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Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Filling

What better way to usher in the month of October than with a pumpkin muffin recipe?! Now that pumpkin puree is once again sprouting up on grocery store shelves, (still can’t find it? Try my recipe for homemade pumpkin puree), pretty much all I can think about is pumpkin-flavored fall goodies.

I’ve made dozens of pumpkin quick breads and muffins over the years, but my favorite recipe by far is Ellie Krieger’s. In true “Lauren form”, I tweaked her pumpkin muffins a bit to suit my preferences by:

  • cutting out some of the sweetener (Ellie’s recipe calls for almost 1 cup of sweetener between the sugar and molasses… these are muffins, not cupcakes!)
  • using all whole wheat pastry flour instead of half all-purpose (personally, I can’t discern a noticeable difference in texture when I use this type of flour in place of the all-purpose variety for muffins or quick breads)

I figure why not make a healthy muffin even healthier?!

As for the cream cheese filling, credit must be given to Jessica of How Sweet It Is with her Double Decker Pumpkin Bread.

I completely swooned when I saw the photos and read the description of this enticing cream cheese-stuffed pumpkin bread, and immediately had visions of pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling.

Even when you, as the baker, know about the hidden surprise tucked into the muffins, you can still appreciate that moment when you bite into the tender spiced bread to reveal the sweet creamy filling.

Do I even have to describe how delicious these muffins are?

The aroma alone is enough to conjure images of crackling fireplaces, impossibly blue autumn skies, mugs of steaming apple cider, soft wool blankets, and flame-colored trees. The warmth of the pumpkin pie spices and the deep caramel notes from the molasses and brown sugar compliment each other beautifully in the muffins. The sweet spiced cream cheese filling is the perfect finishing touch… think of it as a healthier version of frosting tucked into each muffin.

Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Filling

adapted from and inspired by Ellie Krieger and Jessica, respectively, both linked above

makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

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