One of my favourite pies is a moist and flavourful pumpkin pie. I loved it as a kid and I love it as an adult. In the fall, closer to Thanksgiving (in Canada!) and Halloween you can easily find the 2 for $5 pies at Safeway or any local grocery store. As a child I loved those… as an adult, not so much. The crusts are moderately better than cardboard and the flavour of filling is, ok. A few years ago for Thanksgiving I found a recipe from somewhere on the internet that was a combination of pumpkin, maple syrup and cayenne pepper (yes, really). I’m not here for Thanksgiving this year, but that won’t stop me from enjoying the bounty of pumpkin season…even if it has to come from a can (shhh… don’t tell).

I wanted a pumpkin muffin that was rich and moist, and felt like a treat to eat. Stuffed with an gooey cream cheese filling, and topped with pumpkin seeds (which I didn’t have so substituted walnuts instead) and a little brown sugar. As these baked the apartment smelled wonderful. Settle in with a cup of tea, wrapped in a blanket on the patio on a cool afternoon, and it is a lovely way to take a time out from the busyness of life.

Muffin Ingredients
4 eggs
1 cup oil
1 x 14 oz can pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking soda

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter
(you could easily half this and have less cream cheese filling in the muffin, that would be Pete’s preference, I like the ooey gooey cream cheese filling)

Topping Ingredients
Small handful of chopped walnuts are pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp brown sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a muffin pan and line with muffin liners (I like to grease the pan even though I use the liners so the muffin tops don’t get stuck to the pan)
  3. Combine filling ingredients until smooth, set aside.
  4. Combine eggs, oil, and pumpkin until smooth.
  5. Stir together dry ingredients and add to the wet.
  6. Fill muffin tin 3/4 of the way with batter.
  7. With two spoons, use one to create a well in each muffin and the other to drop in about a teaspoon of the cream cheese filling.
  8. Top with pumpkin seeds or walnuts and a little touch of brown sugar.
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes. Test the doneness by inserting a toothpick or skewer into the muffin part of the muffin (not the cream cheese part).
  10. Allow to set for about 15-20 minutes, this allows the cream cheese filling to settle a little more so that the muffins don’t tear apart.

Makes 18 good sized muffins.