Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze {Gluten-free}


Pumpkin Spice Muffins

On our flight back from Philadelphia two weeks ago, I found myself in a middle seat caught in a conversational crossfire between Lucas and the founder of HotorNot.com at the very moment I’d decided to get some dissertation writing done. If ever there was place to be a fly on the wall. After forcing Lucas to swap seats with me, I threw some instrumental music on my headphones to drown out their animated discussion. Which would have been a solid plan except Explosions in the Sky’s A Song for Our Fathers was the only instrumental song on my iTunes.

So obviously I listened to it on loop for three straight hours. And let me just say: never was I more productive.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

My friend Jamie just told a story about her 7-year-old daughter reading a novel while listening to Adventures in Odyssey at the same time. When her Grams asked how she could make sense of both stories at the same time, she simply explained, “Grandma, it’s no problem because my brain has two sides.”

All I’m asking is to be able to put my iTunes library on shuffle on in the background while I work. Meanwhile this kid’s successfully splitting her attention between a book and the radio. Can you IMAGINE how productive you’d be if you had her skills? Instead I’m sitting here listening to A Song for Our Fathers for the fourth twelfth time in a row since starting my quest to tell you about these pumpkin muffins.

Gluten-free pumpkin spice muffinsGluten-free pumpkin muffins

As if mother nature knew I was in a pumpkin spice state of mind, it’s finally feeling like fall around here. The wind is dragging thin branches against my window like fingernails and the sky a dull gray with a hint of a chill in the air. Plus, I have a sore throat which is a clear indication that the weather’s changing. I’m sure I’m jinxing it and it’ll be warm again at a moment’s notice, but for now I’m snuggled up with a scarf, a cat, and a cup of hot tea wishing I could build a fire and dreaming about squash and pomes.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cream Cheese Drizzle

You know when it wasn’t so chilly? When I baked these pumpkin spice muffins last weekend…two times in a row because the first attempt needed tweaks. Hours with the oven on brought the kitchen to a toasty 90°F, but these streusel-topped fall muffins were completely worth the sweat. With all my petty weather complaints, it’s striking me that I live just where I belong – in a climate that fluctuates no more than 30 degrees all year round. Life is good.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Back to the muffins. These pumpkin spice muffins are an updated gluten-free version of the pumpkin pie muffins I made two autumns ago. In addition to the optional flour swap, I lightened them up by replacing some of the sugar with honey and oil with applesauce. Then I added an oat flour streusel and thin drizzle of cinnamon cream cheese glaze to make breakfast feel just a little bit more like dessert.

Pumpkin MuffinsGluten-free pumpkin streusel muffins

Whether you’ve been on the fence about the texture of gluten-free baking, or you’re the muscle behind the “I hate muffins” brigade, these pumpkin spice muffins are here to win you over. They’re moist and hearty without being heavy or chewy. The fall spices draw out and highlight the rich pumpkin while the streusel and cream cheese drizzle make it all taste a tad tart and indulgent, but not cloyingly so. I’m going to go ahead and call this the official muffin of fall 2014.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese

For more pumpkin inspiration, check out these pumpkin recipes from around the web:

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal by Set the Table

Cheesy Pumpkin Quesadillas by Climbing Grier Mountain

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Ricotta Gnocchi from The Bojon Gourmet

