Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Posted by on Oct 21, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cheese galore, cupcakes, pumpkin | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Pumpkin pairs with cream cheese in this delicious Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

No need for extra sugar or frosting on top. These are delicious all on their own!

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

It seems that my pumpkin theme most years needs at least one cream cheese and pumpkin pairing. This one fulfills that requirement this year, and in a delicious way.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

These cupcakes are light and airy with a bright flavor of pumpkin and spice, with the cream cheese adding wonderful sweetness.

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This recipe makes two dozen. It’s certainly faster to bake up if you have two pans, but that is by no means required. One pan will do the job.

One warning about these things: they are so light and airy, it is easy to eat several at once. But because they are pumpkin, that makes them healthy, right? Just, uh, ignore that sugar and oil…

Bready or Not Original: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

These light, airy pumpkin cupcakes includes luscious pockets of cream cheese in the middle! Recipe makes 2 dozen.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cream cheese, cupcake, pumpkin
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Author: Beth Cato


  • 1 or 2 cupcake/muffin pans
  • paper cupcake liners


Pumpkin batter

  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • nonstick spray

Cream cheese filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg room temperature


  • Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
  • In a big bowl, beat together pumpkin puree, sugar, and oil. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  • In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Gradually blend into the pumpkin mix.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, carefully warm the cream cheese a touch, just to make it soft enough to mash. Stir in the white sugar and egg until it is cohesive; it's okay if there are still some small chunks of cream cheese.
  • Place paper liners in the muffin pan (or two pans, if available). Apply nonstick spray in each liner. Add pumpkin to fill each liner about 1/3; a teaspoon scoop is useful for this. Add some dollops of cream cheese into each. Add layers of pumpkin batter to cover.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a middle cupcake passes the toothpick test. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then gingerly use two forks to pry out each cupcake to set on a rack to cool more. Place in sealed container in fridge to store.


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    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    Posted by on Jul 8, 2020 in apples, Blog, blueberry, Bready or Not, breakfast, cupcakes, healthier, muffin | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins! Fruity flavors combine in a delicious way in this original recipe.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    I love apple butter. It’s delicious, versatile stuff. I’ve found it can work as a substitute in recipes that call for things like applesauce, bananas, and pumpkin puree.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    Here, the inherent spiciness in apple butter adds a lot of flavor without the need to measure out extra spices–and the thick texture creates a cakey, moist crumb.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    The fresh blueberries throughout are like flavor bombs, introducing a different kind of sweetness in contrast.


    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    Do note that this recipe makes 24 muffins. It saves a lot of time if you have two pans, but this recipe could certainly be done with one. Make sure you have paper liners, though. There’s no sadness like my-muffin-is-stuck-in-the-pan sadness.

    Bready or Not Original: Apple Butter Blueberry Muffins

    Apple butter and blueberries are a delicious, underutilized combo that work out perfectly in these moist, cakey muffins. Recipe makes 24 muffins, so make this recipe with plans to share or freeze!
    Course: Breakfast, Snack
    Keyword: apple butter, blueberries, muffins
    Servings: 24 muffins
    Author: Beth Cato


    • muffin liners
    • 2 muffin pans


    • 1 cup fresh blueberries
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon heaping
    • 2 eggs room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups apple butter
    • 3/4 cup coconut oil liquid


    • Preheat oven at 425-degrees. Place muffin liners in two 12-count pans and apply a heavy dose of nonstick spray. Set aside.
    • Wash and sort through blueberries, picking out stems or mushy berries. Pat dry. Place in a bowl. Add a tablespoon or so of flour and gently stir to coat berries. This will prevent them from sinking in the batter.
    • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
    • In a big mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla, apple butter, and coconut oil. Gradually pour in the dry ingredients, scraping bottom several times, until everything is just incorporated. Carefully fold in the blueberries.
    • Scoop batter into prepared liners, filling each no more than 3/4 full.
    • Bake for 5 minutes at 425-degrees. Don't open oven door. Lower temperature to 375-degrees and bake for an additional 16 to 18 minutes, until middle muffins pass the toothpick test.
    • Remove pans from oven. Immediately (and carefully) use a fork to pry out each muffin. Keeping them in liners, set on rack to completely cool.
    • Once cooled, pack in sealed containers. If freezing muffins, remove liners first.


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      Bready or Not Guest: Fiery Surprise Cupcakes by Wendy Nikel, author of THE CAUSALITY LOOP

      Posted by on Oct 29, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, cupcakes, guest, guest recipe | Comments Off on Bready or Not Guest: Fiery Surprise Cupcakes by Wendy Nikel, author of THE CAUSALITY LOOP

      I’m happy to welcome Wendy Nikel back for another bout of cupcakes and a time travel novella! The Causality Loop finishes up her four-book sequence from World Weaver Press, and it’s fantastic. The perfect end for the series. (Disclaimer: I have indeed read them all, courtesy of WWP.) As novellas, each book makes for a quick read… but not so quick that you can’t enjoy a cupcake (or two) as you snuggle into your reading nook for a much-needed escape from our current timeline.

      If you haven’t yet, check out Wendy’s past visits:
      THE CONTINUUM and Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes
      THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX and Cherry Cupcakes
      CASSANDRA COMPLEX and Chocolate Blueberry Cupcakes



      Fiery Surprise Cupcakes
      by Wendy Nikel

      It’s release day for THE CAUSALITY LOOP, the fourth and final Place in Time novella, which means that once again, it’s time for me to pull out my mixer, cupcake pans, and frosting tips, and share with you something delicious to celebrate my new book!

