Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

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Breakfast today was very pumpkiny. Pumpkin smoothies and these amazingly delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins I found on The poster of the recipe says they are like Starbucks, but honestly it's been so long since I've had one I can't remember well enough what they taste like to say how true that claim is. You'll just have to make them and decide for yourself. Or, just make them anyway because they are really, really good.

 I used the gluten free all purpose flour from C. C. Dolch that I used to make that amazing cornbread the other night, and was not at all disappointed (other than the batter was rather bitter, but the muffins were not bitter at all after they baked). I'm not sure what made it bitter, I'm just guessing it was the flour since I've made pumpkin muffins before going GF and the batter was never bitter. Yes, I sneak a taste of batter with raw eggs in it. Been doing it all my life. Started off with licking the beaters when I was a know how that least if you grew up in the 70's and 80's or before people got all freaked out about raw eggs.

I will definitely make them again, and if I'd thought of it when I was making them I would have added ground flax for the extra nutrition. Please see the chef's notes for tweaks, as I made a few.  They really bake up nice with the C. C. Dolch gluten free flour, I think I've found my "forever (GF) flour"! I am not getting any kickbacks for promoting their flour, I am just really, really happy with it and can heartily recommend it!

(Gluten Free) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins 


  • 1 1/2 c gluten free all purpose flour, I recommend C. C. Dolch's
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum, if your flour does not already contain it
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 pinch cardamom (optional, but I added it...probably 1/8 tsp)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sucanat, or sweetener of your choice
  • 1 c pumpkin
  • 5/8 c light olive oil
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla, divided...more or less to your taste
  • 2-3 Tb powdered sugar or sweetener of your choice
  • nuts or seeds (such as pecans, walnuts, pumpkin or sunflower) if desired for topping
  • demerara sugar for topping, if desired

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla until well combined. Using a piece of wax or parchment paper, form cream cheese mixture into a long log (you'll need 12 slices, one for each muffin). Place in the freezer at least half an hour before starting to mix your muffin batter.

Preheat oven to 350. 

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together gluten free all purpose flour, xanthan gum (if using) and spices. Whisk in salt, baking soda and sugar. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, pumkin and remaining vanilla. Mix pumpkin mixture and dry ingredients until combined, being sure not to over mix...a few lumps are fine. 

Fill muffin cups half full. Remove cream cheese log from freezer and slice into 12 pieces. Push one piece into the batter in each muffin cup. Top with nuts and sugar, if desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin (not the cream cheese center) comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Be very careful, the cream cheese filling is very hot.

Chef's Notes:

The original recipe called for white sugar, which I try not to use any more than I have to. And vegetable oil. I would have used coconut oil but just didn't feel like melting it. I also didn't really measure it (5/8 of a cup...yeah), but eyeballed it. I should also note that the measurements above are half of the original recipe as well. The vanilla is also an addition, but if you know me at all you know I put vanilla in everything, especially since I learned how to make my own vanilla that is out of this world good. I didn't have allspice, and since the substitute for that is cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in equal parts, I just did heaping-ish measurements of those spices. 

Visit the original recipe on and read through the reviews. Some people thought they were too spicy, some not spicy enough. Some added cocoa powder. Even though I "winged" it on the spices, I found it to be nicely spiced but not overpowering the pumpkin. The original recipe said to just use plain cream cheese, but many said it needed sweetening and I knew I would prefer it that way. I think next time I will mix the cream cheese with maple syrup instead of powdered sugar. I love maple, nuts and pumpkin together. 

Be sure to get that cream cheese in the freezer at least half an hour before you're going to need to slice it. I didn't, and didn't want to wait any longer so I just went ahead and cut it and it was very messy. It needs to be fairly solid, but not necessarily like an ice cube.

This could also be made with regular flour. The C. C. Dolch flour is substitutable at a 1:1 ratio so no adjustments in flour measurements should be needed.

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