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!

Did you make this recipe?

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


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.
  5. Cool at least 5 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator. Muffins can be frozen for quick breakfasts!
All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Spiced Cinnamon Chip Scones

Spiced Cinnamon Chip Scones (7 of 10)w

Starbucks Petite Vanilla Scones

copycat-petite-vanilla-scones (3 of 5)w

Pumpkin Coffee Cake


pumpkin-coffee-cake (3 of 5)w

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. 🙂

  2. Fabulous, Dorothy! These look incredibly scrumptious. Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning everywhere!

  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!

  5. These muffins look stellar Dorothy! I love that cream cheese filling poking out the top – yum! Pinned!

  6. Perfect! My husband loves the SB pumpkin cream cheese muffins – I can’t wait to try these. Thank you! 🙂

  7. Stir with a spoon and not a mixer! I am definitely going to need to do that because I crave muffins for breakfast!

  8. Such a great combo and I love that they are so easy! Especially since my mixer broke yesterday. 🙁
    These are my perfect solution!

  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

  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! 😉

  12. I have never had these, but I’m about to rectify that! Gorgeous!

  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.

  14. Deeeeelicious. They look awesome. I would imagine that yours are healthier than Starbucks’ as well. Win!

  15. Haha – I would probably have dirty thoughts too and laugh to myself 😉 These muffins look awesome!

  16. You had me at Starbucks Copy-cat! These look so good!

  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!

  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 🙂

  20. Pumpkin, cream cheese and muffins … can’t go wrong with that! The two seeds turned it into a cute muffin 😉

  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.

  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!!!

  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!

  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!

  28. Yes please!! Next time I will also try oil instead of butter, haven’t tried that before!

  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! 🙂

      • I made them with canned pumpkin just now and the same thing happened to me. First, the cream cheese spread all over the top, and as they’re cooling, the tops are sinking, creating pockets. 

  30. These look absolutely delicious! Wish I had one right now for dessert 🙂

  31. 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. 🙂

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  33. 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. 🙂

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  37. 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!

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  39. 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! =)

  40. 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?

  41. These look absolutely delicious!!!!!

  42. Did you she’ll the pumpkin seeds or just leave them. Whole

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  44. I would like to make these but in mini form. How long should i bake them? Around 8 minutes maybe?

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  46. I just tried the cheesecake pumpkin recipe and they turned out great. If you do want to skip the cheesecake filling like I did (since I didn’t have cream cheese on hand), just fill the muffin tins up to 3/4s full. My muffins ended up taking 17 minutes to bake. Candying the pumpkin seeds either to mix into the muffins or just to top makes the muffins even better. Thanks for the recipe

  47. Great recipe thank you! Great taste and they look pretty!

    I used less sugar in the filling, and made extra filling because that’s my favorite part. Next time I will also fill the muffin liners 2/3rds full instead of half full. (I did half full this time, and mine rose above the liners but they would have been prettier with more of a muffin top.)

    Thanks again 🙂

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  49. Wow. I never had the original at Starbucks, just stumbled across your recipe. I used half a Hokkaido Squash cut into cubes, put in the microwave for a minute and then pureed with a hand blender. Your recipe is awesome!

  50. Followed the super simple directions, but my cream cheese melted everywhere. Oops!

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  52. I made these and had to blog about it! Yummmm! Better than Starbucks for sure. 🙂

  53. For the pumpkin puree, do you buy it or make it yourself? Thanks.

    • I always buy it (Libby’s is the brand I find most readily). You can make it (I never have, so much work) but beware that fresh puree might have more/less water content than canned so it may affect the outcome.

  54. I made these today! My cream cheese seemed to want to slide off of the muffins LOL. Did I do something wrong? Either way they are still so yummy!

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  58. For the pumpkin cream cheese muffins…if you make the cream cheese mixture first then put it in the refrigerator to chill first the spreading issues should go away…it is what I did, and the cream cheese stayed where I placed it….happy baking

  59. I intended to make this recipe as written, but I used a CAN of pumpkin instead of a CUP (that’s about 1.75 cups). Guess what? It was amazing!! Very moist but still baked perfectly. I’ll continue using the recipe with a whole can of pumpkin. Delicious!

  60. I just made these and they turned out amazing! I chilled the cream cheese mixture and then made it into little tubes so I could insert it into the batter. Kind of the cheater version of filling haha. Tops didn’t melt and they go most of the way through the muffin. So yummy! Thanks for the recipe!!

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  64. If you add an egg to the filling, and cut the sugar in half it should sink ala black bottom cupcakes, chilling should also help. If followed, the original recipe above produces frosting that slides off the muffins…

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  69. Thank you for the fabulous recipe!  I’ve made it several times, and it is always a hit.  I was short on time once, so I decided to turn it into a loaf (8″ x 4″), and it came out wonderfully.  I kept the temp, but I don’t recall the baking time.  I know I started at 30 mins and checked every 5 after that.

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  72. Hi. I made these last night and they were delicious but a little dry. Should I add more milk or oil in the future? If so, how much?

    • Hm, with all that pumpkin they should be moist! It’s possible you baked them a little too long. If you’re worried next time, you can add another tablespoon or two of oil.

  73. Has anyone tried these by greasing the muffin tins instead of using liners? Does it work? Thanks! 

  74. I just made these muffins tonight and they were amazing, thank you! I’ve never frozen muffins before. How do you do it? Do you package them individually? What do you do to thaw them to eat?

    Thanks again!!!

  75. Dorothy, I’ve made them over here in Germany, making my own pumpkin spice and using a silicon muffin tray for 12 muffins without liners. They don’t stick, and the 15 min. baking time is ideal.

  76. I’ve made these muffins a few times now and every time they guarantee moist, delicious, popular muffins! They’re so easy to make I baked 50+ in less than three hours :] excellent recipe! Thank you

  77. I found that they were too moist.. Cooked them for over 30 minutes and they still seemed raw in the middle 🙁

  78. I just found this recipe on Pinterest and made them today. Love the recipe! It is so easy and the muffins turned out great. I will definitely be making them again. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  79. 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!

  80. How long would I need to bake these if I make them as mini muffins?
    These look great and I can’t wait to try them! 🙂

  81. thank you so much these came out delicious. they are cooling right now, i hope the bigger muffins turn out ok. thanks again!

  82. 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!

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  84. 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!

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