Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

By Casey Bradshaw

strawberries in a basketThis is such a wonderful time of year, for many reasons, but one thing that I love about spring is the abundance of fresh fruit.  Locally, we are seeing fresh strawberries aplenty.  In fact, this past week I was able to get my hands on a flat of fresh-picked, locally grown organic strawberries for a very reasonable price.  So, I spent most of my weekend finding wonderful and delicious ways to utilize these fresh berry beauties the best way I could.  Just recently I came across a recipe for these Strawberry Cream Cheese muffins.  I was won over at the words “cream cheese.”  (Side note: Does anyone else have a strong, passionate love for this stuff?!  Seriously, cream cheese makes everything better).  I just had to try out this recipe, and I must say, they are delicious!  If you have some extra fresh strawberries around or come across a great deal at the grocery store or Farmer’s Market, try these out.  You won’t regret it!

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Yields:  approximately 15 muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped and divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Prepare two muffin tins by lining with cupcake liners or spraying with baking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese, butter, and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add eggs one at a time.  Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until just combined.  Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed until just combined.  (The batter with be very thick).  Add 1.5 cups of fresh strawberries, gently stirring until just combined.  Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins by using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop, filling cups about 3/4 full.  Top each muffin with remaining 1/2 cup of chopped strawberries, lightly pressing them into the batter.  Bake about 20 minutes or until lightly golden.  Let the muffins cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove them to a rack to finish cooling.

***I recommend using a 1/4 cup measuring scoop when distributing the muffin batter because it helps you to get a uniform amount into each muffin cup.

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