These cream cheese muffins are filled with zesty lemon flavor and plump juicy blueberries. With a cream cheese swirl and golden streusel crumble on top, they make the perfect addition to your weekend brunch!
Spring has a new muffin in town and her name is lemon blueberry cream cheese! She's super soft and fluffy and sports a gorgeous crumble toppings. It's like a cheesecake muffin you can have for breakfast!
- Soft and moist texture
- Filled with juicy blueberries
- Hints of citrusy lemon flavor
- Sweet cream cheese swirled into each muffin
- Topped with an easy crumble topping
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - Used in both the muffin batter and for the streusel. Substitute with vegan butter if dairy free.
- Sugar - Helps provide some sweetness to the muffins. It also helps create those fluffy air pockets in the muffin that make it light and fluffy.
- Flour - Used in both the muffin batter and the streusel. See below section on how to make this recipe gluten free.
- Greek yogurt - Helps to keep the muffins moist. You can use plain yogurt or dairy free yogurt as well or sour cream.
- Lemon - Both the juice and zest are used in this recipe. You can use bottled lemon juice in a pinch but you will need to add a little more than you would when using fresh lemon juice.
- Cream cheese - This is sweetened slightly and swirled into the tops of each muffin before they're baked. Dairy free cream cheese will work too.
How to make these muffins gluten free
This recipe is made with all purpose flour but I also tested a few different options to make it gluten free too:
- Swap the flour with the same amount of gluten free 1 : 1 flour. I like Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour best for this recipe.
- You can also use a combination of oat flour and tapioca flour or arrowroot starch. Use 1 cup of oat flour plus ¼ cup tapioca flour.
How to make cream cheese muffins
You will need a small bowl for the crumble, another medium bowl for the cream cheese mixture, and a large bowl for the muffin batter. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Step 1 : Make the streusel topping for muffins
In a small bowl, add the softened butter, sugar, and flour. Use a fork or a spoon to mix the flour and sugar into the butter until small clumps begin to form. It should look like clumpy white sand.
Set the bowl to the side while you prepare the rest of the muffins.
Step 2 : Beat the butter with the sugar
For the muffins, first add the softened butter to a large bowl with the sugar and beat well with a mixer. Do this for a few minutes until the butter is light and creamy.
Step 3 : Add the remaining wet ingredients
Add the greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice to the bowl. Mix well until the eggs are fully incorporated into the batter.
Step 4 : Add the dry ingredients
Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and lemon zest to the bowl and gently fold into the batter. Don't over mix this step and only mix until no flour clumps remain.
Add the blueberries to the batter and fold to disburse. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the cream cheese mixture.
Step 5 : Make the cream cheese mixture
Add the softened cream cheese to a medium-sized bowl the the sugar and egg yolk. Beat well until light and creamy. This is best done with a hand or stand mixer but you can also use a stiff whisk if needed.
Step 6 : Assemble the muffins
Place muffin liners into a muffin tin and fill each almost to the top with the muffin batter. I like to use a large cookie scoop for this so I know each muffin is the same size.
Then add ½ Tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture on top and swirl it into the muffin batter with a thin knife or toothpick. This doesn't have to be perfect. You're just wanting to spread the cream cheese to the edges and push some down into the middle of the muffin.
Once the cream cheese filling has been swirled into each muffin, sprinkle a handful of the streusel crumble on top of each muffin. Then bake in the oven until golden brown around the edges and set in the middle.
How to serve and store
Allow the muffins to cool down slightly in the muffin pan before removing. Serve warm and enjoy.
To store, let the muffins cool down completely. Then place each one in an airtight container with a lid. They will keep for up to 4 days out on the counter or 5 days in the fridge. When ready to enjoy, heat in the microwave in 10 second intervals until warm.
You can also freeze the muffins in a freezer bag or airtight container. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw out on the counter until soft and warm in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- Don't over mix the muffin batter This can lead to dry and dense muffins which is not what we want! Use a rubber spatula to gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
- Use room temperature ingredients. This includes the butter, greek yogurt, eggs, and cream cheese. If you forgot to take the butter out in time, you can heat it in the microwave for 8 seconds, then flip it over, and heat for another 8 seconds until it's soft enough to make an indention with your thumb. For the eggs, you can place them in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to bring them to room temperature faster. I recommend measuring out the greek yogurt beforehand and letting it sit on the counter until it's ready to be used.
- To get evenly-sized muffins, use a large cookie scoop of scoop the batter into the liners and use a measuring spoon for the cream cheese filling.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can swap the flour with the same amount of a gluten free 1 : 1 flour or use 1 cup of oat flour + ¼ cup tapioca flour.
With a few swaps you can make these muffins dairy free. Substitute the butter with vegan butter, use a dairy free plain yogurt, and use a vegan cream cheese.
Muffin liners make it easier to remove the muffins from the pan but they aren't necessary. You can fill a muffin tin with the batter as directed. But be sure to grease the cavities of the muffin tin well with oil beforehand.
For more muffin recipes, check out my:
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Lemon Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins
For the crumble
- 2 Tbsp butter - softened and at room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ cup flour - substitute with gluten free 1:1 or oat flour
For the muffins
- ½ cup butter - softened and at room temperature
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 egg - room temperature
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup lemon juice - approx. 1 lemon
- 1 ½ cup flour - substitute with gluten free 1:1 or 1 cup oat flour + ¼ cup tapioca flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest - approx. 1 lemon
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup blueberries - washed and dried
For the cream cheese filling
- 5 oz cream cheese - softened and at room temperature
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 egg yolk - at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 425 F. Start by making the crumble in a small bowl by adding the butter, sugar, and flour together. Use a fork or a spoon to mix the flour and sugar into the butter until little clumps form. It should look like clumpy white sand. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the muffin batter.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar using a hand mixer or stand mixer until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs, greek yogurt, vanilla, and lemon juice to the bowl and continue to mix well until the eggs are fully incorporated.
- Add the flour, lemon zest, baking powder, and baking soda to the bowl and gently fold with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to over mix this step. Fold in the blueberries until well distributed. Set the bowl to the side while you make the cream cheese filling.
- In a separate medium sized bowl, add the cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolk and beat together with a hand or stand mixer or with a stiff whisk. Mix well until light and creamy.
- Place muffin liners in the cavities of a muffin tin and use a large cookie scoop to fill each one almost all the way full with the muffin batter. Use a ½ tablespoon to place a dollop of the cream cheese filling on top of each muffin. Then use a toothpick or thin knife to swirl the cream cheese into the muffin batter. This doesn’t need to be perfect. Simply swirl to distribute the cream cheese to the edges of the muffin and down into the middle. Then sprinkle a handful of the crumble on top of each muffin and bake in the oven for 14 - 16 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow the muffins to cool slightly before removing them from the tin to serve.