Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong: Challenge #2

bakealong-logoWelcome to our September Bakealong challenge. Each month we’ll announce a new recipe for you to try, along with helpful tips and step-by-step instructions here in our blog. We invite you to bake, then share a photo of your creation, tagging it with #bakealong. Enjoy!

The gradual fading of summer’s sultry heat signals a happy return to fall. Chilly enough outdoors that lighting the oven isn’t a chore, the weather’s still mild enough for a bountiful harvest of fresh produce — apples and pumpkins in particular.

A sunny autumn day is the perfect occasion for this month’s Bakealong challenge: Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins.

And an inside-out muffin is … ?

A wonderfully moist, tender muffin filled with sweetened cream cheese — and topped with streusel for good measure. One bite of this muffin will convince you: yes, you need to make these for your family. Or fellow foodies at work. Or the parents at Saturday soccer. These muffins are simply eye-roll, contented-sigh, satisfied-groan good.

September is here! Let’s get started on our Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong challenge.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

This recipe calls for a couple of specialty ingredients, boiled cider and pumpkin pie spice. Each lends its own distinctive flavor; boiled cider also adds moistness.

Don’t fret if you don’t have these; you can use common substitutions. Though honestly, we highly recommend you give these both a try sometime. And if not now — when?

The recipe gives two flour options: unbleached all-purpose, or white whole wheat. I’ll make half the muffins with all-purpose flour and half with whole wheat, so you can see the difference.

First, start preheating your oven to 400°F. For easiest handling, line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers, and grease the papers.

We’ll make the streusel first, then the filling, then the muffin batter. That way, you can use the same bowl (no rinsing) for all three — making this an easy one-bowl recipe!

For the streusel topping:

1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar (packed)
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats (not instant)
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter, at firm room temperature

Mix everything together until evenly crumbly.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

That’s streusel made with all-purpose flour on the left, and with white whole wheat on the right. There’s a very slight color difference.

Scrape any remaining streusel crumbs out of your mixing bowl, and make the filling by combining the following:

1 cup (8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature; low-fat is fine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or a few drops Fiori di Sicilia flavoring, optional

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Stir or beat slowly just until combined; a few scattered small lumps are OK. Refrigerate the filling while you make the batter.

Scrape the mixing bowl clean of filling. Using the same bowl, combine the following:

1 cup pumpkin purée (about half a standard 15-ounce can)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup boiled cider (for best flavor), dark corn syrup, or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup milk

*Substitute 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves +  1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, if desired.

Beat until thoroughly combined.

Gently beat in 1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (6 ounces). Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat briefly to incorporate the scrapings. You’ll have a smooth and fairly liquid batter.

Next, we’re going to scoop a scant 2 tablespoons of batter into each of the muffin cups, followed by the filling, followed by more batter, and then the streusel topping.

Now that’s a lot of seat-of-the-pants division, isn’t it? Do you really need to measure exactly 2 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup? And how do you know what 1/12 of the filling is, or 1/12 of the streusel?

Well, if you bake with a scale, you can weigh the batter, filling, and streusel and do the necessary arithmetic to come up with the weights needed for each individual muffin.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Or you can use a tablespoon cookie scoop, which turns out to be a hugely handy tool for this recipe.

A slightly overfilled tablespoon scoop (shown above) measures a scant 2 tablespoons.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Scoop a scant 2 tablespoons batter into each muffin cup.

Don’t have either a scale or a scoop? Measure 2 tablespoons into the first muffin cup, and eyeball the rest.

Retrieve your filling from the fridge. You’re going to scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling into each cup.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

On the left, a measuring spoon heaped with filling. On the right, a level cookie scoop (a.k.a. heaping tablespoon) of filling.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Drop a scoop of filling into the center of each muffin cup. Another cookie scoop plug: this is a LOT easier with a scoop than a tablespoon, which requires scraping out after each muffin.

Cover the filling with another 2 tablespoons batter; the muffin cups will be quite full.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Well, there’s that helpful tablespoon cookie scoop again! A heaping tablespoon scoop of streusel topping is the perfect amount for each muffin.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Once I top these last two, the muffins will be ready to go into the oven.

Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester or toothpick inserted toward the edge (not into the filling) comes out crumb-free.

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Remove the muffins from the oven. As soon as they’re cool enough to safely handle, transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

The four muffins on the left are 100% whole wheat; the two on the right, 100% all-purpose flour. You can still see a very slight difference in streusel color — but not enough to alert anyone that these are whole wheat, right?

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

And how about inside? 100% whole wheat on the left, all-purpose flour on the right. Do you see a color difference? I don’t. And I couldn’t detect any flavor or texture difference, either.

