breakfast
February 4, 2014 posted by Dre

skinny blueberry cheesecake muffins {gluten-free!}

super-moist, bakery-style muffins that just-so-happen to be gluten-free!  these muffins are loaded with fresh blueberries, filled with a creamy cheesecake center, and topped off with a sweet, crumbly streusel. 

skinny blueberry cheesecake muffins

you are looking at my very first muffin recipe ever!  (okay, i guess it’s not technically my first muffin recipe if you count these.)  but i’m talking about bakery-style muffins.  the kind of muffins i’ve always tried to stay away from… the kind of muffins that come with enough calories to fuel a marathon!  yeah…

i don’t know about you, but if i’m blowing my diet… it is not even about to be wasted on a muffin!!  just sayin!

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i’ll start off with one of the many reasons you are going to love this muffin recipe… you can eat 2.5 of these muffins to equal the calories in just one of corner bakery’s muffins!!  yeah, my jaw dropped when i found that out too!  plus these babies are not only gluten-free, but also refined-sugar free!!!  they are sweetened with fresh blueberries (which can easily be substituted for frozen, if you’d like) and coconut sugar.  if you’re new around here, you’ll find out real fast that i’m a little obsessed with coconut sugar.  (i explain why it’s so awesome here.)  i promise you can’t taste the difference and your body will thank you for not sending it into a blood-sugar spike/insulin surge after consuming these!

with this being my very first real muffin recipe, i naturally assumed failure was kind of inevitable along the way.  (don’t worry, i usually post my failed attempts here for your enjoyment.)  i guess my husband had a little more faith in me because he stayed up late that first night of experimenting just to wait for these to come out of the oven… only to go to bed disappointed by my “wet & soggy” muffins.  haha!  the second attempt… was better.  but they still weren’t perfect.  (luckily i have sweet friends willing to take my imperfect creations off my hands!)  these pictures are proof that the third time really is a charm.

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a few notes i should make about these muffins… first of all, there are 3 parts to this recipe:

1. bakery-style, gluten-free, fresh blueberry muffins
2. easy-peasy, 4-ingredient cheesecake filling
3. pecan-coconut-sugar streusel topping

before you begin, make sure your eggs and cream cheese are at room temperature.  (to quickly bring eggs to room temperature, submerge them in a glass of warm water for approximately 10 minutes.)  in these muffins, i used (melted) coconut oil.  if you’ve ever used coconut oil when baking before, you are probably aware that it does not like to be cold.  if you allow it to get cold, it will try it’s hardest to make your baking session miserable.  (something i was reminded of while making batch #1.)  you can easily substitute the coconut oil in this recipe for another liquid oil or melted butter with no problem at all!  or, just make sure the ingredients you mix in with the coconut oil are at room temperature.  i heated my almond milk and then whisked it together with the greek yogurt and set the bowl on the stove while the oven below heated up and i prepared the other two elements for these muffins.  it worked out quite nicely.  once my cream cheese filling and streusel topping were ready, i whisked my room-temperature eggs into the yogurt/milk mixture, followed by the melted the coconut oil.  if you opt to go with melted butter or another oil in liquid form… you can just disregard the last half of this paragraph and carry on. :)

the easiest part about this recipe is mixing the wet and dry ingredients together.  don’t work harder than you have to… seriously, don’t over-mix it!  if you over mix the batter, your muffins will not look fluffy and pretty… they’ll probably come out looking like my first batch! (i really only make mistakes to help y’all learn!) haha! ;)  once wet & dry ingredients are about half way mixed together, gently fold in your blueberries until there are no more big clumps of dry mix.  the batter will be very thick… which is greatness, because it means you get blueberry deliciousness in every bite of these muffins!  (runny batter equals sinking blueberries.)

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i used 2 different sized cookie scoops to spoon this batter into the muffin tins… i layered batter, cheesecake filling, and a little more batter on top.  the big cookie scoop for the first layer of batter, then the smaller one for the cheesecake filling and top layer of batter.  it’s totally fine if there is cheesecake filling oozing out and it’s even better if your muffin tins are filled up to the brim!  just top each muffin off with a teaspoon full of streusel and gently press into the muffin so it makes sure to stick as they rise.  you can even stick a few extra blueberries on top before you send them into the oven.

i baked these at 425 degrees for the first 5 minutes, then, keeping them in the oven, i lowered the baking temperature to 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes.  the initial heat ensures the muffin will rise as much as possible which really makes it look like it came straight out of a bakery window!  i learned this little trick, along with several others i use on the reg, from sally’s baking addiction… she’s pretty much the queen of all baked goods that i wish were in my diet.  i decided the second best thing was to adapt one of her recipes to fit into my diet… our diet! :)  a few failed attempts later, this recipe was born.

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my husband said the final product more than made up for the disappointment of the first batch.  he actually said this was his favorite “non-savory” thing i’ve ever made for the blog!!  i mean, that kind of sounds like a big deal!  but i’ll let you try for yourself… ;)

skinny blueberry cheesecake muffins {gluten-free!}

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 16 muffins

ingredients

    for the muffin batter
  • 1 3/4 c. (240 g) gluten free flour (i used namaste, perfect flour blend; whole wheat flour will also work just the same--220g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c. 0% greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (regular milk is also fine)
  • 1/2 c. melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries
  • cream cheese filling
  • 6 oz neufchâtel (cream cheese) -- at room temp
  • 1 egg yolk (yes, yolk only) -- at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • streusel topping
  • 6 oz neufchâtel (cream cheese) -- at room temp
  • 1 egg yolk (yes, yolk only) -- at room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar

instructions

  1. start by making sure your "wet" ingredients are at room temperature (unless you're not using coconut oil). whisk together greek yogurt and warm almond milk and set aside.
  2. preheat oven to 425 degrees. line 16 muffin tins with liners (or non-stick spray) and set aside.
  3. streusel
  4. in a small bowl, mix together flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans.
  5. melt butter and combine with dry ingredients until crumbly. set aside.
  6. cheesecake filling
  7. using a hand held or stand mixer, beat together all 4 ingredients until smooth. set aside.
  8. muffin batter
  9. mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar).
  10. next, whisk your eggs and vanilla in with the greek yogurt/almond milk mixture.
  11. heat your coconut oil until completely melted and stir in with other wet ingredients until combined.
  12. mix together your wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir until about half way combined.
  13. gently fold in your blueberries until just combined. the batter will be quite thick, and that's okay! as long as there are no large clumps of dry mix. do not over mix!
  14. now you're going to layer your batter and cheesecake filling. i filled about 2 tbsp (or half way full muffin tins) of batter in each cup before layering about 1 tbsp of cheesecake filling topped with another tbsp of muffin batter. layers are not important, cheesecake is encouraged to ooze out the sides and top!
  15. finish off each muffin with equal amounts of your streusel topping. i used a spoon and pressed it right into the muffin so it was sure to stick as the muffins rose while baking.
  16. bake muffins at 425 for 5 minutes before lowering oven temperature to 350. allow muffins to continue baking at 350 for 20 additional minutes before removing from oven and setting the muffin tins on a cooling rack. allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before removing muffins from tins and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes

store muffins at room temperature for up to 5 days... i don't recommend keeping them in an air tight container or the streusel will get soggy. i just lightly set the lid on top of the container and even 5 days later they were still moist & delicious! put one in the oven for 5-10 min before eating and it tastes almost as fresh as the day they were made! freeze any leftover muffins for up to a month! :)

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