Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Streusel


Do not let these awful, messy photos deter you.  These jumbo cheesecake stuffed pumpkin muffins with toffee pecan streusel are one of the best things you will ever wrap your mouth around.


That said, once again I come armed with pumpkin, cheesecake, and a squeeze bottle of chocolate ganache, which is a combination you’ve seen on my blog twice in the past month, from pie to these muffins.  Not to mention pumpkin nutella snickerdoodle bars, pumpkin povitica, and pumpkin gnocchi. Five pumpkin recipes in a little over a month.

Pumpkin Sage Sweet?

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
I told you I wasn’t done with pumpkin.

Actually, I made these back in October, but was going to make them again because I made a small mistake which led to an aesthetic issue with me.  This is the life of a food blogger; if it ain’t pretty, you hem and haw and sometimes make it again, even if it’s perfectly delicious and the last thing you need is another batch of whatever you made hanging around for you to consume.

People eat with their eyes when they look at food blogs, so it’s up to the food blogger to put out as pretty and mouth-watering a photo as he/she can get.

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
In my case, that’s not an easy task.  The cheaper artificial lighting is not kind to the details that make one’s mouth water.  BUT, I do my best, and I do have that small, patch of dim sunlight I just found,  As I mentioned above, these photos were shot weeks ago, before my mediocre ‘light patch’  discovery, which needs a lot of futzing with before I decide that either A) The small amount of light is not worth the blur since I can’t fit  a tripod in that area, and it needs a tripod even more than my artificial lighting, (although I’m still afraid of tripods)! or B) I start to experience physical pain from contorting my body into unnatural positions just to get a good shot in this small nook.

Having said all that, my mistake, which I will get to in a moment, led to messy muffin tops, except for one.

I finally decided not to make a new batch and post as is.  I just couldn’t have another few of these muffins tempting me, all in the name of perfectly beautiful muffins for my blog.

I cobbled these muffins together using a recipe for Jumbo Pumpkin Pecan Streusel muffins from Taste of Home that I like, minus the pecans in the muffin batter, but doubled the streusel and added chopped chocolate covered toffee to it.  I used some homemade toffee in the freezer, from this recipe, but you can use chopped Skor or Heath bars if you like.

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
We all love muffin tops
It’s the stumps that get the raw end of the deal.  If there’s nothing in the stumps (chocolate chips, nuts, fillings etc), they’re usually kind of boring, and I’m sure there’s been times your stumps have ended up in the trash.  The big, fluffy muffin tops are always the star, and usually pretty filling, so the stumps are a 50/50 deal.  Eat or chuck, unless you can wrangle up a ‘Cleaner’, like Newman.

Here’s the part I really love. I filled my stumps, but not only filled them, REALLY filled them.  You don’t get that usual one bite circle of filling in these muffins, because these muffins are loaded; every bite of the stump containing creamy cheesecake.   There’s one full-proof, fantastic way to do this; one that doesn’t involve a spoon, which can lead to a messy batter ‘plop and splatter’, and not that much filling once baked.  OR, you bake them first, then cut a  gaping hole in the top or bottom, basically emptying out the stump then piping in a cooked or eggless cheesecake whip, and plugging the hole with the jagged, crumbly part you cut out. Annoying (to me, anyway).

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan StreuselKind of looks like bacon streusel, doesn’t it?  Although I think that’s an idea waiting to happen, it’s the chocolate toffee melted on the streusel crumb.

This is what you do, and I got this brilliant idea from Chef Dennis from A Culinary Journey via his exquisite Black and White Muffins.  You fill a pastry bag with the infamous 1 bar of cream cheese ‘cheesecake recipe’ of no known or definitive origin.  Next, you fill your jumbo muffin cups half way with the pumpkin batter and then stick that cheesecake batter filled pastry bag with a plain tip, or a ziplock bag with an end snipped off, smack dab in the middle of the pumpkin muffin batter and squeeeeeze…

…squeeeeze until that pumpkin batter rises in the muffin well almost to the top (about 2/3 to 3/4 full.).

Here’s where I messed up, but didn’t really mess up because it’s a question of…

To dome or not to dome?

