Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

I’ve always been a muffin-lover.

Banana, apple, corn, bran, carrot… you name it, I love it.

Yet out of the vast array of muffin options, blueberry will always be my favorite.

My adoration of blueberry muffins began during a family summer vacation in Maine when I was a kid. I have a clear memory of freshly baked muffins studded with tiny sweet Maine blueberries, made by the elderly woman who ran the bread-bed-and-breakfast (<– clearly, my mind is stuck on bread) at which we were staying.

I’m fairly certain the sweet woman sent me home with the recipe for the blueberry muffins that I loved so much, but I don’t have a clue where it is now.

What a shame.

Anyway, on to these Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins.

So.

They obviously won’t be winning any beauty contests. They’re lumpy (thanks to the addition of oats). They have neither perfectly rounded nor domed tops. They ooze blueberry juice.

But!

What they lack in appearance they more than make up for in flavor and texture.

Just like my Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes, these muffins are bursting with fresh blueberries.

We’re talking packed full.

It’s like that game where you stuff as many marshmallows in your mouth as possible while attempting to say “chubby bunny”.

C’mon… you know you’ve played.

The muffins are lightly sweetened with evaporated cane juice, and finished off with a sprinkling of coarse Turbinado sugar for a bit of crunch.

A dollop of maple syrup-spiked neufchatel cream cheese tops each muffin, and adds a built-in creamy richness.

Whole wheat pastry flour and old fashioned rolled oats constitute the dry base of these light & tender muffins, both of which contribute a healthy dose of filling fiber. The muffins are moist – thanks to rich buttermilk and juicy berries – with a delicate crumb.

Although they may not be the same blueberry muffins I so fondly remember, they certainly are delicious… and most likely much more healthy!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Printer-Friendly Recipe

adapted from Shape magazine’s Better Blueberry Muffins

NOTE: These are muffins… not cupcakes! I honestly view most bakery muffins as cupcakes sans frosting. These are plenty sweet for my taste preference, but if you prefer a sweeter muffin, you might want to increase the evaporated cane juice to 1/2 cup.

yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice, or other unrefined granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup for sweeter muffins, see NOTE above)
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp low-fat buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1 large egg, preferably organic
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, preferably organic, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup neufchatel (1/3-less-fat cream cheese), at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, evaporated cane juice, rolled oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Toss the blueberries with the flour mixture. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir just until incorporated.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the neufchatel and maple syrup.
  6. Divide the batter evenly amongst the prepared muffin cups. Make a small well in the center of each batter-filled muffin cup. Fill each well with 1 tsp of the sweetened neufchatel. Sprinkle each filled cup with a bit of the turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (cream cheese sticking to the toothpick is fine, but no raw batter), about 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes; transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1 muffin):

160 calories, 4.5 grams total fat, 1.2 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrates, 3.6 grams fiber, 11.5 grams sugars, 3.7 grams protein

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7 comments to Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

  • Yvonne

    Hi Lauren!
    Can these be frozen? (I wasn’t sure because of the cream cheese).
    Thanks!

  • Yvonne

    Thanks for your reply! I will make them in the morning.

  • Emily

    Yum! This is probably a really dumb question, but is whole wheat pastry flour the same as just whole wheat flour?

    • Not a dumb question at all!

      Whole wheat pastry flour is actually much softer and more finely-textured than regular whole wheat flour. When used in baking, whole wheat pastry flour yields a textural result closer to that of all-purpose flour.

  • Leonie

    The mixture’s dryness scared me so I added a couple of extra tablespoons of buttermilk and they turned out great! (Could be because I used normal wholemeal flour – we don’t get whole wheat pastry flour where here in New Zealand.) I love muffins with a bit of substance. I totally agree with you about the bakery muffins – they are just cupcakes in disguise. I used to work at a cafe making muffins and 3/4 of them had to have frosting! It bugged me so much!

  • Nadine

    I made these yesterday, and they were a huge hit! I took my leftovers to a party, and nobody mentioned that they tasted healthy. This is definitely the best recipe I’ve made using whole wheat flour. I made a few substitutions for things I didn’t have at home: Instead of buttermilk, I used 1/2 cup greek yogurt watered down with a little bit of regular milk. Instead of the rolled oats, I only had Trader Joe’s mixed rolled grains medley, which includes oats, barley, and a few other things, and the result was good. I used frozen blueberries, which I rinsed and drained, and I added those to the wet ingredients instead of the dry, since frozen berries tend to be really wet. This turned out really well, as it’s hard to find good, flavorful fresh blueberries where I live. Thanks for sharing!

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