Adventures in baking…Coffeehouse Pumpkin Muffins

Posted by Dalia on September 24, 2012 in Food |

Okay, I will admit it…I’m addicted to Starbucks. It’s an addiction I try to keep under control but boy do they make it hard on this girl. Especially when they offer such delicious treats like their Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Oh dear lord someone help me. Being that I’m a huge fan of these yummy muffins I decided to try my hand at making them. It would be great to have these on hand here at home instead of having to hop in the car and making a trip everytime I wanted one, plus so much easier on the pocketbook. So off to the internet I went to find the perfect copycat recipe.

I found many, many recipes so I did what many of you all probably do…read the reviews and compared them to each other. I narrowed it down and finally chose the one that to me had the right mix of spices and ingredients. Of course this is all going by just reading the ingredients so what do I know? LOL However, I have been cooking and baking for 30 years (yeah, you read that right) so I’m usually a good judge of knowing what works together without having to taste something first. I baked up a dozen of the muffins and had la familia taste test them. I think the fact that they kept bugging the crap out of me for seconds and thirds immediately afterward says that I found a winner for them. Yes, they tasted amazing, I mean like really freakin’ amazing. But were they a good copycat of the Starbucks muffin?

My answer to that is they are pretty darn close. The spices and flavor is right on, in my opinion. And the cream cheese filling is Oh…My…Gaw…I did make sure my filling extended throughout the center of muffin which I have always wanted the Starbucks muffin to do. Plus I sprinkled with a few more pumpkin seeds, but that’s just my taste. What I noticed with this version I baked up is it’s not as dense or heavy as the Starbucks muffin. Mine were lighter and a bit more moist. And saying the others being more dense or heavy is not a bad thing, I actually love the ones I buy. But the muffins I baked here at home definitely did differ in that respect even a day later. Honestly don’t know how I’d go about changing that and not sure if I would as these came out absolutely perfect for me. If you are looking for a denser, heavier muffin then experiment with this recipe or do a little research and try out a few different recipes.

Here’s my take on the Starbucks Cream Cheese Muffins adapted from Tastebook’s recipe (avec my additions and changes :-) ).



Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese
4 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Plastic wrap

Candied Pumpkin Seeds
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt
1/2 cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

Muffin Batter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
12 cup muffin pan
Paper muffin cups


Cream Cheese
Using an electric mixer combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.

Cut a piece of plastic wrap about 10 inch square.

Spoon cream cheese filling onto center of plastic forming a log with the circumference of about that of a quarter. Roll and throw in freezer to firm up.

Preheat over to 350 degrees fahrenheit and line 12 cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Spray large baking sheet with cooking spray.

Heat seeds in a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until the seeds begin to pop.

Add sugar and stir constantly until sugar begins to liquefy and caramelize, about 5 minutes.

Add cinnamon and salt.

Spread seeds on prepared baking sheet. Spreading and breaking apart with a butter knife helps. Let cool.

Once cooled, break apart the seeds that are stuck together with the butter knife again or toss into a small tupperware dish, cover and shake to separate.

Muffin Batter
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer combine eggs, sugar and vanilla & mix on low speed to combine ingredients.

Add pumpkin and oil and continue to mix about 1 minute.

Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until batter is smooth, about 30-60 seconds.

Baking Muffins
Scoop batter into paper muffin cups filling about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Take cream cheese roll out of freezer, unwrap and slice into 12 equal sized pieces.

Place a cream cheese piece into center of each cup of batter.

Using the rest of batter, fill each cup around the cream cheese until batter just pops up over each muffin tin. (see picture)


Sprinkle muffins with candied pumpkin seeds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slighly browned on top. To test for doneness insert a toothpick into center of muffin (not cream cheese), should come out clean.

Let cool at least 30 minutes to let cream cheese center cool. If you’re wanting for it to be more like the Starbucks muffin, cool for much longer so that cream cheese center has more time to firm up.

And the last most important step to this recipe is EAT and ENJOY! :-)



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