Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins | The Domestic Rebel

pumpkin cream cheese muffins arranged randomly on a black wire rack

These Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are the epitome of fall! Now you don’t need to spend $4 on a muffin when you can make a batch of 16 at home!

I am really, really trying my hardest to manifest fall, but we are currently in the middle of a massive heat wave here in Sacramento.

As in, yesterday and today are both 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Which means it is most definitely not sweater weather, cuddle weather, bonfire weather, or anything remotely cozy and comforting. It is hellfire and brimstone. Okay, maybe slightly dramatic, but it’s HOT.

However, if you think this did not stop me from decorating for fall and Halloween, then you clearly don’t know me very well. It’s called *manifesting* and here’s hoping it works sometime this month. I’d like double digit temperatures please, and for the first digit to preferably begin with a 6 or 7 if we must.

ANYWAY. I’m back with these delightful muffins and they are fantastic! Totally fall in the palm of your hand and surprisingly simple to make, if not with a few steps. They taste even BETTER than Starbucks’ version because you’re not paying $4 a muffin 🙂

pumpkin cream cheese muffins arranged on a black wire rack with a pumpkin in the background

The Muffins

The muffins themselves are a supremely moist and flavorful pumpkin spice muffin. There’s one whole cup of pumpkin puree in the muffin batter, along with 1 Tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice to really drive home that pumpkin spice flavor. For moisture, we’re using oil instead of butter in these muffins. There are nooo dry muffins here!

The Filling

These muffins have a cream cheese filling which is SO delicious. I admit, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about warm cream cheese but it kind of feels like a cinnamon roll frosting built into the muffin in a way. It’s sweet without being cloying and adds a little tangy twist.

The Pepita Praline

Starbucks’ muffins have a pepita praline crunch on the outside of the muffin and mine have the same. This is optional, but it is SO delicious. It consists of pepitas (pumpkin seeds), butter, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice that you saute together until it gets caramelized. They add some great texture and a nice crunch to the muffin.

Combine it all together and you have a decadent, almost dessert-like, moist pumpkin muffin with cream cheese filling and a delightful pepita crunch. You’re going to LOVE these!

closeup of a pumpkin cream cheese muffin on a black wire rack to show the top of the muffin

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These Copycat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are just like Starbucks’ but BETTER because they’re homemade and packed with pumpkin spice flavor! You’re going to LOVE these!

Prep Time30 mins

Cook Time25 mins

Total Time55 mins

Course: Breakfast

Cuisine: American

Servings: 16 muffins


For the Pepita Praline Crunch:

  • 1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz (1 package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Pumpkin Muffins:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


  • Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with approx. 16 paper liners; set aside.

  • For the pepita praline crunch: Melt the Tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and stir occasionally for about 2-3 minutes or until toasted. Add in one (1) Tablespoon of the brown sugar and cook for about 1-2 more minutes, stirring constantly until mixture gets caramelized. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining Tablespoon of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice, stirring to coat completely. Set aside.

  • For the cream cheese filling: In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer until combined and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag (without a tip) and set aside.

  • For the muffins: In a large bowl, add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and whisk until combined. Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, combine the oil, sugar, pumpkin, milk, eggs, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, taking care to incorporate any dry pockets on the bottom! Do not overmix.

  • Fill the muffin liners about 3/4 of the way full with muffin batter. Snip off the tip of the cream cheese filling bag and pipe about a Tablespoon or so of cream cheese filling into the center of the muffin batter. Lastly, sprinkle some pepita praline crunch around the edges of the exposed muffin batter, trying to leave the cream cheese center exposed.

  • Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Allow to cool until warm to the touch before serving, or cool completely. Store leftovers airtight in the fridge up to 4 days.


Make sure you use 100% pure pumpkin puree for this recipe and not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin puree is just plain pumpkin, whereas pie filling has other ingredients, like sugar and spices already added. 

closeup of a split open pumpkin cream cheese muffin to show texture inside

I promise you, these extra steps for these muffins are WORTH IT. They are SO divine!

Craving more pumpkin? I’ve got you!

pumpkin spice tres leches cake square slice on a white lace plate with a fork

Pumpkin Spice Tres Leches Cake

Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins photo collage

Have a super sweet day!

xo, Hayley

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