Four or five years ago about this time of the year I was in the mood for pumpkin muffins, so I googled "pumpkin muffins." And what happened kind of changed my life. I discovered Smitten Kitchen. Until then I didn't know food blogs existed. Suddenly, in Smitten Kitchen, I had a trustworthy source for new recipes. Of course I followed links on her blog and discovered other great blogs and a new world opened to me. (Kind of cheesy, but true.)
After taking the kiddos to the pumpkin patch last weekend, I was in the mood to bake something pumpkin-y. Luckily, I had some pumpkin puree in the freezer from last year, and I had company coming after church on Sunday, so I decided to make pumpkin muffins. Except I wanted to add a cream cheese swirl. And, except that I couldn't find my muffin tins. What a random thing to lose track of, eh?
So I made a some adjustments to the recipe, subbed whole wheat pastry flour for half of the all-purpose, and I didn't have pumpkin pie spice, so I used a mixture of what I had on hand. And (long time readers won't be surprised by this) I surfed the net to find an appropriate baking time and temperature... and then I fudged it. This coffee cake was a hit. In fact, we cut it into small squares and when I got to it in the buffet line there were only a few squares left. I think the boys had come back for seconds before the cooks got in line. But I can't blame them. This coffeecake is moist and full of pumpkin-spice warmth. Totally fitting for an autumn morning.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffeecake
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine via Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or a mixture of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, mace, allspice and/or nutmeg)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Swirl
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
Spray or grease and flour a 9" square baking pan. Preheat oven to 350. In small bowl sift together flours and baking powder. In larger bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: pumpkin, vegetable oil, eggs, spices, sugar, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk together Cream Cheese Swirl ingredients. Set aside. Quickly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
Pour half of batter into prepared baking dish. Pour in cream cheese swirl as evenly as possible. Top with remaining batter. At this point you could run a knife through the batter to create a true swirl, but I prefer a more pronounced layer of cream cheese. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, if desired. Bake at 350 in center of oven for 45-50 minutes, until the center is set. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with moist crumbs. Let cool 15 minute before removing from pan. Slice into 24 squares and serve.