Raspberry and cream cheese muffins

I used to think raspberry and cream cheese were best combined in a summery cheesecake, but in these muffins, served for brunch on a grey, wintry morning they were perfect companions. I have a number of muffin recipes that I love to bake – blueberry and lemon and pine nut are firm favourites, but this new recipe is now a contender for the top spot.

The muffins are full of sweet and tangy raspberries and have a surprise centre full of vanilla infused cream cheese. To add some crunch they are sprinkled with demerara sugar* before baking. They are wonderful warm from the oven or at room temperature with a cup of tea or a glass of cold milk. If you would like some ideas for making muffins sing I have some tips at the bottom of this post. Otherwise turn on the oven, grab a bowl and start baking!

Raspberry and cream cheese muffin

Makes 12

  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 cup raw caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 250 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon demerara sugar

Cream cheese filling:

  • 125 g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases. In a medium sized bowl add the the flour and sugar and gently toss through the raspberries. In a smaller bowl whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla extract and oil. In another small bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well combined. Combine the egg mixture with the dry ingredients and mix quickly until just combined. Do not over mix or the muffins will end up with a tough, unappealing texture. Spoon mixture into the muffin cases to fill them about one-third. Place small spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top and then fill with the remainder of the muffin mix. Finally, sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until the muffins spring back when lightly touched. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Raspberry and cream cheese muffin

Tips for making muffins moist, tender and delicious:

  • have all the ingredients at room temperature before making the muffins
  • only mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. The last thing you want is a smooth batter – it should look a bit lumpy and even have little bits of flour not fully incorporated.
  • let the muffins sit for a few minutes after they come out of the oven before serving them
  • incorporate fruit into the recipe, if you can – blueberries, raspberries, apples and peaches are all wonderful, and give pops of flavour as well as softness to the texture.

*Demerara sugar is a type of raw cane sugar that is minimally refined. It has large grains with an amber colour and a gentle molasses flavour and it’s often used by coffee afficianados to sweeten their brew. If you can’t find it, regular raw sugar is a good substitute.