Damn Delicious

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

With a surprise decadent cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these cheesecake cupcakes are sure to impress your guests for the holidays!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

With the holidays right around the corner, it gives us every excuse to bring on the fat pants and eat way more than we can handle – from the 20 pound turkey to the maple glazed ham to the pancetta cornbread stuffing to the whole plate of freshly baked dinner rolls. But what I really look forward to are the indulgent desserts that you can stuff your face with even after a huge Thanksgiving feast, like these pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes.

Thank goodness for those stretchy pants, right?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

So with that heavenly, luscious cream cheese filling, these pumpkin cupcakes then get topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream frosting, finished with a heaping sprinkling of graham cracker crumbs. It’s incredibly indulging and decadent, and the perfect addition to your holiday dessert spread!

Now isn’t cheesecake so much better in cupcake form?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes - With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

PHILADELPHIA is teaming up with recipe and lifestyle experts to provide recipes and entertaining tips to heighten your holiday experience and add a fresh spin on popular holiday desserts. Recipes and tips are available at CheesecakeCheer.com.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

With a surprise cheesecake filling and graham cracker crumb topping, these are sure to impress your guests!

30 minutes20 minutes


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs

For the filling

For the vanilla buttercream frosting

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.
  2. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sugar and pumpkin pie spice on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2-3 minutes; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.
  4. In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, sugars, vegetable oil and eggs.
  5. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
  6. Scoop a spoonful of batter evenly into the muffin tray. Drop 2 teaspoons cream cheese filling into the center of each cup. Top with remaining batter to completely cover the filling. Place into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  7. In bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add milk, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice, beating just until incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, approximately 1-2 minutes.
  8. Use a small offset spatula or a pastry bag fitted with decorative tip #807 to frost the cupcakes, garnished with graham cracker crumbs, if desired.

Did you Make This Recipe?

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Disclosure: I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be a spokesperson for PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own.

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  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Wow! Delicious cupcake recipe. I’m relatively new to baking from scratch and I thought the recipe was incredibly easy to follow. I loved that the batter is a perfect portion for 12 cupcakes, didn’t have excess batter. And 18 minutes was the right cook time for my oven. Thank you for sharing! This will be one of my go-to recipes! 🙂

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Aloha from Hawaii! I’ve made sooo many dishes from you and this year is my second (or third) time making these for our Halloween potluck at work and my coworkers always rave about how awesome they are. They are very easy to make as well! I lobe being able to put a smile on peoples faces with cooking so many Mahalos for your amazing recipes! 

  3. Is there a way to substitute the oil for butter?

    • What a great idea! But unfortunately, without having tried this myself, I cannot answer with certainty. As always, please use your best judgment when making substitutions and modifications.

    • I have had fantastic outcomes switching unsweetened applesauce for oil in baked goods. Measure in equal proportions to whatever your recipe calls for in oil, butter or fat. I also switch out coconut oil for butter in baked breads like banana bread and zucchini bread and it’s yummy!

  4. Looks delicious. Do you have to refrigerate these?

  5. I made these cupcakes but they came very dense. What did I do wrong or are supposed to be that ?

  6. This recipe is great and easy I used it with a drizzle icing they were great

  7. if making a few days in advance how can i store the cupcake?

    • Methods for optimal food storage and shelf life should be based on good judgment and what you are personally comfortable with.

  8. These are the cutest cupcake spiders ever! I’ve seen so many cookie spiders that i literally lost count! These cupcakes look so moist! That is the very best part!

  9. The cake part collapsed a bit too much. Any tips on making a firmer cake. Also the icing was too flat and greasy. I am having a hard time making icing for some reason in general. I think my kitchen is too hot or my unsalted butter is a bad brand. Would cream work better? I don’t think my problems are this recipe. I think it is more a user error. 

