Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Muffins

Somehow it’s less than a week until Thanksgiving and I’ve only made 2 successful pumpkin recipes! Yikes. I’m sad for the severe lack of pumpkin in my life. Sigh.

If you’re looking for a pumpkin muffin recipe to try, this one is it! Full of pumpkin, cream cheese and streusel-y goodness, it should be at the top of your “to try” recipes this Fall.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Streusel Muffins (recipe from Warm Vanilla Sugar)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c confectioner’s sugar
3 c flour
1 tbsp + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
4 eggs
2 c sugar
2 c pumpkin puree
1 1/4 c vegetable oil

For the topping:
1 c packed brown sugar
1 c flour
1/2 c rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp butter, melted

  1. To prepare the filling, combine the softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar in a medium bowl and mix until blended and smooth.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a log. Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log and transfer it to the freezer. Freeze for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease or line your muffin tin.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking soda.
  5. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and vegetable oil until well blended.
  6. Add flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined.
  7. To make the topping, combine the brown sugar, flour, oats and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix with a fork until combined. Set aside.
  8. Fill each muffin with about 2 tbsp of the pumpkin batter.
  9. Slice the log of cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place 1 slice into each muffin cup.
  10. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups. Make sure the cream cheese is covered completely.
  11. Sprinkle the streusel on top of each muffin.
  12. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly pressed.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before serving.

See that? Easy. As. Pie.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

My first pumpkin baking of the season! Life has gotten suuuuper crazy lately, so I was really excited when I actually wanted to bake one day after work. AND it’s pumpkin season!!! Hello, Fall, how I missed you.

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles (recipe from With Sprinkles on Top by way of Sally’s Baking Addicition)

1/2 c butter
1/4 c brown sugar
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c white chocolate chips

  1. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, brown sugar and 1/2 c sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla and pumpkin puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together.
  5. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  6. Cover the dough and chill for 30 minutes or up to 3 days. Do not skip this step!
  7. Preheat your oven to 350º. Spray baking sheet(s) with nonstick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
  8. Mix remaining 1/2 c of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl.
  9. Roll the dough into balls, about 1 1/2 tbsp of dough per ball.
  10. Roll each of the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on baking sheet. The balls will not spread that much in the oven, so flatten them slightly after placing them on the baking sheet.
  11. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  12. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

While a little sweet for my taste, Tall Guy loved these cookies so much that he insisted on taking them home instead of letting me bring them to work for my coworkers! For someone who isn’t a super pumpkin lover, that was a huge compliment!

Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Finally, a Fall-themed recipe that isn’t pumpkin! These muffins will satisfy all of those cranberry cravings that you never knew you had.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Muffins (recipe originally from Julie’s Eats & Treats)

1 c butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 c flours
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 c cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease or line muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
5. Slowly mix dry into wet batter until combined.
6. Fold in cranberries.
7. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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These were easy to make and came out looking great! And I loved the flavor- just sweet enough to balance out the tartness of the cranberries. They would make a great snack for Christmas morning!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oreo Brownies

Talk about decadent! With 2 kinds of chocolate, these brownies are super rich, but worth every calorie!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Oreo Brownies (recipe originally from Picky Palate)

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c packed light brown sugar (for step 5)
2 large eggs, plus 1 yolk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 c chocolate chunks
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 c pumpkin puree
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar (for step 8)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
10 Oreo cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Place butter into a large bowl and microwave until melted and hot (about 45 seconds).
3. Pour in chocolate chips and stir until mostly melted (does not have to be perfectly smooth).
4. Add flour and sugars and mix a few times.
5. Add eggs, yolk and oil and mix until well combined.
6. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
7. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
8. Put cream cheese, pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon into a large bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.
9. Place dollops over brownie batter, then swirl the pumpkin mixture through the brownie batter with a knife.
10. Gently press broken up Oreo cookie pieces onto the top of the pumpkin layer.
11. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until cooked through.
12. Let cool completely before cutting.

While I could only handle about a bite of one, everyone in my office loved them! The recipe is fairly simple and very easy to follow, and they came out looking great. I would definitely recommend these to any chocolate and pumpkin lovers out there!

Baked Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze

You guessed it- more ripe bananas! Clearly I need to eat more bananas.. Or not, since banana baked goods are so delicious!

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Baked Banana Donuts with Maple Glaze (recipe originally from The Baker Mama)

1 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 c oil *Original recipe calls for canola oil, I used vegetable oil
1/4 c milk *Original recipe calls for buttermilk or whole milk, I used fat free
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 over-ripe bananas, mashed

For the glaze:
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 c maple syrup
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray donut pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
5. Fold in the mashed bananas.
6. Pipe batter into greased donut pan, filling each ring about 2/3 full.
7. Bake for 7-9 minutes or until donuts are set and spring back up when touched. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.
8. While donuts are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium microwavable bowl, melt the butter, then whisk in the remaining ingredients until thick and smooth. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken, or milk to thin it out.