Vegetarian Pumpkin & Kale Pasta Bake by The Adventures of MJ & Hungryman

Pumpkin Pie Spice Popcorn by Dine and Dish

Pumpkin Pie Brown Rice Crispy Treats by Snixy Kitchen

Thanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitterBloglovin’, or Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze {Gluten-free}
Yields: 12 muffins
Pumpkin Spice Muffins {gluten-free}
  • ⅓ cup oat flour (1½ cups all-purpose flour can be substituted for the first 6 ingredients if not making gluten-free)
  • ⅓ cup millet flour
  • ⅓ cup white rice flour
  • ¼ cup sweet rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2½ tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Streusel Topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup oat flour (Note: I grind gluten-free oats in a food processor until fine)
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ teaspoons non-fat milk
Pumpkin Spice Muffins
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Prepare the streusel topping according to the directions below.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, millet flour, rice flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the pumpkin puree, applesauce, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and eggs. Whisk on medium-low speed until smooth.
  5. Add the sugar and honey and mix thoroughly to combine.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, mixing on low until just thoroughly combined.
  7. Divide the batter among 12 lined muffin tins, filling each cup about ¾ full.
  8. Sprinkle the streusel topping on top of each muffin.
  9. Bake for 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Streusel Topping
  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl with a fork or with your hands until they are evenly combined and crumbly.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese over medium-high speed until smooth and creamy.
  2. Reduce the speed and gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and ground cinnamon, and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually add the milk in small amounts until the mixture thins into a glaze (adding a teaspoon more milk at a time as needed).
  5. When the muffins have cooled a bit, drizzle the glaze on top (I used a pastry bag to pipe the glaze, but you could also use a spoon to drizzle it on top).

More from Snixy Kitchen

Filed Under: , , , ,


  1. Dessert or breakfast…either way I want these muffins!

  2. Allison says:

    Oh man, do I wish I could use both sides of my brain at all times! That was a really great plane story, by the way. I always find that some of the best stories come off of planes! It’s such a strange situation to be in when you’re stuck with a crew of strangers.

    On to the muffins–these look way too good! I need to make these before all of the pumpkin is gone from the shops. Gorgeous recipe and photos and story!!! Really enjoyed reading this post :) PS. The colour on the interior? PERFECTION!

    • Haha – I’m totally that person that seeks out plane stories by talking to whoever is sitting next to me! I do hope you make them – please let me know if you enjoy them! Thank you, Allison!

  3. Oh, my! I love pumpkin flavor in the fall and these muffins look scrumptious! Great photos, by the way…you are making me droool!

  4. I would love to be able to use both sides of my brain at once. I have a one track mind and easily get distracted. It can be annoying to say the least.
    I am swooning over these muffins! I love the streusel topping and cream cheese glaze. Pinned!

  5. I wish I had one to go with my morning coffee!

  6. Things would be so much easier if we were neighbors, Sarah. Cuz I want ALLLLL those muffins. Now.

  7. I can’t imagine a more perfect looking muffin. So happy you sweated it out in the kitchen to bring us these!!!

  8. These are so, so pretty and they sound (and look) amazing!

  9. These muffins are heavenly! I agree, sometimes, I’ve had my most productive working sessions with my headphones on and music slightly louder than necessary. Love the purplish leaves on that bunch of corn in the background!

  10. I’ve never tried any gluten-free muffins before, so I don’t have a predisposed dislike. I’d be happy to sample these if you want to drop a little basket off in the City for me. :)

  11. Alanna says:

    As someone with only 4 things on her itunes (2 David Sedaris audiobooks and 2 Joni Mitchell songs), I feel your pain. Although I’m uber curious about what Lucas and the hot or not guy talked about! (Rating other passengers on the flight, I’m guessing.) These muffins are definitely hot! I’m all over them.

    • Haha, I now also have a Catamus song on my iTunes that makes me pretty happy. Apparently he was super secretive about “an app” he was working on, but kept dropping the “I have to send this off to Apple when I land” line to make sure we knew he was a big deal. Although at this point I put my headphones on, so probably they started a scoring sheet, obviously.

      Thanks, lady!

  12. Alanna says:

    Ps. Thanks for the shout out!

  13. I’ve never met a pumpkin muffin I didn’t love — these look perfect :)

  14. That crumble topping. And that glaze!!! Oh my! So many things to love about these muffins. They look absolutely delish!

  15. Oh man, I wish I could multitask like that little gal–talk about lucky :) These muffins look too good for words. And THAT GLAZE. Be still my heart :)

  16. So true about your city staying within those same 30°… And then up where I’m at, we get a 70° split from 110° in the summer to 40° in the winter! Although I suppose I should be thankful we’re generally up towards to the higher end of the spectrum… But anyway, I can’t listen to music AT ALL when I write. All I can hear is the lyrics, and that just totally blows my concentration. Same with the TV. Or people trying to have conversations. I’m impressed you managed to get any work done on your dissertation at all! And finally, on to these muffins… I totally wish you hadn’t made them a few weeks ago because I would beg you to bring me one tomorrow. (AHH it’s tomorrow — that snuck up on me way too quickly!!) That’s all. For now. ;) Pinned!

