Berry Bliss: Strawberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins on a Plate with Fresh Strawberries

With chunks of juicy strawberries, a cream cheese filling, and a crunchy streusel topping, these bakery-style strawberry muffins are divine. And there are also dairy-free and vegan versions to ensure that alpha gals of all sensitivity levels can use this strawberry muffin recipe. Looking for a dairy free option? I've got you covered!

The information provided on this site is based on my personal experience living with alpha-gal syndrome. I consistently cite and link to expert sources, but nothing published on this site should be perceived as medical advice.

Alpha-gal sensitivities vary by person. You should understand your dietary restrictions, making any adjustments needed, and directing any questions to your physician.

Strawberries are one of the most beloved fruits in America, and for good reason. They are sweet, juicy, and packed with antioxidants. Whether you slice them into a bowl of oatmeal or stir them into a fruit salad, they sprinkle a tart sweetness wherever they go. And when you bake sweet strawberries into these delicious muffins with a cream cheese filling and a crunchy streusel topping, you’ll delight your taste buds, whether it’s at breakfast time, snack time, or dessert.

    

In This Article

A box of freshly-picked strawberries in the garden

When is Strawberry Season?

While you can make this strawberry muffin recipe any time of year using frozen strawberries (more on how to do that in a minute), I think they taste best with fresh, juicy berries.

So when is strawberry season? The good news is that, as one of the most cultivated fruits in the United States with a wide range of growing locations, the national strawberry season runs from January through November. So chances are that you can find fresh strawberries nearly year round at a grocery store near you. But, if you’re craving these moist strawberry muffins and can’t find fresh berries, you can use frozen strawberries as well.

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

Wooden bowl of flour on wooden table top next to a rolling pin

Flour

Because I like to use a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour when baking fruit muffins, this recipe uses both. However, you can easily use 100% all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour. I have not tested this recipe with almond flour.

Pile of Granulated Sugar on Wooden Counter

Sugar

I use organic cane sugar that is both unrefined and vegan friendly. Using this ingredient helps ensure that the sugar hasn’t been processed with bone char, which can be an alpha-gal trigger. I have not tested this recipe with other sugars, like coconut sugar, but if you have regular success substituting granulated sugar for another sweetener, it will probably work here.

Olive oil being poured into a glass bowl surrounded by fresh olives.

Olive Oil

I like to bake with olive oil, rather than butter, because it reduces the amount of dairy I consume as an alpha gal. You can substitute the olive oil for another type of vegetable oil, like canola oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil. You can also substitute either regular or plant-based butter for the olive oil. Heck, you can even use butter-flavored Crisco!

White and Brown Eggs in a Carton.

Egg

While eggs are an alpha-gal friendly ingredient, vegans and others who don’t eat eggs can easily use a plant-based egg substitute in this recipe.

A white bowl of Greek yogurt with a spoon in it.
Photo Credit: YayImages

Greek Yogurt

While some strawberry muffin recipes call for buttermilk, I prefer plain Greek yogurt – mostly because I tend to always have it on hand, unlike buttermilk. For a dairy-free version of this recipe, substitute vegan Greek yogurt. I have not tested this recipe with regular yogurt, but if you make this substitution, the consistency might be different than when using thick, Greek-style yogurt.

Related Article: Dairy Free Baking: Proven Tips for Beginners

Basket of Fresh Strawberries

Strawberries

As mentioned previously, I think these strawberry muffins taste best with in-season fresh strawberries. However, you can also make them with frozen strawberries. For this substitution, allow the frozen berries to defrost slightly so that you can dice them into blueberry-like pieces.

Sage Advice: Looking for more delicious ways to cook with strawberries? You’ll love these strawberry crepes and this vegan strawberry almond milk! Or, whip up some strawberry chutney to spread on sandwiches or add to an alpha-gal friendly charcuterie board. And if you’re craving an easy berry dessert, try this delicious blackberry cobbler or this easy strawberry trifle.

Glass Bowl of Whipped Cream Cheese

Cream Cheese

The cream cheese filling is an important part of this strawberry muffin recipe. Fortunately, this soft cheese is typically made without animal enzymes and is usually safe for alpha gals who tolerate dairy. If you avoid dairy, you can easily substitute vegan cream cheese for a regular brick of cream cheese.

Dairy-free sign

To Make This Strawberry Muffin Recipe Dairy-Free

For a dairy-free version of these strawberry muffins, use these ingredients and then follow the same instructional steps in the regular recipe below:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Streusel Crumb Topping:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, cut into thin slices

Strawberry Muffins:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced

Glaze:

100% vegan sign

To Make This Strawberry Muffin Recipe Vegan

For a vegan version of these strawberry muffins, use these ingredients and then follow the same instructional steps in the regular recipe below:

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz. vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Streusel Crumb Topping:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, cut into thin slices

Strawberry Muffins:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 vegan egg substitute 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegan Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced

Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons almond milk

How to Make Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Ingredients for the cream cheese filling

Make the cream cheese filling by blending the filling ingredients together.

Make the crumb topping with all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and butter cut into slices

Make the streusel topping by blending the streusel ingredients together with a pastry fork, a regular fork, or your fingers.

Strawberry Muffin Batter Ingredients

Make the muffin batter by combining the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. 

Assemble the muffins by placing a small amount of muffin batter at the bottom of each muffin liner. Then add a dollop of cream cheese. Stir the diced strawberries into the remaining batter and distribute it evenly across the muffin tins. Top each muffin with the streusel.

Muffins Cooling in Pan

Bake and cool the muffins. Mix up the glaze and drizzle it over the cooled muffins.

