Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

My cousin Camille has great taste in food and when she sends me a recipe to try, I usually try it the very day I get it. This is one of those. She sent me this recipe and told me I had to try it. And I’m telling you, if you aren’t sick of pumpkin yet,


They are a phenomenally moist pumpkin muffin (sweet enough to really be classified as a cupcake, in my book) with a buttery, cinnamon streusel topping. And if that isn’t enough, they have a pocket of creamy, soft sweetened cream cheese that it is indeed a beautiful surprise when you bite into these delicious morsels.

I have some fabulous other pumpkin muffins that I love (like these and these) and I’m excited to add this recipe to the same category. It looks like “pumpkin season” will be extended for a few months in our house just so I can keep making these. Delicious!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield: Makes 24 muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


    For the muffins:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • For the filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • For the streusel topping:
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon


  1. To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar and whip until smooth. Form into a log on plastic wrap or greased foil, making sure that the diameter is small enough to fit into the well of a muffin pan. Wrap the log up tightly and freeze until slightly hardened, 1-2 hours.
  2. To make the muffins, combine the flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside. In another large bowl combine the eggs, vegetable oil, sugar and pumpkin puree. Mix until well combined. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. To make the streusel topping, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix together with a pastry blender or two forks until crumbly.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two muffin pans with paper liners. To assemble the muffins, fill each muffin well 1/3 of the way with batter. Remove the cream cheese log from the freezer and slice into 24 equal slices. Place a slice on top of the batter in each muffin well and gently press (don’t press all the way to the bottom but just slightly into the batter). Divide the remaining muffin batter evenly among the muffin cups on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the batter. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the top of the muffin (about 1/3 of the way down) comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving.


*My tip: if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, use the following combination: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Mix together and you have the equivalent of 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice.


Recipe Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats

66 Responses to Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

  1. Janice says:

    I wonder if you could use 3/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of applesauce to cut down on the oil.
    Do you use 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, & ground cloves in addition to 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice ?

  2. Janice says:

    I wonder if you could use 3/4 cup of oil and i/2 cup of applesauce to cut down on the oil.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Janice, yes I think you could use applesauce to cut down on the oil. Yes, I use all the spices indicated in the ingredient list (the pumpkin pie spice + the others).

  3. Michelle says:

    I’m in the middle of making these now (can’t wait!), but I noticed the original link to Annie’s Eats has changed. It is now at: http://www.annies-eats.com/2010/10/08/pumpkin-cream-cheese-muffins/

  4. Kendra says:

    I’ve made tons of recipes from this site, and this was the first one that turned out a little… strange. After baking and taking the muffins out of the pan, I noticed pooled liquid in the bottoms of the tins, and the liners themselves were greasy. What made it extra-interesting was that I used red cupcake liners, so they made red liquid (and I’m assuming, red muffin bottoms!). My guess is that as the butter in the streusel melted, it leaked down… anyone have tips on how to prevent this from happening? I didn’t even use all the streusel since it didn’t quite fit across the tops of all the muffins.

    • Mel says:

      Sorry you had issues with this recipe, Kendra. It’s been a while since I’ve made them but I’ve never had that problem. Hopefully if anyone else has they can chime in and help out.

  5. J Kelley says:

    I’m made these with the cream cheese filling and (when in a hurry) without the filling. Either way they are delicious!! Also, they freeze well with no filling and just the topping.

  6. Britt-Marie says:

    It’s January and 86 degrees today in SoCal but you’re blog manages to convince me to turn on the oven anyway! Yum! Thanks for all the delicious recipes!

  7. Corinna says:

    I found your blog some weeks ago and, call my crazy, I read every article. This is the first recipe I tried and the result was amazing. Everyone loved these muffins and I will definitely bake them again. I couldn’t get pumpkin puree here in Germany so I made it from scratch while the cream cheese was freezing.

  8. Jen Kelley says:

    I doubled this recipe & it makes ALOT… 67 to be exact! My husband loved them & I’m putting them in my children’s lunches tomorrow. Also, make sure the cream cheese mixture is frozen pretty hard. If it’s too soft…it will bubble out of the top of the muffin.

  9. Shannon says:

    I made these this week and you were right. They are amazing! I got lazy and just used raw sugar on top instead of the streusel and they were still amazing. Loved the cream cheese in the middle. Muffins stayed moist and yummy for a couple days. Thanks for another great recipe!

  10. […] got this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  I love her blog and use a lot of her recipes.  I adjusted the recipe […]

  11. Terri says:

    YAY!! It’s October 1st…officially the start of pumpkin season…so NOW I can make these again, without feeling guilty!! LOVE these muffins!! 😀

  12. Liz says:

    mmmm…these are REALLY good!

