Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pumpkin dinner: Pumpkin muffins

We've had such intense seasons over the past year: the coldest, snowiest winter in ages, followed immediately by weeks of blisteringly hot, humid summer, and now, all of a sudden, it's over: the leaves are changing, the furnace is running, and the squashes are overwhelming the CSA box. (Actually, although the furnace was running when I first wrote this, today we are experiencing record high temperatures, perfect weather for ice cream. Our weather is so bizarre!)

Happily, right after we got our first pumpkins in our CSA box, I got an invite from Phyl to participate in a virtual pumpkin dinner. There wasn't a lot of debate about what to make; the second my kids saw the pumpkins, they both yelled, "Pumpkin muffins!!!"

We have a favorite family recipe, based on a recipe that one of hubby's oldest friends gave us when we got married. This is the first time I've used fresh pumpkin, though.

I took two pumpkin-like squashes (our CSA grows many heirloom varieties, so I'm not always exactly sure which kinds we've gotten), cut them in half, and roasted them on a foil-covered pan in a 350º oven for about an hour. The skins slid off easily after roasting. Then I processed them in my food processor until they were smooth. I had a cup of puree to use for our muffins, plus another three cups to freeze for future pumpkin adventures.

The next morning, the kids and I got to work!

Julie's pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting
made 6 regular muffins + 20 mini-muffins

 for the muffins
2 c (260 g) all-purpose flour
1 c (220 g) packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp (10 g) baking powder
1 tsp (3 g) ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 c (200 g) pumpkin puree
1/2 c (125 g) milk
2 eggs
1/3 c (75 g) unsalted butter, softened

for the frosting (adapted from ATK's Family Cookbook)
2 1/2 oz (30 g) unsalted butter, softened
4 oz (110 g) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tbsp (8 g) sour cream
1/2 tsp (4 g) vanilla extract
5/8 c (80 g) confectioner's sugar

for the muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Whisk 1 c (130 g) of the flour with the brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, and butter. Beat on low until blended.
4. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
5. Add the other 1 c (130 g) of flour and mix on low until blended.
6. Spoon into greased (or papered!) muffin cups.
7. Bake regular muffins for 25 minutes, mini muffins for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
8. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then move muffins to a cooling rack.

for the frosting
1. Process the butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and vanilla in a food processor until combined, about 30 seconds.
2. Add the confectioner's sugar and process until smooth, about 10 more seconds.

Check here for the complete pumpkin dinner round-up. I have been on a pumpkin roll (pun intended) lately: pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin knotted dinner rolls, pumpkin seafood curry. And with six more small CSA pumpkins waiting, there will be more to come! :)


  1. Those are adorable...the muffins look good, too. Seriously cute pics of Vi and Augie, love the one also of Vi standing guard at the mixer, so cute...she will be your little helper in the kitchen! Anything with cream cheese/sour cream has my vote, maybe I can get into all this pumpkin business after all. Kudos to you for making your own pumpkin pulp.

  2. I love the minis--so cute! We really like pumpkin muffins here, too, though I'm sure when I try these the girls will insist that I add chocolate chips. =)

  3. Your muffins looks so moist and I love the pairing of the cream cheese frosting. I'm also impressed that you made your own puree. I have a lot of leftover pumpkin puree myself (the canned variety though), and I may have to try these muffins. (I already made the pumpkin dinner rolls rolls you posted earlier - and the whole family loved them!!) Eventually they'll make an appearance on the blog. : )

  4. Definitely going to try these. They look so scrumptious in your pictures!! They have all my favorite fall baking spices in them (except allspice). I'll bet hubby won't even be able to tell there is cream cheese in the frosting.

    Must be nice having little kitchen helpers! Looks like they had loads of fun!!