Just so you know, you can always find some cream cheese in my refrigerator.
It started because of my husband’s obsession, but now that I have hopped on the bandwagon, there’s always a couple of blocks in the cheese drawer.
I love starting the day with a bagel spread with a thick layer of cream cheese. When you pair it with a strong cup of coffee, it cuts through the slightly bitter notes in such a rich way. The tangy flavor always complements my personal favorite choice of a lightly sweet cinnamon raisin bagel, or a zingy Asiago bagel.
It’s an easy way to start the day without doing more than toasting a bagel, but now that fall has arrived, it’s time to give that same-old ingredient a serious upgrade.
It’s finally feeling like fall with a little bit of a bite in the air, and that means I’m craving all things autumn. All I want to do is curl up with a pumpkin spice latte in a long sweater with fleece-lined leggings and a super soft blanket next to a roaring fire.
I know that sounds incredibly basic, but I just don’t care. It’s one of the best feelings in the world. Especially when you add a great book, and some extra-furry puppy snuggles.
Have I painted a clear enough picture of what I wish I was doing at this very moment? I would also take an afternoon in a pumpkin patch at this point…
I’m sorry, it’s been a long week! Let’s get back to this fantastic recipe, shall we?
Instead of solely relying on the infamous PSL to get my fix, I am putting pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice in everything I can think of, from spreads to dips, cookies to muffins, cakes and brownies, smoothies, and so much more.
The combination of sweet and tangy in every bite of this tangy spread is really intriguing. It can be served as a topping for your morning bagel, but there are so many other ways to use it as well (be sure to read up on those at the end of this article!).
There is just enough pumpkin in there to make its presence known. But it isn’t so much that it takes over the flavor of the cream cheese, and it’s not so sweet that you feel like you are stuffing your face with a piece of pie.
The magic of the recipe is not only in the flavor, but also in the ease with which you can make it. There are only 4 simple ingredients required, and the whole thing comes together in less than 5 minutes.
I’m serious, you are only 5 minutes away from tasting this spread, in your very own kitchen. Which also means you are only 5 minutes away from pure, creamy pumpkin bliss.
Honestly, you probably already have the ingredients in your refrigerator and pantry. It is fall, after all. If you don’t, dash over to the store immediately. You’ll thank me for it later, trust me.Print
Now that it’s officially fall, it’s time to bust out the best pumpkin cream cheese recipe. Indulge in this creamy and rich spread that’s packed with flavor.
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2–3 Tbsp canned pumpkin, or homemade pumpkin puree
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Using a hand mixer, beat ingredients together on medium speed until smooth.
- Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Cream Cheese
- Method: Mixing
- Cuisine: Spread
Keywords: pumpkin, spice, cream cheese, maple syrup
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Soften Cream Cheese and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Leave cream cheese out on the counter at room temperature for 30 minutes, until softened. Taking it out of the box and the wrapper can help to speed this process along a bit.
Get your fall playlist ready to go while you wait. And measure the remaining ingredients as listed.
You can also replace the pumpkin puree with your favorite variety of winter squash you can roast and puree.
Step 2 – Mix Together Ingredients
Place the softened cream cheese and all of the remaining ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
Use an electric hand mixer on medium speed to beat it together until the mixture is smooth.
Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
What do I Serve this Dreamy Spread With?
Of course, you know the standard way to serve cream cheese is on a bagel. It’s a perfect way to start the day with your morning coffee (with some pumpkin coffee creamer!), and it’s especially tasty when you slather it on a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel.
However, this particular sweet recipe can also be served as a dessert. Serve up a bowl of this spread with cookies like vanilla wafers or gingersnaps, along with a couple handfuls of fresh strawberries.
The combination of sweet and tangy is indulgent, and ideal for ending any fall meal on a serious high note.
For a more savory take, try toasting up some thinly sliced cheese or everything bagels into chips, drizzle them with olive oil, and toast in the toaster oven until golden. Set on a rack to cool and sprinkle with coarse salt. They’ll be delicious with this dip, and don’t forget to sprinkle the top with a handful of shelled toasted pumpkin seeds before serving.
When you’ve had your fill, for something a little different, don’t forget to try our recipe for a decadent homemade cherry cream cheese spread.
What would you like to serve with this creamy recipe? Tell us in the comments below. And be sure to rate the recipe as soon as you make it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 26, 2010. Last updated: October 5, 2022 at 8:14 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.