  10. I made these for my daughter’s school party today. I found myself wishing the “cheesecake” filling had an egg or two in it so it would have become more solid. The texture it stayed gave the cupcake a mouthfeel of being undercooked, IMO. Flavor wise though, it was very tasty.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Hi. Love the recipe. They taste great, even without the frosting.
    I need advice for the filling. It created a cream cheese lined hole in the center of the cupcake. The top of the cupcake did not sink, thankfully. Should I have spread it evenly over the bottom layer of batter, or should it be right in the middle?
    Also, do you think I could use real pumpkin puree? It’s kind of my thing. Thank you!

    • James, it may be best to have a thick bottom layer to prevent a hole in the center. And yes, homemade pumpkin puree can certainly be used! 🙂

  12. Wow!!! I made these and they were a HIT! Got amazing reviews. I added a graham cracker crust, it worked really well and used cream cheese frosting instead. I tripled the recipe, expecting 27, I got a lot!!! But hey, that’s okay!;) great recipe! Thank you.

  13. Hi Chungah,
    What size of can of pumpkin? It looks like the smaller one but not sure.

  14. These look absolutely delicious! I got a store bought version about a month ago, and they were so good that they inspired me to look up the recipe and try to duplicate them. Your recipe looked the best and closest to the ones I saw. The only questions I really have is can you substitute 100% pure pumpkin pie filling from a can instead of pumpkin puree (I couldn’t find it at the store. The closest I could find was baby food.) and if this yields only 9 cupcakes, I’m trying to make a dozen for tomorrow, how would I have to switch up the ingredients? Also, do you know if the cupcakes would turn out good if I baked them today, put them in the fridge overnight, and frosted them tomorrow? Thanks again for this recipe and for any of your advice! Really looking forward to bringing these to Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! 🙂

    • I do not recommend using pumpkin pie filling. And if you want to make 12 cupcakes, you can evenly distribute the batter for 12, not 9. The cupcakes will be smaller but you will end up with more cupcakes. The cupcakes should also be fine if baked tonight. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you so much for such a fast response and your advice! By chance, I know every grocery store is different, but do know in which area the pumpkin puree would be located? I looked everywhere and the closest I could find to it was baby food. Lol.

  15. Did anyone try to fill the cupcakes afterwards? I have a tool that leaves a little hole for filling one baked. Or does it work well to fill them before baking?

  16. Thank you for the inspiration. I am making these delish cupcakes, and I am wondering what the consistency of the filing should be? Soft? Firm? Gooey?


    • It should be right in between soft and firm, but definitely not gooey.

      • Perfect! Thanks for the response. They were definitely a hit!
        I’ve been looking for an alternative to Pumpkin Pie. My husband, who doesn’t like Pumpkin Pie, loved this recipe! And everyone else who was over my house

  17. These are so good. Only change was I added some maple syrup to the frosting and cut back the powdered sugar. Everyone loved these!

  18. Just made these to take to work tomorrow (yum!) Do they need to be refrigerated? How long will they last? Thanks!

    • Unfortunately, I cannot answer these questions with certainty as there were no leftovers left to store! Optimal food storage and shelf life should really be based on good judgment and what you are personally comfortable with.

  19. Just made these today and they’re delicious! Only complaint is the frosting, it’s just a little too overpowering of a flavor for that cheesecake and pumpkin, for me. But it’s not bad! Everyone who tried them loved them, didn’t voice my complaint to anyone else and heard none from them. Made a double batch and they were gone in no time! Will try a buttercream frosting next time on half and see how they compare. Great recipe!

  20. Can you make these as mini-cupcakes instead? If so, what would be the cook time?

    • I think mini cupcakes is a great idea! But without further recipe testing, I cannot advise on baking time. Please use your best judgment to ensure they are completely baked through.

