I had my first pumpkin cream cheese muffin at a very notorious coffee shop some years ago. They always looked gorgeous, but in the grand tradition of most store-bought baked goods…they were not anything to “write home about”. I thought about trying my hand at making my own, figured that they were too complicated and forgot about them. When my friend Annie posted them last year, I knew I had to make them. I did not get around to making them last year (pregnancy was in full swing at the time), but they were at the top of my list for this fall. I finally got around to making them last week, and let me tell you, they are wonderful!
I personally feel like they fall under the realm of cupcakes more than muffins. The pumpkin cake is so light and moist. Not that dense cake that a muffin usually calls it’s own. I’m not going to complain though, I can eat a “muffin” in the morning for breakfast and not feel the least bit guilty. Then again, I’ll eat a cupcake for breakfast and not feel the least bit guilty either. At least I’m honest. Whenever you choose to enjoy them, I’m sure that you (and whoever else you share them with) will love them, and love you for making them. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese MuffinsYields 24 Muffins
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
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 1½-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 puree 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 (1-2 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.
Source: Annie’s Eats