Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

4 from 2 votes

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

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with graphic title

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.

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with graphic title

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!

Stack of Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins on parchment paper

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!

Sliced in half Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins on parchment paper with title

 And you can have them all year long!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

4 from 2 votes
Yield 18 muffins
Serving Size


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


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with liners.
  • 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.
  • Stir together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Drop 1 tablespoon onto the top of each muffin. Sprinkle with 4-5 pumpkin seeds, optional.
  • 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!

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Spiced Cinnamon Chip Scones

Spiced Cinnamon Chip Scones resting on the edge of a coffee cup

Starbucks Petite Vanilla Scones

Starbucks petite vanilla scones next to a cup of coffee and books with title

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

pumpkin-coffee-cake square on a white plate with title

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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Recipe Rating

147 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. My cream cheese mixture came out really thin and just sort of melted – I didn’t get that pocket of cream cheese you’d expect. Still delicious though!

  2. These muffins were amazing… I doubled the recipe to make 24. I like muffin top so I was able to fill 24 muffins 3/4 of the way. I used a piping bag to place an even amount of cream cheese and I added extra pumpkin pie seasoning along with extra salt and added a tiny bit of salt to the filling. Next time I will add the pumpkin seeds around it so they will look authentic but they DO taste just like starbucks! I’m happy with this recipe!

  3. Delicious
    Only I over filled my muffins =2/3 full
    1/2 would have been perfect. (
    So I had quite the muffin top!
    Thank you ? 

  4. I want to make these for my daughter and the other kids on her dorm floor (46 students).  I have a muffin tray for 12 muffins.  The count of 18 seems awkward (1 1/2 muffin tins?). I am not much of a baker.  Should I look for a muffin tray for 6 and put that in the oven with the tray for 12?  How would you go about the most efficient way to bake 3 dozen of these?  Thanks!

  5. Do you think it would work to plop the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the muffin? So the cream cheese is in the center? Sorry if this question has been asked, I tried to preview the other comments quickly. Thank you!

    1. These are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing I did substitute the seeds for Walnuts because that’s my family’s favorite and I brought them to work and I get so many requests to make them every year, They really do taste like The Starbucks ones ❤️

      1. I’m not sure what directions I was following. But baking at 350 for 15 mins gave me dough. It was a good 23 mins before we had muffins. They were delicious but bake time is way off

  6. This is a very good recipe but I found there wasn’t as much pumpkin flavour as I was expecting. Next time I’d want to try doubling the pumpkin. And I used more pumpkin spice as the write up suggested and it still wasn’t as spiced as I would like! These are a little more bland than the Starbucks version. Still quite good if you aren’t trying for a close copy, but they are not the same. The cream cheese topping is awesome though, that is exactly on point!