Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

[This recipe was originally posted in October 2010, but I have given it a couple of small tweaks, as well as taken some new photos. This fabulous muffin recipe definitely deserved to be resurrected from the archives.]

Few things go together as well as pumpkin and cream cheese. Sure there’s peanut butter and jelly, as well as peanut butter and chocolate, but warm and spicy pumpkin baked goods paired with sweet cream cheese is a match made in fall-baking heaven. Add to these muffins a pecan streusel topping and you will be hard pressed to find a better breakfast treat once the weather starts to cool down. These pumpkin-cream cheese muffins have become one of my very favorite fall breakfast items; they taste like part muffin, part cupcake, part coffee cake… all wonderful things in my book!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

These muffins use a neat little trick to make sure that there is a nice little pocket of cream cheese in the middle and that it doesn’t float or spread out inside the muffins. The cream cheese filling mixture is prepared, shaped into a log and frozen for a couple of hours. When you’re ready to make the muffins, you put a little bit of batter in the muffin cups, then cut the log into even pieces and add a piece of frozen cream cheese filling, then add the remainder of the batter to the muffin cups.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

These muffins, as far as I’m concerned, are truly perfect. The muffin itself is moist and tender – not too airy, not too dense or dry. The cream cheese filling is as perfect a complement as I could imagine, and the pecan streusel on top is the icing on the cake. The pecans add some crunch and the streusel delivers those amazing crumbs synonymous with muffin tops and crumb cake that I can never get enough of.

I can’t think of a more amazing fall and winter breakfast treat than these muffins. They’re indulgent, cozy, and utterly delicious.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

One year ago: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds, Three Ways
Two years ago: Cook’s Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Beer and Brown Sugar Kielbasa & Sauerkraut
Four years ago: Pumpkin Pie Bars
Five years ago: Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
Six years ago: Apple Hand Pies

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel

Yield: 12 muffins

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Fluffy spiced pumpkin muffins are filled with a cream cheese center and topped with pecan streusel.


For the Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Muffins:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 eggs
½ cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Make the Cream Cheese Filling In a medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, and stir to combine. Form the mixture into a 12-inch log on a piece of plastic wrap, wrap it in the plastic wrap and then again in foil, and freeze for at least two hours, or until firm.

2. Make the Streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Stir in the pecans, then use a fork to mix in the melted butter, ensuring that all of the ingredients are moistened. Refrigerate while you prepare the muffins.

3. Make the Muffins: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt.

5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract.

6. Pour the pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula to gently combine the batter, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

7. Remove the cream cheese from the freezer, and divide it into 12 1-inch slices.

8. Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the muffin cups. Place 1 slice of the cream cheese log in the center of each cup, then divide the remaining batter evenly between the muffin cups, ensuring that the cream cheese is completely covered.

9. Sprinkle the pecan streusel on top of each muffin. Press on the streusel lightly to make sure it adheres to the batter.

10. Bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then remove muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let them come to room temperature before serving, or warm briefly in the microwave to take the chill off. The muffins can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 months.

(Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)


137 Responses to “Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffins with Pecan Streusel”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Nuha on October 18, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I’ve been on a pumpkin run lately, so these look absolutely delicious!


    • Tom @ Raise Your Garden on October 14th, 2014 at 7:02 am

      I totally agree it’s the time of the year for pumpkin everything! These delicious muffins have just been added to my list.


  2. LimeCake on October 18, 2010 at 5:10 am

    anything with streusel has gotta taste awesome! these look delicious!


    • jennifer sheridan on October 6th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      I make these only i use roasted pumkin seeds (pepitas) instead of pecans keeps with the pumpkin theme.


  3. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 18, 2010 at 5:47 am

    wow – these look amazing. Of course I’m a sucker for anything with cream cheese. Add pumpkin to the mix and it’s perfection!


  4. Katrina on October 18, 2010 at 7:32 am

    The cream cheese middle of these muffins looks fantastic! Great recipe :)


  5. Paula on October 18, 2010 at 8:08 am

    If the pecan streusel wasn’t enough to tempt me to try these, then the cream cheese surprise inside certainly seals the deal!


  6. Amalia on October 18, 2010 at 8:22 am

    My favorite thing in a muffin! a filling and a streusel topping! That’s so delicious!




  7. Judy B. on October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Recipe sounds delish. Question: is the information on oven temperature and how to assemble the ingredients missing? Only the ingredients are listed. Thanks.


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:20 am

      Hi Judy, Oops you were right! I must have done something to accidentally cut that portion, but it is fixed now, the recipe is whole again :)


  8. Alice on October 18, 2010 at 8:30 am

    I just made Annie’s version last week and they were, without a doubt, the best pumpkin muffins I have ever had! I will definitely be making them again soon.


  9. Sues on October 18, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Wow, these look awesome!! Especially when you cut into them. Perfect fall treat :) :)


  10. Jenny Flake on October 18, 2010 at 10:39 am

    that looks like pure heaven to me. Need some now!!


