Fall Breakfast Recipe: Pumpkin Muffins with Eggnog Cream Cheese Swirl

updated May 2, 2019
Pumpkin Muffins with Eggnog Cream Cheese Swirl
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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

It’s fall, and time to indulge my love of all things pumpkin. Pumpkin pasta, pumpkin gratin, pumpkin pie, that ever-popular pumpkin spice latte and — perhaps most of all — pumpkin muffins. I love having a warm, tender muffin in the morning for breakfast. These fit the the bill, spiced and moist. But fall will be over so quickly, and winter will be here, so I decided to make sure these would carry through properly to the holidays! Why not a little swirl of eggnog-flavored cream cheese? Pumpkin and eggnog? This is one clash of holiday flavors that I love, and I hope you will too!

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

I confess I love just about any muffin or cupcake a little better when there’s cream cheese involved. These get just a swirl — not too sweet, and not too much — of cream cheese spiced with nutmeg and livened up with rum. It’s a little kick of eggnog in the tender, gingery muffin. Some of cream cheese filling spills over the top in a swirl, and some of it stays in the center of the muffin as a creamy surprise.

Muffins are perhaps the best take-and-go breakfast, and they can double as a snack or even dessert. Top one of these off with a squirt of whipped cream for a not-too-sweet little cake to close a fall meal of soup and salad.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Pumpkin Muffins with Eggnog Cream Cheese Swirl

Makes 12 muffins

Nutritional Info


For the filling:

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour

  • 2

    large egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup


  • 1 teaspoon


  • 1 tablespoon

    dark rum

  • 3/8 teaspoon


  • 1/8 teaspoon


For the muffins:

  • 1/2 cup

    unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 1/3 cups

    pureed pumpkin

  • 1 cup

    light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsulphured dark molasses

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground cloves

  • Dash of freshly-ground black pepper


  1. To make the filling, whip the softened cream cheese with a whisk or hand mixer until very smooth and creamy. Whip in the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla, rum, nutmeg, and cinnamon. (Can be made a day ahead and chilled in the refrigerator, if desired.)

  2. To make the muffins, heat the oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

  3. Whisk together the melted butter, eggs, and pumpkin. Add the brown sugar and molasses and whisk until smooth. Dump in the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper, and whisk until just combined. The batter will be relatively thick.

  4. Take out about 3/4 cup batter and set aside. Divide the remaining batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups. They will be nearly full. Use a spoon to poke a deep cavity in the center of each muffin, and fill this cavity with the chilled cream cheese mixture. Put a tablespoon of the reserved batter on top of the filling.

  5. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling in the center is puffed and set, just barely golden brown, and the muffin batter is fully cooked through. Cool at least 5 minutes before eating.

  6. If you're feeling celebratory, serve with a squirt of whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

  7. Store for up to 5 days at room temperature in a covered container.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

(Images: Faith Durand)