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
Do you see that little white circle of cheesecake in the middle of the pumpkin batter in the demo photos? If you do not cover it with more pumpkin batter, the toffee streusel will sink into it, as you see in most of my photos.  BUT, this is not a bad thing.  What you lose aesthetically as far as big, fat, fluffy, streusel topped domes go, you make up for with extra gooey melted toffee streusel in part of the cheesecake filling.

On the flip side, if you cover up that little hole with pumpkin batter, the streusel topping remains on top, along with a beautiful dome, like you see in the first photo with the black background.

I did not cover the cheesecake batter circles on 7 out of 8 of my muffins.  The last one I did because there was only enough cheesecake batter to rise it to a little less than 2/3’s full, so I scraped every last bit of pumpkin batter out of the bowl and filled it the rest of the way.

SO, your choice, big, beautiful ‘impress your guests/recipients’ domed jumbo muffins with a crumbly, crunchy toffee streusel, or a flatter topped muffin with melted, gooey streusel inside-out.  You can’t lose either way, unless it’s a beauty contest.

Muffins and Tiaras.

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
If you find gooey, muddled, flat top muffins too ugly to present to guests or for gifting, just drizzle melted chocolate on top of them.  I think that pumps the beauty quotient up quite a bit.  Melted chocolate drizzle is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

Hmm..but then the same can be done to hotty dome queen and it’ll look even more gorgeous.

Who said the life of a muffin was fair?

Finally, I think my giant, rough and tumble looking muffins would have a mad crush on these gorgeous babes. So delicate and tea party with white gloves, ready; the antithesis of my scruffy, muscled blue-collar workers with calloused hands.  The Muffin Notebook, perhaps?

Jumbo Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Cupcake/Muffins with Toffee Pecan Streusel
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: About 8 - 10 jumbo muffins - 18-20 standard size muffins
Muffin batter adapted from Taste of Home
Muffin Batter
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup fresh, roasted or canned pumpkin puree *
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Cheesecake Filling
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
Toffee Streusel
  • ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped pecans, toasted **
  • ⅔ cup finely chopped chocolate covered toffee
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cold butter, cubed
Make the Muffin Batter
  1. In a large bowl, combine the first seven muffin batter ingredients.
  2. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened - do not over stir it or you'll get tough muffins. Just a few folds until no flour remains. Set aside while you make the filling and streusel.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
  1. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt and vanilla beat until smooth. Do not over beat. Spoon the cream cheese filling into a pastry bag with a medium plain tip or a zip-lock bag with one end snipped off. Set Aside.
Make the Toffee Streusel
  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans, chopped toffee and flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Place in fridge, covered, until ready to use.
Assemble and Bake the Muffins
  1. Grease the top of the jumbo muffin tins lightly, making sure the area around each muffin well is greased. These babies rise a lot and spread a bit. If you don't use jumbo muffin liners, grease each muffin well too.
  2. Fill the 8 to 10 greased or paper-lined jumbo muffin cups half way with pumpkin batter. Place cheesecake batter filled pastry bag in the middle of each half filled muffin well, and squeeze in the filling until the batter rises and fills the lined muffin wells ⅔ to ¾ths full. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles, which I forgot to do, hence some of the holes in my cheesecake filling.
  3. Cover white circles of cheesecake on top with any extra pumpkin batter, or just scoop the pumpkin batter from the sides or underneath to cover. If you don't care about a big, muffin dome, skip this step.
  4. Dump large handfuls of toffee streusel over cheesecake filled muffin batter. Make sure to keep it contained in the muffin well -mounding it like little mountains. Any that spills onto muffin pan, wipe off or brush into one of the wells. Ignore my raw streusel photos...I wiped all that extra crumb off ;D
  5. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes (about 15-18 minutes for standard-sized muffins) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.
* If using canned pumpkin, strain puree overnight in a colander, or cook down until thick, bubbly and the moisture is reduced, then cool before adding to batter.

** Sometimes I toast a handful of whole pecans, then chop them and measure ⅓ cup, eating any leftovers, or throw the ⅓ cup of chopped pecans in a pan on the stovetop and stir over low head until fragrant and toasty. Whatever is better for you!

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54 Responses to Jumbo Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Muffins with Toffee Streusel

  1. Baker Street says:

    oh my! these look absolutely scrumptious. love the pumpkin cheesecake stuffing and the toffee streusel is to die for.

