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These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are perfectly spiced, moist, and have a sweet cream cheese filling inside. Topped with a pumpkin praline topping this easy Starbucks copycat recipe is a fall favorite!

We love all the Starbucks baked goods so much that we recreate them at home like our Lemon Pound Cake, Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake, and Lemon Poppy Seed Bread.

Muffins on a plate

These muffins taste just like the Pumpkin Muffins you can buy at Starbucks! They make a great snack or quick breakfast with a big steaming cup of Pumpkin Spice Latte – Fall here we come!

These fluffy and moist muffins have just the right amount of pumpkin pie spice and are filled with a sweet cream cheese filling that peaks out of the muffin and adds velvety flavor to every bite. They even have pumpkin praline on top just like the original!

Ingredient Notes

  • Cream cheese – For the best taste use full fat cream cheese. Using block cream cheese makes the filling smoother and velvety. Don’t use whipped cream cheese!
  • Pumpkin pie spice – Instead of using premade pumpkin pie spice, you can also make your own by combining 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • Pumpkin seeds – The praline is made with chopped pumpkin seeds but you could also use chopped pecans or walnuts.
  • Butter – I recommend using unsalted butter especially if you are sensitive to salt. The butter should have room temperature so taking it out of the fridge an hour before you need it is recommended.
  • Pumpkin puree – You need 1 can of pumpkin puree for this recipe. Don’t use pumpkin filling! If you want to use homemade puree use 1 3/4 cups.

How to make this recipe

Step by step instructions for making Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
  1. Roast seeds: Roast the pumpkin seeds in some melted butter in a skillet, then add brown sugar and caramelize the seeds.
  2. Make topping: Combine the caramelized pumpkin seeds with brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. Make the filling: To make the filling, soften the cream cheese, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
  4. Prep muffin batter: Make the pumpkin muffins by combining the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Then add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Fill and Bake (image below): Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, sprinkle with the topping, and then fill with cream cheese.
A muffin pan filled with batter for pumpkin muffins

Expert Tips

  • Use muffin liners for this recipe!
  • A 15 oz can of pumpkin puree equals nearly 2 cups. It’s 2 1/2 tablespoons short of 2 cups.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter after adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients!
  • If you don’t have piping bags, a small cookie scoop works too for adding the cream cheese filling to the batter.
  • Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top with batter, then add the filling. This way you get bakery-style muffins!
  • The pumpkin praline topping is optional, but it adds crunch and flavor.
  • Make sure to press the filling into the batter by dipping the tip of the piping bag about 2/3 into the batter and then slowly releasing the filling while pulling out.
  • Don’t let the muffins cool in the pan! Carefully twist them out of the pan after 10 minutes and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Recipe FAQ

How to soften Cream Cheese

The fastest way to soften a block of cream cheese is in the microwave on low power. Depending on your microwave this takes about 30 seconds.

How many cups pumpkin are in a 15 oz can?

A 15-ounce can of canned pumpkin holds a little bit less than 2 cups of pumpkin puree. It is 2 1/2 tablespoons short of 2 cups.

How do you store cream cheese muffins?

These muffins should be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese filling.

Baked pumpkin cream cheese muffins in a muffin pan

Serving and Storing Leftovers

Serve – Serve these muffins at room temperature. If stored in the fridge take them out at least 10 minutes before serving for the best taste.

Store – These muffins should be stored in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese filling. They keep for 3-4 days.

Freeze – I don’t recommend freezing these muffins because the texture of the cream cheese filling can change during thawing.

