Sweet strawberries & tart lemon come together in these creamy Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins!
Spring has finally arrived here, and I couldn’t be happier. Winters in West Virginia can be…. well, long. And unpredictable. And sometimes just when you think winter has finally had its last hoorah here, it sneaks back in with some colder temperatures and snow flurries… in late March. That being said, I do truly believe that spring is here for good now that it is April. (Knock on wood.)
And with the solid arrival of spring, my mind starts to wander to a little spring baking. I love the bright flavors and sweet fresh fruit that comes with the warmer temperatures and sunshine. At a recent trip to my local grocery store, I spied some bright red strawberries and knew right away that I wanted to bake up a batch of muffins perfect for celebrating spring with. I combined the sweetness of the strawberries with the tartness of fresh lemon and the creaminess of cream cheese to make these amazing and moist Strawberry Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins. When you use nonfat yogurt, coconut milk, and lighter cream cheese to make these, you have yourself some fresh-baked muffins that only taste like a decadent splurge.
What flavors always signal to you that spring has finally arrived where you are?
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla or plain yogurt
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 cup of frozen (thawed) or fresh sliced strawberries
- Sparkling sugar- optional
- 8 oz of light cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, & baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the milk, eggs, canola oil, vanilla, yogurt, and lemon juice and zest. (Tip- Always zest the lemon before juicing it. To get the lemon to juice easier, microwave it for 10 seconds. Roll the warmed lemon with your hands on your counter and then cut in half. Hold the lemon halves cut side up as you squeeze out the juice to prevent the lemon seeds from getting into your bowl.)
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients a little at a time. Mix until incorporated, but try not to over mix.
- Fold in the sliced strawberries.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until nice and creamy. Gently fold half of the cream cheese "batter" into the strawberry muffin batter.
- Fill each muffin cup in your pan about 2/3 of the way full with your muffin/cream cheese swirled batter. Grab the remaining cream cheese batter and drop one tablespoon of it on top of each muffin. Using the back of a spoon, press the batter into and swirl it around the top of each muffin.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the sparkling sugar.
- Bake for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees, turning your muffin tin once halfway through baking. The cream cheese tops of the muffins will get golden edges when done, but shouldn't be brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins should come out clean when done.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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