These delicious muffins are very close to the kind you can get at Starbucks. If you want to cut back on the fat, substitute some or all of the oil with natural unsweetened applesauce.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pinch cardamom (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups sugar and 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups pumpkin
- 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable oil
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- chopped pumpkin seeds (optional) or walnuts (optional) or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Mix cream cheese with one egg and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Put the entire mixture on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log.
- Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour.
- Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier.
- Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts).
- Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full.
- Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down.
- Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts.
- Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!).
- Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.