  21. Just had to say, a year later, that I found these yesterday and made them for a birthday party. They were a HIT. Everyone said that they were the best cupcakes they ever had! It was so easy to make as well. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  23. These are seriously probably the best cupcakes I have ever had. The only “complaint” I have (not even really a complaint) is that it only made 12 cupcakes. It was a little time consuming, but seriously well worth the time. I will say though, I was expecting there to be a cream cheese center when I bit into it, but there really wasn’t. It all sorta mixed in with the batter so I don’t know if that is typical or not. Regardless, you could taste the cream cheese center (just not see it) and it made it super moist. The only two things I did differently from the recipe is I didn’t add Nutmeg (I just didn’t have any in the house so I added more pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon) and I forgot to add the graham cracker crumbs at the end. All in all, I will absolutely make these again in the near future.

    • I’m so glad you gave this a try! As for the filling, it should definitely be more intact. I worry that your batter may have been too runny, resulting in a “blended” filling.

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  25. What decorating tip did you use to frost your cupcakes?

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  27. I made these cupcakes last Thanksgiving and they were a hit! They were so moist and not overly sweet. Really a fantastic recipe and I’m sure I’ll be making it again. So easy to make too! Thank you for sharing!

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  29. The pumpkin filled cheese cupcake were amazing!! They came out moist and the pumpkin flavor was to die for! Thank you I am a new fan. Delicious!

  30. 2 questions:
    what is pumpkin puree ? Is this the cans of pumpkin pie filling I see at the store or something else.

    And second the pumpkin pie spice ? Can you get this at any grocery store spice section ?

    I’m going to try to make these for Thanksgiving 🙂

    • Angie, pumpkin puree is NOT pumpkin pie filling. Both pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree can be found at your local grocery store.

  31. Beyond delicious!!!! Also so pretty and love the filling!!!

  32. YUMMY!! What more can I say except where are my elastic waistband pants?

  33. Cannot go wrong with a surprise filling!

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  35. These look fantastic! I am definitely making these for Thanksgiving 🙂 How many cupcakes does this recipe make??

  36. Oh my, this just might be the perfect cupcake 🙂 it looks incredible!!

  37. OMG, this looks like a little bite of heaven! I will be making these for Thanksgiving morning!

  38. These look amazing!!!

  39. I was a little bit weirded out by the use of granulated sugar in the filling–I was concerned that it would be too gritty. I decided to use a filling with powdered sugar (http://www.rachaelraymag.com/recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dessert-recipes/cheesecake-filled-pumpkin-cupcakes): 1 8-oz package of cream cheese, 1/2 C confectioner’s sugar (sifted), 1 egg white, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. I think the vanilla and egg white also helped make the filling a little more fluffy and less dense.

    The cupcake was delicious, and I loved the filling. I didn’t know you could bake filling into the cupcake.

  40. Bring on the stretch pants and the cupcakes!

  41. The three names on the title won me over this recipe, just like that! Looks great!

  42. These look incredible! Love them as an alternative to traditional pumpkin pie. Only problem is I’d eat a lot more of these cupcakes than I would pumpkin pie – but like you said, it’s a day to indulge, right?! 🙂

  43. Yummy – cheesecake anything and I’m in!

  44. Cheesecake in a cupcake form sounds perfect to me! I love the graham cracker crumb sprinkles.

  45. Damn, Chung-Ah….These pumpkin cheesecake cupcakes look quite tasty! And that cheesecake filling with the graham cracker topping add the perfect touch.

  46. These are gorgeous and that filling is freakin’ awesome!!

  47. These look so moist and creamy!

  48. Yummers! They look amazing! What a fun idea!~

  49. Hmm I believe there is a mighty good holiday coming up that these would be PERFECT for

  50. These are just beautiful…your frosting came out so gorgeous!!

    • Thank you, Kathy! This was the one cupcake that turned out decent looking. You should see the other “test subjects” – they look like a car ran over them!

  51. Love the cheesecake filling infusion!! Definitely worth the indulgence.

  52. These are great looking cupcakes! Love the idea of that crumb topping too; it just takes it over the top delicious!