Friday, January 20, 2012

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

Back in early December, I went to dinner with a girlfriend of mine for some good Japanese food.  While I love Japanese in general, my friend went on to insist that I try the tempura cheesecake for dessert.  Really??? Fried cheesecake?  I know that somewhere in the middle of the country people are already frying up sticks of butter, but did I really want to have tempura cheesecake? 

Yes, I really did need to try the tempura cheesecake. It was outrageous.  It was warm, it was creamy and cheesecakey with a typical (and yes, absolutely delicious) tempura shell.

The reason I bring up the tempura cheesecake is because when I tried these Pumpkin Streusel Muffins, the inner cream cheese filling reminded me of the tempura cheesecake.  You really need to try it to know what I'm getting at.  And while the muffins are good at room tempurature, they are MUCH better warmed up.  Then again, most things are...right?

So here's the next muffin experimentation.  The original recipe can be found here from  It was pretty easy to make.  The combination of flavors - pumpkin and cream cheese - and textures - brown sugar and moist cake - make this a hit. 



  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup canned or cooked pumpkin

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon cold butter

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

    In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat the egg, milk, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups one-fourth full. Place one cream cheese cube in the center of each muffin cup; top with remaining batter. In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add nuts. Sprinkle over batter. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

    When adding the cream cheese to the muffins, I used reduced fat.  Plus, I added 1/2 egg and 1 tsp sugar and blended them till creamy.  I felt it added a little extra "umph" to the mix.
    I also substituted unsweetened applesauce for the oil.  Actually, I used 1/4 cup applesauce plus 1 tbls.  Then added 1 tbls oil.  For some reason muffins come together much nicer if it has even a little bit of oil.  So I add just that small amount. 

    The streusel topping became rather gooey when baked.  A lot of it stuck to the pan which made me soak it for some time before scrubbing it off.  But by then it wiped clean pretty easily.

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