Even before I received the desperate plea for the recipe, I was already working on yet another cranberry pumpkin cake recipe. Both cakes were good, but the second one was better—it’s a combination of Julie’s recipe and one I found in the local paper (that they, in turn, got from Epicurious).
It goes like this:
1. Roast a giant butternut squash or pumpkin, or simply toss a couple cans of pumpkin puree in the cart the next time you go shopping.
2. Mix up a pumpkin cake batter.
3. Enhance the pumpkin cake batter with a cup of chopped, frozen cranberries. Fresh, not dried.
4. In a separate bowl, make the cream cheese filling.
5. In cupcake-lined muffin tins, put a dollop of cake batter. Add a dollop of cream cheese filling. Put another dollop of cake batter and smooth it out so most of the cream cheese filling is covered. Dollop, dollop, dollop.
7. Sprinkle the muffins with demerara sugar.
8. Bake and eat. And eat and eat and eat.
Julie says these muffins are better than Starbucks. I’ve never had a Starbucks pumpkin muffin, but I’ll take her word for it.
an after-work snack
Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
Adapted from Dinner with Julie and Epicurious
These muffins would be fine without the cream cheese filling. And in that case, I bet they’d be good iced with a cream cheese and pecan frosting.
If you have a couple oranges hanging about on the premises, think about adding the zest to the batter. Just a thought...
This recipe makes about 18 muffins. I made 12, plus two loaf minis. If you’d rather not deal with the muffin hassle, make a sheet cake a la the earthquake cake method.
For the cake batter:
1 14-ounce can (about 1 3/4 cups) pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup frozen fresh cranberries, chopped
demerara sugar, for topping, optional
Beat together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Stir in the cranberries.
For the cream cheese filling:
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla
Beat ingredients together till creamy smooth.
Fill lined muffin tins one third of the way full with the cake batter. Top with a dollop of cream cheese filling. Top with another dollop of cake batter and smooth over the top, trying to cover most of the filling. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until brown and set. Eat warm or at room temperature. If eating within a couple days, store at room temperature. If waiting longer than that, wrap and freeze.
This same time, years previous: let me sum up: the pie party!, lessons from West Virginia, brown sugar icing, no zip, sausage quiche with potato crust