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.
I've made this recipe three times, and everyone goes crazy for them. However, after sampling Starbucks version again, I felt that this recipe seemed pale, and lacked the richness and spicy, peppery bite which made this muffin so appealing to me in the first place.
So, the last time I made them I added an additional teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg, a teaspoon of ginger, an additional 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom, 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder, and 1/4 cup of dark molasses, as well as the sugar and vanilla addition to the cream cheese.
WOW! The additions made the muffins extremely rich and spicy, and closer to the original than I had imagined.
Glad I read some of the other reviews first.. these muffins were DELICIOUS, but I did have to make a few changes. I mostly followed the other review that said to add cocoa powder, molasses, and more spices. But since I could only find pumpkin pie filling, and not just plain pumpkin.. I only added half the amount of spices (1/2 tsp. instead of tsp. for all the spices that were already in the pumpkin pie filling), but also added the tsp. of ginger, 1/2 tsp. of allspice, 2 Tbs. molasses, and 2 Tbs. cocoa powder. For the cream cheese filling, I added 2 Tbs. of powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. of light brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla. The filling was PERFECT and tasted EXACTLY like a delicious danish/cheese cake. After all of the above changes, this recipe yielded about FORTY muffins (regular size muffin pan, not oversized). I would recommend doubling the cream cheese mixture though (or just halfing the batter mixture), because I ran out about half way through, and started using other toppings/fillings for the remaining muffins (chocolate chips, brown sugar topping, etc).
GLUTEN FREE option:
I used this recipe, but altered to be gluten free by doing the following:
2 1/2 cups Bob's gf all purpose flour mix
1/2 cup almond flour
2 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
Then, I lightened the fat by subbing 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk, 1/2 cup oil for the 1 1/4 cup oil. Added 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
I also followed another cook's suggestion for mixing the cream cheese with 1 egg, 3 T. brown sugar & 1 tsp. vanilla.
I baked 20" in a convection oven. They were FABULOUS!!!!!! (if you're gf, you know how exciting it is when baked goods turn out well!)