Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins



Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin with Pumpkin Spice Latte
I'm loving the fall flavours, especially pumpkin spice. I roasted a big pumpkin the other day and have been making all kinds of pumpkin flavoured foods (pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin oatmeal cookies, pumpkin granola, pumpkin lattes) over the last week or so. I've already made two batches of these muffins in the last month (plus two wheat flour batches for gluten-eating friends and family). I usually make pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, but I saw a picture somewhere of cream cheese ones and thought I'd give it a try. Feel free to replace the cream cheese in this recipe with 1/2 cup chocolate chips if that's what you like.

I recently recieved some coconut oil to test and review from Topical Taditions, so I've been experimenting with it in some of my baking. I tried replacing the canola oil in this recipe with coconut oil and it added great flavour and texture. You can use whatever oil you have on hand. If you use coconut oil, it is very important that you use room temperature ingredients. Coconut oil will solidify on contact with cold milk or eggs and will leave chunks of oil in your batter... this I learned the hard way.

You can use fresh or canned pumpkin puree (how to roast a pumpkin)... or you can even use other kinds of squash (butternut and buttercup work best). The muffins pictured were actually made with buttercup squash because I had some leftover from dinner (and hadn't roasted my pumpkin yet). Buttercup squash is quite dry so I added a little extra milk to make up for it. Butternut squash is similar to pumpkin in moisture content and can be substituted as is.

Buttercup Squash

Pumpkin, Butternut and Buttercup Squash
(makes about 14 muffins)
Ingredients

1 3/4 cups GF Flour (my light flour blend)
2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or 1/2 tsp ginger, 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Melted Coconut Oil (or Canola Oil)
2/3 cup Milk (I use 1/3 cup when using homemade pumpkin puree because it has more water in it)
1 cup Pumpkin Puree (canned or homemade)
1 tsp Vanilla
Cream Cheese (about 1/3 cup)

Note: you can add 1/2 cup chocolate chips in lieu of cream cheese

Directions

Make sure eggs, milk and pumpkin puree are at room temperature if using coconut oil.
Sift together GF flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
Make well in dry ingredients and add beaten eggs, oil, milk, pumpkin puree and vanilla. Mix to combine wet ingredients and slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to form the batter.
Spoon batter into muffin tins lined with papers or greased.

Cut cream cheese into 1/2 - 1 tsp pieces and press into the tops of the batter. The cream cheese should stick up about 1/2 cm above the top of the batter. (mine are a bit too high in the picture)
Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.
Eat warm or cool on a wire rack and freeze in ziplock bag. Microwave from frozen to serve.

spoon batter into prepared muffin tins

cut cream cheese into teaspoon sized pieces

press pieces of cream cheese into the muffin batter

after baking

finished product

cream cheese filling

Don't be alarmed if your final product doesn't always look like the pictures I provide. Sometimes the brand or even age of your ingredients can change the outcome a bit.


Variation

You can also make a delicious pumpkin coffee cake with this recipe (chocolate chips or nuts optional). Just pour all but about 1 1/2 cups of the batter into a greased square baking pan and bake for around 40 minutes or until cooked in the center (just make 4 muffins with extra batter).
If you have a bundt cake pan or any pan with a hole in the middle you can use all of the batter for the cake.

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