Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

It’s October—roll out the pumpkin recipes!  I’ve already kicked off the fall season with a recipe for hermits, and now it’s time for a really great pumpkin recipe.

These muffins are a take-off of the seasonal Starbucks offering.  I had one for the first time last year, but sadly I didn’t care for it at all.  The spices were waaaaaaaay over the top—blech!  And the cream cheese filling couldn’t offset the too heavy spices.  I took two bites and threw the rest away.  Sorry Starbucks!

When I first saw the original recipe, I knew that 7 teaspoons of spices were going to result in a muffin that would be too spicy for my taste.  I loved the idea of them and knew I could tweak them to my satisfaction, so I looked over the ratio of flour/sugar to spices in a few of my favorite pumpkin recipes and tweaked away.

I’m happy to report that the muffins turned out to be everything I’d hoped for.  The muffins themselves are moist and tender and, in this instance, pleasantly spiced with traditional fall spices.  As a tasty and delightful bonus, the cream cheese filling is the perfect complement to the spiced pumpkin.  And, oh yes, let’s not forget the streusel topping.

If you like pumpkin desserts, don’t skip these frantastic muffins!

One year ago:  Apple Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

Two years ago:  Turkey Chili (South Beach Diet recipe)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Makes 24 muffins

Ingredients for the Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Ingredient for the Muffins

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

Ingredient for the Topping

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 5 tbl. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbl. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil.  Transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin purée and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1 to 2 tablespoons).  Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces.  Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.

Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Fran’s Notes

If you prefer spicier muffins, just add 2 additional teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Source:  An Annie’s Eats recipe

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