Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Many times life isn’t easy.  Life gives you so many unexpected hardships and joy, but in all that we still need to find courage to go on.  No matter what is going on in life you still need to follow the daily routine (especially when you have children) – we still need to take care of the children, clean, cook, go to work, etc, etc.  I can’t get into all the details, but it has been a difficult month (with multiple life changing situations happening).  In the midst of these events I still had to bake something for my children’s school…  For some reason this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins spoke to me and I’m so glad I baked these. 

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Makes 24 muffins (I was able to make 30):

Filling:

8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar

Muffins:

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I didn’t have this so I used allspice instead)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar (I used 1-1/2 cups)
2 cups pumpkin puree (a 15 ounce can roughly comes to 2 cups)
1-1/4 cups vegetable oil

Topping:

1/2 cup sugar
5 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

**I had plenty of the filling and topping left over even after making 30 muffins

Combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. 

Line muffin pans.  In a medium bowl combine the first 7 ingredients for the muffins.  Whisk to blend. 

In another bowl combine the last 4 ingredients for the muffins and mix well.  Add these into the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

Make the topping by combining 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. 

Fill each muffin liner with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner.  Drop in a dollop of cream cheese mixture and add a little more pumpkin batter.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture.  **don’t overload because it won’t look pretty when they rise if they have too much batter and filling. 

Bake in a 350F oven for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.  However, these muffins are good at any temperature!!

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My opinion: Once again a huge hit among the children and adults!  Not overly sweet, but the right balance of spices. I love all the texture differences between the muffin, cream cheese filling and the topping.  I was asked to bake this again this weekend!

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