Dairy free & gluten free
A surprise inside!
What is more perfect than tender, pumpkin-y muffins stuffed with a cashew cream cheese filling!
What is cashew cream cheese?
Cashew cream cheese is super easy, and it involves soaking cashews in water to soften them. Blended with maple syrup to sweeten, and some water, the result is a creamy and smooth treat, perfect for filling muffins! This recipe is only a little bit different from my everything cream cheese recipe found here. The difference is, we are leaving out the everything bagel seasoning, and adding maple syrup to sweeten this up. A little more water is added to thin the cashew cream out to make it easier to fill into the muffins.
Pumpkin or Butternut squash puree?
I don’t know if you’ve ever tasted pumpkin puree, but it doesn’t really taste like much! I am a big fan of pumpkin puree: it adds moisture to baked goods, thickens and makes the creamiest soups and stews, and is a powerhouse of nutrients. Despite this, for some recipes I enjoy using butternut squash puree. It has triple the flavor of pumpkin, and some ‘honey nut’ varieties are so fragrant, they smell just like a starburst when you cut them open! Feel free to use pumpkin puree, or you can check out my recipe for butternut squash puree here. There are only 2 steps! (Bake squash & blend!)
Better than store bought gluten free muffins OR mixes.
Because there is no wheat flour, there is no gluten! Gluten is the protein in wheat that makes baked goods chewy. To re-create this chewy texture, many commercial boxed mixes and gluten free baked goods contain xanthan gum. A lab made ingredient which mimicks that gluten like texture. Problem is, xanthan gum is messing up your gut bacteria and causes bloating! This is no good. Stick with xanthan gum free foods, and make these muffins instead. The arrowroot powder helps the texture and structure of these muffins, you don’t need that lab made xanthan gum!
What is arrowroot powder?
Arrowroot powder is also known as arrowroot starch/arrowroot powder. It gives texture and structure to baked goods. It is sometimes also used as a thickener. Arrowroot powder comes from the arrowroot plant, its ‘tuber’ or ‘root’ is ground up into a powder. Cornstarch has similar uses in cooking, but is made from corn. Cornstarch is often made from genetically modified (GMO) corn, as well as corn sprayed with the toxic pesticide glyphosate. So a great swap is arrowroot powder.
Where can I find arrowroot powder?
Arrowroot powder can be found in grocery stores in the baking isle along with the flour.
Pumpkin Muffins filled with Cashew Cream Cheese
Did you know butternut squash puree has more flavor than bland pumpkin puree? Butternut squash puree is bright and sweet, perfect for infusing these muffins with a ton of 'pumpkin' flavor! Note: you can also use pumpkin puree, they won't be as flavorful though! Cashews are blended after being soaked in water to result in a creamy no dairy cream cheese, and after the muffins are baked, it is filled into the center of these muffins. These muffins are not 'too' sweet, and can be both a dessert, or breakfast option!
For the muffins
For the cashew cream cheese
Make the muffins
- Combine all dry ingredients except for the nuts.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing well until fully combined.
- Add nuts, mix well.
If you don't have a muffin tin, a great trick is to use mason jar rings upside down on a cookie sheet! Just turn the mason jar rings upside down, and place the muffin papers inside each ring! I have found that this works just as well as a muffin tin.
- Line a muffin tin with muffin papers and fill each to the top with batter.
- In a preheated 350 degree oven, bake muffins for 30-40 minutes until browned on top. If the muffins are browning too much too early, reduce the heat. These muffins are very dense and you don't want the outside cooking before the inside.
- Let cool before filling.
- While the muffins cool, go on to the next step to make the cream cheese filling.
Make the cashew cream cheese filling
The longer your cashews are soaked in water, the better. If you don't have a really high powered blender, it is best to let your cashews soak for 12+ hours. The stronger your blender, the less you need to let your cashews soak to soften. If you don't have overnight, use the boil method: place cashews in a small pot with lid and fill with water just to cover the cashews. Bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 4 hours. Drain the water when ready to use.
- Add all ingredients for the cashew cream cheese into a high powered blender. Start with just 1/8 cup of water, and add more as needed.
- Blend until well combined and smooth.
Fill the muffins with the cashew cream cheese
These will last about 2 days outside of the refrigerator. About 1 week if you refrigerate them!
- Using a melon baller or a knife, cut out a whole in the center of the muffin.
- Put the cream cheese in either a pastry bag, or use a zip lock bag with the corner snipped off just big enough for a magic marker to fit through.
- Use this to pipe the cream cheese into the hole in the muffin!