These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful.
A combination of pumpkin puree and virgin coconut oil, blended with a healthy helping of cinnamon, give these muffins a layered dimension of flavor in every bite.
And, really, these mini muffins can function as one giant bite apiece, but I suggest savoring them.
Especially with coffee.
I’ve been wanting to create a pumpkin muffin recipe for a while, and I wanted to incorporate coconut oil. I’m really glad I did, because I feel that the coconut oil was what pushed these over the edge of awesomeness and made them totally irresistible.
Above are of some of the ingredients.
The cream cheese goes towards the cheesecake filling that is used to top these muffins with a deep swirl of melt-in-your-mouth smoothness.
I used more cinnamon that I find is called for in similar recipes. I like to taste my spices.
But there’s no nutmeg. I know people often put it in pumpkin recipes, but I do NOT eat nutmeg. It’s too strong and, at least for me, it distracts from the other flavors. I find that cinnamon is a wonderful compliment for pumpkin, but if you really, really love nutmeg, then you can toss in a smidgen. If you must. But it’s unnecessary. (Don’t do it.)
Plus, you can use vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil handy, but the coconut oil adds so much flavor that it’s worth the effort to pick some up if you don’t already have it on hand. Like I said, it’s the turning point for intense flavor and moisture.
Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste and aroma, so that’s the best to use.
And you do lose some health benefits by melting the oil (which is solid at room temperature) in the microwave, but when I’m baking while heating something for dinner after working a full day… I take shortcuts. Didn’t feel like washing a saucepan.
Just make sure if you melt the oil in the microwave, that you do it on 50% and for no longer than necessary. About 30 seconds at a time.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a fork or whisk until the colors are completely combined and the cinnamon is evenly distributed.
Mix together the sugars and wet ingredients.
I just used a fork. (Shortcuts means not pulling out the mixer.)
This time, I actually blended the sugars and pumpkin first, then added the oil and eggs, but you could throw all of it together at the same time, too.
As long as it’s all well blended.
Then you’ll gradually add in the flour mixture. Do not overmix it, though. It should be smooth, but if you beat it too much the muffins may be tough.
Here are the filling ingredients.
Again: just mixed it with a fork.
I had considered layering the pumpkin mix, then cream cheese mix, and then more pumpkin, but I’m glad I decided against it. This method was easier and, as long as you swirl it, the cream cheese mixture still makes it into the center of the muffin.
Fill the mini cupcake liners about 3/4 full with pumpkin batter, then dollop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mix on top.
Next, you’ll swirl a toothpick through the muffins, which will drag the cheesecake portion over the top and mix it into the center, too.
Don’t over do it. You’ll want some large chunks of cheesecake, so don’t swirl it to the point of thinning it out so much you can barely see the cream cheese any more.
Doesn’t that look AMAZING???
And they taste even better.
You can eat them right out of the oven, but I prefer them at room temperature. They should be stored in the refrigerator, because of the cream cheese, but can be left our for a while without spoiling. (I ate a few of the ones I’d brought into work and left out in the break room all afternoon, before putting them back in the fridge at the end of the day. They were fine.)
I suggest serving them at room temperature, but they’re also good cold right out of the fridge.
I haven’t tried freezing them. They were gone in a few days! ;)
Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Prepare mini muffin pans with 5 dozen mini cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt with a whisk or fork. In a large bowl, use a mixer or a fork to cream together pumpkin, granulated and brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Gradually incorporate the flour into the pumpkin mixture until batter is smooth. Do not overmix.
Make the cheesecake filling by creaming together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with pumpkin batter. Top each with approximately a teaspoon of cheesecake filling. Combine by gently swirling a toothpick through the batter.
Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let sit in pan for two minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Store covered in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
[Note: I use virgin coconut oil because it has wonderful taste and aroma of coconut that compliments the muffins, but you can substitute vegetable oil if you need to.]
Here is the free printable PDF: