These Starbucks copycat muffins are moist and full of pumpkin flavor. They have a sweet cream cheese filling and spiced pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top for the best homemade version around!

Pumpkin cream cheese muffin, sliced open to show filling.

This pumpkin cream cheese muffins recipe makes fourteen of the softest and most delicious pumpkin flavored muffins you’ll ever eat. The sweet cream cheese filling in the center is what will have you hooked after just one bite. You may never need to go back to store-bought again.

About this recipe

Around fall, it starts to become obvious that Starbucks seems to be the coffee shop that has the monopoly on all things pumpkin spice. It might have started with their pumpkin spiced lattes, but the Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins are right up there! For good reason too, they’re amazing!

A homemade version is much easier on your wallet, and just as tasty. It’s around fall when people start thinking about saving for Christmas, and making copycat muffins from scratch is just one more way to budget!

They’re made with everyday pantry staples and the pumpkin flavor comes from pure and healthy pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. The smell of these freshly baked pumpkin muffins is what this season is all about. Whether you’re enjoying them for the muffin or the creamy filling in the middle, go all in and enjoy!

Overhead view of cream cheese filled pumpkin muffins.

What you need

  • Baking Essentials: Grab some vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  • Pumpkin Puree – Do not use pumpkin pie filling which has added sugar and spices. Look for pure pumpkin puree. If you have homemade puree, go ahead and use that instead of canned.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – You can use a ready made store-bought blend or homemade pumpkin pie spice if you have it. It’s what gives the pumpkin its pumpkin pie-like flavors.
  • Cream Cheese – Remember to bring the cream cheese to room temperature before you start. That way it’s easier to work with.
  • Shelled Pumpkin Seeds (aka Pepitas) – A yummy crunchy topping. You can leave them out if you prefer, add them plain, or toss them around in pumpkin spice before adding them. It’s up to you!
Overhead view of ingredients needed.

How to make them

Make the muffin batter by combining wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then adding the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stirring just until combined.

4 images, steps for making pumpkin muffin batter.

Do not overmix your batter!

Pumpkin muffin batter in a white bowl.

Fill muffin liners nearly full with batter and use the back of the spoon to push a hole into the top of each muffin. Spray the spoon with cooking spray so it doesn’t stick to the batter.

Muffin batter in tins.

Fill each muffin middle with the cream cheese filling, using a large Ziploc bag with the tip cut. Make sure the entire muffin hole is filled.

Muffins being filled with cream cheese.

Toss the pumpkin seeds and the pumpkin pie spice together (if you’re using it) and sprinkle each muffin top with a few seeds.

Unbaked pumpkin muffins with cream cheese and pumpkin seeds.

Bake muffins in an oven preheated to 375° for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the pumpkin part of the muffin comes out clean.

Baked muffins still in tins.

FAQs

What is the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?

Pumpkin puree is pure pumpkin. It’s made from the flesh of the pumpkin that’s been cooked and pureed until smooth. Canned pumpkin has less water content than fresh, but you can use either in this recipe. Pumpkin pie filling, on the other hand, is pumpkin puree with added sugar and spices, ready to be used in a pumpkin pie. Using pumpkin pie filling when a recipe calls for puree throws off the remaining ingredients.

What is the difference between pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon?

Cinnamon is just one of the two main spices found in pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg being the other one. Cloves, ginger, and allspice play supporting roles and together they comprise the delicious spice blend. Most of the time you’ll be able to substitute cinnamon for pumpkin pie spice in a recipe.

Muffins in a tin, one out slightly.

How to make these muffins your own

  • Swap the pumpkin pie spice for cinnamon and nutmeg or just cinnamon if you prefer it that way.
  • Try swirling the cream cheese into the batter for a swirled effect rather than a center filling effect.
  • Fill the muffin tin 1/4 of the way up, place a dollop of the cream cheese filling in the center and fill the remaining space with the muffin batter so the filling becomes a surprise!
  • Toast the pumpkin seeds to bring out the nuttiness.

Storage Suggestions

These pumpkin muffins will remain fresh in an airtight container, stored in the fridge for up to 7 days. If you’ve made a ton and want to freeze some, allow them to completely cool and transfer them to a freezer-friendly zip-top bag or container. They’ll stay fresh for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat them again, thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy!

More flavorful fall recipes

Pumpkin muffin split open to show cream cheese filling.

Get the Recipe: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These Starbucks copycat muffins are moist and full of pumpkin flavor. They have a sweet cream cheese filling and spiced pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top for the best homemade version around!
5 from 1 vote

Ingredients

Muffins:

  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Topping:

  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions

Muffins:

  • Preheat the oven to 375° and line a muffin pan with liners. Spray the liners with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil and pumpkin puree.
  • Add both types of sugar and mix well. Then add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and combine.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  • Gently mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Do not overmix.
  • Spoon the batter into the liners, filling nearly full.
  • Using the back of a spoon sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, push a hole into the top of each muffin.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the filling mixture and beat with a hand mixer till well mixed.
  • Using a spatula, scrape the cream cheese filling into a large ziplock bag. Make sure to press into one corner. Seal the bag closed.
  • Snip a little bit of the corner off.
  • Press the snipped end into the hole and press cream cheese down into the bottom, lifting as it fills. Make sure the hole is entirely filled.

Topping:

  • Toss the pumpkin seeds and pumpkin pie spice together.
  • Sprinkle each muffin with a few pumpkin seeds.
  • Place the muffins in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the pumpkin part of the muffin should come out clean.

Notes

  • Don’t overmix your muffin batter, otherwise it will get tough and dry.
  • You can use plain pumpkin seeds or spice them first.
  • Store leftover muffins in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for 7 days. These muffins can also be frozen up to 3 months and thawed overnight in the fridge.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 39g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 300mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 23g, Vitamin A: 2984IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 59mg, Iron: 2mg