When I eat a pumpkin cream cheese muffin, it always reminds me of when Cole was first born. It was September and the leaves were just starting to change, the mornings were becoming colder, but the last remnants of summer heat lingered in the afternoons. I used to take walks with my mom to Starbucks on those sunny afternoons, pushing the stroller with my new babe cozily tucked inside. He’d usually drift off for a nap on our way there, so we enjoyed our coffee and muffins while he slept beside us. That was the first time I remember eating pumpkin cream cheese muffins. I looked forward to those walks just so I could have one.
I know the blogosphere is not short on pumpkin cream cheese muffin recipes, but I happen to think this one is too good not to post. The filling is a little different than other recipes I’ve seen in that it has marshmallow creme instead of icing sugar. I think it makes a fluffier filling that tastes incredible, and it’s so easy to make wih only two ingredients. You’ll probably have some filling left over, and you’ll be glad you do because it makes the best fruit dip ever. I actually first made it as fruit dip for a party and had some left so I put it in a muffin. That’s how these muffins were born. Usually my family doesn’t really care for muffins; I’ll make a batch and no one ever finishes them all. I end up freezing the rest for later but the only person who seems to eat them is me. This time they had no problem polishing them all off. Tony likes them better than the Starbucks ones because he finds those more crumbly and have way too much cream cheese in them sometimes. When you make them yourself you can adjust the amount of filling to you preference. I used about half a tablespoon in each muffin, but if you really like the filling feel free to put more than that. There should be plenty of filling to do play around with the amounts if you want. I love the pepitas sprinkled on top (an idea I stole from the Starbucks version). It just makes them a little more interesting and lends a nice nutty flavour and crunch to them. They’re a great fall treat to enjoy with coffee or tea, and they’re also great for packing in lunches.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
1 (8oz) block of cream cheese
1 container (7 oz) of marshmallow creme
1 cup sugar
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp flax seed meal
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, unsalted)
Bring cream cheese to room temperature to soften. Beat together cream cheese and marshmallow cream until smooth. Place the refrigerator for 30 minutes or freezer for 10 minutes, just to firm it up a little.
In a large bowl, mix sugar, pumpkin, oil, vanilla and eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients.
In greased muffin tins, fill half-full with batter. Add spoonfuls of cream cheese mixture in the center of each muffin. Then top with remaining batter to completely cover the filling. Spinkle with pepitas.
Bake at 375F for 20 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.