How to Store Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Because this strawberry muffin recipe uses cream cheese in the filling and milk in the glaze, I recommend storing leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, even if you opt for a dairy-free or vegan version. If you don’t devour all of these strawberry muffins in four days, you can move them to the freezer for up to three months.

Inside of a Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffin

Additional Tips for Making This Strawberry Muffin Recipe

  • To have enough space for the cream cheese filling, these muffins work best in a jumbo muffin pan or standard-sized muffin tin. For mini muffins, omit the cream cheese filling using just the strawberry muffin batter. You can still use the streusel to create crumb muffin tops.
  • If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) paper muffin liners, you can coat the muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and bake the muffins directly in the pan. However, it’s easier to serve them when they are baked in paper muffin cups. (And a whole lot easier to clean up the muffin pan.)
  • Unlike some recipes you may have made, there is no need to toss the berries in flour. This step is used in some recipes, like blueberry muffins, to keep the fruit from falling to the bottom of the pan. This batter is thick enough (thanks for lending a hand, Greek yogurt), that this step is unnecessary.
  • You can easily swap the diced strawberries for 1 ½ cups of another fruit. Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, and peaches all work well. Just be sure the fruit pieces are about the size of blueberries, dicing larger fruits as needed.
  • While the glaze adds a nice finish to these strawberry muffins, they are still delicious without it. So feel free to omit if you want to shave off a little sugar (and calories) from this recipe.

Strawberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling and Streusel Topping

With chunks of juicy strawberries, a luscious cream cheese filling, and a crunchy streusel topping, these bakery style strawberry muffins are especially delicious with fresh strawberries. However, frozen strawberries work just as well. (See notes to adapt this delightful strawberry muffin recipe to suit dairy-free or vegan diets.)
4.98 from 157 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 314 kcal

Ingredients
  

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese-room temperature (see notes above to make dairy-free or vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Streusel Crumb Topping:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into thin slices (see notes above to make dairy-free or vegan)

Strawberry Muffins:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature (see notes above to make vegan)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (see notes above to make dairy-free or vegan)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup fresh strawberries, diced

Glaze:

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk (see notes above to make dairy-free or vegan)

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the cream cheese filling by blending the cream cheese and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar until fully incorporated. Refrigerate.
    Cream Cheese Filling
  • In a separate bowl, make the streusel topping by combining the flour and brown sugar. Add the butter slices and mix with a pastry blender, fork, or clean hands until the mixture is coarse and crumbly and resembles wet sand. Refrigerate.
    The streusel topping should feel like wet sand when mixed
  • Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  • Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, gently stir together the flours, baking powder and salt. Set the flour mixture aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg and granulated sugar until combined. Then add Greek yogurt, olive oil, and vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated. The mixture will be pale yellow.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined. (Do NOT add the strawberries just yet!)
    Plain Muffin Batter
  • To assemble the muffins, add about 1 tablespoon of plain muffin mixture (remember you haven’t added the diced strawberries yet) in each muffin cup. Then add about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of each muffin tin.
  • Now stir the strawberries into the rest of the batter and distribute it evenly across the muffin cups.
  • Generously top each muffin with streusel. Gently press the crumbs to stick to the muffin batter.
  • Place the muffin tray in the preheated oven and reduce the temperature to 350 F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops of the strawberry muffins are golden brown and the center has set.
  • Let the muffins cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Then transfer them to a rack and allow to cool completely.
    Muffins Cooling on Rack
  • Prepare the glaze by pouring the powdered sugar into a bowl and adding 1 teaspoon of milk at a time and stirring until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Drizzle glaze over the cooled muffins and enjoy! I like to make a simple piping bag by spooning the glaze into a small plastic zipper bag, snipping off a small section of the corner, and drizzling the glaze over the muffins.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffinCalories: 314kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 5gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 155mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 396IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 1mg
Keyword alpha-gal friendly, cream cheese, dairy-free, fruit, Greek yogurt, strawberries, vegan, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Thank you for sharing!

17 thoughts on “Berry Bliss: Strawberry Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling”

  1. 5 stars
    More ideas for me to make the most of strawberries. Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe. The muffins taste so delicious and we love the cream cheese in them. So moreish

  2. 5 stars
    Strawberries are my favorite fruit so I already knew I would love this recipe! The cream cheese filling just put them over the edge. So much yum! I will definitely make this recipe again. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    The triple combination of strawberries, struesel and cream cheese is amazing. Every bite is totally satisfying, I will be baking these again and I am looking forward to eating them too.

  4. 5 stars
    These muffins are so worth the effort to make. Much better than anything I’ve had from a bakery. The cream cheese and strawberry flavor combo is heavenly.

  5. 5 stars
    Made these last week for my vegan/GF sister in law, and the whole batch was gone within a day between the rest of her 4 member family – none of whom are also vegan or GF. If that’s not a solid recipe, idk what is. πŸ™‚

  6. 5 stars
    Loved these! I was worried they’d be too sweet because my berries were really sweet but they were perfect! Using cream cheese is genius – made the muffins SO much better!

  7. 5 stars
    Omgosh these were SO good. I don’t need to eat vegan but these are a dang good vegan muffin. No one knew they were vegan until I said what recipe I used.

  8. 5 stars
    Love the addition of cream cheese inside! These muffins were amazing and tasted absolutely delicious! Loved having them for breakfast and will be making them again soon!

  9. Sandhya Ramakrishnan

    5 stars
    I am in love with the strawberry muffins. Perfect for the season and every bite is so delicious with the cream cheese filling and streusel topping.

  10. 5 stars
    My compliments to you. Absolutely divine!!! The ratio of all ingredients is perfecto. Can’t wait to try other fruit. Thanks much for a great recipe.

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