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So our weather is finally turning into fall again. We had a couple days a month ago, and then it went back to being warm. Now it’s getting cooler, at last! The air is crisp and it smells like fall is in the air! 🙂 Time to turn on the oven and start warming the apartment again. And when it feels like fall, I feel like pumpkin (and I always feel like cream cheese!). These muffins are a wonderful combination of amazing flavors. Deliciously spiced pumpkin muffins filled with cream cheesy goodness, topped with cinnamon-sugar crunch. These are supposed to be copycats to the Starbucks muffins, but I’ve never had their version so I can’t compare, but these are amazing!

These muffins also make great bribes! I had some work done on my car the day I made these, and one of the mechanics works one of the nights at my job. I figured I had 24 muffins, so why not share the wealth! I made many mechanics very happy that day! Hehe. I got rave reviews from everyone who has tried one (or two). If you love the pumpkin-cream cheese combo, these are definitely the muffin for you!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins

Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Topping:
½ cup sugar
5 tablespoons flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Muffins:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until well blended and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a log about 1½-inches in diameter. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, and reinforce with a piece of foil. Transfer to the freezer and chill until slightly firm, at least 2 hours.

To make the muffins: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and oil; mix on medium-low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.

To make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon; whisk to blend. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is coarse and crumbly.

To assemble the muffins: Fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, about 1 or 2 tablespoons or just enough to cover the bottom of the liner. Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each muffin well. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle the topping over each muffin, dividing the topping equally.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Source: Adapted from Annie’s Eats

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