If ever there was an easy way to introduce reluctant whole-grain eaters to the miracle of white whole wheat flour, these moist, tender, totally yummy Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins are it!

Pumpkin Muffins Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffin tips

  • For best release, use muffin papers, and spray them with nonstick vegetable oil spray before filling with batter. For more, see our blog post, How to use cupcake and muffin papers.
  • A tablespoon cookie scoop is your best friend here. Use a heaping scoop for the 2 tablespoons batter; a level scoop for the filling; and a slightly heaped scoop for the streusel topping.
  • Worried about your potholder damaging a fragile, just-baked muffin while you’re pulling them out of the oven? For easiest handling, set the muffin pan on a baking sheet before putting both pans into the oven.
  • “Division by eyeballing” is a thing of the past when you use a scale. Weigh your batter: divide by 12, and that’s how much batter you’ll use for each muffin (half underneath the filling, half atop the filling). Ditto the filling and streusel. 
  • Baking gluten-free? Try this recipe using our new gluten-free Measure for Measure flour. Or make our Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins, adding filling and streusel topping (made with gluten-free flour); your yield may be more than 12 muffins.
  • These muffins are equally good made with all-purpose flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. If you’re looking to increase the fiber in your diet, try the whole wheat version.
  • Want to make this recipe dairy-free? Use non-dairy milk in the batter; coconut oil or margarine in the topping, and vegan (non-dairy) cream cheese in the filling.

Are you ready to make Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins and join our Bakealong challenge? Print the recipe.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this Bakealong challenge. Be sure to check back on Oct. 1 for our next challenge. Hint: It’s a recipe that’s been baked by hundreds of thousands of kids all over America …

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Viv

    Your picture at the top looks like there is a spoonful or so of pumpkin atop the cream cheese. Is it? Or just the way it photographed. 🙂

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      There is, Viv! You’ll see in the step by step instructions that you want to drop a scant 2 tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, then cover with another 2 tablespoons of batter. Hope this helps to clarify. Mollie@KAF

  2. Amy

    Oh thank goodness, I have a small tub of marscapone that I’ve been needing to use for something special. After non-stop blueberries muffins for (what feels like) months, this will be an interesting challenge!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad to hear you’re eager to bake, Amy. We never thought we’d get sick of blueberry muffins either, but pumpkin is now a welcome change! Kye@KAF

  3. Michelle C

    In the original version of the recipe (which I’ve made many, many times with grade B maple syrup in place of the boiled cider), you used only 1/2 the filling. Are you now recommending the full amount be used?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Michelle, I’m checking several versions of the recipe going back to 2009, when it first appeared online, and it calls for the same amount of filling then as it does now. Could you tell us where/when you first found the recipe? I guess the answer, though, is yes, we recommend you use the full amount of filling; though you can certainly use less if you want a more subtle “surprise” inside. Enjoy! PJH

    2. Michelle C

      PJ, It was the version of the recipe that showed the maple leaf-shaped muffins and it was via the same URL that now shows this version. I started making them in 2013 from that version of the recipe. It called for 1/2 an 8 ounce package of cream cheese, 2 T of sugar, and a few drops of vanilla or Fiori di Sicilia. The instructions said 2 T of batter topped with a heaping tablespoon of filling then 2 more T of batter.

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      Michelle, when we added the direction for a standard-sized muffin, we likely doubled the whole recipe. No need to change what you’re doing if you like the version you have, but this one works great too for a larger treat. Happy baking. Mollie@KAF

    4. Michelle C

      Thanks Molly. The muffin batter portions are the same, only the filling amount is half. But moot point – I will stop halving the filling and go full-out since I bake them in a standard muffin pan 😀

      BTW, couple of recommendations. These are always better the second day when the filling moistens the cake even more. I have also made them using 1 cup of very ripe mashed banana (with the maple, not boiled cider) instead of the canned pumpkin and more than one person raved about that version, too (we dubbed the banana ones “Monkey Muffins”)

  4. Denise Hammond

    I’ve been making these since you first published the recipe. They’ll be on the menu again this fall. I love them.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Denise, thanks for adding your approval here — I’d forgotten how much I love them until I made them again a few weeks ago, while doing the blog. DEFINITELY on the fall menu! 🙂 PJH

