(Better than Starbucks) Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These delightful pumpkin muffins are filled with gooey cream cheese and topped with a cinnamon streusel. These are sure to please any pumpkin lover.

I love muffins. I love muffins with streusel. I love muffins without streusel. I love muffins made with browned butter. I love these Bran Muffins. I even love this Almond Poppyseed Bread that reminds me of the giant Costco muffins I especially love muffins with a filling. These pumpkin cream cheese muffins are hands down my favorite muffin. As soon as the weather starts to cool down, I pull this recipe out and get baking.

I’m sure if you are a pumpkin and/or muffin lover you know that Starbucks has a delightful pumpkin cream cheese muffin available during the fall. Well, I’m here to tell you that these are BETTER than Starbucks. If you don’t believe me, just go ahead and try making these and you can be the judge.

When I made these a few weeks ago, I decided to lighten them up a little bit so they wouldn’t be as greasy and oily as the original recipe. My oldest daughter loves all things muffins just like me. Once I photographed them, she grabbed one and started eating at quickly as she could. She had no idea they were filled with a cream cheese filling. One, she loves cream cheese in and on everything, and two, she was so happily surprised about the filling that she couldn’t even contain her excitement. She literally melted into her seat because of the deliciousness.

This recipe makes a large amount of muffins, but we love to keep them in the fridge and just warm them up for breakfast the next few mornings. Just make sure not to warm them up too much because that delightful filling will become like lava. This recipe also needs some planning ahead. The cream cheese filling has to be made ahead and stuck in the freezer in order to work with it and get it in the muffin.

F.A.Q.s and Troubleshooting for Better Than Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

overhead view of starbucks copycat pumpkin cream cheese muffins showing cinnamon streusel topping

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These delightful pumpkin muffins are filled with gooey cream cheese and topped with a cinnamon streusel. These are sure to please any pumpkin lover.
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Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 24 muffins



  • 8 oz full fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • 3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBS pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree (1 can) not pumpkin pie filling
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup raw honey
  • ¾ cup mild tasting oil such as vegetable or canola
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce


  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 4 TBS cold butter


  • With a hand mixer, mix cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth and fully incorporated. This will take about 2 minutes. Lay out a large piece of saran wrap and place the cream cheese mixture in the middle. Roll the wrap up so the mixture forms a thin long log. Stick in the freezer for at least 3 hours.
  • Once the cream cheese mixture is frozen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • To make the muffin batter, mix the dry muffin ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Slowly incorporate the liquid ingredients until a thick batter forms and everything is fully mixed together. You can also use a hand mixer if you prefer.
  • For the streusel topping, combine all of your streusel ingredients together in a small bowl. Incorporate the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter together with a pastry cutter. If you don’t have one of those on hand, you can use two knives, or use your hands. Set the streusel topping aside.
  • Remove the cream cheese mixture from the freezer and unwrap. Slice the log into 24 even slices. In a greased muffin tin, place a spoonful of the batter, followed by a slice of cream cheese, and then topped with another spoonful batter making sure to cover all of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Let them cool before biting in.

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