Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin muffins 1 Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins

I’ve made these three times since my sister brought them for an October birthday brunch (a morning on which we could all get together to collectively celebrate 4 birthdays within a week) – sometimes stuffed with cream cheese, sometimes not. They’re delicious either way – dark and moist and mildly spiced – and fast to stir together, even at 4:20 as it was on one morning when I was on early traffic duty on CBC – this batter takes no time to whisk together and divvy into muffin cups before you hop in the shower. Your coworkers will thank you for it.

I’m working out of a cushy office with a mountain view this week – out in Jasper for the 24th annual Christmas in November festivities; the first weekend group had left on Sunday, round two arrived yesterday afternoon. My sleep-in was foiled by the time change, but having irreparably woken up at 6:42 am, I got to work in bed for the morning, and then treated myself to a visit to the spa for the best facial I’ve ever had (not that I’ve had many) – it was part excavation, part exorcism.

And – news! When I got back to my room, after lounging in the spa in a big plush robe with a stack of holiday food magazines (bliss!) and then sneaking up to the lobby in my sunglasses and greasy post-facial hair for a hot chocolate with whipped cream (!) and shaved dark chocolate (!) I came back to the room to follow the Taste Canada Food Writing Awards gala in Toronto-an event I had missed to be here in Jasper. Spilling the Beans was a finalist for best single-subject cookbook in English in Canada, and it won. Just wow. Chef Michael Smith’s book, Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen (Penguin) won in the general cookbook category, Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean (Doubleday) for culinary narrative and Made in Italy, by David Rocco (HarperCollins) for best regional/cultural cookbook.

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Congrats to all. And after talking with Sue and celebrating with Michael and some champagne, I went to bed feeling like a real food writer.

But – back to the muffins. If you skip the cream cheese and sprinkle their tops with sugar before you bake them, they come out looking a little like molasses crackle cookies. It might seem like a lot of oil – we cut back on the original already – but you could probably cut it back further. Or remember that canola oil is a heart-healthy kind of fat, one that will keep your muffins deliciously moist.

Pumpkin muffins 2 Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

With thanks to my sister, and her friend!

Cream Cheese:
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. flour

Muffins:
1 14 oz. (398 ml) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour (all-purpose, whole wheat or a combination)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (if you’re not using pumpkin pie spice)
pinch allspice
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups and if you like, sprinkle with coarse sugar. If you’re filling them, poke a hole in the top of each with the handle of a wooden spoon and add a small spoonful of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, or until springy to the touch.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.

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November 06 2012 11:28 pm | bread and breakfast

34 Responses to “Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins”

  1. Cheryl F on 06 Nov 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Congratulations to you and Sue!! Enjoy your time in Jasper!

    By the way, you are looking amazing!

  2. ericabell@shaw.ca on 07 Nov 2012 at 12:06 am #

    Glad to see Taste Canada recognized that Spilling the Beans is fantastic! Cheers & congratulations to you & Sue :D

  3. Carol S-B on 07 Nov 2012 at 7:24 am #

    Yeah for Spilling the Beans! “Just… wow”.
    Heck, yes!
    Two more things: I made these from your original post back in October: I did mini muffins, and filled them with cream cheese. What a big hit! I reduced the oil, too. To compensate, I added a splash of eggnog, instead. So good!
    Thing two: stop it! you’ve hardly ever had a facial? But your skin is so glorious! *sigh*

  4. Terri on 07 Nov 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Well done Julie and Sue…so pleased for you. See! All that hard work putting the project together really paid off!

  5. Donna on 07 Nov 2012 at 8:43 am #

    Congratulations Julie – It is a wonderful cookbook
    Enjoy Jasper

  6. Stephanie on 07 Nov 2012 at 8:48 am #

    Wow!! Congrats!! That book is on my xmas list and I’ll looking forward to checking it out :)

  7. Ann on 07 Nov 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Congratulations Julie and Sue! That’s fantastic news. It’s a great cookbook and one I enjoy using a lot!!

    Lucky you to be in Jasper – it’s my most favorite spot on the planet.

    Thanks for the pumpkin muffin recipe. I think I’ll try this on the weekend. Thanks also for maintaining this wonderful blog. Just about every single thing I cook or bake is a “Julie recipe.”

  8. Sue (London, ON) on 07 Nov 2012 at 10:48 am #

    Congrats to you & Sue and of course Michael!! Enjoy the rest of your time in Jasper… sigh! Wish I was there. Can’t wait to try these muffins.

  9. the other Al on 07 Nov 2012 at 11:35 am #

    Congratulations on your win! Well, Well, done Darlink! I loved the Tweet “your the Jan Arden of Food writers”from a fan. I’ve always enjoyed reading your perspective on daily life. A sense humor is invaluable today. Thanks for keeping ours afloat. I will be buying your Bean book.

