Better-than-Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

I’ve been promising these for a while. And I also promised a food-heavy week on the blog this week.

I keep my promises. I’m sorry the muffins took a while, but I also promise they’re worth the wait.

(You’ll see that I kept that promise as soon as you make these treats.)

With fall comes the return of Starbucks’ pumpkin treats. Pumpkin loaf, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cream cheese muffins…yum, yum, yum.

But yuck, in a way, because of a) the price and b) the way I feel after consuming any of these. Lethargic, heavy and with a sugar rush – no fun!Not one to repeat good work, I would direct you to the lovely Averie at Love Veggies and Yoga, who blogged a homemade pumpkin spice latte recipe a little while back (it’s low-sugar too; if you use sweetener she suggests some natural sweeteners for you to use).

There. Now that you have your homemade pumpkin latte in hand, come back and get ready to make the perfect treat to accompany it. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins. Bonus? You can use this recipe to create the Pumpkin Loaf too. Simply spread the batter into a loaf pan instead of muffin tins and don’t include the cream cheese filling (or do – a cream cheese-filled loaf sounds delish). Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and bake. Easy.

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Now that you have a whole pumpkin feast planned out, let’s get to it, shall we?

By the way, the recipe for this cream cheese filling was inspired by the lovely Chocolate-Covered Katie‘s cheesecake mousse recipe, which uses stevia. So…have you entered my stevia giveaway yet? Three more days people!

Better-than-Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

INGREDIENTS (makes 12 muffins):

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups pureed pumpkin
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
Just over 1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup water

In cream cheese filling:

1/2 cup cream cheese or vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup soft tofu
4 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia – click here for your chance to win this!

Unsalted pumpkin seeds to garnish


1. Blend tofu with cream cheese and stevia. Put in fridge for 15-30 minutes to firm a little bit. If you want it to be more like cream cheese consistency, leave it to firm up even longer.

2. Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.

3. Combine wet ingredients with dry until just mixed (don’t over mix!)

4. Spoon mixture into muffin cases.

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5. Scoop a heaped teaspoon to one tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into the case of each muffin batter.

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6. Bake in a preheated oven (at 350 degrees) for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

7. Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top and serve!

Copyright to The Guiltless Life

Nutritional information provided per muffin if recipe makes 12:

Nutritional information courtesy of


  1. Look at YOU baking up a storm now! I love it! Im glad your settling into the new place!

    These Im sure are WAY better than the starbucks ones and they look amazing!

    I need a pumpkin spice latte , good pairing as you said ; )

    Happy Tuesday love!

    • Thanks lovely! Happy Tuesday to you :). They’re so delicious, I had one with my tea this morning. No time to make a pumpkin spice latte, but yes, that would be ideal!

  2. spoonfulofsugarfree says:

    How cute are these??!!! Definitely better than Starbucks 😛

  3. Omg they look sooo good! I love that you made them filled w/ cream cheese…cream cheese frosting is great, but filled in with the batter is awesome.

    And thanks for the mention and shoutout 🙂

    And the garnish…very pretty, unique, love it!

  4. These are so pretty!

  5. Erin Goss says:

    Hello! These look so delicious, but i just can’t seem to get the recipe right. First batch didn’t rise, so I blame overmixing on my part. I tried again, and while the texture is better, they still seemed nowhere near done at 20 minutes. I hope a few more minutes will do the trick. Else, in the trash like the first batch! 😦

    • Hi Erin! So sorry you’re having trouble – first thing to check: are you using self-raising flour?? That’s super important for getting them to rise! And yes, temperatures can mean different things to different ovens so definitely just keep checking them – we just moved and I find this new oven needs about 10 minutes more than my old one did! I’m going to send you an email too so we can talk back and forth if you’re still having trouble; we’ll make sure they end up right! Don’t want you to have to waste 3 batches!!

  6. do you have to use self-rising flour for these? I tend to bake with whole wheat or spelt?? thanks!

    • If you use other flours like wholewheat or spelt I would use some mixture of baking powder/soda to help them rise. If you’re not worried about them being denser muffins you can leave it out – I personally like moist, denser muffins, but they won’t look quite the same as they won’t rise much! Hope that helps?

  7. These sound AMAZING!

  8. These are adorable and look so crazy good! So much better than Starbucks I bet too. I will be trying these very soon!


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