  5. Christine Nelson

    Sounds superb, and I would serve this to guests with a homemade pumpkin latte. Just a quick question, rather than baking this as muffins, could you do this in an appropriately sized baking dish, and cut it into squares to serve? Seems that this would be much easier, and less fussy, which is right up my alley.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      How we wish we could join you, Christine! We suspect it would be hard to bake a cake filled this way, but we do think it could make a tasty swirled cake or loaf! To do this, prepare the streusel, filling, and batter as directed in the recipe. Grease and line your pan (we suspect a 9″ by 5″ loaf, a 9″ round, or an 8″ square pan would all work, just make sure not to fill any more than 3/4 full) with parchment paper. Pour about half of the batter into the pan, add all the filling, swirl it into the batter gently with a knife or toothpick if you wish, and then top with remaining batter and streusel. Exact baking time and temp will depend on which pan you choose, but a toothpick inserted into the center of any cake or loaf should come out crumb-free when it has finished baking. Let us know how yours turns out if you give it a try! Mollie@KAF

  6. Jen Rose

    I’d love to try using boiled cider but we can’t get it here in Australia. Boo! =( I did spot some medjool date syrup today and was wondering if that might be a cool substitute?! Or maybe golden syrup??? Honey and dark corn syrup just seem so boring in comparison. Any advice would be appreciated. Looking forward to trying these this week! =)

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jen, we haven’t been lucky enough to try out medjool date syrup yet, but we think golden syrup would be a great substitute for the boiled cider. Maple syrup would be another flavorful option. Hope this helps and happy baking! Mollie@KAF

    2. Christopher Smith

      You can always make your own. This recipe is from the Washington Post….

      Pour [1 gallon of apple] cider into a large, heavy-bottomed nonreactive stockpot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook uncovered for 4 to 5 hours or until it has reduced to a little more than 2 cups, stirring more frequently as needed in the last 30 minutes to keep the cider from scorching. The boiled cider is done when it coats the back of a spoon, with a consistency like that of maple syrup.

      Transfer to sterilized jars. Cool completely. The boiled cider is ready to use right away; or, sealed tightly, it can be refrigerated indefinitely.

    3. Ann

      As for the making your own- I did this. Super easy, I used (started with) far less than a gallon, since I only needed to net 1/4c, which took considerably less time. I used Sprouts Brand Pumpkin Spiced Apple Cider (basically organic apple cider with pumpkin puree and some spices- more cannot hurt right?).

      A google search will also have you start with actual apples, juice them and go- the more acidic the better for flavor.

      I have not made the muffins yet, weekend project, but the cider is delicious. I ended up with slightly less than 1/2c starting with a quart (minus the sip I took 😉

  7. Finnegan

    I loved making the Pane Bianco and it made excellent toast the next day. The muffins look amazing and can’t wait to give them a go with the Boiled Cider which wonderful. Recently, I was making a recipe that called for baslamic vinegar, which I was out of, so I used the Boiled Cider. It was delicious.

  8. Brandy

    Hi! So I’ve made these several times and each time, the center drops in after they come out of the oven : /. They puff up and are beautiful and even in the oven but as soon as they come out, they deflate. Not sure what I’m doing wrong as I’ve always followed the instructions to a T?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Brandy,
      These muffins will settle a bit once they come out of the oven, creating a slightly flat top. Check out the pictures of the finished muffins to get an idea of what you should expect. If you find your muffins are sinking more than this, you might want to reduce your mixing time and stir the wet and dry ingredients together just until mixed. You can also try letting the batter rest for 10-15 minutes before putting in the oven to get a more even, consistent rise that holds its shape. The real key? Make sure you’re using King Arthur white whole wheat or all-purpose flour, as some other brands don’t have a high enough protein percentage to give the structure the strength it needs. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  9. Kathy

    Thanks for the dairy free option, but have you also tried it with any vegan egg substitute/replacement?
    Half the family is now following a vegan diet, so I keep my eyes out for new challenges that will meet everyone’s preferences. Thanks

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Kathy,
      We think your family will love this recipe! Check out our blog post about using golden flax meal blended with water to replace eggs in your baking to find out more about making this recipe vegan-friendly. Kye@KAF

  10. Barbara Samuelson

    I need to bake both gluten-free and vegan. Do you think this recipe would work with an egg substitution? If so, which type of substitute would you recommend?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Barbara, you can use our Measure for Measure Flour to replace the all-purpose in the recipe to make it gluten-free. To make it vegan-friendly you can try using golden flax meal blended with water (full details here) instead of eggs. However, you should note that the texture and rise won’t be quite the same as gluten-free baked goods rely heavily on the binding power of eggs. If you’d rather try a vegan muffin recipe that’s tried and tested, check out our Vegan Cranberry Nut Muffin recipe. You could replace the tomato juice with half pumpkin puree and half non-dairy milk if you’d like to pursue the seasonal flavor profile. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  11. Lynn Kunz