  17. Why is it that whenever we need or want to bake it’s always warm out instead of the other way around. Either way I’m glad you made these delicious pumpkin spice muffins!

  18. ALL about this. Breakfast is my favorite meal for this exact reason… is it breakfast or is it dessert? Is there more savory or more sweet? IT’S EVERYTHING!

    Making these immediately (once I’m in the new kitchen that is).

    xx Katie
    lovely letters

  19. We’ve discussed how I feel about these muffins (when are you bringing these delicious and gorgeous things over again?) but we have NOT discussed *my* last plane ride. I was happily seated in an exit row window with an empty middle seat. The gentleman in the aisle seat was nice and all, but a talker. When I find out where I worked, he insisted on telling me his favorite flavors as I nodded and said “oh, um, yes, that IS a good one” and THEN he asked me how brown rice syrup is made. “Do they add SUGAR to the brown rice?”

    I am obviously an expert in everything.

  20. I am obsessed with muffins, I am love all kinds. But these pumpkin spice muffins look amazing. And that glaze!

  21. I LOVE pumpkin muffins but with cinnamon cream cheese glaze? Well that is just heaven.

  22. Bubble Girl says:

    These look insanely delish! I MUST make this weekend!

  23. Can’t believe these are gluten free! Amazing! Would have never guessed! Perfect fall treat!

  24. Man, I wish my brain worked like that 7 year old girl!

    The muffins look great! I normally don’t eat muffins, but I’d make an exception for yours :)

  25. I’ve been trying to teach myself to be a better multi-tasker! It’s tough, but I like listening to some mellow music or something (especially if they are songs that I don’t know) when I’m working, or going to a coffee shop! This recipe also looks delicious, love the cinnamon and cream cheese glaze :)

  26. Gurlffrrrannnn high five, I have a super sore throat too! Err maybe that’s not a good way to to go about it, hehe. But seriously. I think my body gets all wonky whenever the seasons truly start to change–I probably wouldn’t survive anywhere else other than LA now. :P And great job making these GF!!! No offense to true gf folks out there, but these do look too good for GF. So fluffy and not as dense as you’d expect. And that was too cute about the 2 sides of the brain, wish I could use it all at once like that! Have a marvelous day, lovely~ <3

    • Haha yes! Let’s high five our sore throats! Hehe. Funny how wise our bodies are to the changing weather. Thank you so much, Ellie! I don’t think you’d be able to tell at all that there’s flour missing from this recipe! In fact, I think they might even be better than their flour counterpart :D.

  27. Gorgeous. Love the oat flour topping! Pinned!

  28. dina says:

    i’d love to have one of these for breakfast!

  29. Min says:

    Wow! I’m DEF impressed by that 7 year old! Seriously, how productive would I be!! I’ve really been struggling to stay focused lately. Not good…not good at all. sniff sniff. I’m also jealous that you got to bust out your scarves! Enjoy! ;)

    I really do want to try baking gf desserts. However, I find the long list of ingredients a bit intimidating. I don’t have a lot of them on hand. But these muffins look wayy too good to pass up! Pinning!

    • I’ve been wearing my scarf for four days straight now! Never taking it off! (Ok, once it gets hot again, I’m sure I’ll be back to shooting in my underwear.

      I’m so glad you said this because that was my biggest gripe too! Most gluten-free baking can be made with the same ingredients, so if you buy a bag of each, you can adapt most gluten free cooking with them. Here’s what I keep on hand: sweet rice flour (also good for mochi!:), white rice flour, millet flour, oats (which I grind into oat flour as needed), and xanthan gum. These are the same ingredients I use in my cupcakes, cookies, and cornbread. It’s tough to get started, but once you get over the hurdle the first time you’ll always have them on hand! I do hope you give it a try! xo.

