Meatless Monday Challenge

Festive Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

on September 4, 2020
last updated May 14, 2024
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Fall has arrived with these fluffy and moist Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting. If you love pumpkin spice, you will LOVE these muffins.
close up of two pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other

What better way to celebrate the arrival of Fall than Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting? These moist muffins are already out of this world, but when you add a heaping pile of creamy spiced goodness, you truly get the perfect bite.

In south Georgia, Fall is a fleeting (if even existent at all) season.

So those of us that live in the south rely heavily on pumpkin spice and the acceptance of boots with shorts as a fashion statement to make us feel like we are experiencing Fall with the rest of the country.

Green tip: Eating seasonally is one of the best (and most delicious) ways to support local and decrease your carbon footprint. Local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions. Simply put, eating seasonally = less environmental impact.

And eating these Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is like sinking your teeth into Fall’s finest flavors.

pumpkin muffins with spiced cream cheese frosting garnished with star anise

Pumpkin Muffins Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • Brown Sugar
  • Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Baking Soda
  • Vanilla Extract
pumpkin puree, flour, eggs, vanilla extract, butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, milk

Pumpkin Muffins Tips and Tricks


You’ll Need A Hand Mixer

A hand mixer is the best tool to cream the sugar and butter together for the base of your muffins. It’s also the easiest way to combine the rest of the ingredients.

I use this Cuisinart Hand Mixer for almost all of my baking and love it! Aside from your hand mixer, here’s what else you’ll need:

You can substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spices in this recipe for convenience. Use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in the muffins and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice in the frosting in lieu of the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all-spice.

The Secret is in the Softening

The butter you use should be unsalted, so you can control the amount of salt you are adding to your Pumpkin Muffins. You will also want to make sure your butter is nice and soft.

If you take it out of the fridge before you get started, and set it near your oven while it’s preheating, that should be plenty of time for it to soften. If you forget to take it out—don’t worry! Just microwave it in 15-second intervals until you get the right consistency.

Remember, we are striving for softened, not melted. You’ll know your butter is softened when your finger leaves an imprint when you poke it.

Green tip: Look for organic and palm oil-free butter if you can. Buying organic means you are supporting farms that do not use damaging pesticides and fertilizers, and palm oil production is a huge driver behind deforestation.

Cream The Butter and Sugar and Pumpkin First

Creaming your fat (in this case butter) and the sugar together doesn’t just combine these ingredients together, it actually aerates them.

Adding these air pockets is a super-effective way to get a lighter, fluffier muffin. Add the pumpkin puree, butter, and both sugars to a large mixing bowl first and use a hand mixer to aerate.

creaming sugar and pumpkin puree and butter

Add The Eggs and Vanilla Next

Arguably the best part of this muffin recipe is it only requires one bowl. Less cleanup is always music to my ears!

Green tip: Speaking of cleanup, if you have a dishwasher-use it! Comparing dishwashing to handwashing, using an efficient dishwasher uses 1/6th the amount of water to get your dishes clean!

But one bowl means mixing all the ingredients can be a little bit more difficult. So, there’s a particular order in which things should be added to ensure everything is well combined.

After creaming your butter, sugars, and pumpkin puree, add your eggs and vanilla extract. Use your hand mixer to integrate.

adding vanilla extract to pumpkin muffin batter

Dry Ingredients Come Next

Next comes your dry ingredients. Add the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.

Use your hand mixer to combine, ensuring that no clumps of flour or baking soda are left behind, and that the spices are evenly distributed.

adding flower to pumpkin based batter

Add You Milk Last

And finally, add your milk. It’s easiest to add it 1/4 cup at a time, mixing in between. Or, you can simply add it while your hand mixer is on low.

To make sure it is completely integrated, use a spatula to push the batter down from the sides of the bowl and mix again.

adding milk to pumpkin muffin batter

Don’t Forget to Line or Grease

The last thing you want is to make this tempting batter, pour them into the tin, smell their deliciousness wafting from the oven, wait anxiously for them to cool and then NOT be able to remove them!

Always grease your muffin tin completely with butter, oil, or nonstick spray. You could also opt for muffin tin liners!

Green tip: To reduce your waste, consider a reusable oil sprayer! You can refill it over and over with your oil of choice instead of buying spray oil in single-use aerosol containers.