  11. Kim - Liv Life on October 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Definitely a most excellent pairing!! I made something similar many, many years ago when my son was in preschool and had totally forgotten about it. With pumpkin in the fridge just waiting to be used these muffins will be the perfect after school surprise today!


  12. Island Vittles on October 18, 2010 at 11:17 am

    This pumpkin recipe actually made my mouth water (and I don`t really like pumpkin) — they look delicious! Theresa


  13. Susan on October 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Sweet Jesus. That is all. Look at that filling! Torture!


  14. Maria on October 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I just made pumpkin muffins, but I will have to make them again and try your recipe:)


  15. Cookin' Canuck on October 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    That frozen cream cheese trick is a really good one – I’m going to use that! My boys are looking over my shoulder right now and, in unison, they both sighed, “Oh, those look good!”


  16. Lauren at KeepItSweet on October 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    yum great fall brunch addition!


  17. Jen @ How To: Simplify on October 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I’ve been on a huge pumpkin kick lately. I would love to devour a couple of these muffins right now. Yum!


  18. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking on October 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Oh my gosh, you’ve got me drooling over here! These are absolutely lovely. I really have to get started on my pumpkin-inspired baking… I’m behind!


  19. GreenGirl on October 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Everywhere I turn around lately I see lots of pumpkin treats, is so hard to decide which one to try (I’d try them all if it wouldn’t be for the extra pounds ).
    I love cheesy desserts I’m going to fall in love with these when I try them


  20. Paula on October 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Coincidentally as I am reading this post I am devouring pumpkin cookies topped with cream cheese frosting that I made this morning. Yep, pumpkin and cream cheese, you can’t go wrong! What a smart idea with the cold “log” of cream cheese, very clever. And, that streusel topping looks like it would be good atop so many different things. YUM!


  21. Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) on October 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    A cream cheese filling that’s baked in. That’s a great idea! I’m so trying these :)


  22. leslie on October 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Amazing! these look amazing! Just printed!


  23. Camala - CC Recipe on October 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I made a banana cream cheese filled muffin just like this and it was fabulous, I can only imagine how great these are! I so have to make these, thanks for sharing!


  24. bridget {bake at 350} on October 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Without even trying these muffins, I’m in love with them. Oh, Michelle, they sound divine!


  25. Sarah on October 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Hi! These look really good!! In Australia, we don’t bake sweets with pumpkin, its used as a vegetable only, so we don’t have canned pumpkin. Can I used a cup of mashed pumpkin instead? Looking forward to trying these asap! Sarah x


    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 11:24 pm

      Hi Sarah, Yes definitely! Some folks over here prefer to buy whole pumpkins, roast them and then mash them themselves. Definitely can use your own mashed pumpkin. Enjoy!


  26. Amy on October 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    These look wonderful! The creamy center enclosed in pumpkin cake with that yummy looking crispy topping…I bet they were heavenly ;)!


  27. Jolene on October 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I cannot wait to make these! Looks so DELICIOUS!


  28. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having on October 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I love the frozen cream cheese trick! Thanks!


  29. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on October 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Ooh… You’ve outdone yourself with these muffins! I will definitely be making them!


  30. Michelle on October 19, 2010 at 12:55 am

    Isn’t Streusel fun to make and it always adds such a special touch to just about anything!


  31. Bec on October 19, 2010 at 3:09 am

    Wow, these look amazing!


  32. joudie's mood food on October 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

    How good do these look? I love love love the center filled with cream cheese. Just perfect and the streusel on top for a perfect crunch! YUMM!


  33. Becky on October 19, 2010 at 7:50 am

    These muffins look soo good, especially with the cream cheese filling and streusel topping, which make them special. I’m making these today.


  34. Tracy on October 19, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Love! Such a neat little trick to get the cream cheese in there. I’ll definitely be making these!


  35. Becka on October 20, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Oooh, these look gorgeous! I’m definitely going to be trying them :)

    One question though, “pumpkin pie spice” is not something you get in the uk, could you recommend a substitute please??



    • Becka on October 21st, 2010 at 3:19 am

      I made these last night and they’re absolutely AMAZING!!! 😀
      Thank you so much for posting the recipe!

      For anyone who wants them, the UK weights/measure equivalents will be on my blog by the weekend, including my substitute for the pumpkin pie spice (which involved simply upping some of the spices & adding some ground ginger).

      Thanks again!


      • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:06 pm

        Hi Becka, So sorry I am a bit late responding to this, but looks like you did what I was going to suggest! Pumpkin pie spice is a combination of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. So glad you liked these!


    • morri on February 5th, 2013 at 6:21 am

      I use mixed spice.


    • Suz on October 19th, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Anytime I can’t get an ingredient or item, I usually check http://www.allrecipes.com and someone has a substitute. Great for spice mixes, salad dressing even alcohol!


