Lowfat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
After making the pumpkin gnocchi last weekend I was left with extra pumpkin puree. So, what’s a foodie to do? Bake pumpkin muffins of course!
Recently I’ve been trying to avoid baking, being more conscious of my waistline than my sweet-tooth, so I decided to make these muffins as healthy as I could (and was willing to go). I used whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of vegetable oil (in turn cutting down the sugar because of the added sweetness from the applesauce). Also, the delicious creamy-almond filling is made with fat free cream cheese. I suppose I could call these “fat free” muffins, but there’s still a teeny-tiny bit of fat in the 4 eggs (per 24 muffins) this recipe calls for. (I did some calculating and there’s <1 gram of fat and 17 grams sugar per cupcake)
- 3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Cup Sugar
- 1 1/4 Cup Applesauce
- 2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
- 1 tsp Fresh Grated Ginger
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 8 oz. Fat Free Cream Cheese
- 1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Almond Extract
Mix cream cheese, confectioners sugar and almond extra in a mixing bowl. Transfer onto a sheet of wax paper and roll into a long log. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze about 2 hours until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, spices, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In larger bowl, combine eggs, applesauce, sugar, pumpkin and fresh ginger. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 additions. Beat until well combined. Stir in the walnuts with a spoon.
Once the cream cheese filling is firm, unwrap it and slice into 24 equal pieces. Line 2 muffin pans with paper wrappers and fill each half-way with batter. Place one cream cheese slice into the center of each cup, and top off with remaining batter.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool before eating. Enjoy!