    This sounds like a great recipe, but could I decrease the amount of cream cheese and add Marshmallow Fluff to the filling?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Let your taste buds guide your choice of filling, Lynn. We liked the creamy flavor of the cream cheese and pumpkin together, but if you’re craving a bit of fluffy sweetness on the inside, go ahead and use Marshmallow Fluff (or you could use our recipe for Homemade Marshmallow Spread) if you please. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They can indeed, Marge! We recommend refrigerating for refrigerate up to 3 days or for longer storage, freezing the well-wrapped muffins for up to 3 weeks. Rewarm cold muffins in a preheated 350°F oven, tented with foil. Or heat briefly in a microwave set at low power. Mollie@KAF

  12. Claire

    I love this recipe! I substituted molasses for boiled cider. I only added half as much streusel on top so I have plenty left for next batch. I like that it isn’t very sweet and it’s very tasty. I look forward to share these. Although not a big deal for me, but some of the filling actually oozed out to the muffin top even though I covered it well with the second topping batter. I thought that must be why it’s called inside out. I look forward to the next bakealong challenge. Many Thanks!

  13. Kathleen Armstrong

    I wanted to try the pane bianco of the first challenge, but the timing wasn’t right with our vacation plans. I still plan on giving it a try soon. These pumpkin muffins look delicious and I’ll definitely be making them. One of my daughters is a pumpkin fanatic and I know she’ll love them. On the list of recipes to try very soon. Love these challenges.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Whenever you get around to either or both, we hope you’ll share with #bakealong, Kathleen. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  14. Holly Seymour

    Thank you for all these wonderful tips. I will make these my Labor Day storm treat! What would happen if I substituted just a little flour with Flax meal or Hazelnut flour?

    Thanks again…..

    Holly from Connectcut.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Flax meal usually acts as an egg replacer, so if you want to incorporate that into the batter we recommend you first read our blog about making a homemade egg replacer using flax. Replacing just 1 of the eggs in the batter might be a good place to start. If you want to incorporate hazelnut flour into these muffins, you could use 1/4 cup in the topping and another 1/4 in the batter. You’ll want to reduce the all-purpose (or white whole wheat flour) by the same amount. Thanks for joining us in September’s Bakealong challenge! Kye@KAF

  15. Suzanne Huebner

    I made half a recipe for a “trial run” for my husband and myself. Wow! What a delightful taste and texture, not to mention the delicious creamy filling. I chose to use pure maple syrup in mine. Will definitely make again, only this time I”ll make the whole recipe! What a wonderful treat to have when you invite friends over for coffee; makes a beautiful presentation.

  16. Nancy

    I have seen some muffin recipes say that you can make the complete batter the day before you bake it, without losing the power of the baking powder/baking soda. My question is this: Can you make ALL muffin batters the night/day before baking, or just “some,” and why? The specific recipe I am interested in doing this, although I am eager to hear general information is the Inside Out Pumpkin Muffin recipe. I am wondering if I can make the batter, and refrigerate it, and make the filling mixture, and refrigerate it, and make the streusel topping ahead of time, and just put the batter and filling in the tins the night before. I am sure the streusel topping can be made ahead, and probably the filling – mostly wondering about the batter.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Nancy,
      The answer to your question depends on the ingredients in the muffin batter. If the recipe only calls for baking powder and you use a double-acting baking powder, it will activate once it meets the heat of the oven. If you don’t use a double-acting variety, then you might not get as much of a rise in the final muffins because the baking powder will start working as soon as you add the liquid. Similarly, baking soda starts acting once it comes in contact with an acid. Therefore, if the recipe calls for baking soda then you might be better off making the recipe only when you’re able to bake it right away.

      In the case of the Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins, you can make the batter and streusel topping ahead of time, but prepare the batter and bake soon afterwards for best results. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Nancy

      Thank you for your quick response, Kye! Great! To speed breakfast up this weekend, I will assemble the dry ingredients the day before; assemble the wet ingredients the day before; and combine the wet and dry muffin ingredients the morning I bake it! That’s almost as easy, and I’m quite confident that will work out fine! So glad to know the “general” rule about baking soda, and “double acting” baking powder. Thank you!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re so welcome, Nancy! You can also consider re-heating these muffins by covering them with aluminum foil and putting them in a warm (300-325°F) oven for about 5-10 minutes before serving if you’d really like minimal work in the morning. Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Mary, it’s tough for us to provide tested adjustments for baking at altitude since we aren’t at altitude ourselves, but we do have a very handy guide to help you think through what adjustments you may want to make: http://bit.ly/1Q8EFzZ Hope this helps get you headed in the right direction! Mollie@KAF

  17. RR

    I made these on Labor Day. A bit of a challenge to find canned pumpkin in the store; who knew? They were tasty the first day, even better 24 hours later. Next time I’ll add some toasted chopped pecans to the streusel and/or the muffin batter.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Christopher,
      We love the idea of baking with pumpkin that you’ve puréed yourself. We actually wrote a full blog post about how to do this successfully in your kitchen, too. Check out our Baking with Pumpkin blog for more details. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  18. Helen Holmes

