Okay. These guys are not pretty.
But if you like your muffins super cheesy, slightly spicy (it’s the cayenne pepper), and very savory, then these are the breakfast treats for you. Be warned, sweet teeth: there’s only a hint of brown sugar in here, and the muted flavor of pumpkin really acts as nothing more than a colorful backdrop for white cheddar.
You probably could have told me this before I went through the trouble of baking these things, but it turns out I am not a fan of savory muffins. I mean. I am really not. That bite you see in these pictures? … That was the only bite I took. The rest of the dozen went straight to the ol’ workplace for sharing.
Luckily, museum people on the whole seem to be savory muffin fans (although I noticed peak snack times were more at lunch than at breakfast). These muffins are crazy-easy to make and would be great at a brunch buffet–where ideally your guests are a little more attuned to the needs of their sweet tooth than I am.
Psst… Guess what, paper lovers? You can now print my recipes! Just click on the little print or PDF icon below the recipe.
Pumpkin White Cheddar Muffins
Adapted from Baked Explorations
Makes 1 dozen muffins
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons sour cream
2 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups grated white cheddar, about 4 oz (or any sharp cheddar; I used a 3-year aged white cheddar from Whole Foods)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a cupcake pan with liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin and sour cream. Add the eggs and butter and whisk until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flower, baking powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and brown sugar. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredient mixture into the well. Fold mixtures together until just combined; lumpy is OK! Fold in most of the cheese, leaving a handful for sprinkling the tops of the muffins.
Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly among the liners in the pan. You’ll fill them a bit more than 3/4 full. Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top of the batter.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Let pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then turn out the muffins and allow to cool.
Keeps for a week in an airtight container and can be reheated in a 200-degree oven.