Sep 28, 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


Listen. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, I'm not on the I-Love-Fall-Because-Of-Pumpkin Train.  I don't like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I don't get excited to make pumpkin bread or pumpkin cookies or pumpkin scones (although I might try the scones).  But I'll admit that these muffins are delicious.  I blame the cream cheese for my turning point in wanting to bake with pumpkin.  I mean, who turns down cream cheese stuffed inside of a muffin?!  And in addition to the cream cheese, a streusel-like crumb topping?  Really, there was no way around these.

While I may not be a full-on pumpkin convert, these are truly delicious.  They are warm from all of the spices, sweet with the topping, and tart & just a little tangy from the cream cheese filling.  The muffin itself has a very tender crumb and is super moist.  I will definitely make these again and again during "pumpkin season".

Note: The cream cheese filling needs to freeze for about 2 hours, so give yourself time for that to happen.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Printable Version

For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups vegetable or canola oil

To make the filling:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixture, mix the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar together until smooth. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log that is about 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap and transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours (or until firm enough to cut).

 To make the topping:
1. In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add in the butter and with a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Place mixture in the refrigerator.

To make the muffins:
1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line 2 12-count muffin pans with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin, and oil until blended.
3. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
4. Remove the cream cheese filling from the freezer and slice the log into 24 equal pieces. Place 1-2 tablespoons into each muffin well, just enough to cover the bottom of each well. Put one slice of the cream cheese mixture in each well on top of the batter. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin wells, covering the cream cheese filling completely, about 2 more tablespoons. Remove the topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle evenly over the muffins.
 5. Bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, or until a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for 5-10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 muffins

slightly adapted from Tracey's Culinary Adventures, originally from Bake Space

3 comments:

Constance Perkins said...

wondering if i can use sweet  potatoes instead  

goodthymes said...

Hmm, I haven't done any baking with sweet potatoes but they really are about the same consistency as canned pumpkin.  I would give it a try!  I could definitely see it working.

Paula @ Spoons 'n' Spades said...

I actually am on a bit of a pumpkin mission as I love using it in desserts. These muffins look wonderful! Think I will give them a try :-)

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