    Can you make a version of this using KA Almond Flour? I use KA unbleached white flour and Bread flour. I do a lot of baking for my husband, church and company. However, for myself I can no longer have Wheat. I am not Gluten Free just can not have wheat due to a medical condition. I have a wonderful Paleo Pumpkin muffin recipe that I use all the time. I would like to make these muffins without wheat flour any suggestions?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We appreciate your eagerness to bake, Helen. We wouldn’t recommend making these with a full almond flour substitute, as it doesn’t have all the requisite properties of wheat flour – we usually use it as an accent with wheat flour or in recipes that have been specifically designed for it. The good news is that you can make this recipe with our new Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour: http://bit.ly/1XYkpWt! You could also try using this streusel and filling technique with the Paleo Pumpkin recipe you like so much. No guarantees since we haven’t tested this ourselves, but it could be a fun experiment! Mollie@KAF

  19. Mary

    P.S. I sure wish some of you (or at least one of you) would come out to Santa Fe, NM to teach a baking class – since moving here from California, it’s been quite a challenge. There are many people who have moved here from sea level altitudes and are experiencing the same frustrations – I’m sure you’d have a full class. Just a thought… 🙂

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the suggestion, Mary. Baking at altitude can certainly be a challenge! We’re currently focusing our education efforts on our Bake for Good Kids program (http://bit.ly/2cdDwZ8) and our two education centers (here in Norwich, VT and in Burlington, WA), but we’re always happy to consider customer requests. In the meantime, you might find the tips in our High Altitude Baking Guide helpful: http://bit.ly/1Q8EFzZ. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They are indeed a treat, Eileen. We haven’t calculated the nutritional info for this recipe, but there are several websites that will offer a free nutritional analysis of a recipe. We especially like Sparkpeople: http://bit.ly/1FXLWxE and hope that it can help! Mollie@KAF

  20. Beth Tilbury

    At first glance, I think you have seriously underestimated the prep time. If you are able to fill 12-16 muffin cups with four steps: batter, filling, batter, topping, in 15-25 minutes, then you are certainly speedier than I am (and probably neater, too!)

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for your feedback, Beth. It’s true that 15 minutes would be pretty fast, and we’ve actually gone ahead and changed the prep time to 25-35 minutes. We hope you’ll give it a shot! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fair question, Marie. We recommend using a non-stick spray like the Everbake we carry: http://bit.ly/1Oqucgh – quick, effective, and clean. A pastry brush could also help you lightly brush the insides of the liners too, but that would be a little more challenging. Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They sure will, Amber. A little less sweet and a little less complex perhaps, but still totally tasty. They may bake a little differently without the filling, so plan to check them on the earlier side and make sure the toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean. Mollie@KAF

  21. Yvonne

    Can these be made without the cream cheese filling. My BF loves pumpkin but is not. Fan of cream cheese. Any baking time adjustments?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      They can, Yvonne! The baking time may be a little different without the filling, so check them on the earlier side (closer to 14 min) and make sure your toothpick comes out clean from the center of the muffin before calling them done. Happy baking! Mollie@KAF

  22. Dean morris

    Quick question: nut allergy here. I looked through the ingredients and pretty sure safe. Could you please send up any flags for allergies if known for future bakes. Thanks

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We understand the need to be cautious when it comes to allergens, Dean, and we appreciate that you took the time to share your suggestion with us. We don’t currently include an allergen warning on our recipes but we’ll be happy to pass along your request. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy baking along with us! Mollie@KAF

  23. Lynn

    These look scrumptious with the filling. For those who don’t care for pumpkin do you think it can be adapted to a carrot cake muffin? That would be delicious too.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lynn, other bakers have talked about using a sweet potato or butternut squash puree instead, which could be an options. Otherwise, there’s no reason this topping and filling technique couldn’t be used with your favorite carrot cake muffin. However you make them, we hope you enjoy them! Mollie@KAF

  24. Angi T

    Just made these and can’t wait to dig in! I used the remainder of the canned pumpkin I had to make some pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. 🙂 I was wondering what the recommended storage is for these muffins? Is the refrigerator necessary?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Angi, hiding at the end of the recipe itself you’ll see that we recommend eating these fresh within a few hours or refrigerating for up to 3 days. For longer storage, you can also freeze these for up to 3 weeks. Rewarm cold muffins in a preheated 350°F oven, tented with foil. Or heat briefly in a microwave set at low power. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  25. Christie

    I’m baking these right now and they smell amazing!!!! I didn’t have boiled cider so I combined some cider mix with some honey and it tastes amazing!!!!

