pumpkin-cream-cheese-muffins-20Pinterest is an interesting  and addictive thing. I love skimming through the food/beverage list to see what other folks are making and to get ideas. One thing that pops up a lot during fall are the pumpkin cream cheese muffins. They are everywhere – I think they might be available at every coffee shop in town. Well, at least starbucks and the swanky ones.

My family makes a pumpkin roll every year at Thanksgiving, so I’m very familiar with the joys of spiced pumpkin cake with cream cheese, but I have never jumped on the muffin band wagon before. However, a friend at work came across one of the pictures of these delicious-looking muffins the other day and was of the firm opinion that I should make some. Ergo, pumpkin cream cheese muffins! I adapted the recipe from one found on a blog called The Girl Who Ate Everything. Among other things, I replaced 1/2 C of oil with buttermilk. I think buttermilk makes a world of difference in muffins – it cuts down on some of the greasiness while keeping the muffins moist, with a little bit of tangy goodness thrown in for good measure. Mmmmmm. Buttermilk. Also, if I were to make this again, which I’m sure I will, I’ll probably chop some walnuts or pecans up into the topping…

This recipe makes 24 small muffins or, if you’re like me and ignore portion sizes in recipes, 12 large muffins and 1 mini loaf.

Ingredients:

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Cream Cheese Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese (1 pkg)
1 C powdered sugar, or a little less, if desired

Muffins:
3 C flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can (approx 15 oz) pumpkin puree (if using fresh rather than a can, just use 2 cups)
3/4 C vegetable oil
1/2 C buttermilk

Topping:
½ C brown sugar
5 tbsp flour
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

* it is super easy to make your own pumpkin pie spice to have around the kitchen without having to run out to the grocery for it. Just combine 4 Tbsp cinnamon, 4 tsp nutmeg, 4 tsp ground ginger and 3 tsp all spice. Just mix it all together and use, as needed, in recipes calling for pumpkin pie spice.

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Preheat your oven to 350º F. Prep your muffin tins or line them with papers. While I usually prefer the look of muffins cooked straight in the tins rather than confined to those ugly ridged muffin papers, I used some tall, pretty, red muffin papers and was happy with the result.

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Start out by mixing together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. At this point you have a choice, depending on how to want to portion out the cream cheese.

A. you can roll the cream cheese in plastic wrap to make a log and stick it in the freezer to firm up. Then, when it’s time to add it to the muffins, you can cut the log into slices.

B. You can put the sweetened cream cheese into a pastry bag and pipe it into the muffins (a ziplock back with the corner cut off works just as well for this sort of thing, or

C. just stick the bowl in the fridge and do some creative portioning by spoon when the time comes.

 

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Once you’ve dealt with the traumatic process of deciding how you want to proceed with the cream cheese, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.

 

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In a separate bowl (and using either a stand or handheld mixer), combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil and buttermilk.Be sure to taste your batter as you progress. I almost forgot to add the sugar and saved the day by tasting the wet stuff and realizing it wasn’t sweet.

 

 

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Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed. Set aside while you make the topping.

 

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Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and either cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or rub the ingredients between your fingers to incorporate the butter. Because we are using brown sugar instead of white, it’s going to be moister and might not achieve that nice sandy texture. It’s ok. Life will go on. What’s going to happen is that the brown sugary stuff will actually kind of melt into the top, creating these nice crunchy bits, which I love.

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Now it’s time to assemble the muffins. (Yay!)

Portion a few tablespoons of batter into the bottom of the cupcake tins (or papers).

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Slice, pipe or spoon your cream cheese on top of the batter and finish up with another layer of pumpkin batter.

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Lastly, sprinkle (or dollop, if your topping is pretty moist) the topping over the muffins and pop them in the oven.

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If you are making smaller (normal sized) muffins, start to check for doneness around 20 minutes. If you are making the larger ones, you can probably hold off until about 25 minutes. I think my muffins cooked for about 30 – 32 minutes.

 

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When the muffins are cooked to your satisfaction, take them out and let the pan sit on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning the muffins out to completely cool.

These muffins are delicious at pretty much any temperature and at any time of day, so go on. Indulge in some fall deliciousness.Pumpkins Cream Cheese Muffin (19 of 20)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
 
Adapted from Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins on www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (1 pkg)
  • 1 C powdered sugar, or a little less, if desired
  • Muffins:
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 can (approx 15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • ¾ C vegetable oil
  • ½ C buttermilk
  • Topping:
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F. Prep your muffin tins or line them with papers.
  2. Start out by mixing together the cream cheese and powdered sugar. At this point you have a choice, depending on how to want to portion out the cream cheese. A. you can roll the cream cheese in plastic wrap to make a log and stick it in the freezer to firm up. Then, when it’s time to add it to the muffins, you can cut the log into slices. B. You can put the sweetened cream cheese into a pastry bag and pipe it into the muffins (a ziplock back with the corner cut off works just as well for this sort of thing, or C. just stick the bowl in the fridge and so some creative portioning by spoon when the time comes.
  3. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl (and using either a stand or handheld mixer), combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, oil and buttermilk.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet until just mixed. Set aside while you make the topping.
  6. Combine all the topping ingredients in a bowl and either cut the butter in with a pastry cutter or rub the ingredients between your fingers to incorporate the butter. Because we are using brown sugar instead of white, it’s going to be moister and might not achieve that nice sandy texture. What’s going to happen is that the brown sugary stuff will actually kind of melt into the top, creating these nice crunchy bits, which I love.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble the muffins. Portion a few tablespoons of batter into the bottom of the cupcake tins (or papers).
  8. Slice, pipe or spoon your cream cheese on top of the batter and finish up with another layer of pumpkin batter.
  9. Lastly, sprinkle (or dollop, if your topping is pretty moist) the topping over the muffins and pop them in the oven.
  10. If you are making smaller (normal sized) muffins, start to check for doneness around 20 minutes. If you are making the larger ones, you can probably hold off until about 25 minutes. The larger muffins cooked for about 30 – 32 minutes.
  11. When the muffins are cooked to your satisfaction, take them out and let the pan sit on a wire rack for a few minutes before turning the muffins out to completely cool.
Notes
* To make your own pumpkin pie spice:. combine 4 Tbsp cinnamon, 4 tsp nutmeg, 4 tsp ground ginger and 3 tsp all spice. Miix it all together and use as needed.
** Feel free to replace some of the white sugar with brown or add some chopped up nuts to the topping
*** If you are using fresh pumpkin, just use two cups and don’t worry about measuring out 15 oz.
 

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