Fall in love with the cozy flavors of the fall season with my Starbucks Pumpkin Muffin recipe! There's something magical about the aroma of warm spices and rich pumpkin that instantly transports you to autumnal bliss. Now you can make your own irresistibly moist and perfectly spiced muffins you adore right at home.
Pumpkin puree is the trick to making delicious moist muffins. It adds so much moisture reducing the need for much oil yet yielding a tender and delicious texture. I love making batch of these fluffy pumpkin muffins in the fall when I'm craving the flavors of pumpkin but don't want to take a trip to my local Starbucks to enjoy one.
It's truly the perfect sweet treat you can enjoy in the mornings or as an afternoon snack with a pumpkin spice latte, your favorite latte, or coffee drink.
What You'll Need For This Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Muffin Recipe
Here's a look at the simple ingredients you need to make these pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling. Be sure to check the recipe card for the full list and the quantities of each!
- Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. I used white whole-wheat flour for testing this recipe.
- Sugar: Using white sugar helps keep these pumpkin muffins a lighter color.
- Leavening: This recipe uses a combination of baking powder and baking soda to create fluffy muffins.
- Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger add the perfect amount of warming pumpkin spice flavor to these pumpkin cupcakes.
- Pumpkin puree: Make sure to use 100% pure pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling which is sweetened and already has spices in it.
- Flax eggs: This gives the pumpkin muffins a bit of structure.
- Apple cider vinegar: A bit of acid for the baking soda to activate. I like the milder flavor of apple cider vinegar but other vinegars such as white vinegar works fine. Just avoid flavored vinegars such as red wine vinegar.
- Oil: I use liquid coconut oil, the kind that doesn't solidify at room temperature, in most of my baking recipes. You can use any kind of liquid oil like canola oil or vegetable oil as well as melting regular coconut oil.
- Vanilla extract: Adds an aroma and warming flavor to the muffins and sweet cream cheese filling. Make sure to use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Vegan cream cheese: My go-to brand is VioLife for vegan cream cheese.
- Pumpkin seeds: I love sprinkling some pumpkin seeds over the top. It adds a bit of extra crunch and looks great too!
Substitutions and Variations
Making substitutions when baking can be a little bit tricky. Here are some ideas for making changes to this recipe for homemade pumpkin cheesecake muffins that will work.
- Use Fresh Pumpkin Puree: If you want to take advantage of fresh pumpkins you definitely can! The consistency of homemade pumpkin puree is less reliable than canned so you may need to adjust the other liquid ingredients slightly.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice: Instead of using the individual spices you can replace it with 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin spice.
- Replace the Pumpkin Seeds: You can use chopped walnuts or slice almonds if you wish!
- Gluten-Free: You can swap the flour out for your favorite 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend with good results. Just make sure it's a blend rather than a single ingredient gluten-free flour. The blends have ingredients added to make it perform more like regular flour with similar results.
- Skip the Cream Cheese Filling: Of course, if you ask me this is what makes it taste so good but of course you can leave it out if desired. Keep them plain or add your favorite vegan cream cheese frosting on top.
How to Make Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Muffins
These homemade pumpkin cheesecake muffins go together in just a few easy steps. Here's a look at the highlights but be sure to check the recipe card before baking.
- Stir together the wet ingredients in a bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Divide the batter up into lined muffin cups. Whisk together the cream cheese filling and transfer it to a piping bag. Insert the tip of the piping bag about halfway into the center of the batter and pipe in the filling.
- Sprinkle the top of the muffin with pumpkin seeds. Bake the cupcakes for 25-30 minutes and allow them to cool to room temperature.
How to Store
Since these pumpkin muffins contain cream cheese filling they should be stored in the fridge. Place them into an airtight container and store for up to four days.
I don't recommend freezing them as the texture of most vegan cream cheeses breakdown considerably after freezing.
- Don't over mix your muffins. This leads to tough baked goods. Adding the dry ingredients TO the bowl of wet ingredients makes mixing easier than when it's done the other way around so you're less likely to mix too much.
- No piping bag? While a pastry bag with a tip makes things easier you can also use a ziplock bag. Simply fill it up and cut off a corner of the bag so you can squeeze out the filling. You will need to use a small spoon to make space in the muffin batter to add it. You can also use a small cookie scoop but I find you don't have as much control over getting into the batter.
- Don't over bake your muffins! Make sure you preheat your oven and watch the time closely. This ensures they stay perfectly moist and tender.
Frequently Asked Questions
The cream cheese center makes it a bit tricky than other muffins. You can lightly press on the pumpkin muffin portion to test for firmness it should bounce back after pressed. If it doesn't you need to cook longer. You can also insert a toothpick into the pumpkin part of the muffin and if it comes out clean they're cooked. You just need to make sure you don't insert it into the filling as that will remain soft.
One option is to use silicone muffin liners which are also reusable! But if you don't have that as an option, you can LIGHTLY spray the liners just before you add the muffin mixture.
The pumpkin seeds make them a more exact copycat recipe! But if you want to skip them there's no reason why not. I do like the added crunch they give the muffins but you can also sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar for a similar texture that's seed and nut-free.
More Pumpkin Recipes
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Starbucks Copycat)
- 1 cup flour 135 g- I used white whole-wheat flour
- ½ cup sugar- I used white sugar to keep the color of the cupcakes light
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- dashes nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 flax eggs
- ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup coconut oil liquid- I used liquid coconut oil (the kind that doesn't solidify at room temperature) You can use any kind of liquid oil like canola oil or vegetable oil.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan cream cheese
- ½ cup sugar
- dash of vanilla
- pumpkin seeds to top
- Preheat the oven to 350*F/ 175*C.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix well.
- Line a muffin pan with liners. Divide the batter up into the muffin cups- you will get about 12 muffins.
- To make the cream cheese filling, whisk up the ingredients. Place the filling in a piping bag.
- Stick the tip of the piping bag about halfway into each muffin and then start piping the filling. Top the muffins with pumpkin seeds.
- Bake the cupcakes for 25-30 minutes. Once the cupcakes are done baking, remove them from the oven and allow them to chill at room temperature.
- Store these cupcakes in the fridge for 3-4 days and enjoy!