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Quinn’s Cream Cheese Muffins

Calling all cream cheese lovers! These Cream Cheese Muffins have cheese in the batter and in the center for a rich, creamy breakfast treat.

Cream cheese muffin with liner removed

Cream Cheese Muffins With Pecan Topping

A few years ago, Quinn came up with this recipe as a special treat for me because I love, love, love all things cream cheese. Somehow, the recipe got buried among the countless recipes I’ve collected. Then, the other morning, I woke up to find that Quinn had not only unearthed the recipe but had the muffins baking in the oven.

These cream cheese muffins are a bit like cream-cheese-filled breakfast pastries, except they’re much easier to make. Sweetened cream cheese is added to the batter, giving it a tender crumb, and then a dollop is baked into the center of each muffin, too. Cream cheese is the dominant flavor here, but the pecans sprinkled on top add some nuttiness; they’re also a nice contrasting texture to the soft muffins and creamy filling.

With the holidays around the corner, I wanted to share this recipe again because it’s definitely fitting for a festive brunch or Christmas breakfast! You can even make the recipe in mini loaf pans, which is the perfect size for gifting to neighbors, family, and friends.

Overhead view of cream cheese muffin ingredients

What You’ll Need

The ingredients for this recipe are simple and straightforward. You probably have a lot of them in your pantry already!

For the topping:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter – Let the butter sit on the countertop until it’s softened.
  • Pecans – Walnuts would work, too.

For the sweetened cream cheese:

  • Cream cheese – Like the butter, the cream cheese should be at room temperature so it’s soft and easy to mix.
  • Granulated sugar

For the muffins:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Milk – I recommend using whole milk in baking because the extra fat yields a more tender crumb.
  • Vegetable oil – Canola oil can be substituted.
  • Eggs – Let them sit on the counter for a bit so they come to room temperature.

How to Make Cream Cheese Muffins

This recipe is great for beginning bakers; even though it’s easy to whip up, it tastes like it came from a bakery!

Prepare. Preheat your oven to 375°F and grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line it with muffin liners.

Make the topping. Combine the flour, sugar, butter, and nuts in a small bowl and mix with a fork or a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly.

Make the sweetened cream cheese. Beat the cream cheese and a cup of sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate while you make the muffins.

Overhead view of dry ingredients in glass bowl with spoon

Mix the dry muffin ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center.

Overhead view of wet muffin ingredients being mixed in bowl

Mix the wet ingredients. In another mixing bowl, stir together the milk, oil, and eggs. 

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir until the dry ingredients are moistened, then fold half of the cream cheese mixture into the muffin batter.

Assemble. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan, filling each cup about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture onto the batter, lightly pressing the filling into each muffin with the handle of a spoon. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the muffins.

Cream cheese muffins on marble slab

Bake. Bake the muffins for 24 to 30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan and place them on the wire rack to finish cooling.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for the best cream cheese muffins!

  • Make it your own. This recipe is an easy one to customize. Add mini chocolate chips to the cream cheese filling, drizzle glaze over the tops of the muffins, or think of your own variation!
  • A note about the cream cheese. I recommend baking with full-fat cream cheese blocks, not the whipped kind that comes in tubs. 
  • Don’t overmix. As with all muffin recipes, it’s important not to overmix your batter. It’s better to have a few streaks of flour in there than stirring so much you end up with tough muffins!
Cream cheese muffins in muffin liners on marble slab

How to Store

These cream cheese muffins need to be refrigerated; they’ll keep for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. 

Can This Recipe Be Frozen?

Yes, this recipe is great for freezing! Place the muffins in a freezer bag or airtight container and use them within 2 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator before serving.

Closeup of cream cheese muffin sliced in half to show filling

Quinn’s Cream Cheese Muffins

Yield 12 standard-sized muffins
Prep Time 26 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 56 minutes

These muffins have cream cheese in the batter and in the filling for a rich breakfast treat!

Cream cheese muffin with liner removed


For the topping:

  • 1/2 cup (60g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped pecans or other nuts

For the sweetened cream cheese:

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar

For the muffins:

  • 3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup (157ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs


To make the topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. (Alternatively, line the cups with paper liners.)
  2. Place the flour, sugar, butter, and nuts in a small bowl. Mix with a fork or a pastry blender until crumbly. Set aside.

To make the sweetened cream cheese:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar until thoroughly combined and smooth. Refrigerate while you make the muffins.

To make the muffins:

  1. Whisk together the flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the milk, oil, and eggs. Pour into the well in the dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  3. Fold about half of the cream cheese mixture into the muffin batter.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Spoon the remaining cream cheese mixture onto the muffins, lightly pressing the mixture into each muffin with a spoon handle.
  5. Sprinkle the topping mixture generously over the muffins.
  6. Bake 24 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the muffins in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove the muffins from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

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    41 Comments on “Quinn’s Cream Cheese Muffins”

  1. 4 t of baking powder? Is that right? Do they have a bitter flavor because if it?
    They sound HEAVENLY!

    There is a recipe from Pillsbury I think where you take the blue roll of fridge biscuits, flatten them, cut 8 oz of cr cheese into as many hunks as you have biscuits, dip the cheese chunk into melted butter, then roll it in cinnamon sugar mix, put it in the center of the flattened biscuit and bring biscuit dough over it, set it in a muffin cup and bake.
    They are SO wonderful and remind me of these muffins!

