1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers, and grease the papers.

  2. To make the streusel: Whisk together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Work in the butter, mixing until coarse crumbs form. Set the topping aside.

  3. To make the filling: Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature. If it's not, place it in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat on low power for 40 seconds, just to soften it. Stir in the sugar and vanilla or Fiori di Sicilia, if using.

  4. To make the batter: Whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, oil, boiled cider, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and milk. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

  5. Add the flour and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat briefly to incorporate the scrapings.

  6. Drop a scant 2 tablespoons of the batter (a heaping tablespoon cookie scoop works well here) into each muffin cup, spreading it to cover the bottom. Dollop on a heaping tablespoon of filling, then cover with another 2 tablespoons of batter.

  7. Sprinkle each muffin with some of the streusel topping.

  8. Bake the muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester inserted towards the edge (not into the filling) comes out crumb-free.

  9. Remove the muffins from the oven. As soon as they're cool enough to safely handle, transfer them to a rack to cool completely.

  10. Enjoy fresh-baked muffins within 2 to 3 hours; refrigerate up to 3 days for longer storage. Freeze, well-wrapped, up to 3 weeks. Rewarm cold muffins in a preheated 350°F oven, tented with foil. Or heat briefly in a microwave set at low power.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Boiled cider isn't something you can easily make yourself, simply by boiling cider. But it's so wonderful, in so many different fruit desserts (especially ones with apples), it's worth it to keep a bottle on hand. It'll last for months in the fridge.
  • A tablespoon cookie scoop is your best friend here. Use a heaping scoop for the 2 tablespoons batter in the bottom of the muffin cup (and the remaining 2 tablespoons atop the filling); a level scoop for the filling, and a slightly heaped scoop for the streusel topping.
  • Baking gluten-free? Make these muffins using our gluten-free Measure for Measure Flour in both the batter and streusel topping.
  • Want to make this recipe dairy-free? Use non-dairy milk in the batter; coconut oil or margarine in the topping, and vegan (non-dairy) cream cheese in the filling.
  • This recipe will make 24 mini muffins; bake minis in a preheated 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Want to substitute whole wheat flour for some (or perhaps all) of the all-purpose flour in this recipe? For best results, see How to substitute whole wheat flour for white flour in baking.