  26. Barbara

    I use silicone muffin forms, would I still need the papers? Also, I don’t have an oil sprayer, or use the canned spray, is there another way to grease the paper?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You should be able to use silicone muffin cups without greasing, Barbara. It can be challenging to “grease” paper liners without spray, but a good pastry brush will help you to brush on a very light coating of oil or melted butter too. Mollie@KAF

  27. Barbie Lucas

    I made these muffins last weekend and substituted honey for boiled cider and egg whites for the egg. I appreciated all the photos to guide me in making mine. I put slightly less cream cheese filling in mine (1 very full tsp) than your photos showed. Interestingly, mine did not settle after they came out of the oven. They were beautiful and delicious. Big hit with my husband. He said I should KEEP this recipe! The crust was my favorite part. Would this same crust recipe work on a blackberry cobbler?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so happy this recipe is making it into your forever files, Barbie! The streusel is more along the lines of a crisp or crumble topping rather than a cobbler, which tends to be more cake-like. Regardless of the name, the combo sounds tasty to us. Mollie@KAF

  28. Sue Drayton

    I just made these and they are fantastic! I didn’t have the boiled cider so I used honey instead. I also used the substitute for the pumpkin spice. These were perfect for our breakfast. They didn’t take long either. Great recipe it is a keeper!

  29. Gina

    Hi, I am preparing everything to do this recipe ( even buying the boiled cider from you). I would like to make it whole wheat but I don’t have the white one only the regular. Would it be ok to do it with this flour? Thank you

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, Gina! It will be more than okay to use the traditional whole wheat flour in this recipe… it will be delicious! Regular whole wheat flour makes baked goods a bit darker in color and also gives them a more whole wheaty flavor. We think it will pair nicely with the pumpkin. No changes are necessary. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    2. Vanessa

      I just made these with traditional whole wheat flour and they are horrible! You can’t taste the pumpkin or spices at all and they are more like a dense bread. I’m going to make them again tomorrow using unbleached all pourpse flour and see how that goes. Anything would be better than what I got. Also, these are definitely NOT a one bowl muffin as stated. You make the topping and remove it from the bowl into what? Another bowl. Filling made in first bowl, scrapped into what? Another bowl. So I count three bowls. Not one. Just saying…

    3. PJ Hamel, post author

      Vanessa, my bad on the bowls. I use sheets of waxed paper to put the streusel and filling on, so I actually do use just one bowl… but I realize I’m probably unusual doing it that way. As for taste — I wonder if your whole wheat flour was old? Older whole-grain flours can have a horrible strong/rancid taste, especially if they haven’t been stored in the freezer. Taste your flour — just a bit on the back of your tongue. If it’s bitter, it’s old, and should be discarded. Best of luck as you try them again; I’m sure your all-purpose flour (and the recipe) won’t let you down this second time around. PJH

  30. Kate

    Made this today and they are wonderful! Didn’t use muffin papers, as I never do, and was worried that they would be hard to get of the pan. However, they slipped right out. Will definitely make them again.

  31. Ashley

    I have to say, this is not a one bowl recipe. Even though you may do all the mixing in one bowl, you still have to dirty up other bowls/dishes to hold the things you mix first before mixing the main batter.

  32. Patty Rushing

    Made these yesterday! Followed the directions to the letter, using white whole wheat flour, and they turned out perfectly!!! Even my non pumpkin, non whole grain peeps ate them and thought they were delicious! Of course I told them later about the pumpkin and whole grain!! The recipe is a keeper! Thanks for the bake along idea. I love it!

  33. Nancy Mock

    How fortunate that I just happened to have pumpkin and a bottle of boiled cider on hand! These muffins are amazing, and made our kitchen smell so good. We almost burned our tongues as we could not resist eating them minutes after they baked. This is a great recipe to have on hand for brunches and holiday breakfasts!

  34. Elizabeth Litwin

    I made these muffins yesterday and they were delicious. So glad I had all the ingredients available. The only change I made was to use honey since I did not have the other items listed and we always have honey in the house. The cream cheese filling really makes these muffins extra special. Will not hesitate to make these again. We always have a bite to eat before church and these filled the bill.

  35. Teresa

    Just finished making the recipe, no substitutions or modifications. WOW delicious. The touch of Fior di Sicilia in the cream cheese added just enough interest and complimented the pumpkin muffin.
    Live the bake-along challenges. Two great recipes are going to be repeated again and again!

