PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE SWIRL MUFFINS

These muffins are packed with delicious pumpkin spice flavors and swirled with sweetened cream cheese, making these the perfect muffins for fall.

I love fall; I always have! And all the fantastic foods you can make with pumpkin give me one more reason to love fall. Now I know you can eat pumpkin year-round, and I do. But there is something about fall and pumpkin that just feels right!

If you are looking for the best pumpkin muffin recipe ever, look no further, these check all the boxes; they are moist, flavorful, and beautiful; just look at those gorgeous tops. These muffins are topped off with a thick swirl of sweetened cream cheese that melts right into the top as they bake. And inside is a hidden layer of cream cheese which gives the muffins a boost of moisture and flavor.

Muffin Ingredients:

  • flour
  • baking powder
  • pumpkin pie spice
  • salt
  • canned pumpkin puree
  • brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • vanilla

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • egg yolk
  • vanilla

Like most pumpkin baking recipes, you want to make sure to use pure canned pumpkin puree. You do not want to buy a can of pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and flavored.

If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, you can make your own very easily. In a small bowl combine:

  • 4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoon ground all-spice
  • 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 12 months.

Making the Muffins:

Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.

Step 2: In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, mixing until combined and smooth. Do not over mix.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth. Put the filling in a small sealable bag and snip off a small portion of the corner (make a snip about ¼-inch wide, but no bigger). Set it aside.

Step 4 (Assembling the muffins): Fill muffin tins ⅓ full with pumpkin batter.

On top of the pumpkin batter, add a thin layer of filling (about one tablespoon).

Add more pumpkin batter almost to the top.

Drizzle a little more cream cheese filling over the batter in a circular pattern. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the filling with the pumpkin. Don’t mix too much, or it will all blend together (the picture below is how the muffins should look after swirling the cream cheese with a toothpick). Each muffin tin should be full in order to get that nice dome top when they are baked.

Step 5: Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of one muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done.

How to Store the Muffins:

Once the muffins have cooled to room temperature, place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to five days. They are delicious chilled, but you can also heat them in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to warm them up a bit.

Freezing the Muffins:

These muffins also freeze well. I often have some on hand in our freezer. To freeze the muffins, allow them cool to room temperature, then place the muffin in an airtight container or freezer bag.  Store in the freezer for up to six months.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

These muffins are packed with delicious pumpkin spice flavors and swirled with sweetened cream cheese, making these the perfect muffins for fall.
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Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Breakfast
Servings 18 muffins

Equipment

  • Standard size muffin pan

Ingredients
 

  • cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • tablespoon vanilla

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into the muffin pan. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla.
  • Whisk the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture, mixing until combined and smooth. Do not over mix.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla and beat until well combined and smooth.
  • Put the filling in a small sealable bag and snip off a small portion of the corner (make a snip about ¼-inch wide, but no bigger). Set it aside.

Assembling the Muffins:

  • Fill muffin tins ⅓ full with pumpkin batter. Add to this a thin layer of filling (about 1 tablespoon). Add more pumpkin batter almost all the way to the top. Drizzle a little more filling over the batter in a circular pattern. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the filling with the pumpkin. Don't mix too much, or it will all blend together. Each muffin tin should be full in order to get that nice dome top.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the center of one muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan to finish cooling on a cooling rack.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge. If you want them warmed up after being in the refrigerator, heat them in the microwave for about 15 - 20 seconds.
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