Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Wheat Germ Streusel

Yes, another breakfast recipe – probably because being the most important meal it is my favorite meal. And I love muffins for their easy access on weekday mornings when I’m trying to get a quick bite before the gym at 5am… ok 5:15am.

Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors and has been well before it categorized be as “basic”. Since my parents have raised pumpkins (and still sell them every fall) since I could crawl, I grew up with everything pumpkin and absolutely love winter squash. I would not be lying if I said I eat just a cup or 2 of squash for my lunch some days. Seriously, I probably have a problem and likely nearing Vitamin A toxicity with all the kale, spinach, and winter squash I inhale. And because I have the best mother in the world (does saying this make me your favorite daughter, Mom?), she packs up a duffle bag full of baked and frozen squash for me every Christmas to take back with me. These muffins are actually just remaking some pumpkin muffins she made first.

Typically when I list pumpkin in a recipe – especially for baking, I’ve likely actually used a kabocha winter squash. This means if you’re using squash as well you’ll probably have to add a little water to the batter so things aren’t as thick. I also wanted to “healthify” the streusel a bit so I subbed in some wheat germ for nuttiness and swapped out brown sugar for turbinado sugar for a little extra texture and crunch.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Wheat Germ Streusel

Makes 12-15 muffins

Ingredients

Streusel

  • 2 T Turbinado or regular brown sugar
  • 2 T whole wheat flower
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 T melted butter

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz Greek Style Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 c powdered sugar
  • 2 T honey

Muffin Batter

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c pumpkin puree, I used home roasted winter squash puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Extra water if batter is too thick

Directions

  1. Whip together cream cheese, honey and sugar very well.  Use a mixer or food processor.  When it is all combined, pop it back in the fridge to stay cold while you prep the rest of the muffins.  Having this mixture as cool as possible will prevent the cream from melting away too much during baking. I like using a Greek style cream cheese because it doesn’t create pockets of air in your muffins where the filling once was.
  2. For the muffin batter, mix the sugar, oil, pumpkin, and eggs together very well in a large mixing bowl.  Then plop the flour, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) on top of this blended wet mixture.  Stir well to incorporate and fully mix everything together. If using less oil be careful not to over mix.
  3. For the streusel, mix all the dry ingredients first, then stir in butter until combined and forms a nice crumbly texture.
  4. Line muffin tins with paper cups, or lightly oil them. Spoon about 1-2 T of batter into the bottom of each muffin.  Make sure this batter is spread thinly and evenly across the bottom of each muffin tin.
  5. Next, distribute a spoonful (approx 1 T) of the cream cheese filling in each.
  6. Finally, evenly distribute the remainder of the batter over the top of the cream cheese and sprinkle with streusel.
  7. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes.  Let cool before you eating, unless you are ready to deal with a molten center.

These also freeze really well.  If they last that long!

Happy baking!

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