Fill Your Muffin Tin

These muffins do rise, so you fill them about 3/4 of the way, leaving space for the fluffy muffin top.

adding pumpkin batter to muffin tins

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting Tips and Tricks


Mix Your Cream Cheese, Butter, and Vanilla Extract First

Once again, you’ll have the best success if your butter and cream cheese are softened.

Add them to a mixing bowl with the vanilla extract and whip until smooth. Then, you can add your spices and mix until evenly distributed.

Add The Sugar Slowly

Start with 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix it into your spiced cream cheese/butter mixture.

Then, continue to add, with the hand mixer on low until you get your desired consistency. I find mine is perfect after 2 full cups, but it may be a little more or a little less depending mostly on the temperature of your kitchen.

adding powdered sugar to cream cheese frosting

Melt Hearts, Not Frosting

The hardest part of baking these bad boys is waiting to frost them once they come out of the oven.

I’ll admit it, nine times out of ten I’ll eat one warm before I get the chance to frost it. But, after your ONE, let the rest cool completely before frosting.

Because while a muffin swimming in a pool of melted cream cheese frosting will probably still taste good, our goal is to get a little pile of deliciousness on top.

Use a Piping Bag

The easiest way to add your spiced cream cheese frosting is with a piping bag. Once you’ve made your frosting, add it to a piping bag and store it in the refrigerator until your muffins are completely cooled.

Slowly squeeze the frosting out of the piping bag as you move in a circular motion around the top of the muffin.

Green tip: Reduce your plastic waste by using these Reusable Piping Bags!

If you don’t have piping bags, you can easily use a storage bag. Just seal it and use scissors to cut the very tip of one corner off. Voila! Makeshift piping bag!

piping spiced cream cheese frosting onto pumpkin muffins

Storing Your Pumpkin Muffins

In an airtight container, these babies will last about 3 days at room temperature or a week in the fridge.

It’s best not to freeze these frosted, but if you opted to leave off the spiced cream cheese frosting, you can! Store just the muffins in an airtight container in the freezer for about 3 months.

Just thaw before enjoying!

two pumpkin muffins stacked on top of eachother with the top oine having cream cheese frosting

Why You Should Make These Pumpkin Muffins


  • They’re festive. The smell, look, and taste of Fall all in muffin form.
  • They’re moist. the texture is beyond soft and moist!
  • That frosting! The perfect spice blend only enhances the deliciousness of the cream cheese frosting.

If you’re loving these pumpkin muffins and want more delicious pumpkin recipes, check out this Crispy Pan-Fried Pumpkin French Toast and this Pasta with Pumpkin Sauce.

close up of two pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting stacked on top of each other

Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 2 votes
Marley Goldin
Print Save Rate
Fall has arrived with these fluffy and moist Pumpkin Muffins with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting. If you love pumpkin spice, you will LOVE these muffins.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 18 muffins

Ingredients
  

Pumpkin Muffins

  • 15 ounces pure pumpkin puree, canned
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • ¾ cup milk

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounce block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

Pumpkin Muffins

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F and line or spray your muffin tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together pumpkin puree, butter, and sugars until well combined.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until just integrated.
  • Add flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice, and mix until the batter is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Add milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, mixing in between, until well combined.
  • Fill each cup in your muffin tin about 3/4 of the way with the batter, leaving just a little bit of room to rise.
  • Bake 17-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a large mixing bowl, use a hand mixer to beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
  • Add the cloves, cinnamon, and all-spice, and mix until they are evenly distributed.
  • Add 1 cup of the powdered sugar and beat until fully integrated. Then, continue to add powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time, continuously mixing until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Wait until muffins are completely cooled to use a piping bag or spatula to generously frost each muffin. Enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Make sure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature. If you don’t have time to wait, you can microwave them in 15 second-intervals until just softened- not melted!
  • Need more muffins to fill your basket? Check out the selection of my best muffin recipes for every type of diet and occasion!
  • And if you’re craving more pumpkin, you gotta carve your way across to my Favorite Pumpkin Recipes!

Share This Recipe

Course Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine American
Diet Vegetarian
Keyword Cream Cheese Frosting, Fall, Pumpkin Muffins, Thanksgiving Desserts
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