Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

One of my Facebook friends (also a former high school classmate) knows my affection for pumpkin.  She shared a couple pumpkin recipes on my Facebook wall.  One recipe was an exact recipe I’d already made before, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies; another was a version of Turkey Bean Pumpkin Chili, which I’ve also made before.  I began to question whether she ACTUALLY ever read my blog.  😉  Just kidding, I know she’s a busy mommy these days, and I don’t expect people to remember things I blogged a year or two ago.  Heck I can barely remember sometimes!  Besides, I do have a rather lengthy list of pumpkin recipes I’ve tried.

Finally, she shared a muffin recipe she had found on AllRecipes.  While I’ve made Pumpkin Nut Muffins with Molasses Glaze, this cream cheese version was quite a different take.  I couldn’t resist making these.  With a quick scan of the ingredients list, I realized these muffins were a bit indulgent, almost cupcake-like.  So, me being me, I did what I could to make it at least a little bit healthier, including subbing white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour in the topping; and subbing a cup and a half of whole wheat pastry flour for all purpose in the muffin recipe.  The original recipe calls for 2 cups of white sugar, and I read in one of the reviews that white sugar gives you a lighter texture, and brown sugar a heavier muffin.  I definitely wanted these to taste like muffins, not cupcakes, so I did 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup white.

Luckily I have coworkers to share these with, because if left alone, I could have consumed the entire batch!  I was told by more than one person that they tasted just like a Starbucks muffin, or something you’d get in a bakery.  I went easy on the cream cheese topping, and ended up with some left over.  I thought it was the just right amount to not overwhelm the muffin.  And of course, the streusel topping was the perfect topper.  Don’t skip it!  YUMMMM!


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

adapted from AllRecipes


Cream Cheese Topping
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Streusel Topping
4 1/2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour*
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
1 cup all-purpose flour*
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.

For the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

For the muffin batter: In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.

Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about 1/2 full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.

Bake at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

*Feel free to use all-purpose flour if you choose!

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