Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

I think I'm sending mixed messages. I've been posting some healthy recipes, some gluten free, some sugar free, a nice variety of healthy-sounding things. These muffins are by no means 'healthy' or free from anything. They're wonderful and decadent and a great twist on fall flavors but definitely more of a good for the soul treat than a good for you treat.

That all being said, these are pushing the banana walnut muffins out of the front running spot for most popular. They also were more work intensive as they have a cream cheese filling. I haven't restocked my kitchen with all my fancy gadgets so no hand mixer blending cream cheese here. I did however buy a whisk! Officially moved in. So I let the cream cheese soften overnight instead and then it was nice and soft, easily stirred without a mixer.

Initially, we're keeping everything separate. Flour (the gluten-full kind), pumpkin pie spices (or if you have the store bought combination of pumpkin pie spice), baking soda and salt go in one bowl. I definitely adding baking powder by mistake. It's times like these I realize I shouldn't make muffins at 9am pre-breakfast and also adding your ingredients to different sections of the mixing bowl makes it easy to scoop out such an error.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugar and brown sugar. There's something festive about brown sugar, it's often used for fall and holiday baking so I'm all about it. Add in the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Simple whisking will suffice here. Carefully add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture. With a stand mixer or hand mixer, you'll get a puff of flour cloud happening. With stirring by hand, you just get some flour sloshed over the sides. Either way, expect flour showers.

Once the flour is stirred in and you have a lovely orange batter, fill the muffin tin about 3/4 full. Before popping in the oven though, we make the cream cheese part! Mix your softened cream cheese with sugar, egg, and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth and spoon a solid dollop (scientifically speaking, a dollop is a tea-spoon amount--not to be confused with a teaspoon which is a precise unit) on top of each tin of muffin batter. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl around the cream cheese. It doesn't look pretty but it will bake and puff up nicely.

It's really hard to tell when these are done by poking the top because of the cream cheese. So definitely use a toothpick or skewer in the center of the muffin to confirm when they're baked through. Likely this will be 40 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before consuming en masse. We aren't going for healthy here.


  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz. plain cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and sugar until combined. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth again.
  4. Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg mixture. You can use a wooden spoon for this, whatever gets all the flour mixed in and leaves you with a smooth orange batter.
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling 3/4 of the way.
  6. In a small bowl, stir/mix/beat together the cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla.
  7. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the muffin batter. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the cream cheese topping with the pumpkin batter.
  8. Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top for fun, if you have some lying around.
  9. Bake until cooked through and firm, about 40 minutes.
  10. Makes 12-18 muffins.

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