Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Two years ago I "discovered" pumpkin cream cheese muffins at a Starbucks in Chicago.  I enjoy a lot of the treats sold at Starbucks, but this muffin is one of my favorites.  It has the texture and taste of pumpkin bread with the extra surprise of a sweetened cream cheese filling.  Pair that muffin up with a cup of coffee and you're good to go.

Unfortunately, Starbucks doesn't always have this muffin.  Plus, I don't really need to eat a jumbo-sized, full-fat, full-price pumpkin cream cheese muffin on a regular basis.  I had given up on this muffin until I found this muffin on Annie's Eats.  I suddenly remembered my love of this Starbucks muffin and I bookmarked the recipe.  When I finally went to make the muffin, I decided to reduce the fat and sugar a bit and the results were great.  If I didn't tell you this was a lighter version of the original, I don't think you'd ever know.

Just be sure to use reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese and let these cool for at least 30 minutes before indulging... you don't want to burn your mouth on hot cream cheese filling!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
adapted from Annie's Eats
yield 24 muffins

For the filling:
8 oz. reduced fat (not fat free) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar

For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree (or one 15-ounce can)
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil

For the topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth.  Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and transfer to the freezer and chill until at least slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line muffin pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce and oil.  Mix on medium-low speed until blended.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.  

To make the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.  Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.

To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (1-2 tablespoons).  Place a teaspoon of the chilled cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.  Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely.  Sprinkle a small amount of the topping mixture over each of the muffin wells.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. 


  1. Can you send one to me? Yummy! They look so good. I love anything pumpkin, but these look delicious!

  2. Oh my gah! The filling in these rocks! I've seen these on a couple different blogs and every time I see them I drool. I've never had the Starbucks muffin but pumpkin and cream cheese is a favorite combination of mine. YUM!

  3. I'm loving the filling! So delicious :)

  4. I LOOOOVE pumkins and i love cream cheese this seems like a match made in heaven! definitely trying this one!

  5. YUM! Love the amount of cream cheese filling you stuffed your muffins with.

  6. mmm I want one with a nice espresso.

  7. I also love these muffins! I got a recipe for them about a year ago. My friend made them and said that the cream cheese part didn't turn out right, so I've been hunting for a better version of the recipe. I'm trying this one, Keeley! Miss you guys!


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