Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Prep 12 mins
Cook 18 mins
Total 30 mins

These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are moist spiced pumpkin muffins topped with sweet cream cheese that melts into them as they bake. Bonus: they only take 30 minutes!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins in a muffin pan.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

If you are looking for the best pumpkin muffins ever, get yourself ready, because these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are going to make you fall in love.

The base of these muffins is an extra moist pumpkin muffin that uses an entire can of pumpkin puree. I hate when recipes only use half a can of pumpkin and I have leftover. So, I always make sure to try to use the whole can!

Then we top those glorious pumpkin muffins with thick swirls of sweet cream cheese that melt right into the top as they bake. These muffins are almost like a cupcake that frosts itself!

You might want to make a double batch, because these pumpkin cream cheese muffins tend to disappear FAST! I’m lucky if they last 24 hours in my house.

Pumpkin cream cheese swirl muffins on a tray with one sliced in half.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH A WHOLE CAN OF PUMPKIN

One goal I have when making a pumpkin recipe is using an entire can of pumpkin, whenever I am able to. I know we can’t always help it, but I hate when a recipe only uses part of a can of pumpkin puree and I have to open an entire can.

Then I spend hours trying to find another recipe to use the remaining little bit of leftover pumpkin I have. I hate to waste food!

So I worked on this pumpkin muffins recipe until it was absolutely perfect and uses an entire e15 oz can of canned pumpkin for 18 pumpkin muffins.

Since we are only making 18 muffins total, each muffin is loaded with lots of real pumpkin flavor! The pumpkin also helps to keep them extra moist!

Ingredients for pumpkin muffins in bowls on a gray background.

MUFFIN INGREDIENTS:

These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins don’t require too many ingredients and you probably already have most of them on hand:

Pumpkin Muffins:

  • all purpose flour
  • pumpkin spice or cinnamon
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • pumpkin puree
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • eggs
  • vegetable oil
  • vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Swirl:

  • cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • egg yolk
  • vanilla extract

Like most pumpkin baking recipes, you want to make sure to use pure canned pumpkin puree. You do not want to buy a can of pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and flavored.

I use a combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar, but you can use all of one or the other if you choose. The brown sugar adds a little molasses to the muffins and adds a little extra depth of flavor.

The last key to these epic pumpkin muffins is the tablespoon of pumpkin spice! Don’t skip it! Or, if you don’t have it on hand already, you can use cinnamon and a healthy pinch of nutmeg in place of the pumpkin spice.

Muffin batter in a white bowl with a whisk.

How to make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins:

Step 1: In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt.

Step 2: In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.

Pumpkin cream cheese muffins in a muffin baking pan.

Step 4: Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter. This will not look smooth, but it will bake up much prettier. (You can see exactly how I did this in the video in the full recipe below.)

Step 5: Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Homemade pumpkin spice with pumpkins.

Pumpkin Pie Spice vs Cinnamon?

You can use pumpkin pie spice (also sometimes shortened to use Pumpkin Spice) or you can use cinnamon in this recipe. Either way is delicious!

If you do not have Pumpkin Spice, but would like to make it, below is a simple recipe:

DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  1. Mix all ingredients together. This recipe will make a little over 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.
  2. You can double or triple the recipe and save it for any other wonderful Fall recipes or even sprinkle it over your morning coffee!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins: moist spiced pumpkin muffins are topped with sweet cream cheese that melts into them as they bake and only take 30 minutes! #pumpkin #muffins #fallrecipe

How to store Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

These Pumpkin Muffins will need to be stored in the refrigerator if not eaten within a few hours, because of the cream cheese swirl on top.

I personally like these muffins best served at room temperature or slightly chilled, so I take them out of the fridge for a few minutes before serving to let them warm up on the counter.

Can I freeze these muffins?

A few people have asked about freezing these muffins and this year, I gave it a whirl. I found they lost some of their appeal after freezing, the cream cheese swirl just does not do very well in the freezer and then thawing later.

So while you can freeze them, I wouldn’t recommend it. Thankfully this recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins thankfully only takes 30 minutes to make from start to finish! 

Close up photo of pumpkin cream cheese swirl muffins with one cut in half to see the texture inside.

These muffins are my favorite pumpkin muffins, ever. I don’t say that lightly as I have made many, many pumpkin muffins over the years.

And now, many years later, this is one of the MOST popular recipes on my site year after year after year. I’m so glad you all enjoy these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins almost as much as me!

You can now share a photo of your recipes in the comments below and I would LOVE to see your creations. Please share your photos below of your pumkin muffins for all of us to see!

Looking for more amazing Pumpkin recipes? Try these other reader favorites: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake, Best Pumpkin Cake and Pumpkin Streusel Muffins!

Yield: 18 standard muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins: my favorite pumpkin muffins ever. You start with a moist spiced pumpkin muffin and top it with swirls of sweet cream cheese that melt into the top as it bakes. Bonus? They only take 30 minutes to make!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins: moist spiced pumpkin muffins are topped with sweet cream cheese that melts into them as they bake and only take 30 minutes!

Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Muffin:

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (pure pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Swirl:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cups into muffin pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, sugar and brown sugar.
  4. Beat in eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full.
  5. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  6. Top each muffin with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter. This will not look smooth, but it will bake up much prettier. (You can see exactly how I did this in the video above.)
  7. Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. I liked these best at room temperature or even slightly chilled! Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1 muffin

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 200Total Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 5mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 3g

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Comments

533 Responses
  1. Mary

    I appreciate the recipe uses the entire can of pumpkin. I didn’t change a thing. They are quite sweet, but I expected that. I made them as a sweet treat on Easter Morning. My family LOVES them.

  2. Claudia Yelton

    I would like to make these in mini muffin tins for a church social. How long would I cook them? Thank you!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Claudia! I do not have an exact time for you, but I would begin checking on them probably around the 10 minute mark and keep a close eye on them!

  3. Sharokin

    I substituted blanched almond flour for but also cheated. I tried this:
    1 cup almond,
    2/3 cup reg flour (Next time I would use GF flour. I was out this time.)
    two handfuls of oak meal
    I used store bought pumpkin pie mix but added 1/2 tsp cardamon and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
    The whole egg went in the cream cheese filling.
    I added 1/3 less sugar and half as much in the icing. It’s perfect. You can even drizzle honey on them and that would be sinless.
    Pumpkin seeds make a good topping. Also drizzled some fresh barberries on top.

        1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
          Jessica

          Hi Laura, no, this isn’t a pie style batter at all. You could skip the cream cheese and make pumpkin muffins/cupcakes/bread, but it will not make a pumpkin pie.

      1. Marsha

        I tried the once a long time ago and turned out amazing! Was soo happy it was my first time ever baking anything. Tried it again 5 years later (today) but used almond flour after 35 min of baking they didn’t even rise and were still pretty raw in the middle tops were pretty dark….would it have been the difference in the flour? So upset!

        1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
          Jessica

          Hi Marsha! Yes, I’m sorry but almond flour is not a 1 to 1 swap with regular flour and doesn’t work well in direct swaps. Almond flour usually requires different ingredients and rising agents. I’m sorry they didn’t bake right. 🙁

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Yes, you can do two batches if you only have one muffin tin! I do them at the same time in a 12 count pan and a 6 count pan. 🙂

  4. Aimee

    These have been a family favorite for years now. I make several batches every Fall and they turn out perfect every single time. I now get requests for them from friends and family and I’m happy to oblige as they are so easy. My ONLY problem with the recipe is that they are too good and I end up eating far more than my share 🙂

  5. Lisa

    I am so bummed. I made something Iike this in the past and they were AMAZING. I just made these and they don’t have much flavor. Maybe if they sit overnight they will be better. Any tips or suggestions?

    1. Nicole

      I’ve made these so many times and they’re a huge hit with my friends and family. They definitely are better after sitting in the fridge for a bit to chill and I took it a step further and made a cream cheese to go on top and sprinkle that with a bit of Cinnamon sugar.

    2. Cyndy

      They’re even better the next day after being refrigerated. I’ve made even several times and everyone loves them!

    3. Laura

      You may have missed a step if they didn’t have much flavor. I’ve made these and they are jam packed with flavor.

  6. Wendy

    Thank you for this recipe! I made these yesterday, and they came out perfectly! I made the recipe exactly as written, and they were beautiful and delicious. A+ 🙂

  7. Sandy

    Thank you for this recipe! It was an all around 100% hit. My 7 and 8 year old granddaughters mixed the muffin batter by hand. I ran short on cream cheese mixture and long on muffin mixture so I made a mini loaf and swirled maple syrup on top before baking. We’ll see how that measures up. I think I was short on the cream cheese because it wasn’t room temp enough so not quite as fluffy. But for the life of me I don’t know how I got 18 muffins and a mini loaf out of the recipe. Is there a difference in a muffin pan and a cupcake pan?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Some muffin pans are a bit smaller, typically a standard baking cup measures 2″ x 1 1/4″ and are commonly used for traditional-sized cupcakes or muffins! Hope this helps!

  8. KATHRYN

    I just have to say to everyone who reads this post. You will never ever and I mean never ever go wrong with this recipe. I have been making this particular recipe for a very long time and each year probably make about 30 batches for friends and neighbors. This is the best recipe for pumpkin cream cheese out there, believe me. You don’t have to add, subtract or change anything, unless you are allergic to something.

  9. Karen

    I’m going to make these at an airbnb and don’t feel like hauling my mixer. Would it be hard to whip the cream cheese by hand? Also, if I use a silicone muffin pan, can I skip the liners? Thanks! These look delish!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      It’s doable! You just have to make sure the cream cheese is softened! And yes, you can skip the liners with a silicone muffin pan!

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Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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