I’m giving in. It seems inevitable at this point, our overnight low scheduled to drop to 38ºF tonight. I can’t continue to deny that autumn is coming early to my neck of the woods. While I’d love to continue to live in tomato harvest, eating dinner on the patio, fresh produce piled in the center, overflowing to every edge of the table, I know that it will not last even if I can eke out a few more days of t-shirt weather before I pull out my knee-high boots and thick sweaters.
So, I’ll embrace it as everyone else seems to be doing now and pull out the pumpkin. You may have heard that the pumpkin latte is back at your neighborhood coffee shop – may have, unless you live outside the US or avoid social media at all costs. Yes, along with cooling weather and turning leaves, the pumpkin spice latte (PSL in Sharpie on the back of the cup) is one way you can mark the changing seasons.
While I don’t partake in the PSL mania, I do have a soft spot in my heart for a good slice of pumpkin loaf or a pumpkin muffin. They complement my espresso nicely, the sweet orange squash playing off the bite of the coffee. A dollop of mascarpone right in the center of the whole thing never hurt either.
These pumpkin muffins are spiced with all of the classics – warming cinnamon, ginger, allspice, freshly grated nutmeg and even a bit of cardamom – but they’re filled with something special. A spoonful of maple-sweetened mascarpone in the center of each muffin melts into a creamy glaze, and the pepitas add a bit of crunch and contrast.
Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins with Mascarpone Cream
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (1 15-ounce can)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 cup hot coffee
- 8 ounces mascarpone
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla. Add in the eggs and beat until incorporated. Stir in the pumpkin puree.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cardamom. Slowly mix in the flour and the coffee, alternating between the two, until smooth.
- In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone, remaining egg, and the maple syrup until smooth.
- Fill 24 lined muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Make a small indent in the center of each cup. Place a tablespoon of mascarpone into the center. Sprinkle pepitas over the top of each muffin.
- Bake for 23-25 minutes, until tops are golden brown. When removed from the oven, muffins will fall down slightly into the mascarpone. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes 24 muffins.
Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson