These raspberry cream cheese muffins are simple to make, bursting with fresh raspberries, has a cheesecake filling swirled throughout, and topped with a lemon crumb topping. Perfect for a Mother’s day brunch, Easter breakfast, or whenever muffins are needed in your life!
Alright Spring is here friend! My flowers are in bloom. The weather is holding in the 50s and climbing. I’m seeing summer just around the corner, aren’t you?
And with these sunshine-y days I love coming up with fresh and bright new recipes….like these raspberry cream cheese muffins. I mean don’t these just shout Spring?
The muffin batter is a simple batter made with buttermilk (but I’ve made them with sour cream as well). I stirred in fresh raspberries and lemon zest. You can use frozen raspberries if that’s what you have! Just don’t thaw them first otherwise it’s going to be liquid city.
To make these extra special I whipped up an easy creamy cheesecake filling made with just 4 ingredients. It’s like a fun little cheesecake surprise. I dolloped the cream cheese filling in the center after I scooped half of the batter into my muffin cups, but you could also swirl in the filling with a toothpick.
To finish my favorite part..the lemon crumb topping. Yes I keep picking the crumbs off and eating the streusel. Can’t help myself. The lemon sugar streusel is what I think makes these extra delicious. Because I mean, every muffin deserves a streusel. Yes these muffins are Spring in a tiny little hand held portion.
What do you need to make these raspberry cream cheese muffins?
For the cheesecake swirl:
For the crumb topping:
For the muffins:
- Cream cheese – Make sure your cream cheese is softened so it’s easily mixed together and not lumpy. The picture shows the full block of cream cheese but you only need 6 ounces.
- Egg Yolk – Make sure it’s a room temperature so it blends into the cream cheese well. I put my egg in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
- All purpose flour – Perfect muffins come down to measuring your flour correctly. Use a kitchen scale or read this post on How To Measure Flour
- Buttermilk – I love using buttermilk in this recipe to make the muffins moist and keep great flavor! If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own buttermilk. I also swapped out the buttermilk with sour cream and they still worked beautifully. Plain full-fat greek yogurt would be another great option!
- Raspberries – I used fresh raspberries, but you can also use frozen. If using frozen do NOT thaw them first or it will release too much moisture.
How To Make These Muffins – Step By Step
Make the cream cheese swirl:
The cheesecake swirl middle…um swoon much? And the best part is you just need to mix four ingredients – confectioners sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and the egg yolk. Just make sure your cream cheese is softened so it’s easily mixed together. You can stir this with a spatula or with a mixer. Up to you!
Make the crumb topping:
If you ask me no muffin is complete without a streusel crumb topping! You want to stir together your flour, sugar and lemon zest. Then stir in the melted butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Combine Your Dry Ingredients:
You want to start by whisking together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
It’s important that you measure your flour correctly. Over-measuring flour is one of the biggest mistakes bakers make. I always recommend using a digital scale and weighing your ingredients. It’s faster, and much more accurate!
But if you do measure using measuring cups (aka by volume) then be sure to do it correctly. Spoon the flour into your cup and then level off. Do not pack it down in the cup. You can read How To Measure Flour.
Combine The Wet Ingredients:
In a second mixing bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, and oil. Just simply whisk it together.
Pro Tip: Be sure your egg is room temperature so it’s easily incorporated. Place it in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using.
Combine The Dry And Wet Ingredients:
Next you want to combine the wet and dry ingredients. I like to create a well first by pushing the dry ingredients aside and then pouring the wet ingredients into the hole.
And then just stir together using a spatula. The batter will be very thick!
Pro Tip: Be careful to NOT overmix. Overmixing will create a tough muffin. Stop mixing once the last of the flour has been incorporated.
Add The Mix-Ins
Last but not least, fold in the raspberries and the lemon zest.
Assemble the muffins.
Ok now that we have all 3 components made it’s time to assemble and bake. You want to scoop the muffin batter into your muffin tins and fill your muffin wells about 1/2 full. Then add about 1 Tablespoon of the cheesecake filling. Then top with more muffin batter – and fill it almost right up to the top.
I then sprinkle on about 1 Tablespoon of the crumb topping. And then it’s time to bake! I baked these at 425 F for the first five minutes, then I reduce the temperature to 375F for 15 minutes. This change in temperature gives the muffins a nice spring and gives you the nice domed muffin.
Tips and Tricks
- Measure your flour correctly – Measuring your flour wrong is one reason why homemade muffins don’t come out fluffy and moist like they do as a bakery. The best way is to use a scale and measure by weight. I still love to measure by volume, as I am sure most American home bakers do. So if you do use your measuring cups, then be sure to first fluff up the flour. Then scoop with a spoon into the cup and then level off with a flat edge. For more on how and why to measure your flour you can read this post.
- Prepare your pans first. You want to make sure to get those ready before you start measuring. I like to use liners for my muffins and then also spray the top of the pans with non-stick cooking spray. You don’t have to use liners, but then make sure the wells and the top of the tin are sprayed well. But you don’t want your batter sitting around while you get your pans ready, so do this first.
