Things You’ll Need:
- 2 C white flour
- 1 C wheat flour
- 1 tsp EACH of cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves
- 1 pinch cardamom
- 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp EACH salt and baking soda
- 4 eggs (or use egg beaters for even lighter muffins)
- 2 C sugar
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin (NOT pie filling)
- 3/4 C veg. oil
- 1/2 C apple sauce
- 1/2 C ground flax seed (optional)
- 8 oz Neufchatel cheese or light cream cheese (NOT the kind in a tub)
- chopped pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans (or combination)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Remove cream cheeses from package. Place on on a piece of wax paper or parchment and roll it into a long “log”. Place the “log” in the freezer so it will be more firm when you need it later. Don’t leave it in the freezer for more than an hour.
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl (except nuts).
Mix all wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
Place the wet ingredients in the bowl with the dry and mix until all dry ingredients are incorporated. A large, flexible, rubber spatula does the job nicely.
Spray muffin tin with cooking spray or use paper inserts. Fill each muffin cup about 1/2 way (do not overfill). These muffins rise quite a bit.
Slice the cream cheese “log” into 1/2 inch slices (to equal about 1-2 tablespoons of cream cheese). Place one slice on top of the batter in each muffin cup and push it down into the batter.
Sprinkle chopped pumpkin seeds or nuts on top. I used my Pampered Chef food chopper to chop the pumpkin seeds.
Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. This recipe makes 24 muffins.
- Allow to cool a little before serving.
- The amount of oil can be further reduced by adding more applesauce and/or ground flax seed instead of oil and by using eggbeaters instead of eggs
- These muffins are also delicious without the cream cheese. Add the nuts/seeds directly to the batter or sprinkle on top.
- If you don’t have ground flax seed, its ok. Flax seed is an oil substitute, so you might want to add a little more applesauce or oil to replace it.
- You can also make this without the applesauce. See my FULL FAT version.