Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins
When thinking of other things to create with North Carolina strawberries, one of the first things that came to mind was Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins.
I was inspired by what two of my daughters like to eat. My youngest is a huge fan of strawberries and my oldest likes anything cheese cakey or cheese danishy, if those are even words, but for here and now, they work. The cake batter isn’t all that sweet, which works nicely with the sweet streusel topping and lemony cream cheese filling.
The first thing we are going to make is the cream cheese filling. This way the mixture can set up just a bit before we spoon it over the muffin batter.
Put the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and lemon zest in a bowl.
Mix filling by hand with spoon or whisk ingredients until mostly smooth and then place in fridge.
Now we will move onto the muffin batter as the cream cheese filling mixture sets up.
First we are going to place the self rising flour, salt and sugar in our main mixing bowl and whisk lightly to break up the flour and bring together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl we now mix the milk, melted butter, whisked egg and vanilla. Now pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients in the main mixing bowl and bring together by hand with a rubber spatula, scrapping down the sides periodically. Here you don’t want to over mix because that will cause gluten to build and make our batter tough. Lumps are fine, but so long as they aren’t all that big.
Once the batter is mixed, fold in the diced strawberries. A little tip here, as you know fresh picked strawberries don’t always stay picture perfect. This recipe is a good way to use up any berries that are less than attractive, but haven’t lost all their life.
Once the batter is all mixed and ready to go, lets now move to assembly and baking. Go ahead and set your oven to 350 degrees so it can pre-heat while you get your muffins ready. First, prep your muffin pans with cup cake liners to ease cleanup and serving. Now fill your muffin cups about 3/4’s of the way with the mixed muffin batter. Next, top the muffin mix with a heaping tablespoon of the cream cheese filling you’ve had chilling in your fridge. Try to make it as even as possible throughout all your muffins, share and share alike.
Once your muffins are spooned and topped, mix the streusel topping by hand and then pinch a generous amount on each muffin. I have some powder free rubber gloves handy for this to ease in cleanup and lessen time spent at the sink. You’ll have some of the streusel mix left over that you can freeze for later for another recipe.
OK, so now that you have all the muffins ready to go you can place them in the oven pre-heated to 350 degrees and set your timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check the strawberry cream cheese muffins. The cream cheese topping should just be starting to brown and if pressed on top, the muffins should just yield to your pressure. If the topping is light and they seem soft or look extra moist, let them go for the additional 5 minutes. If all is good, remove from oven, let cool for a few minutes and then remove from baking pan and set on cooling rack or plates to cool completely. Enjoy!
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 each egg yolks
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 each zest of one lemon
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 1/4 tsp salt kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 each egg extra large, whisked
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 stick butter melted
- 1 cup fresh strawberries small diced
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 stick butter room tempurature
Place cream cheese, sugar, yolks, vanilla and lemon zest in a bowl and hand mix until smooth. Place in refrigerator.
Place dry ingredients into bowl and fluff with whisk.
Place wet ingredients (milk, melted butter, whisked egg and vanilla) in separate bowl and mix together until incorporated.
Pour wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients and hand mix until batter just comes together. There should still be some lumps present.
Fold diced strawberries into batter mixture.
Place all ingredients into small bowl and squish together with hand until ingredients come together. The larger lumps the better. Set aside.
Set oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Line muffin pans with paper liner and then fill 3/4's of the way with muffin batter.
Pull cream cheese batter out of fridge and place a heaping tablespoon of mixture on each muffin equally.
Pinch a good bit of streusel topping on each muffin.
Place muffin pans in pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Enjoy.