Cream Cheese and Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

If you’re a fan of pumpkin, you need these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins in your life! They’re perfectly moist, topped with crunchy streusel and have a surprise cream cheese filling.

My Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins are actually very simple to make. First I make the cream cheese filling. Cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt are all you need. Compared to the reference recipe I found for the filling, I used half the sugar. It’s a huge improvement in my opinion. The cream cheese adds a tangy, creamy contrast to the muffins, and too much sugar will ruin that.

After making the filling, I like to mix up the topping. Streusel is a classic muffin topping. All you need is sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and chunks of cold butter. Break it down with a pastry cutter, a couple knives, or even a food processor until you get pea sized pieces of butter. You can store this in the fridge until you’re ready to top the muffins in order to keep the butter cold.

The last step is to mix the batter. Start off with the dry ingredients. You definitely need the pumpkin pie spices here. Cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are the key players. I also like to use ginger, but I’ve been using finely grated fresh ginger instead  of ground ginger these days. Another secret ingredient is buttermilk. Tangy and sweet always works well in baked goods. It gives these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins a little something special.

Do you see that cream cheese filling! So good. So good, guys. The filling definitely makes these muffins decadent enough to constitute as a dessert. That doesn’t mean you should feel guilty about eating one for breakfast. I certainly don’t. If you want to give these muffins a try, check out my recipe and video!

Oh and one note. I realize that some of my ingredient measures are a bit strange for this recipe. I ended up multiplying my initial text version by 1.5 to fill those muffin cups up nice and tall with the batter. Yes I could rounded some of the measurements off to third cups, but this portion worked so well I didn’t want to mess with it. Anyway, go get your baking on.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins
If you’re a fan of pumpkin, you need these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Streusel Muffins in your life! They’re perfectly moist, topped with crunchy streusel and have a surprise cream cheese filling.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 muffins
  • 6oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp cold unsalted butter, sliced in ½ inch pieces
  • 1¾ cups + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 tbsp (2 ½ oz) buttermilk
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (5oz) vegetable oil
  1. Heat oven and prep pan: Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with liners.
  2. Make the filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and salt. Beat over medium speed until well-combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Make streusel: Add all ingredients to a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or a food processor (instead of the bowl), cut butter into small pieces. There should be some pea-sized pieces, as well as, smaller crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Mix dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, spices, salt and baking soda.
  5. Mix wet ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, ginger and eggs. Add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Slowly stream in oil while constantly mixing to emulsify.
  6. Mix wet and dry: Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients in 2-3 additions. Do not overmix.
  7. Assemble: Using an ice cream scoop, fill muffin cups half way with batter. Using a 1 tablespoon sized scoop or spoon, add cream cheese centered on top of batter. Cover with remaining batter. Smooth with back of spoon or small offset spatula. Sprinkle with streusel.
  8. Bake: Bake on center rack of oven for 5 minutes at 425°F. Reduce oven to 350°F and continue to bake for 13-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center of muffin (not through cream cheese filling) comes out clean. Cool on wire rack in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan (a small offset spatula works well), and transfer directly onto cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy.
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