  30. These muffins look lovely! Your photography is amazing! Love pumpkin spice muffins and that cream cheese glaze sounds absolutely lush! :D

  31. These are the seriously the prettiest muffins girl! Love that cream cheese glaze and glorious streusel topping! Glad that the weather is getting a bit cooler even though it wasn’t the day you made these. I would gladly polish off any of these for breakfast, lunch or dinner – yum!

  32. These muffins are just gorgeous Sarah! I just want to dip my finger into a bowl of that cinnamon cream cheese glaze – fantastic! Pinned!

    • I mean, just go for it – lick the ENTIRE bowl. That’s what I did. PS. Come visit me and I’ll make you a bowl of the glaze all to yourself. And maybe even something to put it on too.

  33. Oh my god these are some gorgeous muffins!

  34. when i was a kid, i used to eat “cinnamon toast” which was really just a slice of bread with a small layer of butter, a small layer of cinnamon, and a full splattering of sugar that covered the entire thing a few layers over. and then i’d lick all of the (purposefully spilt) excess sugar off the counter. true story. i miss those days. my hips however, do not.

    ps. these look amazing, is what i want to tell you.

  35. tanya says:

    I love that answer, “there are two sides to my brain”, what a smart kid. When it comes to theses muffins, both ‘sides” of my brain scream “yes”!! These are beautiful!

  36. I want to write an all instrumental love song for these beauties! They look delish!

  37. First off, I adore Expolosions in the Sky. Another reason I adore you and your beautiful gluten free muffins. Second, I am currently on a plane trying to be productive… but once again I find myself recipe hunting and watching Food Network. How come I can only multitask when it’s around food??

    So good seeing you again last night! I vote for another SF meetup soon!

    • Ditto, girl! If there’s food, I’ll figure out how to split my attention. Otherwise, forget it. I second that vote – I hope you’re having a great weekend at your conference! I’m so glad I got to see you at least for dinner:)

  38. Love, love, love some Pumpkin Spice muffins, and that glaze is screaming my name!!!

  39. This is so funny because I’m reading your post while listening to a podcast. And of course, I had to go back and re-read it because I can’t pay attention to two things at once like that. Oh…to have the flexible brain of a young kid! Gah. These muffins look amazing. That glaze has me drooling!

  40. Mmm, these looks so delicious and beautiful! One of my friends adheres to a GF diet so I will have to pass this her way.

    I tried using tapioca starch once in a bid to make GF coconut cookies but it was such a disaster haha.

    • Thank you! I’d love to hear if she tries them out!

      Oh noes – I hope you try GF baking again sometime! I tend to like ratios that use only a little bit of tapioca starch for structure, but not too much.

  41. No hyperlink for Hot or Not? What gives Sarah?

  42. That wooden cake stand. LOVE! These look perfect for a fall breakfast, I’m loving that cream cheese drizzle on top!

  43. I am seriously swooning over how awesome these muffins look, Sarah! That crumble, the glaze….totally gorgeous! Pinned!

  44. Erika says:

    Okay omg your photos are BONKERS beautiful! Like I want to snatch that delicious crumb right out of the screen. Also, I’m totally going to start listening to that song–maybe it’ll be my secret productive weapon!!!

  45. Sometimes when I run I listen to the same energizing song over and over again and for some reason it really helps! I’ve been dying for some good pumpkin muffins lately and these look like the ones! I don’t do much gluten free baking because I’m kind of intimidated by all the flours, but these look like they are worth it :)

    • Now THAT’S a good idea. I should find one song that makes me feel like running and just listen to it on repeat. Maybe then I’d actually put on my running shoes:)

      I hear you on the intimidation factor. I find my staples are: sweet rice flour, millet flour, oat flour (ground up from my oats), rice flour, and tapioca starch. Once you buy them once, you’ll use them in all of your gluten-free baking. HOWEVER, if you’re not up for that, you can also replace the gluten-flours with all-purpose flour in these muffins instead:)

  46. Um, these look amazing. I wish I could eat one (or two) of them right this second! Thanks for the link to my pumpkin spice oatmeal! Spreading the pumpkin love- awesome :)

Leave a comment