Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins {copycat recipe}


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins…just like Starbucks…but at home!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins - a Starbucks copycat! | crazyforcrust.com

Have you ever done TRX at the gym? It’s a system of these rope/cable things that are attached high up on the wall and you hold the handles and do exercises using your own body weight. My trainer has been having me do it a lot, and I love it, especially for arm work. It’s killer!

A few weeks ago he had me do plank with my feet in the TRX handles. So, pretty much I’m in a normal plank with hands on the floor, but my feet are suspended in the air about a foot off the ground. It’s a great core workout and I’m kind of addicted to it. But then he had me moving my feet in and out (still balancing on the plank), forward, and side to side, and my dirty mind reared its ugly head.

Now every time I look at the TRX cables I think of the red room of pain. (Remember? From the 50 Shades of Grey?) And I blush a little. Luckily, he just thinks I’m working hard and doesn’t realize I’m actually, you know, blushing.

But I really can’t look at it normally anymore. Nope.

Something I can look at normally? {With a little lust?} Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins - a Starbucks copycat! | crazyforcrust.com

Every October (sometimes in September) I am SO excited when Starbucks gets their Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Hands down, those are my favorite Starbucks treats. It’s never the same when I have to get boring old banana bread or coffee cake. I want my pumpkin muffin!

Last week we went to Starbucks and I was so excited because I was finally going to allow myself to get one.

And they were OUT OF THEM. #epicfail #epicletdown

So I made my own. It was easy. And just as good…if not better! Because I ate one and have 17 more in the freezer waiting for me!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins - a Starbucks copycat! | crazyforcrust.com

I adapted this recipe from my mom’s banana bread recipe. That recipe is a true workhorse recipe – I’ve adapted it about a gazillion times.

A few things about the recipe:

I use oil in my muffins, not butter. I find that it makes them airier and fluffier. I also stir them by hand, not with a mixer. One, because I’m lazy, and wooden spoons go in the dishwasher. Also, because Sally told me I should.

These muffins are full of pumpkin flavor and pumpkin spice. I used 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, and I found that to be the perfect amount of spiciness for me. If you’re like certain friends I have and want a punch-you-in-the-face spice flavor, up it to 1 tablespoon.

The cream cheese mixture, simply cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, is added on top before baking. The muffin grows up around it and the cream cheese stays soft and sweet, just like at the coffee house. I added some pumpkin seeds to be true to the original…but that ‘s not necessary!

If you crave pumpkin cream cheese muffins like I do, you’ll love these. And you’ll save the $$ every time you pull one from the freezer!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins - a Starbucks copycat! | crazyforcrust.com

 And you can have them all year long!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins {copycat recipe}

Yield: 18 muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins {copycat recipe}


    For the Muffin
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • For the Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pumpkin Seeds, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with liners.
  2. Stir pumpkin, oil, and sugar together in a large bowl. Do this by hand - don’t use a mixer. Stir in eggs, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda. Stir in 1 cup flour, then stir in milk, then stir in remaining 1 cup flour. Divide evenly among muffin pans, filling each liner 1/2 full.
  3. Stir together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Drop 1 tablespoon onto the top of each muffin. Sprinkle with 4-5 pumpkin seeds, optional.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the muffin part comes out with just a few crumbs stuck too it. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator. Muffins can be frozen for quick breakfasts!
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Spiced Cinnamon Chip Scones

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Sweets from friends:
Cinnamon Crunch Pumpkin Waffles by A Kitchen Addiction
Pumpkin Pudding Muffins by Something Swanky
Caramel Spice Waffles by Bless This Mess Please


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  1. Starbucks was out of the same muffin at my location yesterday! Are we even sure they’re selling them this year?? I think SB is messing with us and making us buy up their other bakery items. :)
    Meghan @ The Tasty Fork recently posted..Win a Signed Copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of HolidaysMy Profile

  2. Fabulous, Dorothy! These look incredibly scrumptious. Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning everywhere!
    Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen recently posted..Five-Star Sausage Apple and Cranberry StuffingMy Profile

  3. The fact that you made it way too easy to make these knockoffs is way too dangerous. Pumpkin and cream cheese is an amazing combo and these are soooo moist and soft looking. Yeah, oh boy!

