At last, the rain has given way and we have had some SUNSHINE. OK, so it didn’t stay dry the whole weekend but, ignoring the monsoon rains on Saturday afternoon, it’s actually be pretty bright and warm. Perhaps there is hope for a sunny summer yet? On Sunday Jon and I decided we’d make the most of the sunshine so, we got up bright and early and headed 5 minutes out of the city towards the rolling fields. Just a short way up the road, only moments away from civilisation there’s a wonderful ‘Pick Your Own’ fruit and veg farm called Parkside Farm.
Parkside Farm is a wonderful 50-acre farm that lets members of the public pick a whole host of fruits and vegetables starting in June each year with strawberries, gooseberries, broad beans, spinach and raspberries then blackcurrants, blackberries, plums, courgettes, onions, beetroot, sweetcorn and squashes as we move into the autumn. In total they offer 20 different crops for picking. It’s no surprise that they’ve won awards 3 years running for being the best ‘Pick Your Own’ farm. We’re very lucky to have a place like this on our doorstep!
Although we knew the farm offered way more than just strawberries it was the juicy red berries that we really wanted to get our hands on. Strawberries are so expensive in the supermarkets, often shipped from countries like Spain all year round and they just don’t have the same flavour as British grown berries.
As we walked up and down the rows of “table-top” strawberries we may have gotten a little bit carried away! We came home with a huge punnet and I immediately got to baking with them. I’d been researching cheesecake muffins for a few months, looking at different recipes, working out what worked well and why. It was now time to put my own Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin recipe to the test!
Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins
The concept of these muffins is quite simple. They are a pretty normal vanilla muffin mix studded with big chunks of fresh strawberry and filled with pockets of moist cheesecake. These muffins are also topped with a crisp and crunchy brown sugar crumble topping. The contrast in texture with the soft goeey cheesecake muffin is oh-so-satisfying!
You can use frozen strawberries in this mix, particularly if you’re making them out of season. Strawberries are one of those fruits that actually freeze particularly well and I think it’s better freezing local berries at their prime, to enjoy all year round, rather than relying on importing tasteless crops from the other side of the world. Think of the food miles!!!
Call me crazy but I think these fruit filled muffins are perfect for breakfast. Can you think of anything better than waking up to sun streaming through the windows on a lazy Sunday morning, then tucking into a Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin with a hot cup of tea. Just heavenly.
But first you’ll need the recipe…
Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins – The Recipe
- For the crumble top
- 50g light brown sugar
- 65g flour
- 60g unsalted butter
- For the muffin mix
- 115g butter
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 50g light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 120g yogurt (low fat is fine)
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 220g self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 250g fresh strawberries (roughly cut into quarters or halves for smaller berries)
- For the cheesecake filling
- 170g cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- Zest of an orange
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 220C / gas mark 8.
- Using squares of grease proof paper, line your muffin tins (14 muffins total) and place to one side.
- In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and flour for the crumble top. Add the butter small pieces and rub together until you've formed breadcrumbs.
- In a larger bowl, cream together the butter and golden caster sugar for the muffin mix.
- Beat well until pale and creamy.
- Add in the brown sugar and continue to beat.
- Once the brown sugar is incorporated add the eggs and beat until the mix gets even paler and more creamy. It should also increase in volume.
- Next add the yogurt and vanilla and beat for another minute.
- Pour the flour into the wet muffin mix and fold gently until just about incorporated - be careful not to over mix, some dry patches of flour is fine.
- Add in the strawberries and fold again until evenly distributed then place the bowl to one side.
- In a separate small bowl, mix together the cream cheese, egg yolk, orange zest and icing sugar for the cheesecake filling.
- Mix well to ensure its smooth and creamy.
- Begin spooning the muffin mix into each muffin case, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- Next spoon over a tablespoon of the cheesecake mix and repeat until the muffin cases are full to the top.
- Once all of the cases are filled press the crumble top into the surface of each muffin.
- Bake in the hot oven for five minutes before turning the temperate down 180C / gas mark 4 and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and springy.
- Allow the muffins to cool on a cooling rack.
- Enjoy while still warm.
These muffins are super moist and best served warm. They should be kept in the fridge and eaten within 5 days. They also freeze well. Make sure you thaw well before eating (and why not zap them in the microwave or pop in the oven and warm them up again before eating.)
I sent Jon off to work with these on the Monday. We were both a little sad when Monday came around. There just aren’t enough day’s in the weekend! Hopefully my Strawberry Cheesecake Muffins helped put a smile on his colleagues faces. Being at work isn’t quite so bad when you get freshly baked treats!
What did you get up to this weekend? Did you get out and about in the sunshine? Or perhaps you too spent time in the kitchen baking. Let me know in the comments below!
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