Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

My Spider Mite Sanctuary and Incredible Starbuck’s-esque Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins


I know, I am supposed to be waiting for October to showcase my pumpkin recipes—that’s sort of an unspoken rule.  Yes, I realize that summer barely has ended, but I am not very good at delaying gratification. So much for “good things come to those who wait”, because these muffins are oh so good and I did NOT wait until October.

I have an obnoxious fascination with pumpkins and lucky for me, my mom provides me with ample pumpkins from her amazing garden.  You should definitely be jealous.   I have had pumpkins most of the summer and had a ginormous sugar pumpkin that I was roasting last night.

Her urban garden, indecently exposed in her front yard for all to see and drool over, is a sight to behold.  Let me give you the run down of what’s been growing there all summer—zucchini, three tomato varieties ranging from heirloom to cherry to run-of-the-mill, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, Swiss chard, beets, various lettuces, rosemary, basil, thyme, strawberries and a handful of other veggies I am sure I am forgetting.

Unfortunately, I have not had quite the same success in my garden.  Here is my treasure trove from my backyard garden attempt—two kinds of tomatoes, both attacked and savaged by one conspicuously chomping Golden Retriever and hundreds of spider mites, and one pot of golf-ball shaped cucumbers which are so dang prickly that once I peel away the prickles, there is only a microscopic amount of cucumber revealed—delicious!  See that lovely cuke above?  Please note the sarcasm.

I am actually inexplicably successful with herbs…perhaps because they are difficult to kill.  My basil is growing with wild abandon, and my lemon thyme and rosemary are thriving as well— and they are all edible! Woo hoo…I am the gardening fool now!  No?  I suppose not, but a fool I am anyhow for continuing to trudge on thinking some miracle will happen in my garden/spider mite sanctuary.

Ok…I am fully aware I have lost you now…you came for the muffins, didn’t you?  Not the endless whining about my pitiful garden.  Thank goodness I am a far better baker than gardener, and for that I am eternally grateful (and so are the people around me).  These muffins are a copy cat version of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins. They are EXACTLY like the yummy version at that Nieman Marcus wannabe coffee house (I was raised in the 80’s– no other explanation necessary for the use of wannabe) without the uber expensive price tag and WITH fresh pumpkin and other organic, natural ingredients I am so famous for.

What?!!!  I am NOT FAMOUS? ! CRAP! I was sure this blog was catching on world wide.  Can you tell a friend or two?   THANKS!  Much appreciated…oh and try these muffins.

They may sound fairly urbane, but they are truly soft, creamy and totally pumpkiny and blinged out with pecans, cream cheese, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Yep, they are perfection, and I am just too dang honest to tell you otherwise.  Humbleness is not part of my baking vibe.  ENJOY!  🙂

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Adapted from Musings of a Mommy`
Makes 24 muffins

3 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1 1 /2 t.ground  cloves
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
2 c. cooked or canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 (8oz) pkg tub cream cheese, softened

Streusel Topping
4 T. brown sugar
2 T flour
2 T. butter
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with baking cups.  Sift together dry ingredients, flour through salt, into a medium mixing bowl.  In a large glass measuring cup (or mixing bowl) , measure pumpkin and oil.  Add sugar and eggs and beat liquid ingredients together.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly with a rubber spatula without over mixing. Using a large ice cream scoop, spoon batter into muffin cups to 2/3 full.  Using a small spoon or very small scoop, dollop teaspoon sized amounts of cream cheese into the center of each batter filled muffin cup.  Gently push down on the cream cheese with your finger to help the cream cheese sink into the batter. Top each cup with another spoonful of batter and smooth with a spreading knife to cover cream cheese entirely.

Streusel topping: In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter.  Using a fork or hands break the butter into the sugar mixture.  Sprinkle a little less than 1 T. of streusel topping over each muffin and sprinkle with chopped pecans if desired.  Instead of adding cream cheese to some of my muffins, I sprinkled in chocolate chips per my son’s request and did not top those with the streusel mixture.  That was a yummy variation as well.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, testing with a toothpick for doneness.  Your muffins should be nice and orange colored, not a dark brown and the muffin should be slightly springy and soft when you touch it.  The pecans can burn easily so don’t over bake.  Cool to desired temperature and EAT!

42 thoughts on “My Spider Mite Sanctuary and Incredible Starbuck’s-esque Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

  1. Geni, I just love your posts and recipes!! Your a star in my eyes!! And these muffins, oh my heavens!! I will have to push up pumpkin season just to make these! I go pumpkin crazy every season too and I do believe this will be a winner!! Have a great weekend!

  2. I can’t wait to try these! Pumpkin cream cheese muffins are my favorite fall treat. Now if only I can find pumpkin at the store, I’ll be set. Your photos are beautiful!

  3. Famous in my book! These look awesome, can’t wait to try them!

  4. My friend who is a Starbucks junkie will absolutely love these!

  5. You’re famous in my book, namely for your green thumb with herbs and your mutant cucumbers. Oh and you cook some great stuff too. I wasn’t aware of the October pumpkin rule. These look worth breaking that one for.

  6. I also was not aware of the rule.. and posted pumpkin soup today! Will the pumpkin police come for me in the night? These do look gorgeous! c

  7. Your famous for me, too! And I can’t wait to have some fresh pumpkin from my garden (it’s actually growing this year – unlike last year which was awful) to try those muffins. I got addicted to them at Starbucks one year when I was pregnant. Love them and love that I can now make them at home.

  8. These are some beautiful muffins! Yummy!

  9. Don’t be modest…you always have great/interesting/inspiring recipes and if I hadn’t already eaten breakfast I’d be whipping up these babies!

  10. Those pumpkin muffins look amazing. I’d happily enjoy them any time of the year!

  11. Geni,
    I just sampled one of these muffins the other day at Starbucks and I couldn’t believe how incredibly delicious it was. AND, I don’t even LIKE pumpkin! I really want to try to make yours now!
    I’m sorry, but you made me laugh!! I had NO idea what that green thing was, a cucumber???!!! OMG!!! That is THE funniest looking thing I have EVER seen! Quite bizarre!
    Oh yes, we’re friends; the blog, finnicky teens, the Goldens, and I don’t have a green thumb either!! SO very frustrating!

  12. hi sweet and crumby, your pumpkin and cheese muffins looks so delicious and pretty. would like to try this out

  13. Yummy.. Cupcakes. I just love cupcakes and these Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins are calling me. You always outdo yourself.. love it

  14. Yum! Never tried pumpkin muffins yet but this post tells me to buy those ingredients.

  15. You aren’t famous – damn, and here I thought you were. 😉 Hehe.
    Quite honestly, you should be famous with the magical recipe – fantastic!
    Have a super Sunday.
    🙂 Mandy

  16. Pumpkin is a true weakness of mine in the fall. And you’ve gone and combined it with cream cheese. Uh oh. I can feel my waist line expanding already and we’re not even at the holidays yet! 😉 Also, good to hear herbs are hard to kill. I’m planning to try growing some next year, but a green thumb, I am not. 🙂

  17. First of all, these muffins sound amazing. Second, herbs are super easy to kill. Trust me. My parsley hung itself (I wish I was joking), my cilantro never had a chance, and my basil one day just shriveled up and died for no good reason. If yours are doing well, you’ve clearly got a gift.

  18. These look absolutely AMAZING. Seriously, I adore pumpkin muffins and I make them regularly. I love them with cream cheese on top, but I’ve never baked it into them. The topping on these would definitely put them right over the top for me.

    I usually bake a few dozen muffins at a time and then freeze them for easy breakfasts and snacks. Have you ever frozen these? I haven’t tried freezing muffins with a filling before, but I know you can freeze filled cakes. I think I’m going to try them this fall. Thanks!

  19. Why have I never had cream cheese in a muffin?! This must change immediately! And pumpkin recipes are never out of season, in my book 🙂

  20. if i had to wait until October for these…I would cry. Seriously. Inconsolably. They look amazing!

  21. Finally getting caught up on my blog reading! Oh Geni, I have the black thumb of death when it comes to gardening, so I feel your pain. Herbs make me feel better about myself too. I’m obsessed with all things pumpkin from Starbucks (Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins)! I do not need this recipe in my life right now as I’m trying to slim back down, but gosh darn it… here it is! Making them after my next grocery trip!

    • Oh my gosh, I had my first Starbuck’s pumpkin latte of the season yesterday. It finally was cool here in So Cal. and seemed like fall was trying to stop by. Yes, these are NOT light on the waist. But I am going to try some apple sauce in place of 1/2 the oil next time and less sugar.

  22. The muffins look comforting, warm and tasty! Love the combination. Isn’t streusel a magic thing?

  23. Those gorgeous muffins. Love em’. N who said ur blog isn’t catchin up worldwide. U are doing an amazing job. Cheers …

  24. I’m going through a pumpking phase at the moment so this recipe is definitely being added to my favourites 🙂

  25. hi Geni!! this looks so good.. wish i had some right now…. i havent been checking in here lately… been a little under the weather. thank you for sharing this post and have a great day.

  26. Yummy!!! I’m so glad it’s that time of year again!! I’m thinking of heading to Starbucks and grab one before I head to the grocery store! Sorry I haven’t commented in a while. I read them though!! xoxo

  27. Omg these are amazing looking!! I love pumpkin and I love cream cheese, and together… wow! I am so gonna hafta try these!!

  28. I’ve been telling a friend or five! You’ll have your own talk show before you know it. Your poor cucumbers though, I wouldn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But on to these muffins – they are awesome! And awhile ago I tried to do cream cheese filled muffins and they failed terribly (hence why they never got on the blog) so I’m drooling over these even more.

  29. I’m down to my last can of Libby’s pumpkin! I bought like 20 cans last year and I eat it all year round in my oatmeal for breakfast! I can’t wait to make these, omg they look awesome!
    Oh, I posted a pumpkin latte recipe last season that is a mock one from Starbucks! I am sooo in love with pumpkin! I think I’ll go eat some now! lol

  30. Delicious muffins! I kill every plant I’ve ever touched and yet – I’ve made the momentous decision to have a garden next year….wish me luck!

  31. I know it’s totally cliche, but pumpkin really is my favorite. These look AMAZING! Careful, they may end up on my blog in the near future 🙂

  32. These pumpkin muffins look great – what a great recipe for fall!

  33. Pingback: “The One” and a Chocolate Chip Cookie with Home Made Butter Toffee {Secret Recipe Club} « Sweet And Crumby

  34. Loved making these! Great recipe. I used walnuts, since I had them already. I made some without the streusel topping, but with the nuts and they tasted great too. They actually looked “prettier” but my streusel didn’t look as nice as yours. Thanks for sharing

  35. Pingback: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins-Dessert Challenge | Picture Perfect Cooking

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