Here’s a great recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins to warm you up this fall season. This recipe comes from my time as an innkeeper and was given to me by the B Street House Bed & Breakfast in Virginia City, NV. There are two things in this pumpkin cream cheese muffin recipe that make your taste buds leap off the charts – the autumnal spices and the cream cheese center! Plus these muffins are EASY to make! Hit the “jump to” recipe button above or scroll through for more tips and tricks.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins – Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling. It may look like a long list, but it’s mostly spices.
- cream cheese: I like to use full fat organic cream cheese. You could also substitute it with a low fat cream cheese if you choose.
- flour: All purpose flour works best for this recipe. If you use self rising flour, omit the baking soda as it is already included in self-rising flour.
- dark brown sugar: dark brown sugar contains more molasses than light brown sugar which gives it a wonderful toffee flavor perfect for fall baking.
- cooked or canned pumpkin: I always keep a stash of canned pumpkin in my pantry throughout the fall season for cooking and baking. But fresh cooked pumpkin can work too!
- vegetable oil: For this recipe, I like to use an unflavored vegetable oil such as canola oil.
- eggs: Eggs are a must to help bind the muffin batter together when baking and also help it rise.
- molasses: Molasses adds a bit of toffee flavor and a natural rich caramel color to the muffins.
- chopped walnuts: The chopped walnuts are the perfect topping for these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese. The walnuts are toasted during the baking process, accenting the natural oils in the nuts and truly bringing out the flavor. They also add a bit of crunchy texture which is a nice contrast to the creamy middle of these muffins.
Pumpkin Pie Spices
- pumpkin pie spice: Pumpkin pie spice is an American spice mix used for baking. If you don’t have the mix, you can make your own with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger. You’ll notice we use all of these spices in this recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins. It’s not repetitive, it’s just added flavor.
- cinnamon: Cinnamon adds a warm, spicy flavor which is perfect for fall. Did you know Cinnamon is a word derived from Greek meaning “sweet wood.”
- ground cloves: Cloves are another one of those warm, woodsy fall spices that tingle the tongue. They’re made from a flower native to Indonesia.
- nutmeg: Nutmeg spice is made from the ground seed of a nutmeg tree. It tastes nutty, warm, and slightly sweet.
- ground ginger: Ginger is a peppery and sweet ground root of a ginger plant. It has a spicy kick to it that mellows when baking and rounds out the other flavors included in typical fall baking spices.
- cardamom: Cardamom is the secret ingredient of this pumpkin cream cheese muffin recipe. Cardamom spice adds a bit of herbal warmth, a cross between eucalyptus, pepper, and citrus.
- baking soda: Baking soda helps these muffins rise and get fluffy.
- salt: A tiny bit of salt helps enhance all the autumnal flavors in these pumpkin cream cheese muffins.
- vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds a hit of vanilla flavor to the recipe.
Secret Ingredient – Cardamom
When I first made these back when I had an inn, there was one particular spice that I didn’t have in my pantry. And while I was shopping for ingredients my jaw it the floor at the price of cardamom. Our local grocer carried only one brand of cardamom, and the sucker was twelve bucks for a little jar. Small town living, I guess!
This inspired me to do some research. What’s the story behind this pricey spice? I googled it and found that my $12 bottle was a bargain. Some spice shops online were charging upwards of $67. I’ve just renamed this recipe Fall Harvest Food Of The Gods. The cardamom truly makes this muffin the epitome of “pumpkin spice” and is the secret ingredient, for sure.
How To Make Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling
1 – Preheat Oven and Prep Muffin Tins
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees (325 if it is a convection oven). Then, prep the muffin tin by lining with 12 paper baking cups. If you’re not using paper cups, grease or spray the muffin tin with butter-flavored oil spray.
2 – Stir Together Dry Ingredients
Add all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices) to a large mixing bowl. Using a wire whisk, stir together the dry ingredients until they’re well blended. Make sure to beak up any clumps from the brown sugar.
3 – Mix Together Wet Ingredients
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until the yolks are well blended. Then add the pumpkin, oil, molasses, and vanilla.
4 – Blend Together Batter
Using a fork or spatula, stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients until blended. Then spoon the muffin batter into the paper cups or baking tin and fill them only 3/4 of the way full.
5 – Prepare The Cream Cheese
Using a sharp knife, divide cream cheese into 12 equal portions. It’s easiest to do this if the cream cheese is cold right out of the refrigerator. One it gets soft it becomes kind of sticky.
6 – Add Cream Cheese To Muffins
Put one portion of cream cheese in the middle of the muffin batter for each muffin, pressing down lightly. Add a spoonful more of batter on top of each muffin to cover the cream cheese.
7 – Finish And Bake Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Sprinkle the top of each pumpkin muffin with chopped walnuts. Then bake at 350 (325 for convection) for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the side of the muffin part (The cream cheese in the middle will be soft). Let cool for a bit then serve!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups flour
- 1 Cup dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Cup cooked or canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 2/3 Cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 Cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray with butter-flavored oil spray 12 muffin tins, or line with paper baking cups.
- Using a wire whisk, stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure to beak up any clumps from the brown sugar.
- Mix together the pumpkin and wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Using a fork or spatula, stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients until blended.
- Spoon muffin batter into cups or baking tin and fill them only 3/4 of the way full.
- Divide cream cheese into 12 equal portions. Put one portion in the middle of the muffin batter for each muffin, pressing down lightly. Add a spoonful more of batter on top of each muffin to cover the cream cheese. Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part. Let cool for a bit then serve!
Take note that is is only 1 cup of pumpkin, not the whole can. If you accidentally use the whole can, that is okay. It will just be a bit more moist and dense and might need an additional five minutes of cooking time.
We've also tried these with chopped pecans on top and they tasted amazing!
I know it seems like a lot of spices, but trust me, it delivers that perfect fall "pumpkin spice" flavor.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Sweet Potato Muffins
- EASY One Bowl Pumpkin Bread
- Quick and Easy Microwave Oatmeal
- Cherry Almond Oatmeal Bake
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The recipe for pumpkin muffins originally published on my innkeeping blog, Inn The Kitchen, on Oct 29, 2011. Updated for The Travel Bite.