By Jennifer Whitlock
We’re dreaming of pumpkin-flavored everything, and these pumpkin cream cheese muffins are no exception. Pumpkin spice and everything nice, that’s what our favorite fall treats are made of!
There are three steps to making these, but each is relatively quick. It’s not overwhelming or too labor-intensive, we promise.
Pumpkin crunch topping
2 TBS brown sugar, divided
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 TBS unsalted butter
1/4 pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
3 TBS old-fashioned rolled oats, optional
Ceram cheese filling
8-oz block cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 TBS pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 15-oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
Preheat oven to 420° and line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
Make the pumpkin crunch topping first
Combine the pumpkin pie spice and 1 TBS brown sugar in a small bowl, then set aside. Melt butter over medium heat, then add pumpkin seeds and oats and cook 2-3 minutes. Add remaining brown sugar and cook another 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until seeds are golden brown and caramelized. Toss caramelized pumpkin seed/oat mixture in brown sugar and spice mixture until well-coated, then sprinkle on parchment paper to cool.
Now make the cream cheese filling
Mix sugar, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth and thoroughly combined. Transfer to a piping bag without a tip, or you can use a plastic zippered storage bag and cut the bottom corner off at an angle just before use.
Finally, mix the pumpkin batter
Sift or mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar at medium speed for 1 minute. Add eggs and beat again for 2 minutes at high speed. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. The batter may be slightly lumpy—this is okay. Overmixing will cause muffins to be tough and chewy.
Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins, filling cups all the way to the top edge. Sprinkle muffins with pumpkin crunch topping. Cut tip off piping or storage bag and pipe about 2-3 TBS of cream cheese filling into center, leaving some visible on the surface but being sure to fill the entire center.
Bake for 5 minutes at 420°, then lower oven temperature to 350° and bake for 20 more minutes. Muffins should be golden on top while cream cheese remains untoasted.
Let muffins cool thoroughly to room temperature before serving—the cream cheese filling will be hot when they first come out of the oven!
Any leftovers can be stored safely in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in a microwave for 10 seconds to remove the chill before eating, if desired.
Happy fall, y’all!