Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

I decided to get a head start on pumpkin this year. I am not at all ready for the coming of Fall, but I love love love pumpkin and will use any excuse in the book to cook with it- especially if cooking means I get a sweet treat at the end of it.

Since Halloween decorations hit the shelves more than a month ago I'm choosing to use that as my excuse.

Speaking of Halloween, this will be the first year that I have a child who (kinda sorta) understands what Halloween is. It is also my first year as a dog owner. It only makes sense that their costumes match. Bonus points if I can get my husband on board and we make it a family thing. If we're going to take it that far, we may as well just throw a party at our house, right? 

Ok, maybe not that far.

But, if I did throw a party, these Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins would totally be there.

These are definitely not a healthy breakfast muffin; let's just get that out there right now. If you're trying to eat healthy, don't eat three of these for breakfast at one time. But, BUT they are the perfect sweet muffin to have with coffee, bring to brunch with friends or save for dessert.

You have the fluffy and moist pumpkin cupcake part and the creamy, rich cream cheese swirl part. Both parts delicious alone, but even better when put together.

Kinda like Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake, but easier to make :)

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 18 minutes | Total Time: 33 minutes
Yield: 18 muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cream cheese swirl:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan, lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt. In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree and sugar. With pumpkin and sugar combined, beat in the eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract until fully combined. Carefully whisk in the flour mixture until there are no lumps. Fill muffin cups until they are approximately 3/4 full.

  3. In a medium bowl beat the cream cheese until soft and smooth. Add the sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat again until fully combined.

  4. Top each muffin with approximately 1 tablespoon of cream cheese frosting (depending on how full your muffin cups are, you may have a little leftover cream cheese mixture). Using a toothpick, carefully swirl the cream cheese with the pumpkin batter. Don't worry if it looks a bit messy, it will bake up much prettier.

  5. Bake for approximately 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.

Enjoy!

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