  10. Fiona on 07 Nov 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    Congratulations!

  11. CathyH on 07 Nov 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Congratulations!And you look fantastic!

  12. Carolyn on 07 Nov 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Congratulations… you totally deserve this! Great picture!

  13. Pumpkin Muffins | RobertsonHouse Eats on 07 Nov 2012 at 8:00 pm #

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  14. Susan on 07 Nov 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Congratulations to Julie and Sue. And as Ann said above, thanks for the blog. If I ever need something, this is the first place to go. Today’s butternut squash soup was from ‘day 225′. Remember when it was just supposed to be a year? So glad you’ve kept it up, I really appreciate it!

  15. Roxanna@WholesomeHedonist on 08 Nov 2012 at 8:15 am #

    I love these Starbucks muffins but have been scared ever since I read the crazy ingredient list (why, oh why, do I do that to myself? I have a compulsive need to turn over the package and read the label.) I’m so happy to have found a homemade version! They seem perfect for a Christmas brunch – especially with the cream cheese in the middle! I hope you won’t mind too much if I tell people it’s ‘my secret recipe’ ;)

  16. Kathy H on 08 Nov 2012 at 9:00 am #

    Congratulations on your success! You’re my favorite real food writer :)

  17. Laurie from Burnaby on 08 Nov 2012 at 12:38 pm #

    Congratulations to all concerned!

  18. gwendolyn on 08 Nov 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    Those muffins look amazing!

    I love all things pumpkin, so I’m definitely adding them to my must-make list.

    Enjoy the rest of your time in Jasper.

  19. Jennifer Jo on 08 Nov 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    Congratulations, Julie! So wonderful! (I never doubted your authentic food writerly-ness!)

    I made these muffins, but with some whole wheat and fresh cranberries. So, so good. http://bit.ly/SFOJzi

  20. Barb on 08 Nov 2012 at 6:11 pm #

    The win is great news! I am super excited for you! Not surprised, however. I have the book and it is tremendous. I flipped through Michael’s and it looks very good,too.

  21. Heather on 08 Nov 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    This post makes me smile. Congratulations! Spilling the Beans is a great book, I have used it every weekend since the snow started. And for someone who doesn’t cook that often it makes me feel like a superstar. And now I have some pumpkin muffins to try. :)

  22. Rose on 08 Nov 2012 at 11:27 pm #

    WOW!!!! What a thrilling achievement! I have this recipe book and love it. Thanks so much for your work here. You are my first go to for a recipe when I’m searching and I refer to you regularly with my family. {Every once in a while my daughter tells me…”you know Mom, Julie doesn’t know you, she’s not your friend”}

    But it feels like you are!! I bet every other reader would agree.

  23. Erin on 10 Nov 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I tried these muffins with my daughters as my helpers and they may be the very best muffins I have ever produced in my kitchen. I was holding a fussy toddler as I was adding the cream cheese filling, so instead of it being inside the muffins it kind of ended up as a topping. They are still delicious and look great.

  24. natalie on 10 Nov 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    So happy for you and Sue. I made the butternut squash lasagna for dinner last night. Really yummy. I made these muffins immediately after reading your post. Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. Laura on 10 Nov 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    Those are gorgeous. Sometimes pumpkin stuff is almost too moist, almost gummy on the surface, so I suspect you got the oil perfect.

  26. Spotlight on Pumpkin on 11 Nov 2012 at 9:05 pm #

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  27. Knockout Kitchen on 14 Nov 2012 at 8:12 am #

    I love pumpkin flavored things and those muffins look great.

  28. Calgary Food Blogger Bake Sale – Holiday Edition | Heather's EATS on 30 Nov 2012 at 9:04 pm #

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  29. Andy on 17 Mar 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    The pumpkin muffins are so delicious! I made them without the cream cheese, but added a little sprinkle of vanilla sugar on top for just the right amount of sweetness. The texture of the muffins is great too … probably my most successful attempt at pumpkin muffins. Thanks for posting this recipe Julie!

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  31. Tab on 28 May 2013 at 4:54 am #

    Excellent recipe..I make it slightly different.
    I use 2.5 cups whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of oat bran.
    I add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt or kefir for added moistness.
    and sweeten with 1/2 cup liquid honey instead of sugar..
    When in a huurry instead of cinnamon sugar sprinkle top with choc chips and forget about the icing.

  32. Weekend links & Bite this Book giveaway winners | Simple Bites on 25 Jun 2013 at 8:30 pm #

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  34. Jill on 02 Mar 2014 at 7:56 am #

    I made these, added an extra egg yolk, and put them in a 12 muffin cup pan, filled to overflow. These muffins don’t rise too much, so no mess. Very moist, fulfilling muffin with coffee. Freeze well.

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