Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins

star rating (37) rate this recipe »
whole grain, quick-n-easy
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 to 16 muffins

Recipe photo

Instead of being iced, these nicely spicy pumpkin muffins have a sweetened cream cheese center that bakes right along with the muffin. Moist, delicious — and attractive! — they're a lovely harvest-time (AND year-round) treat.

Inside-Out Pumpkin Muffins

star rating (37) rate this recipe »
whole grain, quick-n-easy
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 12 to 16 muffins
Published: 08/22/2013



  • 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), or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice; or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves + 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour


  • 8-ounce package cream cheese; low-fat is fine
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • a few drops Fiori di Sicilia flavor, optional

Tips from our bakers

  • We love filling these muffins with our Cider-Cinnamon Spread. Half the recipe is enough to fill 12 muffins, but go ahead, make the entire recipe; it's delicious spread on toast and bagels.
  • Boiled cider isn't something you can easily make yourself, simply by boiling cider. But it's so wonderful, in so many different fruit desserts (especially ones with apples), it's worth it to keep a bottle on hand. It'll last for months in the fridge.
  • To make streusel-topped muffins: Combine 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed), 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Work in 4 tablespoons butter, mixing until a coarse streusel forms. Scatter the streusel over the unbaked muffins, and bake according to instructions.


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1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers, and grease the papers. Or lightly grease a maple leaf pan.

2) To make the batter: Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, boiled cider or corn syrup, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

3) Add the flour and mix until well combined.

4) To make the filling: Place the cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds. Stir in the sugar and flavor.

5) Drop about 2 tablespoons of the batter (a tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) 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.

6) If you're using maple leaf molds, drop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each of the 6 molds. Add a scant tablespoon of filling, and spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter on top. The recipe will make 16 maple leaves, so you'll need to bake in batches.

7) Bake the standard muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out crumb-free. Bake the leaf muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, testing them the same way.

8) Remove the muffins from the oven. After 5 minutes, gently loosen the edges of the leaf muffins, and turn the pan over onto a cooling rack; the muffins should drop out. For regular muffins, simply transfer them to a rack to cool.

Yield: 12 regular muffins, or 16 leaf muffins.


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  • star rating 11/16/2014
  • Pat C. from Chicora PA
  • Made these this morning for our between-services coffee klatch for us music folks at church. Got everything ready to go last night including filling & Mixed, assembled & baked this morning. Followed recipe exactly including a light spray of Pam on paper liners. Used KA Boiled cider. Used KA white whole wheat. Took 18 min total to bake through. Used reg. 12 cup muffin pan. Turned out perfectly. Many compliments received. I highly reccomend the boiled cider. It really adds to the flavor making these a cut above the usual recipes. I extra cream cheese will definitely get used on bagels here! Maybe even as a dip with some apple slices. Thanks for another keeper recipe!
  • star rating 11/11/2014
  • roultm from KAF Community
  • After making 12 muffins, I ended up with enough left-over batter for 8 mini-muffins (no filling). I put 2 Tbsp batter on the bottom of each muffin cup, but adding 1 heaping Tbsp of filling left room for only about 1 Tbsp of batter on top. The batter was a a bit runny, even though I used KAF whole-wheat flour. The muffins sank in the middle, though they were done enough. The U filled mini-muffins were nothing to write home about; it's the filling that makes these so good.

    I'm sorry to hear these were a bit of a disappointment for you. I am not entirely sure what happened just based on the information here, but please feel free to contact our Baker's Hotline at 1-855-371-2253 and we'd be happy to further trouble shoot this recipe with you at that time. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 10/26/2014
  • sherry from VA
  • The taste of the finished muffins is amazing! I gave it 4 stars because the recipe needed adjustment. Two tablespoons (T) of the pumpkin mixture is TOO MUCH! It would be better to add 1 1/2 T before and after the addition of the cream cheese mixture. Using 2 T overfills the muffin cups and there is not enough pumpkin mixture for all 12 muffins.
  • star rating 10/20/2014
  • Yvette from Old Saybrook, CT
  • WOW WOW WOW love these! Made 16 muffins, exactly what I expected. Moist, flavorful and then that special, smooth cream cheese made interesting with the fiori di sicilia. These would be perfect for Thanksgiving Morning or really, ANY morning! Fabulous!
  • star rating 10/17/2014
  • Jan from Poconos
  • Actually boiled cider IS easy to make, just time consuming: Bring 1 gallon cider to a rolling boil and then turn down to a good simmer so that it continues to evaporate. Simmer about 5 hours or until syrupy. May reduce down to 1 quart.
  • star rating 09/28/2014
  • Lois from Biloxi, Mississippi
  • Love this recipe! Great flavor!
  • star rating 11/27/2013
  • Azorean from CA
  • I have made this recipe 3 times, and all three times I was very disappointed. There is too much liquid ingredients to the proportion of flour. The end result never came out fluffy as pictured. The flavor was similar to a dense gingerbread....sorry
    I am sorry this recipe didn?t work for you. Please call us at the Hotline (855 371 2253) so that we can troubleshoot together. ~Jaydl@KAF
  • star rating 11/12/2013
  • Kirsten from NH
  • I was so excited to make these and I must have made a mistake along the way because these did not turn out well ... still edible, but not how I wanted. I doubled the recipe to make a big batch and I'm sure I double checked everything, but maybe this was where my mistake was made. The batter was complete soup! I added some flour to try to fix it, but the first batch didn't turn out great. The muffin part was really thin and some of the cream cheese started to bubble out. (I even made sure to put the dollop in the middle and cover it well). So I added more flour before filling the next tin. These turned out a bit better, but still really thin. I kept doing this for every new set of muffins until I ran out of batter. In the end I added probably another cup of flour. The last batch seem to be more sturdy (but also more dense, obviously), but I still had issues with filling coming out a little. Definitely not fluffy like a muffin should be. I'll give this recipe another try and maybe only make a single batch.
    I am sorry these did not come out well. Doubling the recipe should not have caused any changes in the outcome. If you used the white whole wheat flour, the batter will be a little thicker. Please call our toll free Baker's Hotline for further assistance, 1-855-371-BAKE. Elisabeth
  • star rating 11/07/2013
  • J-P from KAF Community
  • These muffins are delicious. I used Flori di Sicilia in the filling and it makes the recipe! I used corn syrup as I didn't have boiled cider. I noticed one reviewer thought the measurements might be off. I also had that experience. I have what I think are regular size muffin/cupcake pans, and there was no way I could fit 2 tablespoonfuls of batter for the bottom and the top of the muffins and also one tablespoonful of filling. They would have overflowed and I would have run out of batter. And I did measure it! I used a heaping tbsp of batter on bottom and top and a heaping tsp of filling. This is the second time I am making these and the measurements turned out the same this time. Thanks for a great recipe KAF. Love your website.
  • star rating 11/04/2013
  • Suzanne from Nevada City, CA
  • I make these this afternoon and they are excellent. I used boiled cider and topped with suggested streusel topping. They make an great dessert.
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