Pumpkin Muffins are delicious without the cheesecake filling; I’ve made them for years that way too. The Pumpkin Muffins are moist and perfectly spiced. But around this house, we REALLY like the cheesecake filling. It’s just the best part!
The cheesecake filling is a little bit of a pain to get into the muffins. This is due to the problem with the cream cheese in Europe: it is a spread and therefore contains more liquid than the bricks of cream cheese you buy in the U.S. When you add sugar to it, it turns runny. But here’s what you can do. Make the cheesecake filling ahead of time and freeze it into log. When it’s solid, you can cut it into pieces and stuff your muffins with them. I’ve done it that way and it works.
Or, if you’re in a hurry, do the best you can, like I did, just trying to make sure there’s a layer of cream cheese between two layers of pumpkin batter. It’s a mess but it’s so worth it. The muffins always come out moist and delicious.
- 5 ounces (150 g) cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (70 g) wheat or spelt whole grain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼-½ teaspoon of any or all of the following: cloves, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (105 g) brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (240 ml or 250 g) pumpkin puree (if you want to make your own, see here)
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup (120 ml) oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the Cheesecake Filling: beat the filling ingredients together until smooth. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on your work surface. Pour the cream cheese mixture in a very thick line down the middle of the plastic wrap. Roll into a log, twisting the ends. Place log on a plate and freeze until solid, at least 2 hours.
- Make the Pumpkin Muffins: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, spices and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together. Add the pumpkin, milk, oil and vanilla and whisk until blended. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until blended.
- To assemble: preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line muffin pan with paper liners. Fill each muffin well with one tablespoon of pumpkin batter and spread it to cover the bottom. Slice the frozen cheesecake filling into 12 equal pieces and place one in the middle of each muffin well. Top with the remaining pumpkin batter and spread to cover the cheesecake filling.
- Bake at 400°F (200°C) for 5 minutes then reduce heat without opening the oven to 350°F (170°C) and bake for an additional 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then remove from the pans and cool on wire rack. Store muffins tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, in the freezer for up to 3 months.