  13. Rachel says:

    Made and LOVED – though did not wait long enough for cream cheese to freeze 100% when making them (nuts)- so some of the filling was ‘cake-like’ instead of ‘filling’- but kids still loved ! Made a ton of muffins so threw rest in freezer and have put frozen right into kids lunches for recess snacks where reportedly they just defrost to ‘cool’ by 10:15 recess time-with the filling still ‘cold’- perfect!

  14. wendy says:

    Oops nevermind my previous comment about refrigeration, saw others’ comments:)

  15. wendy says:

    SOOOOO delicious! Do these need to be refrigerated after baking?

  16. Terri says:

    I made these for Thanksgiving…soooo delicious!! Even my 11 yr old loved them!! He won’t eat pumpkin pie, well, he won’t eat ANY pie unless it’s chocolate! But he wanted to try them, so, not wanting to waste a WHOLE cupcake…I carefully sliced a small portion off of the cupcake, and he loved it! So this is a keeper in my family! Thanks again, Mel!!

  17. Helen says:

    I cannot stop making these. Add oats and chopped pecans to the streusel for some extra delicious texture. Thanks!

  18. Jessi says:

    Melanie – I have been browsing your website for several months. I made this recipe two weeks ago for a little Packer party my family had–these are to DIE FOR!! I made them AGAIN a week later because I couldn’t get them off my mind. I omitted the cream cheese filling due to my dad not being a fan of cream cheese (crazy, right?!), but I’m looking forward to making them (yet again!) with the filling. Great recipe–thanks for sharing! 🙂

  19. Amanda F says:

    I made these on Sunday and took a few to my brother in law as a welcome home gift since he just returned from Iraq. We loved them! He loved them! I shared the link on Facebook and a bunch of my friends are excited to try this recipe- and some already have!

    I had a little extra batter/struessel/cream cheese filling and kept it refridgerated/frozen to bake a few fresh ones when the rest were gone. Well, that day is today, and there are 4 more yummy muffins baking, scenting my house with the yummy smells of fall.

  20. Mel says:

    Jewely – yes, I think these probably need to be kept refrigerated, especially if it is longer than a couple of hours. I’m not sure how they would work out leaving out the cream cheese, you might try a basic pumpkin muffin if you end up deciding to leave out the cream cheese.

  21. jewely says:

    I want to send these to my daughter at university- do you think they will travel or do they have to be refrigerated? Would I have to leave the cream cheese out of the recipe?

  22. […] These are totally fantastic! They are quite possibly the best muffins I’ve ever had. I found them here. […]

  23. Angela Owen says:

    Do these muffins need refrigerated after made or can they sit out in a container on the counter for a day or two? What is the storage process since it contains cream chesse?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Angela – yes, I refrigerate these muffins for storage because of the cream cheese factor. I’ve let them stay out for up to 3 hours, but usually refrigerate them after that.

  24. Diane says:

    My friend shared this recipe with me. I made them for Thanksgiving and they are now a family favorite. I did bake them ahead and froze them. They were delicious. I plan to make them again this week. Thanks!

  25. Liz says:

    I LOVED these. I’m taking them to my early morning LDS Seminary kids tomorrow morning (as long as I can keep my husband away from them for that long). They are fantastic!!

  26. fritzy says:

    made these yesterday 4 a fund raiser….they were the BEST muffins i have ever made (and i’ve made lots)…….already making 3 more batches…….thanks wont lose this recipe:):)..its awesome:)

  27. Jessica says:

    I don’t know when I bookmarked this recipe, but I just made them and they are fantastic! I used 1/3 white whole wheat flour and couldn’t tell the difference. Such a great way to start my pumpkin-palooza (I love baking with pumpkin).

  28. Jeanette says:

    Wow! These were really delicious! Def. a keeper! I got exactly 24 muffins and they puffed up nicely. The cream cheese filling is delicious! thanks for a great recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Jeanette – so glad you liked these muffins. They are definitely some of my favorites (and I’m glad you are like me and make pumpkin goods all year long!).

  29. Andersons says:

    Everything you post is so delicious…can’t wait to try these!

  30. Melanie says:

    Mel – so, so glad you liked these. Go ahead, eat them all, I think the pumpkin makes them healthy.

  31. Anonymous says:

    These are divine and I want to eat them all. Thanks for the recipe!

    Melanie B.

  32. Melanie says:

    Amber – thanks for letting me know that these pumpkin muffins were a hit. I’m glad they worked out, despite the cream cheese issue – but it sounds like they were still delicious!

