When I posted the recipe for gluten-free pumpkin pancakes, my friend, Stacy, made a comment about muffins. Mmmmm, muffins! My mind traveled back to a snowy morning in Boston, when as a graduate student, I rarely had enough money to eat much of anything. On payday, I would sometimes find my way into a bakery that sold cream cheese filled muffins. I needed no more inspiration. I went to the grocery store at almost midnight so I could get an early start on muffin making in the morning.
These muffins have a wonderful texture, and a bit of a secret mixed in the cream (well, it won’t be anymore.) They don’t crumble or taste like some gluten-free processed food. I am so happy that I no longer have to plan a trip across the country to get a muffin like I remember enjoying so much.
2 yellow bananas
1 cup solid pack pumpkin or fresh pumpkin puree
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp. cinnamom
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
1 container whipped cream cheese
1/4 cup organic turbinado sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond oil extract
1 tsp. orange essence or orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 12-muffin tin in your favorite manner. ( I am old school, so I don’t bake in the plastic muffin pans. If you do, go for it!)
2. Place the eggs, bananas, bread mix and pumpkin in a mixing bowl and mix with an electric mixer starting on a medium speed and gradually increasing until the batter is smooth.
3. Add the remaining muffin batter ingredients and combine thoroughly with the blender or by hand. Add the walnut pieces last and combine by hand.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, almond oil and orange essence or liqueur until well mixed.
5. Spoon enough pumpkin batter in each muffin cup to cover the bottom.
6. Next, spoon a dollop of cream cheese on top of that. If you want the cream cheese to be a surprise, make your dollop small and centered. If you want a marble effect, spread the cream cheese across the entire surface.
7. Spoon more pumpkin batter over the cream cheese until it is covered. The muffin cups will be full, and that is fine.
8. Place the muffin pan in the top rack of the oven for 20 minutes. When the muffins are done, a toothpick or knife tip should come out of the pumpkin part (not the cream cheese) clean.
9. Let cool entirely to get the full effect of the flavors coming together brilliantly. Enjoy!
Note: You may omit the cream cheese to make a solid muffin if you wish.