Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

I have to admit, i'm not one of those people that gets super excited about pumpkin.  You know the type - the ones who anxiously countdown to the day Starbucks brings back the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or the people who buy Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix in bulk, for fear they may one day sell out.  

These Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting are the exception.  My mother has been making these for years, and it just doesn't feel like fall until I make my first batch.  With lots of pumpkin goodness and just the right hint of warm spice from the cinnamon and nutmeg, these muffins make the perfect breakfast, dessert, or mid day snack.  

In my opinion, the cream cheese frosting puts them over the edge, but sometimes I leave a few unfrosted and eat them warm with butter for breakfast.  

Ingredients (makes 18 muffins):
* 1 cup canned pumpkin **
* 1 stick butter, melted
* 1/3 c. orange juice
* 2 eggs, at room temperature
* 1 2/3 c. flour
* 1 1/2 c. sugar
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 3/4 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

* 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, at room temperature
*2 sticks butter, at room temperature
* 1/2 box powdered sugar
* 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 375.  To prepare the muffins, beat together pumpkin, juice, and eggs.  Add all remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray (you can also use paper liners) and fill about half way with batter.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack. 

To prepare the frosting, beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla, until well combined.  Add the powdered sugar in gradually while the mixer is running.  Taste the frosting and add more sugar if needed.   Top each cooled muffin with frosting.  Enjoy!

** Blogger confession: about every other time I make this recipe, I put in a whole can (15 oz) of pumpkin (instead of one cup) by mistake.  If you make the same mistake, cook the muffins up to 18 minutes.  They will still be delicious, but a bit more dense! 

If you're looking for some more Halloween inspiration, check out my post for Focus on the Coast - Forbidden Apples!

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