Would you like to know something I loathe? It’s when muffins or cupcakes are too small. And, no, I’m not talking about mini muffins because those are mini for a purpose. They hold their own little place in the land of dessert. I’m talking about muffins that are supposed to be actual full-size muffins but just fall short. Like someone didn’t put enough batter in the cupcake liners and now we all have to suffer through eating this puny baked good.
I especially loathe paying money for such a confection. Call me frugal, but if I’m going to pay 2 dollars and something cents for a specialty muffin or cupcake (aside from when it’s at a bake sale or fundraiser), it better be ginormous and spectacular. It shouldn’t be all common and little. Otherwise, I’d prefer to head home and whip up my own batch so I could guarantee they’d taste awesome and be the proper size of huge.
I promise that once you make these pumpkin streusel muffins at home, you’ll never buy another bakery muffin again. These beauties are full of fall flavors and have that perfect amount of sweetness. And, you can make them as big (yay!) or small (boo!) as you want. These muffins are our favorite fall treat and I have been making them every October for a couple of years now. After just one bite, I feel a pumpkin baking binge coming on strong.
It all starts with the batter filled with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (Based on these ingredients, you know your house is going to smell absolutely amazing when these muffins are in the oven.) The batter is light and moist, and the muffins baked up with a very fluffy crumb. Next, is a sweet cream cheese filling, a simple combination of powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla. Think of this as a surprise burst of creamy sugar. I love a good surprise in my muffin, but even more when that surprise helps keep the muffin moist.
Finally, there’s that cinnamon-sugar streusel topping. Doesn’t everything just taste better with streusel? Those little orbs of cinnamon, sugar and butter provide a needed crunch factor to these muffins, plus add yet another layer of flavor. Ironically, even though each component of the muffin contains some form of sugar, they really aren’t overly sweet. The pumpkin and spices provide a great balance of savory flavors. All you need now is a tall glass of milk and a hungry stomach. Let the pumpkin baking binge begin!
So, let there be a lesson in my rant today. When you read a recipe that tells you to only fill muffin liners up half or three-quarters of the way, think about your end result. No, you don’t want a baby muffin that only takes two bites to eat. You want an awesome, colossal-sized one!