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Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe was inspired by one of my biggest pet peeves, never wanting to waste a single ingredient sitting in my pantry! I have a bad habit when I am roaming the grocery aisles: getting overly enthusiastic about a certain ingredient and then buying way too much of it, deluding myself that I will have all the time in the world to whip up all sorts of recipes that I've had on my mind. Sadly, with two kids, a hubby and a busy life, I never seem to get around to all that.

I was going through my pantry today and found yet another can of pumpkin puree staring me in the face. Either canned pumpkin is procreating when I'm not looking or, more likely, those mysterious cans are the product of every time I have visited the grocery over the past few months and fantasized about coming home to make pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and so on. Not surprisingly, I never had the time for all those recipes I really wanted to make but now here I am, days shy of the New Year, with a little bit of free time on my hands since school is out and the holidays are over. The kids and I decided to make these yummy Pumpkin Muffins, topped with a smear of luscious cream cheese icing. They came out great.

One little piece of advice for 2012: as long as the expiration date hasn't passed, never toss out those foods which have been sitting around your pantry for months. Figure out a recipe based around that ingredient you were once inspired to buy and turn it into something. Good or bad, you'll have fun and the results will always be magical.

Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting  (Makes 12 Muffins)

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This recipe was inspired by one of my biggest pet peeves, never wanting to waste a single ingredient sitting in my pantry! I have a bad habit when I am roaming the grocery aisles: getting overly enthusiastic about a certain ingredient and then buying...


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cream cheese icing:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. 2. Place the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. 3. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining ingredients.
  4. 4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until just combined.
  5. 5. Pour into greased muffins cups 3/4 full.
  6. 6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. 7. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients and beat for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy
  8. 8 . Cool, frost and serve.
Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting

Nutrition Information

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  1. camie

    August 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    do these freeze well???

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  5. MT

    October 25, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    In general, I hate all frosting/icing BUT loved the cream cheese icing for these pumpkin muffins. I loved everything about this!

  6. ambs

    April 28, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Oh wow these are yummy!! We love muffins in my house I’m looking for a good peach muffin recipe any suggestions? I would love to see what you have!

  7. crystal c

    November 23, 2013 at 8:06 am

    I didn’t have any pumpkin puree left so I used pumpkin pie mix and then omitted the pumpkin pie spices and cut the brown sugar by 2/3. I also used Earth Balance “butter” and instead of all purpose flour I used white whole wheat. Results were actually really really amazing- kids said it was actually better than the original recipe which I always made! Super recipe, catherine!

  8. mamanichols

    October 30, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Will this recipe turn out the same if you use all whole wheat flour? That’s all I use…

    • catherine

      October 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      It’ll be a different consistency. More dense.

  9. Cady

    October 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I didn’t have milk so I subtitled with sour cream and a bit of carrot juice ( weird, right?) also my baby is under 1 yr old ao I dont want to use salt and sugar. I omitted the salt and mashed a banana to give a little sweet taste instead of sugar. It turned out greate super moist and soft. Is it freeze well. I used mini muffin so I got like 3 dozens.

  10. ygimbert

    October 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Omg these are fantastic and so simple!! I used one cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup AP. I also used about 1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée. The batter seemed a bit thick when I was putting it in the pan but they turned out perfectly. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  11. Betsy

    October 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    WOW! Just made these and I could eat them all up! I used butternut squash puree and 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup maple syrup instead of the pumpkin and brown sugar. The cream cheese icing would be nice, but they are soo good anyway, why bother! Thanks for another yummy, easy, kid friendly recipe!!!

  12. dena

    October 22, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Is there a way to substitute extra cream cheese, and some pumpkin puree in place of the powdered sugar, I try to stay away from to much sugar?

  13. Abby

    October 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Do these come out ok as mini muffins? Do they stay moist?

    • catherine

      October 18, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Yes and yes!

  14. mamapejeau

    September 28, 2013 at 11:24 am

    These are incredible! So moist. I just made a batch for my husband’s birthday, and I know our 16 month old will love having a couple bites :)

  15. Angela

    September 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    I accidentally doubled the pumpkin in this recipe and my kids loved them! They weren’t crumbly (which is their main issue with muffins and cupcakes in general) and were like little, moist, mini pound cakes! I didn’t even bother making the frosting after I saw how much they liked them on their own. :) A happy accident.

  16. Julie

    December 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    We love this muffins and so easy to make! Another hit from weelicious, thanks! :)

  17. Ruth

    October 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    These are so yummy! I took 1/3 of the batter and mixed in 1/3 cup cocoa to turn it dark brown, and marbled the orange and brown batters to make Halloween mini-muffins (in halloween-themed cupcake liners). Instead of the frosting, we “glued” Wilton’s mini-pumpkin cake decorations on with a dot of melted chocolate chips. Such a fun cooking project to do with my 5-yr old. Great recipe!!

  18. Lisa

    October 15, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Can I make these the night before i need them and put the icing on or do I need to store the muffins w icing in the fridge overnight

    • catherine

      October 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

      If you frost them ahead of time you’ll need to store them in the fridge! You can make the muffins and the frosting the night before, and store just the frosting in the fridge, then frost the next day! You’ll need to let the frosting come to room temperature, though, to be spreadable!

  19. Lynda

    October 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Made this last week after we roasted our first pumpkin, I added chopped pecan’s to it and they didn’t make 2 days….roasting our second pumpkin tomorrow and making it all over again! I will say this recipe is a winner, thank you!

