but, one of the simplest and most satisfying sweet autumn breakfast ideas. You can also put it on pancakes or European style sourdough crêpes.
Other recipes you might like
If you like quick simple recipes that can be used in a wide variety of dishes then you will find the following recipes useful:
- Oven-dried cherry tomatoes
- Caesar dressing
- Teriyaki sauce
- Thai spiced cashew nuts
- Sweet miso glaze
- Balsamic reduction
Frequently asked questions
Yes. Unless you use store-bought pumpkin puree that contains gluten or if you use strange low-quality cream cheese compounds that could also contain gluten. Stick to natural pumpkin puree and good quality natural cream cheese.
Once cream cheese gets opened you should consume it within a few days. Check the container of cream cheese for this information and follow that as a guideline.
Yes, cream cheese is very stable and can be frozen without any ill effect for up to 6 months. Make sure to slowly defrost it in the fridge overnight and give it a good mix to make sure it's still homogenous just in case your pumpkin puree separated a bit.
Useful equipment for this recipe
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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread
- Mix together pumpkin puree with cream cheese
- Sweeten or season depending on what you want to use it for
- Use straight away or store airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- This pumpkin spread can be used in sweet or savoury dishes. See post for details.
- Can be frozen for up to 6 months without ill effect.
- For best results make your own pumpkin puree using Crown Prince Green pumpkin or Red Kuri squash.