  4. Yum!!! That’s the worst when you’re craving something, go to get it and then its out!! SOOOOOO upsetting!! LOL Cream cheese is theeeeeeeeee best!
    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen recently posted..Salted Caramel Upside Down Apple PieMy Profile

  5. These muffins look stellar Dorothy! I love that cream cheese filling poking out the top – yum! Pinned!
    Trish – Mom On Timeout recently posted..Reese’s TurkeysMy Profile

  6. Perfect! My husband loves the SB pumpkin cream cheese muffins – I can’t wait to try these. Thank you! :)
    Kim recently posted..5 Blog Posts: NaNoWriMo plans.My Profile

  7. Stir with a spoon and not a mixer! I am definitely going to need to do that because I crave muffins for breakfast!
    Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet recently posted..30+ Pie RecipesMy Profile

  8. Such a great combo and I love that they are so easy! Especially since my mixer broke yesterday. :(
    These are my perfect solution!
    Tieghan recently posted..Giant Vanilla Salted Butterscotch Sticky BunsMy Profile

  9. Dorothy, I am so glad you posted this recipe! It looks exactly like a muffin I love at My Favorite Muffin, a popular place at the edge of downtown, here in Reno. Yea, I’ll try it tomorrow!

  10. Dorothy, I’ve had these muffins on my bucket list for a while, and I’m glad you did it — now I can just make yours! :) As for TRX, I’ve been doing it for the past 3 years and love it! The planks are the hardest part for sure. I’ve never thought about the red room of pain, so now I will probably have that image, too. lol
    marcie recently posted..Cooking School Week 7My Profile

  11. That had to be the biggest disappointment ever Dorothy, to finally go to Starbucks and hear they were out of pumpkin cream cheese muffins!! They totally should have set one aside just for you. But good for you for making an even better copycat! They probably taste much moister and fresher too. Next May, I’ll definitely be knocking on your door for pumpkin muffins! ;)
    Amy recently posted..Gingerbread Cookie Dough BitesMy Profile

  12. I have never had these, but I’m about to rectify that! Gorgeous!
    Mandy’s Recipe Box recently posted..Pumpkin Cranberry Banana BreadMy Profile

  13. Ha – I still haven’t read that book. Are you going to watch the movie if it ever comes out? These muffins look so dang good.
    Jenn recently posted..Oven Roasted Turkey BreastMy Profile

  14. Deeeeelicious. They look awesome. I would imagine that yours are healthier than Starbucks’ as well. Win!
    Erin | The Emerging Foodie recently posted..Thanksgiving Recipe MadnessMy Profile

  15. Haha – I would probably have dirty thoughts too and laugh to myself ;) These muffins look awesome!
    Jennifer @ Not Your Momma’s Cookie recently posted..Biscoff Cheesecake Pudding PopsMy Profile

  16. You had me at Starbucks Copy-cat! These look so good!
    Jaren (Diary of a Recipe Collector) recently posted..15 Awesome Thanksgiving Menu IdeasMy Profile

  17. Ha! How could you NOT have dirty thoughts about 50 Shades when your feet are suspended ;)

    Those muffins look perfect! I love having something in the freezer to satisfy a sweet craving or to save a couple of bucks when I know I’m going to be somewhere that will tempt me (like Starbucks!). Just knowing that I have something at home in the freezer will often keep me from spending extra cash.

  18. We love Starbucks pumpkin muffins! Thank you for the recipe, I’m sure they are better homemade!
    Melissa Vanni recently posted..Thanksgiving Leftover Turkey & Dumpling SoupMy Profile

  19. Mmmmm. And can I say how cute those two little pumpkin seeds on that muffin are?! Adorbs. Great little styling technique I might have to steal :)
    Melissa @ Bless this Mess recently posted..Cinnamon Roasted Almonds from Barbara BakesMy Profile

  20. Pumpkin, cream cheese and muffins … can’t go wrong with that! The two seeds turned it into a cute muffin ;)
    Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff recently posted..Dark Chocolate & Mint Cheesecake BarsMy Profile

  21. Oooh! These look amazing! I’ve never been to a Starbucks but with all these Copycat Starbucks recipes floating around I may have to go check it out.
    Karissa @ Sweet As A Cookie recently posted..The Ultimate Foodie Gift GuideMy Profile

  22. I’ve never had Starbuck’s pumpkin muffins but now I’m glad I don’t have to go to Starbuck’s to try them! (besides, I’d throw 5 bucks out the window on a salted caramel frap … :) I’ve also never baked muffins with a cream cheese filling. These are so pretty, how could anyone not like them?

