Optional, for serving: graham crackers, gingersnaps, sugar cookies, Nilla wafers, pretzels, apples, pears
Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, beating well.
Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Use blocks of cream cheese -- not the spreadable cream cheese from a tub. The spreadable cream cheese has more air and liquid added, which will give your dip an undesirable consistency.
Let your cream cheese soften at room temperature. This will make it easy to whip. Cold cream cheese is too firm to blend into a light, fluffy dip.
Make sure to use a can of 100% pure pumpkin puree -- not canned pumpkin pie filling. They look similar on the store shelves, but pumpkin pie filling has added sugar and seasonings that you don't want in this dip recipe.
Sift the powdered sugar before adding it to the cream cheese. I know this is an extra step, but it's incredibly important. Otherwise, you may end up with little clumps of powdered sugar in the dip, which gives it a lumpy texture (no, thank you)! Instead, sifting the sugar results in a smooth, creamy dip.
Cut the ingredients in half to prepare a smaller amount of dip. This recipe yields approximately 4 ½ cups, or about 18 servings at ¼-cup each.