In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium speed until blended and smooth. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom.
Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap. Use a spatula to transfer the cream cheese mixture onto the plastic wrap in a log shape, about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter.
Smooth the plastic wrap tightly around the log, sealing the ends well. You can reinforce with more plastic wrap or foil if you want. Transfer to the freezer and chill at least 2 hours, or overnight. You want the cream cheese log to be firm enough to slice.
To make the muffins, spray the tops of 2 muffin pans
with nonstick spray. (Don't focus on spraying the inside of the muffin wells, just grease the top so that the muffin tops will come off the pan nicely.)
Fill each tin with paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the eggs until blended. Add 2 cups sugar, the pumpkin puree and the oil. Mix on medium-low speed until blended, scraping the sides and bottom if necessary.
Add 3 cups of spooned and leveled flour, but do not mix it in yet. Make a small well in the flour, and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking soda. Use a small spoon to stir it into a flour a bit.
Use a large spatula to mix the wet and dry ingredients together. You can use the mixer if you want, just be very careful not to over mix. Only stir until the flour has barely been incorporated. Make sure there are no liquid-y parts, and remember to scrape the sides and bottom well.
Cover and put the muffin batter into the fridge to rest for about 20 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
Time to make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1/3 cup flour and 2 teaspoons cinnamon; whisk to blend. Add in the cold butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender
or a fork until the mixture is coarse and crumbly. You could also use your hands to incorporate the butter. The mixture should look like coarse sand with pea-size chunks of butter throughout.
To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well with a tablespoon of chilled batter, just enough to cover the bottom of the liner.
Slice the log of frozen cream cheese filling into 24 equal pieces. Place a slice of the cream cheese mixture into each muffin well.
Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups. Fill the batter nearly to the top of the liner; there should only be between 1/4 and 1/8 inch of space at the top.
Sprinkle about a tablespoon of the crumb topping over each muffin. Chill the assembled muffins if there is any time lapse before you bake.
Bake for 6 minutes at 425 degrees.
After 6 minutes, without opening the oven door, turn on your oven light and look at the muffins. They should have risen about 1/4 inch above the edge of pan by now. If not, leave them in 1 minute longer at 425.
Once the muffins have puffed over the edge of the pan, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! Seriously.
Once you have lowered the heat to 350, bake for another 13-15 minutes. The muffins should not be shiny in the center, and a toothpick inserted should come out with no wet batter on it.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 2 minutes.
Use a butter knife to help loosen the edges of the muffins, and remove to a wire rack to cool. I know they are still very hot after 2 minutes, but taking them out of the pan right away will keep the muffins from getting soggy.
Eat one muffin as soon as humanly possible considering how hot they are, then let the rest cool completely on the wire rack.
Store covered on the fridge for 1-2 days, after that refrigerate them.
These muffins (and all muffins!) freeze very well. Once cool, place in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2-3 months. Let thaw in the closed bag on the counter. Warm up in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to live your best life.