100% whole wheat, loaded with strawberries and stuffed with a dollop of creamy cheesecake filling! These Whole Wheat Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins are perfect for serving at your next spring brunch!
So I figured I might as well start sharing a few Easter recipes. I mean it is less than two weeks away and I’m sure some of you super prepared and organized people are already starting to think about your menus. Easter morning breakfast or brunch is one of my favorites, I’m actually more excited for brunch than I am dinner. The best part about brunch is how you can combine savory dish and sweet dishes and eat them all at once. With dinner we always seem to separate the two, although if you’re like me you just eat your dessert two minutes after you finish dinner. One sweet, but not overly sweet brunch item that needs to make an appearance on your table this Easter are these Whole Wheat Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins.
Even though I’m calling these strawberry cheesecake muffins they actually aren’t calorie bombs. Yes they have sweetened cream cheese baked into the middle, but I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese and only a couple teaspoons of sugar to sweeten it. I made this recipe a couple times. The first time I used coconut sugar instead of granulated sugar and even though I generally enjoy using coconut sugar in baking recipes I was not liking it in these muffins.
I don’t know what it was, but the subtle taste that coconut sugar has wasn’t pairing well with strawberries and the vanilla and almond extract I was using. I also tried to make a healthier crumble topping to go on the muffins, but it was a total flop so I just decided to nix it and sprinkle some raw sugar on top instead. So yes, these muffins do use the feared granulated sugar, but there isn’t an excessive amount and these are special muffins meant for a more special occasion, so let’s live a little and use that granulated sugar!
What these Whole Wheat Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins don’t contain is any butter or oil. I figured since I was stuffing them with cheesecake filling I’d balance the fat out and replace what should be in the muffins with Greek yogurt. Honestly I didn’t miss it because the Greek yogurt kept the muffins just as moist. One thing I can’t stress enough is when you are baking muffins and you replace all of the oil or butter with Greek yogurt you need to use parchment paper muffin cups. They will 100% keep the muffins in tact when you’re peeling off the wrapper. I’ve seen them at all three store I shop at so they shouldn’t be an issue to find.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup low fat milk, add a couple tablespoons if batter is too dry
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
- Raw sugar for sprinkling on top of the muffins (optional)
- 2 ounces low fat cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract, I prefer almond
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin tin with parchment paper liners.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cheesecake filling until smooth then cover and place it in the refrigerator to firm up while you make the muffins.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
- In a smaller bowl whisk together the milk, egg, Greek yogurt and extracts.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together with a rubber spatula until almost combined.
- Add in the diced strawberries and fold together just until combined.
- Scoop approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of the muffin batter into the bottom of the parchment paper liners.
- Spoon 1/2-1 teaspoon of the cheesecake filling onto the muffin batter, try to get it in the center.
- Spoon another 1 1/2 tablespoons of the muffin batter on top of the cheesecake filling making sure it is completely covered.
- Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with raw sugar if desired.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for approximately 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
The muffins are best eaten the day they are made, but may be frozen for a later date as well.