    THANKS for this recipe.

  2. Those would have been great for breakfast today.

  3. These look yummy! How did you adjust the cooking time for the mini loaf pans?

  4. Jamie, that is the correct amount of baking powder. They’re not bitter at all.

    Peabody, I highly recommend them any morning for breakfast.

    Leslie, they do need to bake a bit longer in the mini loaf pans. Maybe just 3 or 4 minutes more. I rely heavily on the toothpick method of testing doneness. Just remember that you may get gooey cream cheese out, but they may still be done.

  5. Oh, Jamie! I almost forgot. Your recipe sounds delicious, too! I’ve made a similar thing using canned biscuits, but it was all put into a Bundt pan for a monkey bread. You can read about it here. Yum!

  6. Oh wow! These look incredible! I can’t wait to try them! Cream cheese= lots of exclamation points! 🙂

  7. Must make for tomorrow…right now! I might have them for dinner…they sound fantastic!

  8. They sound fantastic! What a nice to have in the morning. I am heading to the kitchen as we speak!!

  9. Goodness these look GOOD! I will definitely make them soon!!

  10. Thanks, everyone, for the compliments!

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  12. I’m new to finding your website, and these look amazing. Will make them tomorrow 🙂

    Thanks for all the great recipes and foodie talk! 🙂

  13. Hi, Karee! I’m glad you found me. Hope you like the muffins!

  14. Loved these! Made them yesterday for a band I work with, and they liked them so much, I had to send them home with some. Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  15. Ngoc, I’m glad you liked them! They’re definitely one of my favorites.

  16. how much vegetable oil? I think the recipe says ‘1/2 vegetable oil’. Thanks!

  17. Thanks for pointing that out, Chris. It should be 1/2 cup. I’ve corrected the recipe.

  18. I made this recipe for my MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group and it got rave reviews. We love the cream cheese in the middle. Thanks for posting Jennifer!

  19. Glad you liked them, Chris!

  20. Jennifer, I just took these out of the oven. They are wonderful! You just can’t go wrong with cream cheese.

  21. Cindy, I’m glad you liked them! I am a huge fan of cream cheese.

  22. I just served these for breakfast and:
    they look beautiful
    they’re relatively simple to make
    they’re overly sweet.
    I think next time I’ll reduce the sugar a bit, or add some blackberries.

  23. Tim, blackberries sound like a great idea with all that cream cheese!

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  25. Went looking for a recipe like this for my daughters in law baby showers…. found this one and experimented with it. The cooking time needed to be shortened for my oven. (Just about in half) I also thought I did something wrong since they seemed a bit dry. I cut the oil in half and added a half cup of applesauce. Let me just say…. Oh my yummy goodness!!!!! My husband and I do a lot of camping from April to November….I took these a couple of times at the end of the season and boy were they a hit!!! This has become a camping group fav!!!! Thanks so much for the great hidden treasure!

  26. i just made these and they are so GOOD! i wasnt sure how many muffins this made so i halfed the recipie and they made about six muffins. i made a different topping though because i dont like nuts so i put
    3tbs flour
    3tbs oats
    2tbs butter
    2tbs brown sugar
    and they turned out wonderful! i also had a little trouble getting the cream cheese center in next time i might add some of the batter then cream cheese then the rest of the batter im not sure though. thanks for the great recipie and cannot wait to make them again 😀

  27. i tried this yesterday but i made some modifications…i used 2 1/2 c. of flour, 3/4 c. of sugar for the batter and 1/2 sugar for cream cheese filling. I also halved the sugar for the topping and it came out perfectly! Thanks for sharing this. It’s really a keeper. 🙂

  28. hello I’m having a hard time trying to understand about how you get the cream cheese in the middle of the muffin .. Can you explain to me in better details.. I just can’t figure this out.. Hoe embarassing

  29. Jennifer, I just took these out of the oven. They are wonderful! You just can’t go wrong with cream cheese.

  30. I adore cream cheese-I want to make these asap. Thanks for posting!

  31. Could you substitute brown sugar for the topping?

  32. Pingback: macaroon cream cheese muffins | naturally domestic

  33. I just made these — we are now in muffin bliss! My husband loves them.

  34. So I’m on a diet right now, but when I finish I’m going to be allowed to eat 1 cake a week, and THIS will be one of it!!!!!

  35. Great Recipe, Made them for a party, and they were a huge hit. This is definitely going into my favorites binder.

  36. I have made these so many times now they are my favorite! I have played around with the recipe a lot. I use butter instead of vegetable oil, and yogurt instead of milk. Turns out amazing. Sometimes I change up the flavor a bit, I have made them blueberry cream cheese muffins and lemon cream cheese muffins. SO YUMMY! Thanks for the recipe.

  37. Pingback: 10 Fail-proof recipes (and a couple extra for fun) | Unexpected Lovely

  38. These are absolutely wonderful! Thanks for this recipe, I have made these multiple times and they are a favorite with the fam and requested often. Love cream cheese streusel muffins, well anything with cream cheese. I did add a shake or two of cinnamon to the topping and cut the sugar by 1/4 cup in the muffin batter and the cream cheese batter. Simply perfection!

  39. Pingback: macaroon cream cheese muffins | averill family recipes

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