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4.99 from 50 votes

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are perfectly spiced, moist, and have a sweet cream cheese filling inside.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz block cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Pumpkin Praline Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, divided
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, chopped

Pumpkin Muffins:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 420F (215C) and line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  • To make the filling: Microwave cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl on low power for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag (without a tip) and set aside.
  • To make the pumpkin praline topping: In a small bowl combine 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice and 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Set aside. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add remaining brown sugar and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring constantly until caramelized. Transfer caramelized pumpkin seeds to brown sugar mixture and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin spice. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine softened butter and sugar, beat at medium speed for 1 minute. Add eggs and beat for 2 minutes at high speed. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the bowl and beat until just combined.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling the cups all the way to the top. Sprinkle with Pumpkin Praline Topping. Cut off the tip of the piping bag and press about 2-3 Tbsp of cream cheese filling into the batter (see image above).
  • Bake for 5 minutes at 420F (215C), then keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the oven temperature to 350F (180C) and bake for about 20 more minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top.
  • Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the muffins cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool to room temperature on the rack.

Notes

  • Use muffin liners for this recipe!
  • A 15 oz can of pumpkin puree equals nearly 2 cups. It’s 2 1/2 tablespoons short of 2 cups.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter after adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients!
  • If you don’t have piping bags, a small cookie scoop works too for adding the cream cheese filling to the batter.
  • Fill the muffin cups all the way to the top with batter, then add the filling. This way you get bakery-style muffins!
  • The pumpkin praline topping is optional, but it adds crunch and flavor.
  • Make sure to press the filling into the batter by dipping the tip of the piping bag about 2/3 into the batter and then slowly releasing the filling while pulling out.
  • Don’t let the muffins cool in the pan! Carefully twist them out of the pan after 10 minutes and transfer them to a cooling rack.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 447IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Julia Foerster

Hi, I'm Julia! Born in Germany, I call Canada now my home and love to share my favorite dishes with you! Here you'll find hundreds of recipes, all made from scratch, with lots of tips and detailed step-by-step instructions.

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41 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    This is a good recipe. I did find that using pumpkin purée leaves the muffins just a tad bitter. I replaced it with a can of pumpkin pie mix (and doubled the recipe) and they were much better to me.

  2. Wondering: (1) What about including an egg (1 or 1/2) in the cream cheese filling? I have a “black bottom cupcake recipe which has egg in cupcake cream cheese filling & is excellent. If you have already tried an egg & does not work well, I will take your recommendation. And (2) is it ok to use Libbys 100% pure pumpkin – label does not read either puree or filling but ingredients listed on back of label just is : pumpkin …so I assume this is ok? THANK YOU so much for this copycat Starbucks muffin recipe – I am “addicted” to them – now can have year-round.

    1. I haven’t tried adding an egg to the filling but let me know how it goes if you give it a try! Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin is exactly what you need.

  3. 5 stars
    These are amazing – definitely keeping this recipe! I doubled it and ended up with 28 muffins. Filled to the top with batter before adding the cream cheese center as suggested and had perfectly overflowing “muffin tops”. The prep time took a lot longer for me because there are so many steps…the cream cheese filling, the topping, then getting the muffin cups filled just right and piping the cream cheese. It probably took me about 2+ hours total, but well worth the effort!

  4. 5 stars
    These are incredible! I missed the Starbucks pumpkin muffins and made these – definitely better! The only thing I would change is I would double the praline topping because it was so delicious I would want more on each. Also I personally got 20 cupcakes out of this recipe, in standard muffin tins! Thank you so much for a delicious recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I have made this recipe twice this week – first for coworkers and then for family – with rave reviews by everyone! I didn’t change a thing. The praline topping puts these over the top and makes them perfect as either a breakfast or dessert muffin. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  6. 5 stars
    These were absolutely amazing!! A definite seasonal favourite. My kids even raved about them to their friends. Then I had to make another batch for work – and they didn’t even make it past mid morning!! They were a hit. I added this recipe to my “favourites”. ❤️

  7. 5 stars
    Just made these today and they’re so delicious. I can’t eat eggs, so I substituted them with 1/2 cup of applesauce and the muffins still turned out fluffy. My husband, who doesn’t normally like sweets, already ate 2. 😅
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    Sooooo good! So moist and just as good as the Starbucks muffins that are almost always sold out! Thank you so much for this recipe!