Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins (Low Carb and Gluten Free) and the Giveaway Winner!


The first order of business: the winner of a Mrs. May’s Naturals Prize Pack is Cristina from Teenie Cakes! Congratulations, Cristina! I think you will really like these and I hope you spread the word about how great they are. I will be contacting you to get your mailing address so I can send you some goodies.

And now to the second order of business. Are these not some of the ugliest baked goods you’ve ever seen??? I certainly think so. They are pretty darn tasty, however. This is my version of a low carb “muffin” recipe I’ve seen on many sites on the internet. I put “muffin” in quotes because they really are more like mini cheesecakes than muffins. They are simply a combination of cream cheese, eggs and whatever sugar substitute you prefer. So why not call a spade a spade and refer to them as cheesecakes? I suppose it makes it easier to justify eating them for breakfast if you call them muffins! For my version, I added some canned pumpkin, some spices, and topped it all off with a cinnamon pepita streusel. The pumpkin puree adds a lot of moisture, so I used a trick out of The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook and dried my pumpkin out a bit between sheets of paper towel. That helped some, but they still needed to be baked a little longer than the original recipe.

The Results: I will be the first to admit that these little guys aren’t particularly attractive. I might go so far as to say that they are fugly. But what they lack in aesthetics, they make up for in taste. They really are like little pumpkin spice cheesecakes, and the cinnamon-spiced pepitas on top add a lovely little crunch and a lot of good flavour. I want to work on getting them not to sink in the middle as they cool, because I think that would up the attractiveness quotient a great deal. Next time, I might add an additional egg and some cream to see if that can help them stay puffed up. I don’t want to lose that dense, cheesecake quality, however, so I don’t want to mess with it too much.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins with Cinnamon Pepita Streusel

1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp granulated erythritol
1/4 cup pepitas

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
2 tbsp granulated erythritol
8-12 drops stevia extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

For the streusel, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add cinnamon, erythritol and pepitas and stir until coated. Heat for another 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.

For the muffins, preheat oven to 350F and line 6 muffin tins with paper liners.

Line a baking sheet with a tea towel and then a layer of paper towel. Spread pumpkin puree on paper towel. Top with another layer of paper towel, and press down to remove moisture.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add in pumpkin, egg, erythritol, stevia and spices and beat until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.

Divide batter among prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle each muffin with pepita mixture. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed up and tops are just browning and beginning to crack.

Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Chill in refrigerator. They are best straight out of the fridge.

Serves 6. Total carbs per muffin is 10.5g, but only 5.5g if you subtract erythritol.

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  1. Sommer J says

    Hahaha I would eat these babies for breakfast even if they weren't muffins heheh! They look so delicious!!! Will have to try these as well :)

  2. Pretend Chef says

    Call me crazy but before I even started reading I looked at the picture and thought how yummy they looked. This is also coming from a woman with no fashion sense and can't put together an outfit to save her life.

  3. whatsfordinneracrossstatelines says

    How funny, I didn't think they were all that ugly, actually they look really tasty to me!

  4. Susi says

    I didn't think they were ugly either! Call me weird but I love the rustic look of them! Either way they sound delicious and the pepita mixture on top sounds incredible :o)

  5. BakingWithoutaBox says

    All baked goods don't have to beauty pageant material. They look very tasty! And congrats to Cristina.

  6. Emma says

    I actually think they're pretty cute, rustic but cute – I really love pumpkin in baked goods, it's just made for it.

  7. Emily Z says

    You make the greatest desserts! These are darling and they look so delicious! Anything with pumpkin in it this time of year is a winner in my eyes!

  8. baking.serendipity says

    I think I need some sleep. At first glance I thought pecans while reading pepitas. Either way…delicious :)

  9. She's Cookin' says

    I don't think they're fugly at all! And I love the crunch that your cinnamon pepita streusel topping adds – Yummy :)

  10. The Urban Baker says

    these look delicious. i am going to try your version, the low carb version. Carolyn, you've done it again. these look delish!

  11. Foodiva says

    These are gorgeous muffins… I don't understand why you said otherwise. I'd love to try at least one. Funny though it sounds, I've never heard of pepita until now but I bet these cinnamon flavored ones taste great! If these are the kind of food you dream of all day, keep on dreaming! 😉

  12. Kristen says

    With all of the nuts on top, those are definitely not ugly! I love reading all of the pumpkin recipes this time of year. It's hard to pick which one to try.

  13. Julia says

    I can’t wait to try these Pumpkin Cheesecake “muffins” for dessert on Thanksgiving!! They sound amazing and I can’t believe that they are low-carb!! I think it’s important to include some healthier options in Thanksgiving dinner. I am always looking for simple and delicious low-carb recipes. I work with Better Recipes.com; if you are looking for the same for the holiday, check out their Low-Carb Thanksgiving Recipes

  14. The Mom Chef says

    I thought for sure I commented on these already because I definitely remember them and thinking how incredible they are. They really, really are (cheesecake??? c'mon!).

  15. Green Girl @ A little bit of everything says

    these are so cute, love the pepitas on top and wouldn't mind having them for breakfast

  16. Patty says

    Those look delicious to me! If they had domes, then they would be muffins (not cheesecakes) and I think they look like delicious little cheesecakes. There's nothing wrong with eating cheesecake for breakfast. :)

  17. Lee Kirsten says

    Ok, I think I might try them with PECANS, since I do not know what a pepita is, and I work at a grocery store, in the natural foods section and as a cashier! Can anyone educate me, please?

  18. Carolyn Too says

    These are delicious! I didn’t even have all the ingredients (had to use half cottage cheese so not even as smooth as they should have been), but they were yummy. Only thing was I wasn’t sure whether to cook for 20 or 25 or somewhere in between. I will make them again for sure — hopefully with the right ingredients!

  19. Colette says

    Yum yum these are wonderful. I used chopped walnuts in place of the pumpkin seeds. I love your recipes. I sit and read them all day trying to find one to try next. Thank you for making low carbing that much easier !!!!

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