Somewhat recently I was with a friend at Starbucks. I always like to take a look at their bakery case because they are well loved for their seasonal treats. I have a knock-off of one of their baked snacks they carry around Christmas time in my book (a lemon and cranberry bar with lemon icing). What caught my eye this time was a pumpkin muffin with a cream cheese filling. It looked decadent and inviting, so I made note of it.

Being that it’s pumpkin time and I like to put pumpkin in, oh, everything I bake at this time of year, I decided that a vegan version of this muffin was necessary. Like, now. I have no idea what Starbucks’ muffin tastes like, but I can guarantee that these muffins will draw out uncomfortably delighted yummy noises from those who eat them, so beware of the potential for embarrassment if consuming in public.


This recipe combines the flavors of two holiday favorites- pumpkin pie and cheesecake. The muffin itself is a moist, pumpkin fest to be enjoyed all the way down to the cheesecake dollop in the middle. As the spices deepen with a little time, I recommend making them the night before eating. These would be perfect to serve the morning after Thanksgiving as you power up to take on Black Friday or whatever it is you do with your family.

I desperately wanted to give them an actual name so here’s what you get when I try too hard:

Cheesecake For Your Pumpkin Pie Hole Muffins

2 1/4 cups flour (I used 1 1/4 white whole wheat and 1 all-purp)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 teas. salt
2 1/2 teas. pumpkin pie spice
1- 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 tbsp. molasses
1/2 teas. vanilla

2/3 container soy cream cheese (8 oz container, I used Tofutti)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. plus 2 teas. cornstarch
1/2 teas. vanilla
1 teas. lemon juice

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 400. Line a muffin tin with liners or grease lightly. Begin by making the filling. In a small bowl, using the back of a fork, mix the cream cheese until creamy. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the cream cheese. Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix to combine. Let filling rest in fridge until ready to use.

In a medium sized bowl, combine muffin ingredients starting with flour through pumpkin pie spice. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, oil, vanilla and molasses until smooth. Add flour ingredients in batches until incorporated.


Spoon muffin batter into muffin tins until just below the rim. Remove filling from fridge and scoop into a pastry bag with a fat tip. Pipe the filling into the middle of each muffin evenly, pushing tip down into the middle of the muffin and lifting it up as you pipe. Alternately, if you do not have a pastry bag, you can carefully spoon the filling into the middle of each muffin. Sprinkle tops of muffins with pumpkin seeds and coarse sugar.

Bake for 19-21 minutes for regular sized muffins or 27-29 for jumbo muffins, until a toothpick comes out of the side of the muffin clean and cheesecake part is puffy and golden.

Yields: 12 regular sized or 6 jumbo muffins


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21 Responses to stuff this in your (pumpkin) pie hole

  1. Nora says:

    I’ve noticed those muffins at Starbucks too! I’m glad you veganized them :)

  2. Ben says:

    Those look absolutely delicious! Totally going to scrounge up a muffin tray and make those for discussion class!

  3. shannonmarie says:

    I love those. I have to make a raw version, asap :-)

  4. jessy says:

    wow! you’re brilliant & too awesome, Kris! these muffins are the most magical muffins of pumpkin awesomeness fo ‘sho! mmmmmmmmmmm! they’re absolutely gorgeous & i’m sure they rock the socks off of any baked things starbucks (ick!) has to offer! you better believe i’m gonna try a gluten-free version of these. superexcitedface!

  5. Wow, these look wonderful! I love pumpkin cheesecake, so these are right up my alley. Yum :)

  6. Andrea says:

    Love that top photo!

  7. kittee says:

    nice! they look amazing.

  8. Clea says:

    How creative! Looks absolutely delicious, I’ll have to make these soon.

  9. Zupan's Markets says:

    Wow! These look incredible. So pretty with the pepitas garnish and we’re willing to bet they’re pretty tasty as well. These and a latte-to-go are definitely on our crack-of-dawn Black Friday breakfast menu!

  10. Courtney says:

    Tehehehe–I love the muffin title! It is very creative :-)

    I can’t wait to try making these! They sound delish!


  11. Sooz says:

    I agree that top photo is amazing, and I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  12. Sandy says:

    OMG wow!! yum!

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  14. Diann says:

    I try NOT to look at Starbucks bakery case! Your muffins look amazing. I love the pumkin seed topping!

  15. Mo says:

    Oh my goodness! These look amazing!

  16. bazu says:

    I’d hit those pretty damn hard. I love everything you’ve been doing with pumpkins!!

  17. Ang says:

    I made these last night and they are amazing!!! Even my husband who usually doesn’t like muffins loved them, I hope there are still some left when I get home tonight…

  18. Melissa says:

    The Starbucks muffins used to be my favorite thing about fall, but these bad boys are even better! I made them for some omni friends, & they had no idea they were vegan!