Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Starbucks-Like Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins and a story of Pumpkin-Hating Boy starts loving Pumpkin

Are you a Starbucks fan?

We are. Strangely, my boy and I drink lots of Starbucks Frappe (decaffeinated ones) only we were in America as Starbucks seems to be everywhere in US.

Why am I baking these Starbucks-like Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins? Well, I was trying to make a point here. The story begins from my previous bake when I baked the Bobby Flay's Very Moist Cranberry Pumpkin Muffins...

Mum: Do you like cranberry muffins in your lunch today?

Boy: They are delicious!!!

Mum: Hahahahahahahaha!!!

I was laughing because I know that my boy hate pumpkin and didn't know that there is pumpkin in these cranberry muffins.

Boy: Mum, tell me what is so funny?

Mum, with a big grin: These muffins have pumpkin in them and you like them!!!

At that point, I regretted telling my boy the truth as his sulking face makes me feel kind of wary. My six sense told me to check the school bins on the next day. True enough, I found that my boy had thrown away the cranberry pumpkin muffins!!! After being caught red handed, my boy was heavily reprimanded and he apologized. He admitted that he couldn't taste any "yucky" pumpkin in the cranberry pumpkin muffins but chose to toss the pumpkin muffins away all because of his pumpkin-hating thoughts.

Here, I'm trying to convince my boy that muffins made with pumpkins can be moist and delicious and so we have browsed the internet together to find a good pumpkin recipe. Among all, we were attracted to this highly rated Starbuck-like Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffin recipe from because of our good faith with Starbucks Frappe.... LOL! I hope that my boy will like these muffins...

Starbucks cream cheese pumpkin muffins
Starbucks-Like Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins 
To start, mix all these ingredients.
Wrap cream cheese mixture in a sheet of baking paper and freeze so that it can be sliced into pieces.
Mix the muffin batter.
Assemble the ingredients in the muffin pan...
... and bake!
Starbucks cream cheese pumpkin muffins
Very moist and tasty!

Are you curious to know the end of my story?

Mum: Do you like the muffin in your lunch today?

Boy, with a nod: Yes. It is very nice.

Mum, looking surprised: Do you know that there is pumpkin in it?

Boy, looking surprised too: I don't know and I don't mind the pumpkin...

Mum, with a stern face: Now, tell me honestly... Did you throw away the muffin???

Boy, with weary eyes: No, I didn't. I wouldn't dare. You have to trust me! This muffin is very nice.

Is this a good ending? I hope so ...

Here's the recipe that I have mostly adapted from to bake only 6 muffins to test my boy's acceptance of these pumpkin muffins.

The recipe says "These delicious muffins are very close to the kind you can get at Starbucks. If you want to cut back on the fat, substitute some or all of the oil with natural unsweetened applesauce."

After reading this phrase... My boy said "Mum, please bake these with full amount of fat. Please!"

What can I say? ... ok? With another 
wary face.

Makes 6 standard size 1/3 cup muffins
110g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon*
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 tsp baking powder
1 large egg (80g each), roughly beaten
75g plus 7g caster sugar
(I have reduced the amount of added sugar in this recipe and this sweetness is just right for us)
1/2 cup pumpkin, preferably butternut pumpkin for a nice nutty bit, steamed and mashed
75 ml vegetable oil, preferably rice bran oil
60g cream cheese, preferably the 30% fat reduced with 22% fat... Shhhhh! Don't tell my son!
pecan halves or any roughly chopped nuts to top, optional

* We didn't have pumpkin pie spice and so I have added more ground cinnamon.

In a bowl, combine cream cheese with 2 tsp of the beaten egg and 7g of sugar. Place mixture on a piece of baking paper and wrap it into a log shape. Place it in the freezer for 1 hr or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 350°F or 160°C fan forced.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and spices together. In another large mixing bowl, mix egg, pumpkin and oil together. Then, sift the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture. Mix gently until the muffin batter is all well combined. Do not over-mix. Line a muffin pan with paper cups and fill each with muffin batter until it is about half full.
Unwrap the cream cheese mixture. Using a sharp knife, cut cream cheese into portions of 1-2 teaspoons. Place each portion of cream cheese in the middle of the muffin batter and press it down.

Top the muffin with nuts and bake for 25 mins, until a skewer inserted the non-cream cheese area comes out clean.

Let cool in pans for 5 mins, then remove to racks to cool completely. Serve when they are slightly warm or completely cooled but I like the muffins the best when it the cream cheese is still soft and runny.

Happy Baking

Please support me and like me at Facebook...

I will be away for a holiday in Singapore and Tokyo and will be back on 1st November 2014. Ciao! And see you in 2 weeks time...


  1. You actually went to your boy's school and check the bins? Wow.. I wouldn't tell him there are pumpkins inside if I'm you, but well, teachers teach us not to tell lies, hehe.. Cream cheese pumpkin muffins, now, wouldn't want a bite? Look at those pieces of cream cheese in each muffin *ngap*

  2. Your boy is so cute! I'm sure he loves the muffins with the cream cheese!

  3. Pecans and pumpkin! Delish combo! Thumbs up! :D

  4. hahahah! i always enjoy reading these mom zoe-zoe boy conversations... but your boy is so loveable that he "wouldn't dare" thrown the muffins

    somewhat, i feel men hv this "ewwwww" thought about pumpkin.. i made this pumpkin toast but did the opposite of you.. i told the hubby it was made of pumpkin and he went ew. however, hunger made him eat it and realised how moist it was.. then again, he never went for the second slice because of the thought of pumpkin... maybe when you figure a way through with your hubby (if he happen to hate pumpkin), please share! ;)

    meantime, any SB muffins are always a big favourite for me. i'm glad you posted these as i'm always on a look out for SB recipes.. thanks Zoe

  5. Hi Zoe, there is always a say ...善意的谎言, to tell the truth sometimes really difficult to judge.

    well, back to your starbucks muffin, the cheese topping looks attractive, like it.

