Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

The first day of fall. There are many who mourn this day, as it means bidding adieu to the sunny days of lying on the beach and grilling in the backyard. Warm turns to cold, and green turns to orange. But in the immortal words of the Beatles, “I don’t know why you say ‘Goodbye,’ I say ‘Hello.'”

The end of one thing always means the glorious beginning of something else. And so I choose to say, “Hello, fall.” Hello crisp, blustery days; warm, spicy scents; vibrant, fiery colors. Hello to the chilly fall breezes that awaken the senses and delicious autumn treats that warm the soul. Outside the air may be frosty and brisk, but inside the atmosphere is warm and comforting.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Just imagine being wrapped up in a toasty fleece blanket while sipping a steaming cup of coffee and listening to the autumn winds howl right outside the window. That is perfection. Well, almost perfection. The only thing that would make this scene even better would be a pumpkin cream cheese muffin to go along with that cup of coffee.

But maybe perfection isn’t so unattainable after all. Because here is that muffin.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

This treat offers the perfect slow, acclimatization to autumn. It has a comforting, soft texture and very subtle spice flavor. The warm spices are then accented by a tiny pocket of bright, vanilla cream cheese filling. With its subtly, this little muffin will surely ease even the most avid heat- and summer-lovers into the delicious joys of autumn. And so, to one and all, I wish you a very happy fall!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Yield: 15 muffins

1 ½ cups GF Flour Mix*
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup milk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree

4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour mix, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, spices, and salt.

In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil, milk, and pumpkin until smooth. Slowly add in dry ingredients, mixing just until fully incorporated.

To make the filling, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, mixing until the filling is completely smooth.

Fill each prepared liner ¾-full with pumpkin batter. Place a dollop of cream cheese filling on top (or, using a piping bag, pipe some filling into center of batter), and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Let muffins cool about 2 minutes in pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

23 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

  1. Part of the reason I love fall is cooking with pumpkin 🙂 This is a great looking recipe! Do you think it would still be good without the cream cheese center? I only ask because my picky girl may not like it (but I sure would).

    • Definitely! The cream cheese just adds a little extra pizzazz, but all the delicious pumpkin and spice flavor is right in the muffin itself. So either way you will have a tasty treat! Happy baking!

    • Abby, there are a number of different gluten-free flour mixtures out there. Personally, I have found that a brown rice flour or sorghum flour mixture works the best for producing a product with a taste and texture similar to wheat-containing ones (the sorghum mixture I use is: 1 1/2 cups sorghum flour, 1 1/2 cups potato starch, 1 cup tapioca starch). If you’re interested in using a store-bought gluten-free flour mixture, you can substitute it one-for-one in place of my mixture, just make sure to omit the xanthan gum if your mixture already includes it.

      As for almond flour, it will give your baked good a very different texture. I’ve been meaning to experiment more with this ingredient, but have not yet had the chance. If you are interested in almond flour recipes, I recommend checking out Elana’s Pantry, as she regularly uses it. Also, if you’re interested in learning about other gluten-free flours, I suggest taking a look at this resource, which lists various flours and the properties they give to baked goods. I hope this helps!

  2. You had me at PUMPKIN! I have this recipe at the TOP of my to make list!! 🙂 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! We had some fabulous entries this week! Our gluten free blogger directory is growing too! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 See you next Friday! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

  3. Just made them! Threw in some chocolate chunks at the end for my little chocoholic and they were a huge hit 🙂 I’ll be making these again for my son’s first birthday next month.

    • Dana, I’m so glad you enjoyed these! The addition of chocolate sounds like an amazing choice; I’m definitely going to have to try that myself 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! And a very happy birthday to your son next month!

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  8. Hi! This looks amazing! Could I replace the canola oil with olive or coconut oil? Also, instead of sugar can I use honey or unsweetened applesace?

    • Hi Rachel, you can certainly substitute another oil for the canola. Personally, I would suggest coconut oil in this recipe as olive oil does have a somewhat savory taste. If you prefer not to use sugar, I recommend using 1/2 cup honey (the applesauce in combination with egg and pumpkin puree might make the muffins too gooey). Let me know how it works out for you! Happy baking!

  9. November 03,2014

    Just made these tonight, used the sorghum recipe you gave and substituted the potato starch for corn starch because never had any. Also never used center cream cheese I will put on top. This recipe was so good and so moist I just had to write in and let you know. I never reply to any of the recipes I try on line but i just loved these muffins. I used real pumkin puree from the pumpkin I had. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks I will try more from this site. Sharon

    • Hi Sharon, thank you so much for this comment—I cannot even begin to express how happy it made me! I’m thrilled the recipe worked out so well for you along with your substitutions. Baking is a finicky art, and I always appreciate hearing what ingredient swaps have worked in a given recipe. I hope you find more successful recipes on this site, and I look forward to reading the reviews! Thanks again, and happy baking!

  10. i have made these several times now and have found they seem to stay more moist not being stored in the refrigerator However my concern is the cream cheese being at room temperature. Should I be worried? (absolutely LOVE these BTW!)

    • Hi Heidi, that’s a great question! Plain cream cheese is definitely a food safety concern because it has a high water content, which bacteria love. That being said, the FDA states that if the cream cheese is baked inside a pastry (or, in this case, baked in the muffin), it receives sufficient heat treatment and should be stable at room temperature (http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/SafePracticesforFoodProcesses/ucm094147.htm).

      Although these muffins can be safely stored outside of the refrigerator a time, the shelf life is not infinite. If you anticipate having the muffins for longer than 2 days, I do recommend refrigerating them to maximize food safety. I know this can dry them out a tad, but if you give them a quick zap in the microwave, they’ll quickly return to their moist texture.

      I hope this information helps, and I’m so happy you love this recipe (I do, too)! Happy baking!

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