  23. they look so amazingly yummie, I have pinned them, have to try them!!!
    Rebecca recently posted..DIY: Paper Cookie BowlMy Profile

  24. I’m dying over here as I read you work out story! I’ll never look at those straps at the gym the same! I better think about these amazing muffins to keep my mind off of other stuff ;)

  25. All the recipes look delicious, but I think I am going to try the cream cheese muffins FIRST!
    Michelle @ Life on the Horizon recently posted..It’s Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas {Sponsored Giveaway}My Profile

  26. Though I’ve never had these at Starbucks, I’ve heard a heck of a lot about ‘em, so they MUST be good! So glad I can try them in my own kitchen – they look amazing!

  27. Girl, I need to try on your brand of ambition. Last time a place failed me with my sought-for goods (it was Corner Bakery, and they have this signature chilled Swiss oatmeal that I LOVE), I kind of stood at the cashier with a stunned look on my face for about five minutes, and the girl working there looked like she was scared I was gonna cry. Which I might’ve been. Should’ve just gone home and made it myself. Can’t wait to try these though, I’ve never had the pumpkin muffins at Starbucks before!
    Ala recently posted..The Amazing ‘Un-Relationship’ Chocolate Chip CookieMy Profile

  28. Yes please!! Next time I will also try oil instead of butter, haven’t tried that before!
    Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen recently posted..Bulgur with Chickpeas, Cranberries, and CucumberMy Profile

  29. OMG just made these with the fresh pumpkin I steamed! these are wonderful. I will be providing these for our son and daughters soccer teams for breakfast. thought it would be healthy and yummy! thanks so much for the great recipe. My only question is how do you get them to look so good. the cream cheese on my muffins created holes in the muffin tops, tried putting the cream cheese inside but same thing happened. should I stop baking at 15 min? I baked for 20? thanks for the input. jennifer

    • Hm, that’s strange. I placed my cream cheese on top of the muffin before baking, and the muffin grew up around it. Possibly from using the fresh pumpkin? The texture could have been different from my batter due to the difference of the fresh vs. canned. I’m glad you liked them! :)

  30. they look yummy!
    Dina recently posted..Weekend Whets 11/22My Profile

  31. These look absolutely delicious! Wish I had one right now for dessert :)
    Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent recently posted..Grandma’s Candy ApplesMy Profile

  32. What does Starbucks put in their baked goods that turns us all into addicts? Then they have the nerve to make the addicting item seasonal!! Thank goodness you nailed this one, Dorothy! Now Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins can occur year round. :)
    Wendy recently posted..Chocolate Covered Graham CrackersMy Profile

  33. MichelleB says:

    Thank you for this! I’m making my second batch since Thursday – DH is addicted. :)

  34. I made these for my boyfriend, my family, and my office and everyone went nuts for them. They are fantastic and the recipe is PERFECT.

  35. I made these tonight and the flavor is great, but the cream cheese sat on top in the same dollop shape they landed there in. I followed the recipe to a t. Any idea what might have gone wrong?

    • That’s kind of what they did on mine too. The muffin grew up around it. Did the muffins rise? If not, then possibly your leavening is old? The cream cheese just sort of bakes into the top, but stays in a dollop. :)

  36. I made these with what I had on hand so I used organic light brown sugar instead of regular sugar, organic coconut oil subbed for the vegetable, unsweetened almond milk and organic sprouted whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. For the filling I used organic powdered sugar subbed for the sugar and along with the pumpkin seeds I sprinkled cinnamon on top too. They were so easy to make and the taste is something you truly could not buy from a cafe! ;) Thank you for posting your wonderful recipe!

  37. Just made these – AMAZING!! I couldn’t resist eating one right out of the oven they looked and smelt so good and I was NOT disappointed – thanks for sharing! =)

  38. I just made these and they didn’t come out like cupcakes :( the batter didn’t rise up, what did I do wrong??

    • I’m sorry! Did you follow the steps exactly? Did you use canned pumpkin puree or fresh? Canned is what I used and fresh could have more water which would affect the finished product. But the likely culprit is your baking soda. How old is it?


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