Recipe Slimdown: Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Starbuck’s has these decadent looking cream cheese filled muffins. I wanted to see if I could make a tasty yet healthy alternative. I came across Healthy Food for Living’s recipe for pumpkin cream cheese muffins. I modified a few things, but the muffins turned out delicious.

Makes 12 muffins


Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 oz  fat free cream cheese, room temperature (when used as a filling, fat free cream cheese tastes fine)
  • 1 Tbsp evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)

Muffin Mix:

  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsulfured molasses
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup lowfat or fat free milk (or buttermilk if you have it)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts  and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper cups.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice until well mixed. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through nutmeg).
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, honey, molasses, oil, and eggs until combined. Whisk in the pumpkin, vanilla, and buttermilk.
  5. Add dry ingredients into wet and stir just until fully moistened.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup a little less than half way full; smooth batter with back of a spoon to even out. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the cream cheese mixture into the center of each cup. Top with remaining batter. Each cup will be almost completely full. Smooth tops with back of a spoon.
  7. Sprinkle each filled muffin cup with the walnut/brown sugar mixture.
  8. Bake muffins for 20-23 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (a bit of cream cheese clinging to the toothpick is fine, but there shouldn’t be any raw batter).
  9. Let the muffins cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 188 calories, 7g fat, 0.8g saturated, 27g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 6g protein. Excellent source of vitamin A (from the pumpkin!).

This makes these muffins a great snack or part of your breakfast! Enjoy!


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