These donuts were really yummy, but tasted more like banana pancakes than donuts (the maple glaze is partially to blame, I’m sure). Not that banana pancakes aren’t good, but I was hoping for something a little different, ya know? The single layer of thin glaze gave them a good flavor, but also just made them really sticky, which I didn’t love. I definitely recommend thickening the glaze, or just doing a maple frosting instead.

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I was super busy last week, but refused to miss my chance to use the Halloween sprinkles that I bought at Target! I made these cupcakes to bring into work on Halloween and they were a huge hit. This is a simple recipe, but you can do a lot with it if you have some food dye and fun cupcake decorations!

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Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe originally from The Gold Lining Girl)

1 c milk
2 tsp white vinegar
3/4 c butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
1/4 c cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 3/4 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Fill muffin cups with liners.
2. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Add eggs. Beat until well combined. Mix in vanilla.
5. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa and baking soda.
6. Add dry ingredients to wet, alternately with the milk mixture.
7. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a few cupcakes comes out clean.
9. Cool completely.

For the frosting:
1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat until fluffy.
2. Mix in vanilla.
3. When cupcakes are cooled, frost and decorate as desired.

These came out great!  The cupcakes were moist and the cream cheese frosting was a good compliment to the sweetness of the cake. They were the perfect Halloween treat!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Bars

Pumpkin baking- round 2!

I wanted something relatively easy to throw together last Sunday night and, since I still only have the one small baking sheet, this was the perfect recipe. And the batter was so good that I couldn’t resist licking the spoon!

Not the prettiest bar (or picture), but so delicious!

Not the prettiest bar (or picture), but so delicious!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Bars (recipe originally from Two Peas & Their Pod)

2 c flour
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 c butter, room temperature
1 1/4 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c pumpkin puree
12 oz semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth.
4. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
5. Add pumpkin puree. Mixture will look curdled. (That’s normal!)
6. On low speed, mix in dry ingredients until just combined.
7. Fold in chocolate chips.
8. Spread batter in prepared pan. (Try to make it as even as you can.)
9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until edges pull away from sides of pan and it passes the toothpick test.
10. When cooled completely, cut into squares and serve.

These were so yummy! They’re moist, which was not quite what I expected (something about calling them “bars” makes me think they’ll be more like a cookie), and the reason I added “cake” to the name. They’re perfectly pumpkin-y, and just sweet enough with the chocolate chips being a perfect compliment to the pumpkin flavor. Ok, I’m a little pumpkin crazy right now, I know… But please don’t let that stop you from making these bars!

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Soft Pretzels with Cream Cheese Icing

It took me a little longer than I would have liked to get started with the pumpkin baking, but it has finally arrived in full force. I’ve seen a ton of soft pretzel recipes on food blogs over the years, but I’ve never attempted to make any. Until I saw this recipe for pumpkin soft pretzels, that is. It might have been my pumpkin addiction, but I could not resist making this recipe!

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Soft Pretzels with Cream Cheese Icing (recipe originally from creme de la crumb)

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the pretzels
1 1/3 c warm water
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
4 c flour
1/2 c pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

the boil
water
1/3 c baking soda

the coating
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 c sugar + 1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Grease baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Whisk together warm water, honey and yeast in a large bowl. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
3. Add flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree to yeast mixture and mix until dough comes together.
4. Transfer dough to well-floured surface and knead a few times. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
5. Roll dough into long log and divide into 12 equal pieces.
6. Roll each piece into a long log (about 16-18 inches).
7. Twist each log into a pretzel shape. (See an example here.)
8. Fill the pot with about 2-3 inches of water. Once it comes to a boil, slowly sprinkle baking soda into water. (Careful- it will bubble and foam!)
9. Drop a pretzel in the water and boil for 30 seconds. Remove from the water (with a large slotted spoon or spatula) and transfer to a paper towel. Repeat with remaining pretzels. I started out using a small slotted spoon, but found that a slotted spatula worked better.
10. Place pretzels on a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until pretzels are lightly browned.

to coat
1. Whisk cinnamon and sugar together and spread it in an even layer on plate.
2. Melt butter.
3. Brush baked pretzel with melted butter and then dip in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining pretzels.

the icing (optional)
3 c powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp cream cheese, softened
2-3 tbsp milk

1. Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth.
2. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time. 2 tbsp for thicker icing (best for dipping), 3 tbsp for thinner icing (best for drizzling).
3. Serve icing on the side, or drizzle on the top of the pretzels.

The recipe was pretty involved, but the steps were easy enough, even for a pretzel novice like me. The dough was a little sticky and hard to work with (especially for the second log-rolling step), but I was able to make it work. I ended up with only 10 pretzels because I didn’t roll my initial log long enough. I also somehow ended up with one very tiny pretzel, and I wish I had made them all that size, because smaller was definitely easier to work with.

