The first time I made this recipe was over the summer even though pumpkin muffins are associated with autumn. Still, when I saw this recipe I couldn’t resist giving it a try. And I’m glad I did! This recipe is a staple favorite now and I use it to make the flavors of fall year-round.
There are three parts to these muffins:
- The moist and delicious pumpkin muffin
- The cream cheese filling
- The decadent pecan streusel
The cream cheese filling should be prepared several hours before you bake because it needs time to freeze. Freezing the cream cheese filling is a crucial step because if you don’t then the filling will leak into the muffin batter and ruin the effect of having a surprise filling.
For the muffins:
- 1.5 C. flour
- 1/2 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. cinnamon powder
- 1/2 t. nutmeg powder
- 1/2 t. clove powder
- 2 t. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1 C. canned pumpkin
- 5 oz. (1/2 C. + 2 T.) vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 C. powdered sugar
- 1.5 t. vanilla extract
For the streusel:
- 1/4 C. pecans, halved and chopped
- 1/3 C. sugar
- 1/2 C. flour
- 1/2 t. cinnamon powder
- 3 t. unsalted butter, melted
1. Prepare the cream cheese filling several hours before you plan to bake. In a medium bowl, mix together the softened cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add vanilla and stir until just mixed. On a piece of plastic wrap or aluminum foil (foil works better for me), form the mixture into a 12″ log. Seal and freeze for at least two hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
3. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners and set aside.
4. Prepare the pecan streusel. Use a fork to combine pecans, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter.
5. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and pumpkin pie spice.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin, and oil.
7. Make a crater in the dry ingredients. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crater and gently fold the mixture with a rubber spatula until all dry ingredients are just moistened.
8. Remove cream cheese filling from freezer and divide into 12 separate 1″ slices.
9. Scoop a spoonful of batter into the prepared muffin cups. Place a slice of cream cheese filling in the center of each muffin. Fill muffin cups with remaining batter.
10. Sprinkle streusel on top of each muffin. Pat the streusel lightly to ensure that it sticks to the muffin. Be generous with the streusel, this recipe makes plenty!
11. Bake 20-25 minutes until muffins are golden brown. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before storing in airtight containers. Allow the muffins to cool before eating because the cream cheese filling is practically molten when it first comes out of the oven.