      I have loved coming up with new cupcake recipes for each of these books. In a way, it’s kind of like being on Cupcake Wars or Sugar Rush – some of my favorite Netflix competition shows. In each of these, the judges provide a theme or challenge for each round, and bakers have to come up with ways to meet it by producing a delicious dessert. And while the previous books were a bit easier to figure out – space-inspired chocolate coffee cupcakes with galaxy-swirled frosting for THE CONTINUUM; Midwest county fair-inspired cherry chocolate cupcakes for THE GRANDMOTHER PARADOX; and a blueberry cupcake for THE CASSANDRA COMPLEX, which was inspired by an old Fred Harvey recipe – this one was a bit more difficult to figure out, but I had a couple elements I knew I wanted to include.

      The first of these was fire! As you can see from the cover, fire plays an important role in this book. The opening pages (which you can read here) start out with an act of arson, which our main character Dodge Greenley hopes will protect his family – and the scent of smoke follows him throughout the book.

      The second element I wanted to include was a callback to the previous books. In many ways, this final novella brings things full circle, pulling in story threads, characters, and elements from the previous three books, so I wanted to tie that into my celebration cupcake somehow. I scoured recipe books and baking blogs, searching for the perfect combination.

      I pulled out my favorite basic cupcake recipe and grated the zest of one lemon to balance out some of the bolder, more “fiery” flavors I was planning to add later.

      After mixing all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder) in one bowl and the wet ingredients (sugar, butter, eggs, lemon zest) in another, I combined them with a bit of milk. Then, it was into the cupcake trays and into the oven for 16 minutes at 350 degrees.

      While they were cooling, I started on the orange frosting. I blended the orange extract and orange food coloring (I used the gel kind for a bright hue) into the butter until it was smooth, then alternated adding the powdered sugar and milk until it was the consistency I wanted. Then it was time to try out a new tip I’d run across in my research – a pastry bullet.

      The idea with these is to lay out plastic wrap, drop your frosting directly onto it, and then twist it up into a “bullet” that’s easier to handle and tidier to clean up. Tie one end close to the frosting and leave a few inches of twisted plastic wrap on the other end. I was really pleased with how this worked out. When it was time to frost, I could just throw it all into the pastry bag, thread the longer end through the piping tip, cut off the extra, and be ready to frost without the mess of trying to maneuver the frosting into the very bottom of the bag or the excess frosting coming back out the back of the bag.

      But first, it was time to add my surprise! I found large, round sprinkles in the colors of each of my previous book covers – blue, red, and purple – and mixed them together in a dish. Then I took each of the cupcakes, cut a hole in the middle, and had my assistants (my kiddos wanted to help with this part) drop the sprinkles into the center of the cupcake.

      Then we took the inner section we’d cut out of the cupcake and placed the top of it back onto it to cover the hole we’d made. Ta-da! Now when you bite into the cupcake, you’ll get a confetti-like surprise!

      After we frosted the cupcakes, I threw them back into the fridge while I prepared the next step: our fiery cinnamon Red Hot drizzle. I dumped about half a cup of Red Hots into a saucepan and just barely covered them with water. Stirring constantly, I melted these over medium heat.

      Once they were melted and I pulled them off the stove, I could drizzle them onto the frosted cupcakes. The drizzle thickens fairly quickly; I had to put it back onto the hot burner a couple times to thin it out again to make it easier to dribble onto the cupcakes.

      I topped the cupcakes with orange and white sprinkles (if you do it while the Red Hot drizzle is still hot, they stick to it pretty well).

      And now our fiery surprise cupcakes were finally ready for consumption!


      Dodge Greenley is tired of being the go-between for his time-traveling family. All he wants is for them all to be able to live together peacefully in one era—is that too much to ask? But after breaking all the Rules of time travel in a desperate attempt to retroactively free his parents from the threat of the secret organization his father worked for a hundred years earlier, Dodge makes a startling discovery. It turns out there’s someone else stalking his family up and down the timeline, and this time, the menace may be coming from within the Place in Time Travel Agency itself.

      Enlisting the help of his 22nd century coworker, Dodge sets off to the year 1915 to rescue his sister from a threat that might have originated at any point in their past, present, or future, proving once again that the greatest threat to time travelers is other time travelers.

      THE CAUSALITY LOOP: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes/Apple Books | World Weaver Press

      About the author:
      Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Analog, Nature: Futures, Podcastle, and elsewhere. Her time travel novella series, beginning with The Continuum, is available from World Weaver Press. For more info, visit

      THE CAUSALITY LOOP Fiery Surprise Cupcakes

      A subtly citrus cupcake with cinnamon Red Hot drizzle and a surprise inside, inspired by THE CAUSALITY LOOP by Wendy Nikel
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: cupcake
      Author: Beth Cato


      Cupcake Ingredients:

      • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder
      • 1 cup white sugar
      • 1 cup butter 2 sticks 2 sticks
      • lemon zested zested
      • 4 eggs
      • 3 Tablespoons milk

      Frosting ingredients:

      • 1 cup butter 2 sticks 2 sticks
      • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
      • 6 Tablespoons milk
      • orange food coloring
      • 1 teaspoon orange extract
      • Red Hot candies
      • sprinkles


      • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
      • Sift together flour and baking powder. In separate bowl, blend sugar and butter. Grate lemon zest into the mixture.
      • Add eggs to sugar mixture one at a time.
      • Gradually add the dry mixture and milk into the sugar mixture until well blended.
      • Fill cupcake liners half full and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool.
      • Beat butter, food coloring, and orange extract until creamy. Alternate adding 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons milk, mixing well after each addition, until all ingredients are mixed in.
      • When cupcakes are cool, carefully cut a hole into the top of each cupcake. Pull out the inner section of cake and set aside. Fill hole with sprinkles, then replace the top of the cake and frost!
      • Melt Red Hots on the stove. Drizzle melted candy over the frosted cupcakes. Top with sprinkles and enjoy with a good book!
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