  20. shannon

    October 11, 2012 at 6:31 am

    These muffins were a hit amongst adults and children… Delicious!

  21. Melodie

    October 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Can I use veg oil instead of the milk?

    • catherine

      October 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Hmm, that would probably be okay.

  22. mpietryg

    October 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    These were so delicious! My family loved them! My husband said they were too good to be muffins; they had to be called cupcakes. Thank you. These will become on of our favorite fall traditions!

  23. Lisa

    September 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    These look great. So glad I found this site.

  24. Emily

    September 22, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Oh wow! These were fantastic!
    I made a few small changes to the recipe. I used pumpkin pie filling (not as healthy, I know!) because I didn’t have any pumpkin puree on hand. I added a bit of cinnamon and cloves to the flour mixture and I used half all purpose flour/half whole wheat flour. I also baked half in a regular muffin tin, and the other half in a mini muffin tin for the kids lunches and for the baby. They are SO moist, and they taste great even without the icing! I encourage all of you to give this recipe a try! These do not disappoint!

  25. Niki

    August 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    this doesnt print out properly for me had to cut and paste it to notepad in my computer cause it came out with a buch of spaces between the letters and words looked all strange and hard to read

  26. Mari Jo

    August 29, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Great recipes! My son’s family is vegan so I’ like to have vegan substitutes where possible.

    Mari Jo

  27. Audrey

    July 29, 2012 at 1:41 am

    My littlest loves pumpkin muffins, thanks! I’ve been toying with this based on what I have on hand and always reduce the sugar per Sandra. I use coconut oil in place of the butter and it works out yummy and this last time I replaced 1/2 cup of the AP flour with almond meal to try and boost the protein a bit. I’m pleased. I am sure that they are ridiculously good if you follow the recipe verbatim (and cream cheese frosting is my favorite), but I make them this way for my baby and they’re still great!

  28. Jane

    July 9, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Love this recipe! First time I made them, I didn’t have enough pumpkin purée (of course not noticing until after mixing everyhing else up to that point!), so I did half pumpkin and half sweet potato purée (homemade) – soooo yummy!!

  29. shannon

    March 16, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I made these muffins last week and they came out delicious! Thanks for the recipe!!

  30. Sharee

    March 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    @Jen… In recipes just calling for AP flour I usually do 1/2 the amount in Whole wheat and 1/2 the amount in White Whole wheat (or AP if you prefer)… Then it’s not so dense.

  31. Jen

    January 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Do you have any advice for replacing some/all of the white flour with wheat flour? Or will they just be balls of lead?

  32. MA

    January 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Made these this am…..delicious! Muffins are fantastic on their own and even better with the frosting. The whole family enjoyed them!

    • Maria

      February 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Love your cute writing, my dear! And these pitecrus are gorgeous. I’d like to request an 8 x 10 of the Red Warty one and another of Bex being squished in between the two pumps. You’ve got such a good eye! No wonder you’re an outstanding photographer!

  33. Susan

    January 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Love! I’m making mini-muffins and just pulled the first batch out of the oven. I ate one warm. Total yum. Filling cups about 2/3 full looks like I’ll get 36 minis out of it. And baking for 11 mins. Thank you!

    • Anne

      January 14, 2012 at 8:25 am


  34. Sandra

    January 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    These were great! I lowered the sugar to 1/2 cup and nixed the frosting. I keep them in the freezer and defrost as needed for a quick breakfast for my 11 month old! Thanks!

    • Audrey

      July 29, 2012 at 1:43 am

      Thanks for the sugar tip Sandra! My 13 month old eats these often.

  35. Anne

    January 2, 2012 at 9:09 am

    These came out great! Any tips for making a mini-muffin version?

  36. jgbearden

    December 30, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    These are a. maz. ing. And they totally saved the day! I have my baby girl’s 1st birthday party tomorrow, and after 3 tries of another recipe for cupcakes, they still weren’t right. So I knew I needed something else (maybe the problem was I didn’t come to weelicious first!). So I did, and you had exactly what I was looking for! These are amazing and I haven’t even made the icing for them yet. Thanks a million for having extra pumpkin in your pantry–you made my night, for sure. :)

  37. Linda Huber

    December 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Made these for my two year old daughter today. She loved them!!! Super yummy! Fantastic recipe! Definitely a keeper!

  38. Shannon

    December 28, 2011 at 1:33 am

    These look delicious. I have made so many things from your website. I still can’t get over how good the avocado/banana shake is! Thank you and Happy Holidays,

  39. Evi

    December 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Made this today and they are delicious!

    • catherine

      December 27, 2011 at 6:21 pm

      So happy you like them!

  40. Amanda Bannon

    December 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I have the same question as Erin.

  41. Erin

    December 27, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I can’t find pumpkin spice where I live … what combination of cinnamon/nutmeg/etc should I use to replace the pumpkin spice?

    • catherine

      December 27, 2011 at 6:22 pm

      You can use a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, a pinch of clove and ginger :)

      • Hannah

        October 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm

        I used 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger and 1/8 teaspoon cloves. Came out great.

  42. Heather Taylor @ Kids in the Sink

    December 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    These look super yummy. I like that it only makes 12 too since I don’t have two regular sized muffin pans. And cream cheese pairs sooo well with pumpkin. I’ve been hoarding pumpkin though because I like it all year round!