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I've made this recipe three times, and everyone goes crazy for them. However, after sampling Starbucks version again, I felt that this recipe seemed pale, and lacked the richness and spicy, peppery bite which made this muffin so appealing to me in the first place.

So, the last time I made them I added an additional teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg, a teaspoon of ginger, an additional 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, 1/8 teaspoon of cardamom, 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder, and 1/4 cup of dark molasses, as well as the sugar and vanilla addition to the cream cheese.

WOW! The additions made the muffins extremely rich and spicy, and closer to the original than I had imagined.

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Home-ArtStudios November 18, 2010

Glad I read some of the other reviews first.. these muffins were DELICIOUS, but I did have to make a few changes. I mostly followed the other review that said to add cocoa powder, molasses, and more spices. But since I could only find pumpkin pie filling, and not just plain pumpkin.. I only added half the amount of spices (1/2 tsp. instead of tsp. for all the spices that were already in the pumpkin pie filling), but also added the tsp. of ginger, 1/2 tsp. of allspice, 2 Tbs. molasses, and 2 Tbs. cocoa powder. For the cream cheese filling, I added 2 Tbs. of powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. of light brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla. The filling was PERFECT and tasted EXACTLY like a delicious danish/cheese cake. After all of the above changes, this recipe yielded about FORTY muffins (regular size muffin pan, not oversized). I would recommend doubling the cream cheese mixture though (or just halfing the batter mixture), because I ran out about half way through, and started using other toppings/fillings for the remaining muffins (chocolate chips, brown sugar topping, etc).

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michelliokristen September 25, 2011

GLUTEN FREE option:
I used this recipe, but altered to be gluten free by doing the following:
2 1/2 cups Bob's gf all purpose flour mix
1/2 cup almond flour
2 1/4 tsp. xanthan gum
Then, I lightened the fat by subbing 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk, 1/2 cup oil for the 1 1/4 cup oil. Added 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder.
I also followed another cook's suggestion for mixing the cream cheese with 1 egg, 3 T. brown sugar & 1 tsp. vanilla.
I baked 20" in a convection oven. They were FABULOUS!!!!!! (if you're gf, you know how exciting it is when baked goods turn out well!)

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curlyag October 17, 2010

This is an excellent recipe! I did a few things to cut calories and they still turned out amazing. With my substitutions, each muffin turned out to be 158 calories, 3g of fat and 26 carbs.

Substitute the oil with unsweetened applesauce.
Use 1/4 of pecans as topping.
Use low fat cream cheese instead of regular.
Use Splenda instead of sugar.

They still turn out to be very moist and delicious! HUGE hit at Thanksgiving!

ps. I also tried this recipe with banana - replace the 2 cups of pumpkin with 2 cups of mashed banana, and replace the 4 tsp of pumpkin spice with 3 tsp of allspice and 1 extra tsp of nutmeg. DELICIOUS!

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stacybanana October 15, 2010

We love these. I changed how I do the cream cheese and make it differently. I added 2 Tbsp of Butter, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 3/4 c. powdered sugar. I beat this together but not too much, or it becomes grainy. I put 1/2 the muffin mix in the muffin cup. Then I add a dollop of the cream cheese mix in the center; I use wet fingers to push the cream cheese mix flatter. Finally, I cover with the other 1/2 of the muffin mx. Works like a charm! Also, I cut both the cloves and nutmeg to 1/2 tsp - just personal preference. If I leave the cream cheese without making it a little sweeter then my kids won't eat them. You can also use a pasty bag or ziploc bag to pip the cream cheese mix into the muffins too!

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mum@home March 03, 2010

I made these up for a recent camping trip and they went over well. Everyone liked the flavor and I was impressed with the density and depth of flavor even though I was lacking in the cloves. I ended up making 24 muffins with this one batch and still had enough batter left over that could have easily made at LEAST 6 more. The only thing I will do different next time is sweeten up the cream cheese dollops. I used the low fat version and I just didnt like biting into that plain flavor of cream cheese in such an otherwise flavorful muffin.

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grrmrgal July 14, 2011

The muffins were AMAZING! And such an easy recipe too- coming from a non-baker like myself. I halved the recipe, which comes out to 12 muffins, sifted all of the dry ingredients, added an extra tsp of pumpkin pie spice (so in total 3 tsp), subbed 2/3rds of the oil with unsweetened applesauce, baked for 23 minutes and they were SO GOOD fresh out of the oven. I did not use cardamom and don't believe the recipe needs it. They're incredibly moist but dense and have the perfect amount of sweetness. I doubted subbing applesauce for the oil (I rarely bake so this was new to me) but because I wanted a "healthier" muffin (har har), I gave it a try. Smart move! The applesauce didn't sacrifice the texture nor flavor- plus I didn't feel so bad about eating so many of them since they're not as oily. I forgot to buy cream cheese and only had a little left in the fridge so I frosted the muffins with just a little bit of cream cheese frosting afterwards (per the recipe in the other reviews- powdered sugar, vanilla extract, butter). The bf and I couldn't stop eating them- I was originally going to bring some over to my friend but decided to keep them all for ourselves. Shhh... don't tell!

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joxin October 21, 2010

Wonderful recipe ... this was my first recipe I found on recipezaar, and I have been hooked ever since. The muffins taste better when completed cooled off.

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Lemon Girl January 07, 2010

Amazing. Unbelievably good and it makes a bunch. I followed the modifications that added 1 tsp vanila extract, 3/4 C. Icing sugar to the Cream cheese. You could do without it, to be honest, but it's just amazing by itself and worth it if you really want something special. I also substitute half the oil for applesauce. Very moist. Everybody who tried it wanted the recipe.

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EvaLowrain October 28, 2011

I took another bakers advice and added 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp vanila extract, 3/4 C. Icing sugar to the Cream cheese. I also subbed 2 Cups of whole wheat flour leaving 1 white, used 2 egg whites and 2 eggs instead of 4, and for 3/4 of the Vegetable Oil, I subbed homemade applesauce.
These were amazing!!! I tend to think Starbucks muffins are a little too 'cakey,' and these do still have a lot of sugar. But they were super moist and turned out absolutely perfectly with the directions on the recipe. I'll definitely make them again for my husband and I!

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Momforfirsttime October 10, 2010
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins (Like Starbucks)