Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice1
  • 2/3 cup (133g) packed light or dark brown sugar2
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup (227g) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil (or canola, or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling

  • 6 ounces (168g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons (36g) granulated sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Line two muffin sheets with 14 liners or spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  2. Make the crumb-topping first: Add the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix until combined. Add the melted butter and mix until crumbs form. Set aside.
  3. Make the pumpkin muffins: In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs together until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, oil, milk, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do NOT overmix the batter.
  4. Make the cheesecake filling: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric handheld (or stand) mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Beat until combined.
  5. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin muffin batter into the muffin cups. Layer with about 1 spoonful (not quite a full Tablespoon) of cheesecake filling, then another Tablespoon of muffin batter (or however much batter is needed to fill the cups all the way to the top). Yes, you will fill the muffin cups to the very top. Some cheesecake filling may poke out of the top or on the sides. Sprinkle each muffin evenly with crumb topping and press the topping down into the muffin so it sticks.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes 425°F (218°C) then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce heat to 350°F (177°C)3 and continue baking for another 15-16 minutes. The total time these muffins should be in the oven is around 20-21 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat. Muffins taste best on the same day, though they may be stored covered tightly at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days.
  7. Make ahead tip: For longer storage, freeze muffins for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up in the microwave if desired.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Instead of the pumpkin pie spice, you can use 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  2. I usually only use 1/2 cup brown sugar, but I find the pumpkin and spice flavor really excels with just a little more brown sugar. So, I prefer 2/3 cup.
  3. Why the initial high temperature? Like I do for most of my muffin recipes, you’ll bake the muffins for 5 minutes at a very hot temperature. Then, keeping the muffins in the oven, switch to a lower temperature for the remaining bake time. This initial high temperature will quickly lift the muffin tops, then the centers will bake during the lower temperature bake time.

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