  2. Chef Dennis says:

    now those are amazing muffins! you did a great job with the filling and adding extra was definitely the way to got! Thanks so much for the shout out!

  3. I am speechless in front of so much deliciousness! Those muffins are just awesome.



  4. These look absolutely amazing – living up to your pumpkin namesake in amazing fashion! I especially love the cross section photos – they are making me seriously hungry. Amazing post.

  5. Laura says:

    They look so delicious and full of the right flavors. Thanks! I remember making some chocolate muffins with a cheesecake middle and how bad they looked, now I know why, thanks for the tip.

  6. It might takes some extra time for this recipe but it is definitely worth spending it. Those are amazing muffins 🙂 I can sense the vanilla filling aroma right now 🙂

  7. Casino Pier says:

    Pour. Some. Streusel/cream cheese filling/chocolate on MAAAAAY!!! Mmm-mmm! Best of all worlds. Is it ok if I channel Def Leppard as I fantasize about your muffin’s tiaras, and new and exciting stumps?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    It’s difficult to convey taste in photos – especially in a muffin – but you’ve managed it. For your sheer determination, effort and commitment to kicking this up to an “11” on a 1-10 scale, I’ll be mailing an all-star ballot into Kitchen Stadium.

    SUGGESTION: Send samples of your work over to a few publishers. Voila! Your first cookbook.

    • Lisa says:

      I think you have some form of ESP, J…you always post something perfect when I’m feeling the ‘blogdoms’. Awesome comment and love the Def Leppard ‘cover’ lol Where have you been, Grasshopper??

  8. Sue says:

    These muffins have it all! I love their jumbo size, the generous amount of filling AND streusel! You always put your heart and soul into baking/cooking, and it shows Lisa:) Phenomenal! When I make these, and I will, I’ll definitely keep yopur tips in mind.

  9. Lora says:

    I too have found I have a hard time breaking up with pumpkin after Thanksgiving and there ain’t nothing wrong with repeated that delicious combo. Nothing ugly about these muffins either. Yum.

  10. Dan says:

    Fantastic – the filling looks very creamy and I love the chocolate drippings on the head of the muffin. Once again your creativity and talent is on display. Yummy.

  11. Claire says:

    Wow! This looks great! Love streusel.

  12. Jenni says:

    I am about to wreak havoc on my keyboard, the amount of drool issuing from me at the moment. I WANT THESE MUFFINS! Everything about them is brilliant and delicious. Once again, I really wish we lived next door to each other.

  13. Jamie says:

    Wow, Lisa, these are killer muffins! What you can do with a pumpkin! Love the double streusel topping and you know anything drizzled with chocolate sauce is okay in my book! Love your futzing, girl!

  14. Aparna E. says:

    I showed this to REB and he said, “She’s mistaken. The name of this muffin is really called THE REB MUFFIN”. These basically have every flavor he craves. I know what I’m making this week 😉 these look AH-MAY-ZING. Gah. Om nom.

  15. Renee says:

    ooo la la I will take a dozen please. 😀

    Those look amazing!

  16. Renee says:

    I feel your pain on the photography. Trying to learn to take better pictures myself!

  17. OMG are you trying to kill me or something??? Those look freaking amazing! I think I am going to swoon with cupcake lust!
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. I know what you mean about the lighting. It gets dark here around 4, and today its been grey and rainy all day. Yep, cheery old England, not a nice place at the moment.

  18. Lori Lynn says:

    Cupcake masterpiece. Look at the stuffing! And topping! My goodness.
    Sorry for the Top9 mix-up. You definitely deserve it.

  19. Kerry says:

    HOLY MOLY!! Those are the ultimate pumpkin muffins! I’d prefer the flat topped gooey ones! I like the cheesecake filling method, will try it with my famous chocolate chip muffins too!!

  20. Mary says:

    Those look amazing and thanks for passing on the filling tip. I actually like the muffin stumps, and even more with all that filling.

  21. Lisa, every word i the title is a giant serve of yumyumyum! 😀 Seriously best recipe title EVER! 😛

  22. Sophie33 says:

    Your pumpkin cheesecake muffins look like real winners!!!
    The toffee streusel on top looks quite fabulous!!! 🙂

    Kisses from Brussels!

  23. Megan says:

    Toffee streusel… chocolate drizzle… I so need to get my hands on some of these!