The pumpkin flavor was very subtle, but it worked well with the cinnamon sugar coating. And the icing, although sweeter than it was tangy (due to the small amount of cream cheese), complimented the flavor nicely.

I have to admit, I wasn’t super in love with these. I’m not a huge soft pretzel fan as it is (don’t tell anyone, my fellow Philadelphians might disown me!), and the pumpkin aspect wasn’t enough to change my mind. They did look pretty impressive, however, and everyone at my office said they were very tasty. A very timely recipe, what with it being national pretzel month and all, but not one I would make again.

If you love soft pretzels, though, these ones will not disappoint!

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Banana Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip Cookies

I feel like it’s been forever since I made anything, but I’m making a big push to get back into the swing of things sooner rather than later so I don’t miss out on pumpkin baking season! Even though I have pumpkin puree in my cabinet, I made a banana-centric recipe because I had a few over-ripe bananas that I didn’t want to go to waste.

My first baking experience in my new oven was a great one! The range and oven are new, so cooking on them, even though they’re electric, has been relatively painless, and baking was no different. I made sure to check the cookies periodically since I don’t quite know the strength of my oven yet, and I’m happy to say that the cookies came out perfect! (I forgot, however, that I don’t have any more large cookie sheet, so I was stuck using one super small sheet for the entire batch… Add those to my Target list!)

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Banana Oatmeal Butterscotch Chip Cookies (recipe originally from The Taylor House)

2 c flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c butter, room temperature
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 over-ripe bananas
1 c oats *I used Quaker Instant Oats
2 c butterscotch chips *original recipe calls for chocolate chips, I substituted based on what I had on hand

1. Preheat oven to 375º and grease (or spray) the bottom of your cookie sheet(s).
2. Mix the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Mix the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
4. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture and mix well.
5. Add the banana to the sugar and egg mixture. Beat until smooth.
6. Mix in the flour mixture until just combined.
7. Stir in the oats and chips until well mixed.
8. Using a small cookie scoop or spoon, drop the dough onto your baking sheet. Leave about 1-2 inches in between cookies.
9. Bake for 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges and “set.”
10. Let stand 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. (Or eat them warm when the chips will be all melty and delicious!)

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I’m not a huge banana baked good person, but I’m really glad I had those over-ripe bananas that needed to be used! I was a little nervous the butterscotch chips would make them too sweet, but they didn’t at all, and instead gave them a really nice, full flavor. Everyone at my office loved them, and I would definitely make these again!

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Well, I finally did some baking in the smallest oven ever oven in my new apartment. Thankfully, it wasn’t as much of a hassle as I thought it would be! But I still need to get used to cooking with an electric oven (why 400º in an electric seem like 600º in a gas oven?)… And to how much less oven real estate I have. All in good time, I’m sure.

I was tossing and turning all of last night, so finally at 6:18 am I decided to just get up and start my day… It was about an hour earlier than I normally get up for work, and I figured there was no better way to spend my time than by baking some muffins.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (recipe originally by Two Peas and Their Pod)

2/3 c sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 c sour cream or plain greek yogurt *I used greek yogurt
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp poppy seeds

optional icing:
1 c confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh

1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups or use a nonstick baking spray.
2. In a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and the fragrance of lemon is strong.
3. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter until well blended.
5. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently stir to blend.
6. Stir in the poppy seeds.
7. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
8. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before taking the muffins out of the tins.
9. If desired, let the muffins cool completely before icing them.

For the icing:
1. Put the confectioner’s sugar in a small bowl and add 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice. Stir to moisten the sugar, then add enough additional lemon juice, a little at a time, to get an icing that is thin enough to drizzle from the tip of a spoon. Drizzle glaze over muffins and serve.

I didn’t make the icing because I ran out of lemons and time (it was 6 in the morning before work when I started this, after all), but would definitely opt to make it under different circumstances. These muffins had a good flavor and were very moist, thanks to the greek yogurt, but weren’t that sweet, which probably means they’re perfect with the icing.

Tall Guy had one and liked it, but the one I had was burnt on the bottom. It was either from my second batch when the pan only had 3 cups with batter and the rest of the cups filled with water, or it was from the first batch and I need to adjust my oven temp a bit. I’ll have to play around with it a little bit.. The joys of moving!

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Darker-than-I’d-like bottom, but pretty good nonetheless!

Lemon poppy seed anything is always a winner in my book, and this recipe wasn’t overly complicated, which was helpful for my half-asleep self. But it didn’t blow me out of the water (like the orange poppy seed muffins I made a while back), so I likely won’t make these again. Don’t let that stop you from giving them a try, though!.. Or from letting me know what you think about them in the comments!