  33. Amber says:

    I just made these delicious muffins, it’s the first Kitchen Cafe recipe I’ve made, they turned out delicious! I subbed half whole wheat and they were so tasty! I didn’t read the recipe ahead, so I had to add the cream cheese un-frozen, the cream cheese filling cooked a bit, but wasn’t dry at all. I can see how freezing it would keep it creamy. Thanks for posting the recipe!

  34. Melanie says:

    The Three Amigos – thanks for letting me know you liked these – they were a huge hit around our house, too!

    Melanee – glad these worked out for you – I bet they were a hit with your friends. They must love you for your cooking and baking skills!

  35. melanee says:

    I just gave these a try… YUM. I love them, they were so fun to make!

  36. The Three Amigos says:

    WOW. I just made these… and WOW. THEY ARE SO GOOD. I think I ate like 1/4 of the batter and cream cheese mixture before putting them into the muffins… I put them on our family blog, http://www.jonandamyduvall.blogspot.com if you want to look. THANK YOU!! I make so many of your recipes, I love your blog!

  37. Melanie says:

    Hi Sherra – thanks for letting me know you liked these and for including how much your recipe made. It seems there is always a little variance with amounts. Glad these were a hit!

  38. Sherra says:

    Made these this weekend and we loved them!! The recipe made enough for 2 dozen small muffins plus 2 dozen mini muffins that I froze for my daughter to take to school on Tuesday. Thanks for another great recipe! 🙂

  39. Melanie says:

    Danae – I got this recipe from another blog (Annie’s Eats) and she posted it last year sometime so it must be another version that appeared in Rachael Ray’s magazine. I’ve actually seen variations of it in quite a few different places so it must be a popular combination!

  40. Ashlie says:

    We are so on the same wave length. We just got back from Mexico a few days ago and are already craving/missing the food. I was wondering if you’d possibly have anything close to a Mexican meal and look, the post before this one is * Mexican * Love it! Now I am going to make that meal! Thanks:)>

    Have you ever made a cook book of your favorite recipes? Have you found a program online that you’ve liked? I am wanting to compile all my favorite family recipes (50% come from mykitchencafe:), well, somewhere close to 50%) and don’t know where to start. I was wanting to make a dessert and couldn’t find my recipe. It got me all in a panic about losing recipes etc. So I want to get them all together someplace-do you know of anywhere or should I just do a google search? Thanks!!

  41. Danae Snow says:

    Is this recipe from this month’s Rachael Ray Everyday magazine? I made this (nearly?) Exact same recipe from that magazine, and they really are amazing. 🙂

  42. kelly (and dan!) says:

    i made these a couple weeks ago after finding them on annie’s eats and they were ahhhhhmazing! AND, they made a heaping 24 muffins that my coworkers were thrilled to help polish off :).

    i actually think if i made these again i would try to make closer to 30 muffins out of it, as many of mine rose SO much they were stuck to the muffin tins.

  43. Marisa says:

    I. Will. Be. Making. These. ’nuff said?!?

  44. Melanie says:

    JoAnn – I haven’t frozen them so I’m not sure – but I can’t see why they wouldn’t freeze well. Let me know if you try it.

  45. Sook says:

    Melanie- these muffins look wonderful! I love everything pumpkin and cream cheese. I must make these. 🙂

  46. teresa says:

    oh, my, gorsh. why are you doing this to me?

  47. SnoWhite {Finding Joy in My Kitchen} says:

    these look amazing.

  48. Cammee says:

    Oh yum. Honestly, who could ever be sick of pumpkin?

  49. ♥Nick and Jackie says:

    like starbucks’!!!! yummmmmmmm!

  50. Julianne says:

    Holy COW. I’ve just added 3 pounds to my stomach area. Another 2 when I make and eat these.

  51. jaesi says:

    for reals?! MAKING TODAY.

  52. grace says:

    sigh. here we have yet another reason to bemoan my dislike of pumpkin. these look great, melanie. perhaps the cream cheese could redeem them for me.

  53. renee says:

    oh wow!!!! i HAVE to try these!!!!

  54. Judy says:

    THANK you for the recipe. DOUBLE thank you for the added option of printing recipe with or without the picture! Judy B. Houston, Tx

  55. Cathryn says:

    Holy Cow those look awesome! I can’t wait to make them!

  56. Annie says:

    So glad you liked them! They’re my favorite muffins ever, for sure!

  57. JoAnn says:

    I think you’re right. I must make these. I hope they would freeze ok?

  58. Queen B. says:

    oh HELLOOOOOOOOOO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!Looks sooooo fantastic !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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