It's time to welcome fall with one of the best things you'll eat! If you like Starbucks pumpkin cream cheese muffins or copycat recipes you'll love these cheesecake filled pumpkin muffins. In a word, they're amazing. Perfect for the fall season.
This tried and true, easy recipe makes the most moist pumpkin muffins you've eaten. As far as pumpkin desserts go, these are definitely in my top three. So grab your ingredients and let's bake some muffins!
Tip 1: You won’t use all of the cream cheese filling. You can double the muffin ingredients or mix up just half of the cream cheese filling ingredients. However, if you are halving the cream cheese filling recipe, you will need half of an egg. We recommend beating the egg first and then dividing the beaten egg mixture in half.
Tip 2: Measure the flour using the spoon and level method - stir the flour, spoon gently into the measuring cup and then use a flat knife to level off any excess from the top of the measuring cup - this helps prevent over-measuring the flour and keeps the muffins soft and moist. You can also sift the flour and then measure it out.
Tip 3: Do not overstir the muffin batter once you have added the dry ingredients to the wet. This will make a tough muffin.
Tip 4: Remove the muffins from the muffin tin to finish cooling so that they do not continue to cook (aka dry out) in the hot muffin tin.
Buttermilk: If you don't have any buttermilk on hand you can use whole milk if substituting for the added fat content.The buttermilk and pumpkin puree both give this muffin a lot of extra moisture.
- Spices: We prefer using individual spices but you could always substitute a pumpkin pie spice if that's all you have on hand.
- Pumpkin: Make sure you note the difference between "pumpkin puree" and "pumpkin pie filling" when buying canned pumpkin.
- Cream Cheese: A good, full fat, cream cheese is best in this recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
My favorite way to alter a baking recipe to make it gluten free is to use King Arthur Gluten Free Flour mixture as a 1:1 substitute for all purpose flour. If you're an experienced gluten free baker you can make your own gluten free flour mix with your favorite flours like oat flour, almond flour, coconut flour, etc. Always make sure your other ingredients are gluten free as well, including baking soda and baking powder.
These muffins are vegetarian but if you want to make them vegan or dairy free it would require a lot of substitutions to create a dairy free muffin. You will need to substitute butter, cream cheese and buttermilk for your favorite dairy free options from your grocery store.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375°F and fill a 12-cup muffin tin or muffin cups with paper muffin liners. If you use a mini muffin tin or a jumbo muffin tin you'll need to adjust cook times accordingly.
Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients: butter (room temperature), brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, vanilla extract, buttermilk, pumpkin puree, and two eggs. Whisk until well combined.
Step 3: In a separate bowl (large mixing bowl), combine your dry ingredients: flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin puree mixture and stir just until combined - some lumps in the batter are okay. Don't mix with a food processor, stand mixer or hand mixer. You will accidentally over mix the ingredients.
Step 5: In a third small bowl, use a hand beater (hand mixer) to combine the cream cheese log and other cheesecake filling ingredients. Beat until smooth.
Step 6: Transfer the pumpkin batter to fill muffin tin, filling each paper cup in the well of a muffin pan about ¾ full. A small amount of batter goes a long way! Don't overfill.
Step 7: Make a dip in the center top of each muffin batter to create a little “bowl” for the cheesecake filling.
Step 8: Use a piping bag or a spoon to fill the indentations in the muffins with the cream cheese filling. When you are using a plastic bag or a piping bag, you can squeeze some of the filling down inside the muffin batter, too! If using a spoon it's about a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling. We didn't try it but you can give it a cream cheese swirl if you want.
Step 9: Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cream cheese filling is set (no longer wet) and a toothpick inserted in the muffin (cake part only) comes out with just a few crumbs. Note: if you are using a mini muffin tin you will need to adjust your bake time accordingly.
While your muffins bake, run in place for a while to build up a really good appetite because you'll want to eat more than one when it's warm from the oven!
Let cool completely before storing.
Counter: Store in an airtight container or plastic wrap on the countertop for 2-3 days.
Refrigerator: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Freezer: Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.
- ½ cup salted butter - softened
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
- 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg - room temperature
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 375°F and fill a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, pumpkin, and two eggs. Whisk until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, baking powder, and baking soda.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined - some lumps in the batter are okay.
- In a third bowl, use a hand beater to combine cream cheese filling ingredients. Beat until smooth.
- Transfer the muffin batter to the muffin tin, filling each cup about ¾ full.
- Make a dip in the center top of each muffin to create a little “bowl” for the cream cheese filling.
- Use a piping bag or a spoon to fill the indentations in the muffins with the cream cheese filling. If you are using a piping bag, you can squeeze some of the filling down inside the muffin batter, too!
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cream cheese filling is set (no longer wet) and a toothpick inserted in the muffin (cake part only) comes out with just a few crumbs.
- Cool the muffins for just a few minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.