Pumpkin Spice Muffins Filled with Maple Cream Cheese

October 10, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Makes 24 muffins
Author Notes

The inspiration for these glorious fall muffins comes from an old Land O’Lakes cake recipe, which I often bake as 9-inch frosted layers. Switching up the cake pans for a muffin tin and topping the result with a fragrant cinnamon streusel (instead of frosting) pulls them into breakfast territory, but the seasonal maple frosting is so luscious that it shouldn’t be missed; here, it’s piped inside the muffin for a mouthful of tangy goodness in each bite. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is featured in the story, These Pumpkin Spice Muffins are Hiding a Sweet, Maple-y Secret, sponsored by KitchenAid. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the muffins:
  • 3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) flour, plus 1 cup, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon, plus 1 teaspoon, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) unsalted room temperature butter, plus 8 tablespoons, divided)
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup (4 1/2 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) brown sugar
  • For the filling:
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners (or grease the wells).
  2. Whisk together 3 cups flour, salt, 2 tsp cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl or in a stand mixer, cream together the white sugar and 12 tablespoons butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  4. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, 1/4 cup water, and vanilla, mixing after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and beat until just combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin liners (the batter should come almost ¾ of the way up to the top of the wells but no higher).
  6. Make the streusel topping: Mix together 1 cup flour, 8 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and 1 tsp cinnamon with a fork (or your fingers) until evenly crumbly. Crumble the streusel liberally over each muffin. (Optional: You can double the streusel and bake some off in a sheet pan, for topping yogurt, oatmeal, or anything else you please!)
  7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and set it in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan fully before filling with the frosting.
  8. Make the filling: Beat together all the ingredients in a clean stand mixer bowl, using the whisk attachment, until smooth and fluffy. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip (a small tip works best here) and carefully insert the tip into the center of the muffin top. Pipe slowly, pressing frosting into the muffin until it begins to bulge slightly. Remove the tip carefully so you don’t disturb much of the streusel topping. Repeat with the remaining muffins. (If the icing is showing through on the top of the muffin, you can top with extra streusel.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • DicinginDenver
  • Kary
  • susy
  • Heather

4 Reviews

DicinginDenver October 15, 2023
These were delicious, though I made some changes to the recipe….. I substituted bobs 1:1 gluten free flour because my daughter is GF. I increased the spices to boost flavor and reduced baking powder to 1 tsp. For streusel I increased brown sugar and cinnamon. For filling I added extra maple syrup, tho could have easily used maple flavoring. Will definitely make again.
Kary November 9, 2020
I am a little disappointed too! The muffin part was okay, but the strudel was a fail. It tasted like flour.
susy October 20, 2020
My family loved these and keep asking for more. I had leftover pre-spiced pumpkin purée from last year, so I dialed down the fresh spices and left out the cinnamon in the streusel. Put much less sugar in the filling but added a bit more maple syrup. The recipe takes more than 15 min prep, but it's worth it. Might try adding dark rum to the filling in the next batch and keeping it just for the adults.
Heather March 15, 2019
This was disappointing...the muffin itself didn’t have any flavor- the streusel topping tasted like flour (even though I mixed it well) and the frosting is too rich - better for a cake than a muffin

And this took way more than 15 minutes to prepare!