Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins-strawberry muffins with a lemon cheesecake filling and sweet graham cracker streusel topping. These muffins are delightful!
Strawberries were on sale so I bought four containers. I thought we could eat four containers, but then Caleb and Josh got sick, so it was just me eating the strawberries. I was doing my best. I was eating strawberries morning, noon, and night, but I still had two containers to go. I knew if I didn’t do something with them they would go bad. I hate wasting beautiful berries so I decided to whip up a little strawberry treat, Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins to be exact.
I can’t even tell you how delicious these muffins are. They exceded my expectations by far! See, I am not a cheesecake fan. Never have been and probably never will be. If cheesecake is the only option for dessert, I always pass. It’s not worth the calories to me:) BUT I do love these Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins. I would choose these muffins over a piece of cheesecake any day!
So what is so good about these muffins? Let’s start with the mufifn part. The muffin batter is easy to whip up. You don’t even have to use your mixer. I fold in fresh chopped strawberries which add a nice pop of color and sweetness. And if you are stocking up on spring strawberries, like me, you probably have some to use up. And if you don’t go to the store ASAP! They are so good right now.
Next, comes the cheesecake filling. I combine cream cheese with sugar and lemon zest. The cheesecake is a surprise inside of the muffins. You won’t know it’s there until you bite into the muffin. It is a pleasant surprise and this is coming from a cheesecake hater. Ok, maybe not a hater, that is a strong word and we are teaching Caleb to not say hate, so I better say cheesecake disliker:)
See, look at that cheesecake surprise! YUM!
To top the muffins off, I add a graham cracker streusel topping. Cheesecake traditionally comes with graham cracker crust, so to keep with tradition, I invited graham crackers to my muffin party. Best decision ever! The graham cracker streusel makes these muffins! Don’t skip the streusel part.
Sweet strawberry muffins, lemon cheesecake filling, graham cracker streusel topping…these muffins have it ALL! And you can feel good about eating these cheesecake muffins for breakfast because they are muffins. They might taste like dessert, but muffins are muffins and that means breakfast!
And guess who started feeling better as soon as the muffins came out of the oven.? Ha! Josh and Caleb were too sick to help me eat the strawberries, but they felt good enough to eat a Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins. It’s funny how that works:)
I was actually happy to share my Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins because if they didn’t help me eat them I probably would have eaten the entire batch. Remember, I don’t like to waste beautiful berries and that includes beautiful berries inside of delicious muffins!
So, I will probably still never order cheesecake for dessert, but I will be making these Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins again! They are a new favorite!
Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
For the Graham Cracker Streusel Topping:
- 3 graham cracker sheets
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 2 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the Muffins:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 cups of a muffin tin with paper liners or grease well. Set aside.
- First, make the streusel topping. Place the graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and seal. Using a rolling pin or other heavy object, crush the graham crackers. I like to leave a few bigger chunks to give the streusel texture. In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, brown sugar, and melted butter. Stir until moistened. Set aside.
- Next, make the cheesecake fililng. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
- In a small bowl, combine canola oil, egg, buttermilk, and vanilla together. Whisk until well combined.
- Incorporate the wet ingredients into flour mixture. Add slowly and gently stir, you don’t want to over mix. The batter will be thick. Carefully fold in the strawberries.
- Fill each muffin cup with about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter. You want the bottom of the muffin cup to be covered. Next, add one teaspoon of the cheesecake filling to each muffin cup. Cover the filling with the remaining batter. Sprinkle each muffin with graham cracker streusel.
- Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the pan and let cool on a cooling rack.
- Note-you can easily double this recipe.
Have you tried this recipe?
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Well, I took a leap of faith and tried them with frozen strawberries because I couldn’t wait to get your answer, they look so good they needed to be made this weekend! 😉 Let me first say wow and thank you for the delicious recipe. A couple things I found while making them –
NOTE: I doubled the recipe, so my quantities mentioned below are for a double batch!
I chopped up frozen (NOT thawed) strawberries and used 2+1/4 cups of those. In lieu of buttermilk I mixed 3/4 cup lowfat plain yogurt with 1/4 cup water to make a low-fat buttermilk substitute and then used ~3/4 cups of that (I first put in 2/3 cup, same as the buttermilk quantity in the recipe, but the batter seemed too thick to me. It was still quite thick with the extra “buttermilk” but a bit easier to work with. I’m thinking maybe it was because of using a substitute instead of actual buttermilk that it was SO thick).
I made 14 large muffins with this recipe, which was perfect for me (I make a batch of muffins on the weekend for myself and my husband to each have a muffin each day of the week). The only issue was the cheesecake batter…I knew there wasn’t going to be enough as soon as I mixed it up, but I didn’t have any more soft cream cheese so I chose to just go with it this time and I’ll probably do a triple batch of that per double batch of muffin batter/streusel mix next time. It wasn’t terribly off for me, I only had to have one muffin without any cheesecake.
Now for what’s really important. Final product/taste! They were heavenly. My husband and I both oohed and ahhed the entire time we ate them! The muffin base is the perfect texture, and the flavors of the strawberry with the lemon in the cheesecake batter is fantastic! I was a bit skeptical at first of the cheesecake batter basically just being cream cheese and sugar (no egg) but it worked perfectly in these muffins, providing the perfect creamy texture.
These are definitely a hit and favorite in my house and will be made regularly! Thanks again for this awesome recipe!!
Yay! Glad they turned out well with frozen strawberries! So happy you liked them!
I love making these with my SO but was wondering how long they stayed good and if they needed to be refrigerated? Usually we eat them so fast that that’s not a worry, but I made a double batch yesterday and have lots of leftovers!
Embarrassing question: How high do you fill the muffin cups with the extra batter? Right up to the top of the liner, or 3/4 of the way to allow for rising? Thanks – these look soooooo good and I can’t wait to make them for my family.
3/4 is perfect!
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