While I was making the batter, I discovered that I was missing not one, not two, but THREE of the ingredients I needed, so. . .I had to improvise. In this recipe, I made the following substitutions:
For the nutmeg ~ I used an extra 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
For the vegetable oil ~ I used an equal amount of cinnamon apple sauce
For the butter ~ I used margarine, but I will NEVER use it again when I make any kind of struesel topping, it crystallizes and gets hard
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1¼ cups vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
4 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
For the filling, combine the cream cheese, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix well until blended and smooth. Once blended, cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
For the muffins, preheat the oven to 350˚ F, and line muffin pans with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree ,, vanilla and oil. Mix on low speed until blended. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
For the topping, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon in a small bowl; whisk to blend. Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner (2 tablespoons). Spoon a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture into the very center of each cup. Divide the remaining batter among the cups, placing on top of the cream cheese to cover completely. Sprinkle a tablespoon of the streusel mixture on top of each muffin.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving, the cream cheese filling will be very hot!
I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we are!