- Do not overmix. Once you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, you want to make sure to mix just until the flour is mixed in. If you keep mixing, then you activate the gluten protein in the flour which can make your muffins tough and chewy. And cause “tunneling” which are these long holes throughout your muffins. So. Do. Not. Overmix. Ok? Ok.
- Test for doneness. It can be tough to tell if your muffins are done. I like to use a toothpick inserted into a muffin in the middle of the tin and look for moist crumbs clinging to the toothpick. If you see batter still then pop them into the oven for a few minutes.
- Cool In Muffin Tin For 5 Minutes. Once you have taken your muffins out of the oven you want to let them cool for about 5 minutes in tin. If you try to take them out right away, I find they tend to fall apart and need a few minutes to cool to set up. After the 5 minutes, then move them from a tin to a cooling rack. If you leave the muffins in the tin, then the heat from the tin will cause them to continue to bake possibly causing them to overbake.
For more muffin making tips check out this post!
Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe FAQ’s
Can I use a different berry?
I don’t see why not! I think blueberries or chopped strawberries would be wonderful.
Can I use frozen raspberries in these muffins?
You definitely can! If the craving hits in the middle of summer. Just make sure to not thaw the berries first. This releases too much moisture.
Why did my muffins fall flat?
This is a common problem in baking. And this is usually due to the fact that you took them out too early so the insides were set up yet causing them to collapse upon cooling. I recommend using a toothpick to test the doneness. And invest in an oven thermometer so you can accurately gauge if your oven temperature is accurate.
How do I make my muffins fluffy?
This comes down to that not over mixing. Again too much mixing and you cause your muffins to become tough and dense from overactivating the gluten protein in the flour. Also, double check that freshness of those leavening agents!
Can I substitute whole wheat flour for these raspberry cream cheese muffins?
Of course you can! I love using white whole wheat flour as a 1:1 swap. Or if I use 100% whole wheat flour, then I substitute half of the flour called for with whole wheat flour.
Can I make these muffins gluten free?
I used to do a lot of gluten free baking awhile back. You can definitely make these gluten free. Just use a 1:1 gluten free baking mix. My favorite is Cup 4 Cup.
Can I freeze muffins?
Yes. And you should! Freezing your baked good is a major time saver.
To freeze unbaked: Scoop as the recipe directed into your liners, then freeze the muffin in the tin. Once frozen you can either take them out of the tin (therefore getting your tin back) and place in a zip-loc bag. Or just wrap the whole tin in plastic wrap a few times. Then when ready to bake, just bake frozen (no need to thaw) and add on a few minutes of bake time.
To freeze baked: If you find you have some leftover, then allow them to cool completely and place them in a resealable plastic bag and freeze. When ready to enjoy, I just let mine thaw at room temperature (this happens within a few minutes!) and enjoy.
How long will these muffins keep for?
I find they keep for about 4-5 days at room temperature as long as they are well covered.
More Recipes To Try
Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins
For the cream cheese filling:
- 1/4 cup (29 g) confectioners' sugar
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
For the crumb topping:
- 2/3 cup (80g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 1/4 cup (57 g, 1/2 stick) unsalted butter melted
For The Muffins:
- 2 1/2 cups (300 g) all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (149 g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup (180 mL) buttermilk (or sour cream, or full fat plain greek yogurt)
- 2/3 cup (160 mL) canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 g) raspberries fresh or frozen
- Zest of 1 lemon
Cream Cheese Swirl
- In a small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, vanilla, confectioners' sugar and egg yolk until smooth and combined. Set aside while you prepare the muffin batter.
- Stir together the flour, sugar, and zest. Stir in the melted butter. Mixture should be crumbly.
- Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
- Butter muffin tins (wells and top) or use muffin liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a second mixing bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
- Fold wet ingredients into dry.
- Gently fold in raspberries and lemon zest.
- Fill each muffin cup about ½ full. Spoon about a 1/2 tablespoon of cheesecake filling. Top with more batter. Fill right to the top. Sprinkle on about a tablespoon of crumb topping.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then lower the heat to 375F and continue baking for 15 additional minutes, or until the edges of the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Just be careful that your toothpick doesn't go into the cheesecake filling and you think it's wet batter! Cool in the muffin tin for about 5 minutes (they will fall apart if you try to take them out right away) and transfer to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
- Tools: Muffin Pan | Spring Loaded Scoop | Muffin Liners
- Flour Substitutions: If you want to use whole wheat flour I recommend using 1/2 AP and 1/2 whole wheat flour. Make gluten free by replacing the flour with your go to gluten free flour. I love and use Cup 4 Cup flour.
- Storage: Cool your muffins thoroughly, then store them in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 4-5 days. If you want them to last longer, follow the freezing instructions below.
- Freezing: Cool thoroughly, then wrap individually in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped muffins in a zipper bag for an extra layer of protection from the cold. Then freeze for up to three months. Thaw at room temperature or using the defrost setting on the microwave.
- Raspberries: You can use frozen raspberries but do NOT thaw before using. Fold in gently.