Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins (With or Without Chocolate Chips)

Are you tired of Pumpkin Spice yet? Oh no. You can’t be. It’s way too early for that. And you haven’t even tried these Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins yet!

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I did cringe to see a box of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios at the store the other day. Really now. I think we’ve taken this Pumpkin Spice craze just a little bit too far. I love pumpkin and the delicious spices of the season. But I think we should leave our Cheerios alone. And who needs oddly flavored Cheerios anyway when there are these real Pumpkin Muffins with actual cheesecake topping for our dining pleasure?

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Better yet, if I give you permission to sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top of the muffins if you wish? Well, I think the holiday season just got significantly more merry and bright. Pour a cup of coffee to go with, and a delicate tear will slip out the side of your eye as you recognize that Jesus really is the reason for the season.

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins (With or Without Chocolate Chips)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-15
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Muffin Mix** or...
  • 1½ cups whole grain flour
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • ½ teaspoon baking power
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 egg
  • 15-ounces pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil
  • Cheesecake topping:
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons real maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Add egg, pumpkin puree, and melted butter, stirring until ingredients are combined.
  3. Scoop batter into 12-15 prepared muffin tins.
  4. Prepare cheesecake topping by blending (in a blender or with a hand mixer) cream cheese, egg, maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Spoon 2-3 Tablespoons of cheesecake topping over each unbaked muffin.
  6. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on each muffin if you like.
  7. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-22 minutes or until muffins are golden brown.

*Find the recipe for our Pumpkin Spice mix here. Or substitute: 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg in this recipe.

**If you have our Simple Mixes to Save the Day eBook, save time and energy by using the Muffin Mix for this recipe instead!!

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

In case you’d rather eat a Pumpkin Spice Cheerio instead of an actual Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffin, or if you’re someone who doesn’t like pumpkin or the spices that typically accompany this delightful gourd, I will now refer you to this recipes sister recipes:

banana cheesecake muffins22

chocolate cheesecake muffin11

Coming soon: Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins!

chocolate chip cheesecake muffin22

These recipes prove that there is so much to be thankful for this season, am I right?

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

My favorite aspect of this Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole is that I can get it completely ready the night before, then slide it into the oven in the morning without having to think, measure, talk, or care. Allow me to share with you a bit about myself and how mornings work for me.

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I typically get up at least an hour before my family rolls out of bed in the morning. Do you know what that means? That means that for at least one hour every day no one talks to me, asks me questions, makes a request, or assumes I actually know the time of today’s soccer game. Once the people wake up, my brain must be on full power, ready to answer all the questions, write all the sentences, make all the reminders, plan all the meals, and remember to add toilet paper to the list.

pumpkin french toast4

For the first several years of my married-with-kids life, I woke up and immediately hit the ground running. My quiet time in the mornings meant I could actually accomplish something before a small child unraveled my efforts with his sticky but adorable hands. I could get work done without interruption and perhaps enjoy some productivity – in the quiet.

This was all well and good, except that I missed out on one very important aspect needed in life: actual quiet.

I was deceived into thinking that productivity meant checking tasks off my to-do list. Now I know the truth, that productivity can look like rest. Productivity can mean that I’m sitting, savoring, breathing, and simply being loved by the Father in the moments of quiet. Nothing in this world is more productive.

Do I miss out on that precious and much needed hour of work time? No. I absolutely do not. The work is still there. The work still gets done (no it doesn’t). There’s peace in my heart that didn’t exist before I started giving my days to God in the quiet, and this means much, much more than a house full of completed check-lists.

All that to say: Making this French Toast Casserole at night, then effortlessly slipping it into the oven first thing in the morning means that I can still present an amazing breakfast to my family while still enjoying my quiet morning with the Lord. (Though to be clear, sometimes I present a half-hearted breakfast of stale cereal because as easy as this recipe is, I don’t have time to do something like this every night. No one ever died eating the stale cereal and everyone is happier when Mom starts her day with Jesus.)

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf whole grain bread
  • 2½ cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • 6 eggs
  • 8 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice*
  • Topping:
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • ⅓ cup pecan
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice*
Instructions
  1. Cut bread into cubes and spread them into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk milk, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin spice.
  3. Pour liquids over the bread cubes.
  4. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight (or all day if you plan to make this in the evening for dinner).
  5. Before baking, stir together the topping ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle topping over the prepared casserole.
  7. Place casserole into a COLD oven, then turn it on to 350 degrees.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until casserole is lightly browned.
  9. Serve with real maple syrup.

*Find the recipe for our Pumpkin Spice mix here. Or substitute: 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg in this recipe.

Simple Overnight Pumpkin Spice French Toast Casserole

 

Have you been able to find some quiet moments with the Lord in your day? What time of day works best for you to do this?

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (How to Cook Fresh Donuts in Minutes!)

