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Pumpkin Muffins with Nutella Cream Cheese Swirl

Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 muffins


  • For the muffins:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg I used freshly ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pureed pumpkin not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • For the topping:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese I used Neufchatel
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons Nutella


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar until combined, then whisk in pumpkin, evaporated milk and vegetable oil.
  4. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined and flour has been fully incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix or you will risk tough muffins.
  5. Scoop batter evenly into the muffin cups. I used a heaping ¼ cup scoop and filled all the cups almost to the top. You should still see some of the paper along the edges as you will need to leave room for the topping to be added.
  6. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to combine cream cheese and sugar. You may want to stir the cream cheese and sugar together a bit with a spoon before using the mixer so that you don’t end up with sugar flying out of the bowl. Or, save some dishes and just mix it with a spoon. Either way, mix until the sugar is completely dissolved into the cream cheese and the mixture is soft and creamy.
  7. Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop a heaping spoonful of the cream cheese mixture onto one side of each muffin. You may have a bit of cream cheese mixture left over. (Leftovers are great on fruit!)
  8. Using a clean measuring teaspoon, scoop heaping spoonfuls of Nutella onto the other side of each muffin. (I gave a full measurement for this, but only to make sure you have enough in your jar of Nutella. I scraped directly from the jar.)
  9. Now, using a toothpick, a skewer or the point of a sharp knife, place the tip into one of the toppings and drag it in a circular motion running the tip through the chocolate and cream cheese until swirled to your liking.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 5 minutes on the middle rack. After 5 minutes, keeping oven door closed, adjust temperature down to 375 degrees F. and bake for an additional 10-13 minutes. Muffins should be nicely domed, the cream cheese getting just the faintest bit of golden edges and a toothpick stuck in the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs.

Recipe Notes

*Short cut solution: replace spices (cinnamon through cloves) with 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

*Do not overbake. Many good recipes are thrown out for being too dry when they were simply overbaked. It only takes 2-3 minutes to go from perfection to not so great. Check your muffins at the shortest bake time, or even before, if you know your oven runs hot.

*Due to the cream cheese topping, muffins should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Then, warm the muffins for 10 seconds in the microwave to take off the chill from the refrigerator before eating. Still delicious; in fact, I thought the muffins were even better on day 2.

Recipe from The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2014