  36. Sharon Gollman

    I made these for the first time today and they took much longer to bake, which is the usual thing for my oven (convection), and the fact that I use a heavy muffin pan. However, I had a hard time telling if the muffins were actually done. I usually go by touch and if I am not sure, then I use a toothpick, but I think the cream cheese filling made it more difficult to tell. Any ideas how to tell if they are done?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Sharon,
      It can be tricky to gauge the doneness of these muffins because of the gooey (albeit delicious) cream cheese filling. You can use all your senses to help tell you when these are finished baking: the edges should look slightly golden brown, the tops should be nice and springy to the touch, and your kitchen should smell heavenly! You can try inserting a toothpick into the side of the muffins to see if it comes out clean, and if you see cream cheese filling on it — that’s okay. Any orange crumbs will let you know that they need just a few more minutes. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  37. Marie

    Love the monthly bakealong. Have 2 people in the house that don’t like pumpkin but decided to try this recipe. So glad I did. Made them with honey as no boiled cider (will be ordering) but came out amazing. Mine didn’t sink after they came out of the oven and had enough for all 12 standard size muffins. Will definitely make these again!! Thanks for the great recipe

  38. Susan Champney

    I made the muffins for my husband for our anniversary!! They came out just fine except that there was an empty spot in the muffins above the cream cheese. What caused that? I love all the helpful instructions you give; it makes it easy for me to get it right!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Susan,
      We’re glad to hear you gave this recipe a try. It sounds like you might have used a cream cheese that contained a high amount of moisture. This would evaporate during baking and the rest of the filling would sink, leaving a bit of a gap between the filling and the top. Try switching up the brand the next time you use it, and be sure you’re using King Arthur all-purpose or white whole wheat flour. Other kinds of flour may not contain enough protein to maintain the structure of the muffins. I hope that helps! Kye@KAF

  39. Nancy

    First of all, my husband said these reminded him of his mother’s pumpkin roll, and I concur! The pumpkin with the cream cheese frosting did resemble that fall treat! I made these with white whole wheat, and maple syrup rather than boiled cider. These are delicious! With traditional muffin cups, I made 16 muffins.

    I had one problem. The cream cheese created an air pocket in the middle of the muffin. There was an empty space, with cream cheese plastered to the cavity walls. Why did that happen, and what can I do to prevent it from happening again?

    1. Nancy

      Oops. The comment above mine might have had a similar problem. I used the #1 name brand of cream cheese, (named after a famous city in Pennsylvania, lol), measured everything on my kitchen scale, and used KA whole wheat flour. Would over beating the cream cheese, incorporating too much air, have caused it? I used my mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla)

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      You bet, Nancy. Using a mixer to combine the ingredients in the filling was likely the cause of the excess space in your muffins. To avoid incorporating extra air, we recommend stirring together the cream cheese and sugar by hand. I think this should help. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re glad to hear you and your husband both loved this recipe! It surely is reminiscent of our favorite fall desserts with the delicious pumpkin and warm spices.

      As for your question about preventing the empty space in the muffins, we recommend stirring together the cream cheese and sugar by hand rather than using a mixer. Also, your oven might be running a bit hot. When cream cheese gets too warm, it tends to melt slightly. Try reducing the oven temperature for 400°F, and extend the baking time as needed to ensure the muffins are fully baked. Using slightly less of the cream cheese filling may also give you a better overall structure. If you have any cream cheese filling leftover, use it to smear on toast as you wait for your muffins to bake. 🙂 Enjoy! Kye@KAF

  40. Kim

    I just baked these this morning. They turned out perfect! So delicious! I used white wheat flour and honey in place of boiled cider. I thought it looked like the muffin papers were overfilled, but the turned out great! I love these bake along challenges!

  41. Lyn Christiansen

    I really enjoy Bakealong….particularly because of these discussions….I learn a lot in the details, different experiences, and blog-host responses. I’m more a bread person than a baker, since my husband and I don’t eat desserts except on special occasions. But I went through a “muffin phase” in the 90s so this was an interesting challenge. I made these today and took them to an evening meeting where they were scarfed up. I cut the cream cheese filling by a third but now I’ve eaten them would go back to the full recipe…nice contrast and sweetness to the not so sweet batter. I used the SAF whole wheat white flour but I apologize, I made my own boiled cider. The local farm stand got their first local cider delivery and I just had to boil it down myself. It was sweet but with a breath of tartness….really good. I didn’t have the fiori but added a few drops of orange essence to add that touch. Great!
    The muffins were delicious, particularly 1/2 hour after baking.
    My only question was a taste that one of my serious bakers in the recipient group noted and that I did too (this was maybe 5 hours after baking), there was a taste of corn meal. Is that from the whole wheat? or what? Things can combine often in unexpected way when it comes to taste buds. It was good none the less, just not expected.
    PS…a few comments have been about an air hole above the filling. My muffins didn’t collapse at all but a couple had the air hole. What I noticed was both filling and the batter tended to hold their form after dropping into the cups. Those I really smoothed out and pressed down on after the streusel was sprinkled on, didn’t have the holes. The ones I let nature take its course didn’t fill in. Just a thought…..