Introducing a perfect idea for this fall: Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts!

donuts4

After learning that it works well to make and freeze unbaked Giant Breakfast Cookies, Homemade Poptarts, Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars, and all varieties of Muffins so that we can bake them fresh in the morning without any trouble, I thought, “Why not try this idea with my Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donut recipe?”

donuts5

One of these things is not like the the other. Someone, who shall remain nameless,
forgot to cut a donut hole in one of the donuts. Hmmm…

Indeed. We can mix up the pumpkin donuts, roll out the dough, cut the shapes, then freeze the uncooked dough on parchment paper or silicone mat-lined cookie sheets. We transfer the frozen dough into freezer bags, then any time we want fresh donuts (and when would we not want fresh donuts?), we can grab some out of the freezer and fry them up fresh to eat while sipping a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.

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Can you think of a better breakfast treat to enjoy this fall than fresh homemade Pumpkin Donuts?

The best part is that the mixing, rolling, cutting, and clean up will have already been taken care of! Well, clearly the best part is eating the fresh donuts. But eating the fresh donuts without looking at a messy kitchen that you’ll have to clean up afterward? Fabulous.

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts

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Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (How to Cook Fresh Donuts in Minutes!)
 
Author:
Serves: 15-20
Ingredients
  • 3½ cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground hard or soft white wheat)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup sucanat or brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • Oil for frying (I recommend coconut oil or palm shortening for healthy frying)
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (I use unbleached powdered sugar)
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sucanat. Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla, buttermilk, and pumpkin puree – mixing until all ingredients are well combined.
  2. Roll dough on a well-floured surface.
  3. Cut out donuts and donut holes (makes about 30 of each).
  4. Lay the cut outs on a parchment-paper lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours.
  5. Transfer prepared donuts to a freezer bag to store in the freezer until ready for use.
  6. To Cook: Set donuts out of the freezer at room temperature for about 15 minutes before frying.
  7. Fry dough in hot oil for about 3 minutes or until donuts are golden brown.
  8. Whisk glaze ingredients together and drizzle over warm donuts before serving.

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Donuts (Whole Grain, Low Sugar, Easy!)

Concerned about the fact that these treats are fried? Don’t be! Coconut and Palm Oils can withstand high temperatures without becoming harmful to us. So instead of fearing the fry, we can actually enjoy the healthy fat we’re getting while enjoying these donuts.

Wow. Who knew we would ever be able to say, “I need some healthy fats in my diet. Please pass the donuts.”

But of course, let us not ever eat more donuts than veggies, yada, yada. You know the drill.

WAIT. There are veggies in these donuts (thank you, pumpkin, for being there for us when we need you). So I guess we can enjoy these to our heart’s delight, all while enjoying the fact that you can make them ahead and freeze them for ease in the kitchen.

This is what I call one happy fall recipe!

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Super Moist Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread

Your fall is now complete because of this Super Moist Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread.

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Now, before I share this recipe, I will acknowledge the fact that some people do not like the word “moist.” Some hear a phrase such as “this towel got a little moist” or “I just stepped on something moist” and suddenly their skin is crawling as if someone scratched their fingernails across a chalkboard. Indeed, the word “moist” makes some people shudder, and because of this, my sons think it is fun to use this word way more often than is needed. They wear this shirt with pride —>

moist shirt

Why? Because they are gentlemen who care about the feelings of others.

But now let’s talk about the word “moist” in the context of a baked good. I believe this gives it a wonderful and good meaning. After all, who doesn’t like their cake or quick bread to be perfectly moist? Especially when the alternative is that the cake or quick bread is dry and crumbly? Shouldn’t we, even those of us who don’t like the word “moist,” want our baked goods to be moist? Of course we should.

Rest assured, this bread is moist because of the sour cream, which makes it delicious and that’s all there is to it.

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Super Moist Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread

Super Moist Sour Cream Pumpkin Bread
 
Author:
Serves: 2 9x5 loaf pans
Ingredients
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • 15-ounces pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 cups whole grain flour (I use freshly ground soft white wheat)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice*
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl cream melted butter, sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree, and sour cream.
  2. Mix in flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices until well combined.
  3. Pour batter into two buttered 9x5 inch loaf pans.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 60-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Allow bread to sit in the pan for 10 minutes to cool.
  6. Removed bread from pans and place on wire racks to continue cooling.

*Find the recipe for our Pumpkin Spice mix here. Or substitute: 1 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg in this recipe.

Super Moist Sour Cream Pumpkin BreadAre you having a wonderful fall, loving all things Pumpkin Spice?

What is your least favorite word? Why I am asking that question is beyond me. I must live with a bunch of boys.