  36. Pretty. Good. Food. on October 20, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Mmm, the addition of the pecan streusel sounds great! :)


  37. Megan Gordon on October 20, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    These look, as you said, like the perfect muffins. I can’t imagine anything better with a nice strong cup of coffee. Love the bit of cream cheese and streusal top. Lovely photos, too!


  38. Tanya on October 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Just made these. They’re not only gorgeous, but also delicious. Thanks for the recipe.


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

      Yay! You are welcome, so glad you enjoyed them!


  39. Ali on October 21, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    Help! I just made these and while they taste great my cream cheese burst through the top of my muffins instead of staying nicely in the center. What did I do wrong?!


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:11 pm

      Hi Ali, A couple of things could have contributed to that: (1) If the cream cheese wasn’t thoroughly frozen that could do it; or (2) If you added a bit too much batter on the bottom and the majority wasn’t on top, that could cause it as well.


  40. Amanda@Choc-Chip-Cookie-Recipe.com on October 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I bought a bunch of mini loaf pans this week because I need to deliver some gifts to friends of mine. I was going to start scouting for sweet bread recipes when I saw this. Do you see any reason why this would not work in mini loaf pans? Other than time in oven? I think I am going to give it a whirl. Wish me luck!



    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

      Amanda, that sounds like such a lovely idea! Please let me know how they turn out!


  41. Kelsey on October 24, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    My roommate and I did these last week but weren’t patient enough to let the cream cheese freeze for 2 hours (we probably only waited 45 minutes) and it ended up oozing out the top of the cupcakes and leaving holes inside the cupcake. We learned our lesson 😉


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 6:13 pm

      Aww, I’m sorry to hear that but I hope you still enjoyed them!


  42. Kathy on October 28, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    These are wonderful! I love everything pumpkin but these are the best muffins I’ve ever ate! The muffin cups are pretty full but they stayed confined to their area. And the cream cheese in the middle was heaven! I froze mine for about 3 hours and I used low fat cream cheese so it is a little bit runnier but it stayed in the muffin.


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      Yay! Best muffins ever is a great compliment!


  43. Amanda on October 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Thanks for these Michelle! I made a batch last night, and they are delicious! A coworker actually told me this morning that he shed a single tear when he took a bite.
    My muffin tins must be small, because I had too much batter, and the cups were completely full! I didn’t bother getting out another tray for muffins 13 and 14, so it’s a good thing I’m not afraid of raw eggs :) Love licking the bowl!


    • Michelle on October 30th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Awesome to impress coworkers! Glad these were a big hit!


  44. Dena on October 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I’ve made these twice now and each time they were a huge hit! The second time I added a bit of maple syrup to the cream cheese and it was so good! Had to freeze it a little longer…it actually worked to take the whole package of cream cheese and make two logs at once because once you eat the first batch you are going to want to make another!!! Thank you again!!


    • Michelle on November 1st, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      Oooh Dena I love the idea of adding maple syrup to the cream cheese mixture, great idea!


  45. foodlvr on November 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    These sound so good. I copied and printed the recipe and will make them soon. I hope they taste like the ones at Starbucks. I love the combination of flavors of pumpkin and cream cheese.

    Thanks for all the inspiration.


  46. Shelly on January 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    these are in my oven, can’t wait to try them! i left out the cream cheese though as i didn’t feel like waiting to go to the store :) the ingredients for the muffins don’t list vanilla, but it’s list in the instructions. i added 1/2 tsp.


  47. Cassie on January 13, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    You have the most amazing blog! I love it! I have one questions….
    On Step 5 it says “In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin, eggs, oil, and vanilla.”
    the only vanilla I see in the recipe is for the cream cheese filling was that just a typo?
    Not tryingto correct you or anything I just dont want to mess up the recipe!


    • Michelle on January 13th, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Cassie, Sorry for that oversight. It is 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, I have now corrected in the recipe. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! Enjoy the muffins!


      • Pam on November 11th, 2014 at 2:06 pm

        Oops! Above says add 1/2 tsp vanilla but the recipe I printed says 1 1/2. Which is right? Also, any tips/adjustments for making these as mini muffins? I want to use them as dessert course in a fall wine tasting where we pair wines with small bites.


  48. Kimmi on March 26, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Ahhh, I remember these 😀 This is the first recipe I ever found from your site! I made these around Thanksgiving time last year, and I’ve been a dedicated fan ever since.
    Thank you so much!
    These were absolutely wonderful ^.^


  49. Carolyn on August 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Okay….trying these very soon they look amazing! Have you ever had Craig’s Crazy Carrot Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory? I am thinking these muffins with a carrot cake batter instead of pumpkin would be y-u-m-m-y!!! What do you think?


  50. Jade on September 13, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    I’m allergic to pecans. Is there another nut that could replace the pecans and still yield delicious results? Thank you!


    • Michelle on September 13th, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Jade, You could definitely use walnuts, they would be great!


      • Jade on September 13th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

        Thank you so much. I appreciate your reply!


Comment Pages 1 2

Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)