Bite into fall: pumpkin cream cheese muffins

Tamora Rosenbaum

Once October hits, you can get almost anything flavored with pumpkin, from beer and ice cream to lattes, waffles and of course pumpkin pie. But how many of those treats would you want to try to make yourself? I mean, pumpkin pie is nice to eat, but not much fun to make. Creating a homemade crust is way too complicated and cleaning out a pumpkin is gross. An easier option is to throw some pumpkin pie mix into one of those premade crusts, but this just seems like cheating and isn’t very tasty anyway. 

Muffins, on the other hand, are fun, portable and easy to put together. These pumpkin cream cheese muffins even have a little bit of a fancy touch of cream cheese filling to make them feel special. All you need is a bowl, a muffin tin, something to mix with and a little patience as the aroma of pumpkin and spice fills your home.

– 4 oz. cream cheese

– 1 and 1/4 cup sugar

– 1/2 cup vegetable oil

– 1 cup pumpkin puree

– 2 eggs

– 1 3/4 cup flour

– 1/2 tsp. baking soda

Pumpkin pie spices (Feel free to ad lib based on what you have on hand.)

– 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

– 1/2 tsp. ginger

– 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

– 1/4 tsp. cloves

1. Cream cheese filling. Whip together cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar very well.  Go ahead and use a fork, a hand mixer and a food processor — anything works.  When all is combined, pop it in the fridge to stay cold while you prepare the rest of the muffins.  Having the mixture as cool as possible will prevent the cream from melting away too much during baking.

2. Muffin batter: mix one cup sugar, oil, pumpkin and eggs together very well in a large mixing bowl.  Then mix in the flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spices.  Stir well to incorporate everything together fully.

3. Line muffin tins with fun fall-themed paper cups, or just lightly oil them. Fill each one up about half way.  Make sure the batter is spread evenly across the bottom of each muffin tin.  I whacked mine flat on the counter a few times to accomplish this.

4. Put a spoonful (or approximately one tablespoon, if you like precise measurements) of cream cheese filling in each.

5. Finally, evenly distribute the remainder of the batter over the top of the cream cheese.  If you want to have the cream cheese completely disguised in the end, make sure you cover the filling generously in this step. My muffins ended up with some cream cheese filling showing through the top and I thought it was kind of charming.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool before you eat them, unless you are ready to deal with molten cream cheese.

6. Enjoy these with a hot pumpkin latte or your favorite pumpkin beer. Warm them up and plate them with some pumpkin ice cream for good measure.