 

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Cookies

Allow me to introduce a new seasonal favorite: Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Cookies.

spice cookies 11

While I’ve shared that I just can’t get behind Pumpkin Spice Coffee (typing it actually makes me shudder just a little bit), I most certainly enjoy making many Pumpkin Spice treats this time of year – to eat while I drink my (plain, non-pumpkin-spice) coffee. If my house smells of nothing but Pumpkin Spice from now until Christmas, there will be much joy in the holiday season.

Of course, seeing as I live with a houseful of teenage boys, my house not only smells of Pumpkin Spice, it also frequently smells like Old Spice. And old shoes. Annnnnd cute girls.

It’s an interesting combination, you can be sure. One that I am so very blessed to experience. What a great God we serve!

Do you see His goodness all around you? Even in the midst of struggle? Even throughout the daily grind? Even during times of hardship and devastation?

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I love God. All that He offers is good, and all good comes from Him. I am continually in awe of how He provides for our spiritual needs, which makes all else fade.

What does this have to do with Pumpkin Spice Cookies? Ha. I don’t know. Lately I find myself working my way through all the day-to-day of life, which includes this houseful of teenage boys (and the cute girls that stop by) and in the midst of the cookies and the shoes and the vacuuming and the piles of mail, I sit in wonder at the peace God is revealing to me though His Spirit.

And in the Pumpkin Spice Cookie – well – there is joy. Especially when there is a great cup of coffee (sans Pumpkin Spice) to go with it.

spice cookies22

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Cookies

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Cookies
 
Author:
Serves: 18-24
Ingredients
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar or sucanat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Spice*
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly ground soft white wheat)
Instructions
  1. Cream together melted butter and sugar.
  2. Add egg, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and sea salt.
  3. Stir in flour until well combined.
  4. Cover and chill dough for 1-2 hours.
  5. Roll dough to approximately ¼ inch thickness between layers of parchment paper or on a well-floured surface.
  6. Cut rolled dough with cookie cutter shapes and place cut-outs on a baking sheet, ½ inch apart.
  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 7-10 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Easy Low Sugar Pumpkin Spice Roll-Out Cookies

 

I’d love to hear about the joy of the Lord you are experiencing right now. Struggling to see His goodness? Look around at what you have, and I’m not talking about your stuff. See His goodness in the details of your life. In joy, in pain, in suffering – God is good. His mercies are new every morning.

And sometimes, they take on the form of a Pumpkin Spice Cookie dunked in coffee.

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice

I read and hear the debates every year at this time: Pumpkin Spice Coffee, or no?

Pumpkin Spice MIx

I promise to love you no matter your preference in this matter, but I have to admit that when it comes to Pumpkin Spice in my coffee: I heartily vote no!

Not that I’ve actually ever tried it. I’m sorry. I’m a coffee-with-cream girl and I’ve already made up my mind about Pumpkin Spice Lattes before I’ve tried a sip. Can I pretend to be a 5-year old and say, “I don’t like that” even though I’ve never actually tried it?

I’ll try all the new vegetables put in front of me. I’ll give most foods a fair chance. But when it comes to my beloved coffee combined with the fun, seasonal pumpkin spice, that is where I must draw the line.

I do love eating a pumpkin spice treat with my coffee. But to stir the pumpkin spice directly into my coffee, on purpose, with a spoon? Now why would I want to go and ruin my morning like that? Why?

I’d love to hear how all of you feel about the infamous Pumpkin Spice Lattes. It’s possible that some of you love them so much that you are convinced that they were served at The First Thanksgiving. With a dollop of cool whip. And topped with a candy corn.

I can’t even.

DIY Pumpkin Spice Mix

Now the cinnamon-nutmeg-clove pumpkin spice combination itself – this is the essence of fall. When making a pumpkin treat of any kind, I have always pulled out the variety of spices needed and added them each separately. But in the name of simplicity, this year I decided to shake together my own little jar of Pumpkin Spice perfection.

This year as I make all of our fun pumpkin muffins, pies, pancakes, and cookies, I’ll save myself a bit of time and effort and get out my cute jar of Pumpkin Spice.

Think of all the precious seconds I’ll save because of this new jar of Pumpkin Spice I have finally added to my kitchen. Thanks to this, I’ll actually have time to tie my shoes before running out the door.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice

How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice
 
Author:
Serves: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients and store the spice blend in an airtight container.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Spice Mix

What to Make with Pumpkin Spice

From now on, I’ll sub my Pumpkin Spice in all my Pumpkin Recipes!

12 Pumpkin Recipes

 

Here are some of our featured Pumpkin Recipes!

Be on the lookout this fall for several new recipes we can use with Pumpkin Spice. I’ve been experimenting and to be sure, my house smells wonderfully pumpkin spicy all the time right now!

If you’d like to shake some Pumpkin Spice into your coffee, please go right ahead. I’ll even sit with you while you drink it. We can still be friends.

Do tell. Are you a Pumpkin Spice Latte lover?