When It’s Fall…

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese FrostingWhen I think of the fall season, I think of pumpkins! As far as feeling like it’s fall, for me it’s putting out a few pumpkins and instantly it feels like fall. I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, and we don’t always get a lot of the color changing leaves. Sometimes it seems that one day the trees are green and the next week they are brown and bare-limbed. Give me that bright pop of luscious orange from a pumpkin and mix it up for a warm and spicy treat and I’ll celebrate fall!

2008 Momma& Rinne Baking SepiaI want to share a favorite recipe that Rinne particularly enjoys. I’ve always loved quick breads and several years ago, I converted one of my tasty simple banana bread recipes into Pumpkin Chocolate Muffins with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting! As I was looking for pics of these muffins, I found some of Rinne and I baking together from 10 years ago that made me feel nostalgic, and I just had to share. Note the ‘horse t-shirt’ that Rinne is wearing. She loved that shirt so much we had to buy a second one so she could alternate and could wear it every day…no kidding…every day.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin ingredientsThis muffin is dense & moist because of the pureed pumpkin and four eggs. It’s versatile and could be eaten any time of day. With no frosting it is simply satisfying; or you can omit the sugar in the frosting and it’s still perfect for breakfast; or go all out with the sugar in the cream cheese frosting and a garnish of chocolate chips on top and you might as well call it a sweet & scrumptious cupcake!

This simple recipe begins with good ingredients. I try to use non-processed and/or organic ingredients whenever I can.  I’ve substituted whole wheat pastry flour and whole cane sugar for this recipe in the past and it turned out just as delicious…the final muffins are just darker in color.

Roasted Whole Pumpkin

BONUS TIP: ROASTING WHOLE PUMPKIN

I commonly use canned organic pumpkin puree for this muffin recipe, but if you really want your whole house to smell like fall, try roasting a pumpkin. It’s quite easy. Rinse a small sugar pumpkin (ones for baking/not for carving). Roast in a 350° F oven in a glass dish for about 45 min. – 1 hour, until the flesh becomes darker and can be easily pierced. Slice in half, let cool, scoop out seeds and then scoop out roasted pulp to use in recipes.

NOW, ON TO THE BAKING:  PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE MUFFINS

This recipe makes 24 – 30 muffins. I first bake 24 together (on two pans), and then finish off the last six in a second round of baking. You might be able to squeeze all the batter into just 24.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Line your muffin tins with liners. Preheat the oven to 350° F. In large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Mix in pureed pumpkin and well-beaten eggs on medium speed. Adding already well-beaten eggs allows for less mixing time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

In separate bowl, combine baking soda, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Whisk them together.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Add the flour mixture to your pumpkin mixture, stirring by hand just enough to incorporate most of the flour. You will still see a bit of the flour.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Next you’ll want to add one mounded cup of the chocolate chips (leaving some for garnish), and finish stirring by hand just enough to moisten all the flour and evenly distribute the chocolate chips.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Fill your muffin liners 2/3 – 3/4 full. I like to use an ice cream scoop for this task. Or, you can use two spoons one for scooping and the other for scraping off the batter into the liner.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin

Bake at 350° F for 18 min., until light golden (darker if using whole wheat flour – pic on right shows whole wheat/whole cane sugar version). Do not overbake. Take out of the oven and leave in pans for 5 minutes. Then set muffins on racks to finish cooling. (Place any extra batter into liners for remaining muffins….I had enough for 6 more muffins on second round of baking)

maple-cinnamon-cream cheese-frosting-recipe

Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

SWEET TOP: MAPLE CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Stir together butter and cream cheese. Next, stir in cinnamon and maple syrup. You can top with this version if you prefer a less sweet muffin.

Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Add sifted powdered sugar and mix by hand, or you can pull out the hand mixer and whip it up. I just hand-stirred mine here.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Divide up the frosting by dollops onto all of the muffin tops. Then, using offset spatula or knife, gently push to edges and smooth out the frosting.

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Finally, add reserved chocolate chips on top. Now, pour a cup of coffee, sit down, and enjoy this comforting bite of fall goodness!

If you’re ‘THANKFUL’ and love pumpkins, check out our Thankful Pumpkin String Art shirt.

Be blessed!
– Momma

pumpkin-chocolate-muffin-recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate Muffin with Maple Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This muffin is dense & moist because of the pureed pumpkin and four eggs. It’s versatile and could be eaten any time of day—with no frosting it is simply satisfying; or you can omit the sugar in the frosting and it’s still perfect for breakfast; or go all out with the sugar in the cream cheese frosting and you might as well call it a sweet & scrumptious cupcake!

…for muffin:

  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs (well-beaten)
  • 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • dash salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 10 oz. chocolate chips (reserve some for garnish)

…for frosting:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (sifted, optional)
  1. Line your muffin tins with liners. Preheat oven to 350° F. In large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy. Mix in pureed pumpkin and well-beaten eggs on medium speed.
  2. In separate bowl, combine baking soda, flour, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Whisk them together. Add the flour mixture to your pumpkin mixture, stirring by hand just enough to incorporate most of the flour.
  3. Add one mounded cup of the chocolate chips (leaving some for garnish), and finish stirring by hand just enough to moisten all the flour and evenly distribute the chocolate chips. Fill your muffin liners.
  4. Bake at 350° F for 18 min., until light golden. Take out of the oven and leave in pans for 5 minutes. Then set muffins on racks to finish cooling.
  5. Make frosting: Stir together butter and cream cheese. Next, stir in cinnamon and maple syrup. You can top with this version if you prefer a less sweet muffin. Last stir in sifted powdered sugar. Frost muffins. Add reserved chocolate chips for garnish on muffin tops.

When I make this recipe, it makes 30 muffins. I bake two pans of 12 each, then I have to do a second round of baking for the last six.

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