  24. Suzanne says:

    I read this post this morning in bed and it really made me hungry girl! All the goodness on tip with the choc toffee then the center with cream cheese yum-o! Your writing is always so entertaining too 🙂 Hope your week is wonderful! xoxox

  25. Liz says:

    Yup, you need to change your blog name immediately 😉 These look fabulous…I love pumpkin muffins, cheesecake AND toffee…and putting them all together makes an irresistible muffin. Thanks for all the tips to help make these beauties~

  26. Valerie says:

    Lisa, these look so satisfying and delicious! I’ve been forced offline recently, but I’m having a blast getting back into things and looking through everyone’s blogs again, if only to feast my eyes on goodies like these!

  27. Valerie says:

    Sorry for double posting, just saw your comment on my blog. Definitely keep me posted if you come to Montreal, hopefully we’ll finally get to meet!

  28. Wow, these look so good! Love the cream cheese filling.

  29. Wow – this muffin combines pretty much everything I love in a dessert. I can’t get enough pumpkin lately, even though it’s summer here in Australia! Mango pie, however, just doesn’t come up the same!

    So happy to have stumbled across your blog!

    Catherine @ The Spring (in Brisbane)

  30. Liz says:

    Lisa, thanks SO much for solving the mystery of the origin of my cookie bars!!! And I’m glad you have been reunited with an old favorite recipe!

  31. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Omg, these cupcakes are too decadent for words! Awesome!

  32. Delicious muffin recipe! It’s make me so hungry 🙂 Thanks a lot for sharing.

  33. I’ll have them all. Yes I have redone a recipe for photographic purposes too. the muffins look amazing Lisa. Muffin tops on a muffin rule, muffin tops out of jeans…not so much 😉

  34. Hmmm, tough choice! But just thinking of toffee streusel has me wanting more 🙂 I’ve seen the muffin pans designed for filling, but you’ve done an excellent job without one.

  35. Oh my goodness – these look incredibly delicious!

  36. Juliana says:

    Lisa, these muffins look awesome, love the cheesecake in it…and the streusel…yummie!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

  37. if the toffee streusel wasn’t enough you had to add some cheesecake goodness. I’m so loving these muffins!

  38. Carolyn says:

    Holy moly, Lisa. These leave me speechless!

  39. FOODESSA says:

    I agree…this is a fanatastic technique which you, Lisa, have turned into a treat that has become even more inspirational. Will be trying these out for sure ;o)

    …Dear Lisa
    Just briefly passing by to wish you and your loved ones the finest of Holiday seasons.
    I’m very much looking forward to hopefully soon joining my Foodies again ;o) Until then, all the very best towards a desirable New Year.

    Flavourful wishes,

  40. teaandscones says:

    THESE look fantastic. I cannot wait to make them.

  41. Christa says:

    I made these this morning and they are wonderful. I doubled the recipe and ended up with a lot of extra streusel topping and cheesecake mixture. I pressed the topping into the bottom of a baking dish, poured the cheesecake mixture over it, baked it, and BONUS CHEESECAKE!

    • Lisa says:

      I’m so glad you loved them, Christa..AND ended up with a toffee streusel cheesecake with the leftovers, to boot! Brilliant! When I created the cheesecake filling and streusel, I wanted overload in and on top of each muffin, so I don’t recall having leftovers with the batch recipe above, but I know what to do with them when I do! Thank you!

  42. Lucia Aguirre says:

    I” wuld love to make some of this delicious looking muffings !

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  45. Lisa Cox says:

    Well now it’s 2016! I found this on Pinterest and baked a batch tonight as a trial run for my daughter’s wedding coming up – THEY ARE WONDERFUL!!!! We’re going to freeze some from tonight’s batch and try them in a month to see if they keep well so we can make them ahead. (We did make them regular size for easier serving at the reception and they still looked beautiful!!!)

    • Lisa says:

      Wow, you might make these for your daughter’s wedding? Now that is a compliment of the highest order, Lisa! I’m so thrilled that you love them enough to even entertain that idea! Congratulations on your daughter’s upcoming nuptials, and thank you so much for stopping in to let me know how they turned out! xo

      P.S. – I totally agree that regular sized muffins are better for a wedding! Can you imagine the guest walking around with giant muffins crumbling all over them? LOL

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