  6. Zoe, I love pumpkin and these are wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing

  7. Hi Zoe! I just saw a similar recipe yesterday. Looks like the story ended well with your boy liking these pumpkin muffins!

  8. Yummy muffins.really it is hard to feed the kids the healthy veggies

  9. yummy muffins and cheers for ur attempt to recreate starbucks like one

  10. Kids go through food stages, don't they? I sure did! Always liked pumpkin, though -- I sure wouldn't have thrown this away!

  11. Hi Zoe , What a delicious recipe , I am pinning , thanks for sharing and enjoy your time away ;- D ~Nee~

  12. Hi Zoe,
    When I read the caption, I was thinking who is this pumpkin-hating boy, haha, so that was your son! My son is a broccoli/cabbage/beans/everything green-hating boy. I didn't tell him that my pumpkin char siew bao contained pumpkin, otherwise he would spit it out.
    Your pumpkin cream cheese muffins is really a good idea , never thought I can pair pumpkin with cream cheese, thanks for sharing!

  13. What a delightful story, Zoe. I love hearing about you and your little boy's kitchen adventures. There is so much to learn in just one pumpkin, lol...

    I have never been to Starbucks so of course I have never eaten there either. But, I know people do just love it. I missed the cranberry recipe with the hidden pumpkin but it's probably best that your little boy knows exactly what he is eating and also that taste changes:)

    I made cookies which I posted today where I substituted avocado for some of the butter. I was leary to tell Marion even though she loves avocado. After I told her she said she still liked the cookies but, I think she was just being polite:) I actually did like the cookies and if I didn't tell her, she wouldn't have known I'm sure!

    I think valuable lessons were learned with this experience but the best part, Just look at those dreamy Creamy, Cheesy Pumpkin Muffins!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Zoe...Kudos to your little boy for accepting change:)

  14. Hi Zoe, It's me again. After I left you, I stopped over at Kathy's blog and guess what recipe she is sharing today? Starbuck Pumpkin Scones!!! Here's the link if you and your son want to check them out:)

  15. Morning morning morning! I think more than 60 Starbucks were closed down in Australia many years ago so now if I want a cup of frappe, I will just pop over to Gloria Jeans. But actually, all this while I prefer to go to GJ than Starbucks, hahaha. Your boy is so cute. At least he was willing to sit down with you to look for another recipe. Good boy! I like the almost exploded muffin top with the cream cheese on top.

  16. Zoe, you son is so cute! for my gal, b4 she know is pumpkin cake, she said v nice, after she knew it was pumpkin cake, she gave me a disguising look :( The pumpkin muffin indeed look v nice, I like it with cream cheese.

  17. I am not Starbucks fan, but after seeing these treats..I might become :)

  18. Hi Zoe! Those pumpkin muffins are absolutely delish!! Not to mention that they look totally beautiful too! I'm going to make this as treats for Halloween! Thanks for sharing! :D

  19. Hi Zoe, my kids are not fans of pumpkin too. Hopefully this LTU pumpkin event gives me a chance to 'train' them to like pumpkin...haha! Have a good holiday!

  20. Wow these muffins look awesome, I love the idea of chunks of cream cheese in this cute you little boy...hopefully he will not dislike pumpkin that much hehehe!
    Have a great weekend Zoe :D

  21. This muffin looks absolutely awesome! I'm going to try baking it this weekend!

  22. Z, these look so moist and yummy. S-bucks IS everywhere here in the US. This time of year, they also offer a pumpkin scone with maple icing. Those are EVIL and I love them so!

    I just roasted a big pumpkin and it's waiting for me in the fridge. I'm going to make your muffins. My dad and hubby don't like pumpkin anything. These might change their minds as they did your baby's!
    Happy weekend, love! xo

  23. Hehe Zoe, your boy is so cute! I'm sure he will start loving pumpkins very soon, with all your delicious bakes.

  24. I'm looking forward to the Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014!

  25. These muffins look so fluffy and yummy!
    My younger son dislikes pumpkin too. I'm going to bake this and see how's his reaction :P

  26. Oh god, that close up is teasing me! Starbucks wish they were as good as you!!!
    And YAY you fooled him into eating pumpkins haha I remember when my mum did that with zucchini pasta to me :P

    Choc Chip Uru

  27. Zoe, I do wanna support LTU this month but I am not a huge pumpkin fan. Will see what I can whip up. Your muffins looks so yummy - especially the cream cheese filling. Inspiring!

  28. Seems like many activities are up and I hope I can find time to participate. Have fun in Singapore and Japan.

  29. Drooling!!!
    Zoe,i can imagine how tasty ur muffins was~slurp~

  30. lol yr son is cute.. I thk all boys hate pumpkin. My son hates it n my big boy hubby hates it too. I on the other hand love pumpkin. Yr muffins looks wonderful Zoe

  31. Brilliant, Zoe! That's certainly a great way to get your son to eat pumpkin!

  32. Ha ha ha, so cute conversation! I have some kabocha pumpkin puree (I used for my blog -Japanese style pumpkin soup) left so I will try this recipe, good timing!

  33. Haha.... your boy is so cute ! Glad he loves them too. Your muffins sounds as good & love the additional cream cheese on it. Have a lovely day dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  34. Hi Zoe, my salute to you. Really baking like a Star. These muffins look good with cheese and pecan nuts. This week I have to cook simple dishes and no more baking cos' I'm clearing my pantry before going on vocation.

  35. I like the cream cheese addition.

  36. Just delicious! I like also the pictures.