Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

finished producteditedSo straight from raspberry overload to pumpkin everything we go! With the cooler summer around here and fall being my most favorite season anyway, I’ve been ready for fall-flavored treats for a while now. I linked to this recipe from Annie’s Eats way back in November when I posted about my Lemony Blueberry Streusel Muffins. I’ve made these Pumpkin Muffins, which are filled with cream cheese and topped with a cinnamon butter streusel, many times now and always to rave reviews. My very first attempt was a bit clumsy in the assembly, but with practice and the correct equipment I’ve mastered these… so much so that I baked 48 for a catering job earlier this week and made sure to freeze enough filling to bake 12 more fresh for my family.

So you don’t have that first clumsy experience like me, here is a brief photo tutorial to help you along because believe me you want to make these muffins now!

Your first step is to make and freeze the filling before baking. The original recipe called for rolling the cream cheese in a log, wrapping in wax paper, freezing for several hours, then slicing. I personally made a grand mess doing it that way. I use this 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop from Norpro to make forming cookie dough balls a breeze {click HERE to buy} and decided it would work well to make pre-formed filling balls for these muffins. If you don’t have Silpat-style baking mats {which I highly recommend} be sure to line your sheet pans with wax paper so that you can peel the cream cheese filling easily away from the surface once they are frozen.
fillingeditededitedAfter you’ve made your pumpkin muffin batter and lined the tray with muffin cups, you need to fill each cup with about 1 tablespoon of batter. Enter your handy-dandy Norpro cookie scoop again! Seriously, a fair amount of success in baking comes from simply owning a few kitchen tools that are designed to make these jobs easier. Otherwise, you have to scoop the batter in a standard tablespoon and scrape each offering of batter into the cup with your finger and inevitably smear batter everywhere. At least that’s what used to happen to me…

step oneeditedOnce you’ve made your first batter deposit for the muffins, remove your pre-made cream cheese filling balls from the freezer and simply nestle one in the center of each muffin cup, like this…
step twoeditedNow I’m going to get crazy and use a second scooping tool. But seriously, this OXO Large Cookie Scoop {it holds 3 tablespoons of batter, click HERE to purchase} is what I use ALWAYS for muffins and cupcakes. Fill it to the top rim and it’s the perfect amount of batter every time. Before I owned one, I was always guessing on the filling amount and would inevitably fill the cups too full, thereby running out of batter on the last one. Has this ever happened to you? It won’t anymore with this tool!
fillededitedAnd finally, a light sprinkling of the cinnamon butter streusel tops it all off for pumpkin muffin perfection. Thanks to my sweet son for very willingly being my hand model in this shot. He topped them all for me, knowing he was going to get one packed in his lunch box today. Both my children LOVE these muffins as I’m sure you will too.
step threeedited

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yields 24
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for the filling
  1. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  2. 1 c. confectioners' sugar
for the muffins
  1. 3 c. all-purpose flour
  2. 1 T. + 1 t. pumpkin pie spice
  3. 1 t. ground cinnamon
  4. 1 t. ground nutmeg
  5. 1 t. ground cloves
  6. 1 t. salt
  7. 1 t. baking soda
  8. 4 large eggs
  9. 2 c. sugar
  10. 2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  11. 1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
for the streusel
  1. 1/4 c. sugar
  2. 2 T. + 1 t. flour
  3. 3/4 t. ground cinnamon
  4. 2 T. cold unsalted butter
for the filling
  1. Combine the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl and blend on medium-high with hand mixer until smooth. Line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper and scoop 1 tablespoon-sized balls onto the lined pan, being sure each ball of filling does not touch the other. Place the pan flat in freezer for at least 2 hours. Once balls are frozen, you can transfer to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and keep on-hand for up to one month.
for the muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Blend on medium-high with hand mixer until smooth. Make a well in center of dry ingredients. Pour pumpkin mixture into flour mixture and gently blend with a spatula until there are no streaks of flour remaining.
for the streusel
  1. Combine the sugar, cinnamon and flour in a small bowl; whisk to combine. Add the butter and using a pastry blender, cut and mix together until mixture resembles wet sand.
to assemble
  1. Follow picture instructions above. Line each muffin cup with one tablespoon of muffin batter. Place a cream cheese filling ball on top. Cover with remaining batter and sprinkle each muffin lightly with the streusel.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Allow muffins to cool completely before serving.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Foodtastic Mom http://www.foodtasticmom.com/