Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ellie Krieger's Pumpkin Pie Muffins (slightly adapted) with Spiced Maple-Honey Cream Cheese

If you're like me and you've been drooling over everyone's pumpkin-inspired delicacies, but trying to behave yourself, you will LOVE this recipe. It's like a no-guilt pumpkin fix that you can feel good about. Unless, of course, you can't stop eating them....there's always that possibility.

Ellie's muffin recipe uses buttermilk, which is responsible for making the muffins perfectly moist and tender. An even mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat combine to create a perfectly light muffin, not dense whatsoever. I made a few changes to the spices, added some maple extract, and topped my muffins with a sprinkle of raw cane sugar for a sweet finish. To go along with the muffins I made a Spiced Maple-Honey Cream Cheese spread which makes these feel a little sinful, even though they're really not.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins
Adapted from Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave
Ellie says "These scrumptious muffins are brimming with fragrant pumpkin pie spices that will fill your kitchen with their aroma as they bake and heighten your anticipation of that first warm bite."

Cooking spray/muffin liners
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-grain pastry flour or whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
NOTE: I replaced the ginger, cloves & nutmeg with 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
NOTE: I also added about 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted raw pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. (I just used muffin liners).

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl. whisk together the sugar, molasses, oil, and one of the eggs until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla (also maple extract, if using). Stir in the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the buttermilk, just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each about 2/3rds full, and sprinkle the tops with the pumpkin seeds (I also sprinkled with raw cane sugar at this point). Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Enjoy warm or let cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Spiced Maple-Honey Cream Cheese
Just something I mixed up to help satisfy my pumpkin & cream cheese craving.
4 ozs. softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste

Mix together with a spoon. Can be used on all sorts of fun things: muffins, toast, biscuits, graham crackers, and even freshly sliced apples and pears.

Notes/Results: These muffins were everything I hoped they would be. The perfect, and much healthier option, to overindulging in pumpkin roll, pumpkin cupcakes, or a pumpkin pie blizzard. Ellie notes in the recipe that the muffins freeze well, which is great news for me since no one else in my house likes pumpkin. (Yes, everyone in my house is crazy!)These muffins are deliciously moist and tender, with a slight crunch on top from the pumpkin seeds. They are delicious all on their own, but do benefit from a light spread of cream cheese (flavored or even unflavored).

Nutritional Facts
Serves 12
Serving Size: 1 Muffin
Calories: 205
Total Fat: 7g
Protein: 5g
Carb: 32g
Fiber 2g
Chol: 36mg
Sodium: 239mg

I am submitting this to my sweet friend Roz over at La Bella Vita for her Seasonal Saturday event.


  1. I think it's been established I love Ellie Krieger. Her stuff is awesome. Your family is nutty not to like pumpkin. More for you!

  2. The cream cheese sounds just as divine as the muffin. Great recipe.

  3. I love Ellie Krieger's recipes! Those muffins look delicious. No one in my house likes pumpkin besides me either!

  4. Well, you know I am just mad about muffins. These are a must make, especially with the spiced maple honey cream cheese. Yum! I also adore your muffin cups! I want some! :)

  5. I love the idea of the maple spiced cream cheese to go on these delish looking muffins!!!

  6. Another great recipe from Ellie! She's amazing. These sound delicious and I would deinitely have mine with some of your maple-honey cream cheese!

  7. You sold me. I have everything but the pumpkin seeds...

  8. I'm going to have to try these, they look delicious.

    I love the cream cheese idea, and reckon it would be great with extra low fat cream cheese (then I could have double helpings!!)

  9. Before I read your notes on serving suggestions, I was thinking spiced maple honey cream cheese would be good on a bagel. Or toast. Or anything, really! The seeds on top are just too cute.

  10. I am a huge fan of her recipes. I am sad that they no longer have her show on the food network, they are all old recipes. This sounds really good. I like the cream cheese spread that you made to go along with it.

  11. This is apparently just the recipe I never knew that I always wanted. I swear I've dreamt about this before. A not-bad-for-you pumpkin muffin. Yup it's right up there with world peace. Good stuff.

  12. Oh wow....these look so good! I love all those warm fall-ish spices

  13. The sound of that cream cheese is making me drool just a little bit LOL.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  14. Kim, these muffins sound awesome and so much better for you! I bet my family would love them for breakfast. I'm bookmarking them, to make this weekend. That cream cheese sounds incredible too! Thanks for sharing! :o)

  15. I love that these use whole wheat flour! Then I know they have some nutritional value - and I can eat two! The cream cheese makes them extra special.

  16. Kim, I just love Ellie . . . she just seems so kind and sweet and caring! Mmmm, these muffins are making me so hungry right now and I just ate lunch! LOL! I also wanted to write and say thank you for sharing your Trick or Treat Turnovers last week. How darling! I featured them as one of the best seasonal and fresh recipes from last week cuz I thought they had so much love and care put in them as a mommy, plus yummy too! Thanks for sharing these muffins too! Wow, you are so ahead of the game, girl! Roz

  17. I haven't ever made any Ellie Krieger recipes yet - but you've just given me a good place to start - these look wonderful and I think I could eat at least half a dozen of these before I started to feel guilty :-)

  18. Oooh. The Food You Crave is currently being shipped to me. So glad I saw this post. I know where I'm flipping as soon as it arrives.

    I've started a new food blogging group that celebrates the printed cookbook. I'd love it if you joined us.

  19. Your frosting sounds perfect for this delicious muffin. I bet the aroma was amazing!

  20. These look great, Kim. I made some last year and they were so tasteless, I threw them out. Your recipe sounds so much the cardamom addition...and that frosting invention? YUM!

  21. ...or you could just send some my way ;) Love things that taste sinful that aren't actually sinful...and these sound amazing!

  22. Amazing photo...they look perfect! A lot better than my flopped raspberry muffins I made today!

  23. These muffins look so moist and delicious--love the pumpkin seeds on top, and that maple-honey spread sounds just fabulous.

  24. You can never have enough pumpkin goodies this time of year, and bonus if they're healthy! Love how you made the spread to go with these, I bet they were outstanding.

  25. Where did you get those cupcake pans? I love the way that they are individual baking cups whilst being attached.


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