I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the trend for combining two baked goods to make something new, like the cronut and so on – isn’t it all really just a fad? However, when I discovered a recipe for strawberry cheesecake muffins in my trusty BBC Good Food book a while ago, I knew I was very much onboard with that particular combination! I decided to make them with a few tweaks of my own to accommodate the ingredients I actually had in, resulting in these cherry cheesecake muffins.
They look pretty innocent on the outside, but bite into one of these beauties and you’ll come across a lovely filling of sweet cream cheese and a fresh cherry. Yum!
They’re really not as hard to make as you might think. Creating a filled muffin simply involves half-filling the muffin cases with the cake mix, dropping the filling on top and then covering it up with the rest of the cake mix.
So, for these muffins, I half-filled the cases, placed a destoned cherry in the middle of each one and then covered each cherry with a teaspoon of the cheesecake mix. Then I covered it up with a dollop of muffin mix.
I did find that the muffins rose so splendidly in the oven that they came out over the edges of the cases. There was no harm done to the oven, but a couple of the muffins did look decidedly toadstool-like!
Despite this, I was pleased to see that there was no leakage of the cherry cheesecake filling, which is always a bit of a worry. I had one of the muffins the next day with a big cup of tea (the rest were for my boyfriend, as it was his birthday), and thoroughly enjoyed it – the cheese is lovely with the fresh cherry and cakey muffin, and makes a nice change from a traditional cheesecake (which I always struggle to make anyway!) or a standard muffin. If you want to make them look a bit nicer you could always ice them, but I thought they were great just as they were.
Adapted from BBC Good Food 101 Cakes and Bakes
For the muffin mix:
- 350g plain flour
- 1.5 tbsp baking powder
- 180g golden caster sugar
- finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 250ml milk
- 85g butter, melted
For the filling:
- 175g soft cheese
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 12 cherries, halved and destoned
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/gas 6/180C fan. Place 12 paper cases in a muffin tin.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in the sugar, lemon zest and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and milk together and stir in the butter.
- Gently stir the wet mix into the dry ingredients, taking care not to over-mix. It should still be a bit lumpy with visible bits of flour.
- In another bowl, beat together the cheese and sugar for the filling.
- Place a heaped tablespoonful of the muffin mix into each paper case, then press two cherry halves into the middle of each one and top with a teaspoonful of the cheese mix.
- Spoon the remaining muffin mix over the top, making sure that the mix completely covers the cheese and cherries.
- Bake for 15 minutes until risen and golden. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then remove them and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.