Fall Favorites Series – Pumpkin

Pumpkin spice and everything nice! Join It’s the Sweet Life in welcoming back one of our favorite fall flavors with three PUMPKIN recipes.

pumpkinYou know the saying, “Sugar and spice and everything nice?” Well, it is fall, which means it is time for “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice.”

Fall is all about visits to the pumpkin patch, trips to the apple orchards, haunted houses, and over-sized mugs filled to the brim with coffee, hot chocolate, or maybe a spiced apple cider.

Each year, It’s the Sweet Life welcomes fall by highlighting some of our favorite fall flavor recipes.

The “Fall Favorites” series begins with my personal fall favorite – pumpkin!

Pumpkin Muffins with a Cream Cheese Swirl 

If you are searching for the perfect muffin to pair with your morning coffee, search no further.

This muffin is a quick, easy, and delicious fix to your morning breakfast routine.

The creaminess of the cream cheese mixture, combined with the warm spices of the pumpkin muffin, blend together perfectly.

Plus, they save well. Put them in an air tight container and they will stay moist and fresh for at least a week.

You can also put them in a bag and freeze them. Microwave until warm, and it is like you just pulled a muffin from the oven.

Pumpkin Muffins with a Cream Cheese Swirl IMG_9422

This recipe yields a dozen muffins. 


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • 8 ounce block cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place cupcake liners into each space of your IMG_9409muffin tin or grease your tin WELL.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, sugar, and brown sugar,
  4. Beat in eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extra. Slowly, mix in the flour mixture until there are not any lumps in the batter. Fill your muffin tins until they are 3/4 full.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  6. Top each muffin with about a tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it around the batter.
  7. Bake muffins for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe courtesy of The Novice Chef 

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

I love pumpkin and I love trying any pumpkin recipe I can find.

This recipe, by far, has been my favorite. This cookie is a fun, modern twist on a fall / winter favorite.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles give you that same warm, spicy, and sweet feeling of a typical snickerdoodle, but with the added flavor of pumpkin spice.

Your typical snickerdoodles usually are flat with a crunch on the outside and soft, chewy on the inside.

[FALL FAVORITES — Pumpkin Edition, 2016]

These pumpkin spice snickerdoodles still have that same crunch on the outside, but they are fluffy and soft on the inside, almost a melt in your mouth texture.

These are perfect for just about any occasion — quick and easy to make in under an hour. For me, I took them into the newsroom and they were gone by the end of the morning shift. Definitely a favorite in the newsroom!

Like the muffins, these cookies store and freeze well. I stuck a bag of these goodies in the freezer, took them out over a week later, let them thaw out, and it was like I had just baked them.

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles 

This recipe yields 3-dozen cookies (depending on size) 


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flourIMG_9425
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened – not melted
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*You can add extra cinnamon to your cookie dough, if you prefer more of a cinnamon flavor to your snickerdoodles


  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, using a mixer, beat butter, sugar, pum pkin, egg, and vanilla until combined. Slowly, add dry ingredients and stir until just combined. IMG_9430
  4. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Scoop about a tablespoon of cookie dough into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll until covered. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Once all your cookies are placed on the sheet, sprinkle more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of your cookies using a spoon.
  7. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.

This recipe is a combination of a recipe from Delish and a generic snickerdoodle recipe. 

Crumbly Pumpkin Bread 

Every fall, I always look forward to making homemade pumpkin bread. For me, pumpkin bread is one of the foods that warm my soul.

I make pumpkin bread frequently throughout the fall season, but I wanted to try something new to give my bread a little added flare.

So, I found this recipe for a crumbly pumpkin bread that adds a streusel topping.

This different spin on a traditional pumpkin bread gives it a unique, tasty nuance.

[FALL FAVORITES — Apple Edition, 2016]

It combines your typical pumpkin spice flavor profile with a bite of salty and subtle sweetness.

The one downside to this type of pumpkin bread can actually be the crumble. When it is fresh out of the oven, it is a perfect texture. It is crumbly and crunchy on the outside, but still moist and buttery on the inside.

As you freeze or store your crumbly pumpkin bread, the crumble on top becomes less crumbly and more, almost, soggy. While it is still flavorful and definitely delicious, it doesn’t add the same desired texture.

Crumbly Pumpkin Bread 

This recipe yields three medium sized loaves of pumpkin bread. 

For this recipe, you can use any pumpkin bread recipe. I used my mom’s recipe, but any pumpkin bread recipe will work for this.

Here is an example:

BREAD: pumpkin bread 4

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


This, you can use on top of any pumpkin bread recipe.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened — not melted
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread pans WELL with cooking spray or line your pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. pumpkin bread 3
  3. In a separate large bowl, beat melted butter, sugar, pumpkin, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.
  4. Gradually, combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.
  5. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients for your topping until large clumps form.
  6. Pour your batter into the bread pans until its about half to 3/4 full. Scatter the topping mixture on top of your batter.
  7. Bake your pumpkin bread for approximately an hour to an hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

Recipe courtesy of Delish

Look for part two of our “Fall Favorites” series, Apples — coming soon!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on our new Instagram page, @itsthesweetlifeblog! 


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