If you haven’t noticed, I make a lot of breakfast treats. Muffins, scones, bagels, etc. I bake lots and love ‘em all. But these – these are my favorite of all. The reigning champ of breakfast treats. These are definitely one of the main food-related reasons I look forward to fall. Sure, I can make them anytime but they seem to taste best on a crisp fall morning when the sun rises a little later than the days before.
I believe originally these were meant to be a knock-off of a Starbucks bakery item. I’ve never had the original so I have no basis for comparison, but it’s hard to imagine them being better than the homemade version. The streusel topping is not as chunky as some, and instead sort of melts during baking to create a crackly cinnamon-sugar topping that gives these an extra little something. Be sure to mix and freeze the filling in advance so that it is ready to go when you want to make the muffins. They may take a bit more time than your average muffin, but are totally worth it in the end. This is not a new recipe to the blog, but one that needed a little updating with better pics and a printer-friendly version. I hope you’ll enjoy rediscovering this recipe, a true favorite of mine.
For the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
For the muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups 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. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. 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, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree 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). Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the 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. (It may be hard to resist immediate consumption, but the cream cheese filling gets very hot!)