Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pumpkin Pancake Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Swirl

I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but I feel like Autumn and its holidays have been getting edged out more and more by Christmas with each passing year - and I don't like it one bit.

Don't get me wrong - I enjoy "the holiday season" as much as anyone else.  Christmas is fun times.  But can we agree to get through Thanksgiving first before we're subjected to Christmas carols in stores that have their halls decked with boughs of holly?

Worst of all, I walked into Dunkin' Donuts this week and noticed that their seasonal flavor Pumpkin has already been replaced by GINGERBREAD!

Well let me tell you something. Vittles and Bits is not done with pumpkin yet, so if you're looking for Christmas cookies in mid-November, I suggest you look elsewhere! 


Alright, good, you're still here.  Well now that we've gotten that out of the way, I must say I keep on hearing about Pancake Muffins and have been very intrigued.  I wasn't able to find any recipes that looked overly inspiring, though, so I decided to come up with my own.

Much like my guest-blogger Natalie Vittles (and her Homemade Granola), I don't like breakfast items that are overly sweet.  Treats like Coffeecake Muffins are nice for a special occasion, but as much as I enjoy my desserts, I don't need to eat them at 7AM.

So I'll warn you that these are pretty low-key when it comes to the sugar (much like real pancakes are - usually it's only when you drown them in gallons of maple syrup that they become so sweet).

If you do like sweets, though, you can feel free to treat this like a real pancake.  Pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and pour some maple syrup over the top!  Instant pancake before work without all the effort :)

Pumpkin Pancake Muffins with Maple Cream Cheese Swirl
  • 1 3/4 C. flour (can use a combo of whole wheat & all purpose if you'd like)
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cloves
  • 1/8 t. nutmeg
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup (sorry Aunt Jemima, you're not welcome in this recipe!)
  • 1/4 C. plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 C. canola oil
  • 1 egg + 1 yolk
  • 3/4 C. pumpkin
  • 1/2 C. buttermilk
  • 2 oz. cream cheese (I used neufchatel), softened
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Prepare muffin tin with 12 liners or nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine 3 filling ingredients until well blended. Set aside.

Make muffin batter: mix dry ingredients, flour through nutmeg, in large bowl.  In separate bowl, whisk sugar with remaining wet ingredients (maple syrup through buttermilk) until combined.  Make a well in flour mixture and pour in wet ingredients.  Mix only until dry ingredients become moistened - do not overmix.

Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup, then using 2 hands on either side of the tin, bang bottom of pan on counter to spread batter evenly.  Place about 1/2 t. of cream cheese filling in each cup, and top with remaining muffin batter (about 1 heaping tablespoon more into each cup).

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool on rack.

Original Recipe

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