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so glad you’ve been having fun with the Bakealong challenges, Lynn. What an interesting observation about the cornmeal flavor! We haven’t experienced that ourselves and aren’t sure exactly what would cause that. Is it possible it was a trick of the tongue and you both were responding to the texture of the whole wheat and oats more than the flavor? We’ll be curious to hear if anyone else picked up this same taste! Mollie@KAF

  42. Krystena

    I just made these yesterday, but after they cooled down, the middle sank in. They taste delicious, just don’t look perfect. I think that it’s because I beat the cream cheese and sugar mixture too much. I’m not sure. Hopefully next time they will look as perfect as they taste!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We think your baking instinct is probably right on — one of the most common reasons why cakes, cupcakes, and muffin sink in the center is because the butter and sugar mixture have been over-creamed. This can incorporate excess air, which then causes the structure to deflate after baking. Check out this video showing how to properly cream butter and sugar, and see if that makes your muffins look as pretty as they taste. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  43. Cathy

    I just got the time to make these muffins all I can say is yumm. I did not use the boiled cider I mixed honey and molasses to make a 1/4 cup as I didn’t have enough honey and it is still great! I am sure it will be a family favorite.
    Thank you!

  44. Vonnie

    A little late making these cupcakes . But I made two batches one like recipe and one with apple sauce instead of oil,white wheat flour, Greek yogurt cream cheese (less fat) they were both great . I just love these bake off challenges. They are so much fun and I learn so much. Keep it up!

  45. Vanessa

    PJ Hamel,
    So the whole wheat flour being bad idea of yours- how did I not notice that? Last night I stuck my nose in the ww flour canister and it was definitely bad. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice when I used it, perhaps a cold? Or maybe because I was busy with gingerbread in the oven, so everything smelled like gingerbread. Either way, thank you for that. When I get a chance, I’ll make these again using fresh ww flour and let you know how it goes. 🙂

  46. E. SPeight

    REcipe always seems to have too much flour and makes a stiff dough. I have to add water sometimes 1/4 cup to make dough pliable. I measure with pour method. Any suggestions?

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      I think you’re simply using too much flour; we measure using the sprinkle and sweep method, and that’s how the recipe was developed. Measure using the method shown in the video, or use your pour method, but pour out a bit less flour; I think you’ll be more pleased with your results. PJH

  47. Pamela

    Hi, this recipe will be on my to-do list, pumpkin and cream cheese are both on my “favorites” list! My question concerns the use of organic sprouted whole wheat flour, have you tried that? I’m thinking of substituting half of the flour just to try it out. It’s a much healthier choice, even if you don’t have a gluten problem. Just not sure how it will affect the recipe. I use it in my sourdough bread with no problems, replacing the whole flour amount with a combo of sprouted white wheat and spelt flours. Thanks for any ideas.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re happy to hear that this flavor combo appeals to you, Pamela! We typically find that we can use our Sprouted Wheat Flour in any recipe calling for whole wheat flour, or substitute it for up to half the amount of all-purpose flour. We know this muffin can be made with our White Whole Wheat and is quite forgiving, so it may work to sub the Sprouted Whole Wheat for 100% of the flour called for. That being said, the properties of our White Whole Wheat are a little milder (in color and flavor), so starting with a 50% substitution seems like an appropriately cautious place to start. We hope you’ll give it a shot and share your results! Mollie@KAF

  48. Patricia England

    Just made these yesterday and they turned out really good. I used organic King Authur flour half and half with Eikorn flour. I did not have cider so I used honey-and I also used coconut oil in place of the butter for the topping. The recipe seems forgiving of the substitutes. I will likely make them again.

  49. Krissy Barry

    Loved all the flavors here, but I had some technical trouble. I wish I could post a picture, but my muffins sank in top after coming out of the oven. How do I keep them from doing that? What made them sink?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Krissy, we have a Baker’s Hotline for baking emergencies like this! We hope you’ll consider giving us a call at 855-371-BAKE(2253) so we can hear a bit more about your method and do some troubleshooting. Typically sunken muffins are a culprit of too much liquid, the incorrect (or ineffective) leavener, or another ingredient substitution. We hope to hear from you to help make the muffins look just as beautiful as they are tasty. Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We didn’t forget about the gluten-free bakers, Linda! There’s a tip in the blog and recipe — you can use Measure for Measure Flour without making any other changes. Enjoy! Kye@KAF

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *