Pumpkin Cream Cheese Swirl Muffins

Take your breakfast to another level.

pumpkin cream cheese swirl muffins
Photo: Photographer: Antonis Achilleos, Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Tender, moist muffins with that oh-so-delicious pumpkin spice flavor profile. How could a sweet muffin or breakfast bread get any more delicious? Add a super creamy top with a cream cheese swirl, please. If you like cheese danishes or just about anything with a cream cheese flavor, you will love these pumpkin muffins. Grab a muffin for a quick breakfast, pack one away in your lunchbox, or serve a tray at your next weekend brunch. Everyone enjoys pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread, so any time you serve these seasonal muffins, they are sure to hit the spot. Instead of purchasing a bottle of pumpkin spice, you probably already have the spices necessary—cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger—to create this seasonal blend. Whether you are making apple desserts or other fall treats, these warm spices always find a way into your baking. Use a toothpick, skewer, or chopstick for best results when swirling the cream cheese topping into the pumpkin batter.


  • Paper muffin liners or baking spray with flour

  • 1 ¾ cups (about 7 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin

  • 2 large eggs

  • ½ cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

  • 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 1 large egg yolk


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place 18 paper liners in 2 (12-cup) muffin trays, or or coat 2 (12-cup) muffin trays with baking spray.

  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger in a large bowl. Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, butter, 1 ½ cups of the sugar, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla in a medium bowl. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture, and whisk until just blended. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups (about ¼ per muffin cup).

  3. Stir together cream cheese, egg yolk, and remaining ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla in a small bowl, until smooth. Dollop about 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto pumpkin batter in each muffin cup; swirl gently with a wooden skewer.

  4. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tray, 10 minutes; remove and serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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