Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins are sweet and moist lemon-flavored muffins with a tangy cream cheese filling and crumb topping for a delightful crunch. It is a bright and citrusy variation of my super popular and dare I say, perfect, Cream Cheese Muffins! They are delicious for breakfast or a snack and go so well with a cup of coffee or tea!

Ingredients & Substitutions

Cream Cheese Swirl: This cream cheese swirl is rich and tangy, sweetened with confectioners’ sugar with a hint of lemon. It’s a delicious surprise with each bite of the muffin!

Adding cream cheese to lemon muffin batter.

Cream Cheese: Not only is cream cheese used in the swirl, but it is also added to the muffin batter. When combined with unsalted butter, the muffins end up super soft and moist. If using salted butter, you. may want to lessen the amount of salt in the recipe.

Lemon Flavor: Both lemon juice and lemon zest are added to the muffin batter to brighten up the flavor. Zest the lemon before juicing it.

Cake Flour: Cake flour gives the muffins such a tender crumb for a soft and delicate bite! If you don’t have any on hand, make homemade cake flour to use.

Buttermilk: For even more moisture to the muffins, a couple of tablespoons of buttermilk are added to the batter.

Stack of Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins on a cutting board on a white table.

How To Store Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

To store lemon cream cheese muffins, first, let them cool completely. Next, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Usually, storing baked goods in the refrigerator dries out baked goods, but because of the cream cheese in the center, these are best refrigerated. They will last up to five days. When ready to enjoy, heat one in the microwave or let the muffin(s) come to room temperature.

Two Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins with top muffin halved so you can see the inside texture and cream cheese.

Can I Freeze Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins?

Yes, you can freeze cream cheese muffins. To freeze, first, let the muffins cool to room temperature. Next, place the cooled muffins into a freezer-safe sealable plastic bag or a freezer-safe airtight container and pack as closely as possible without crushing. Remove as much air as possible. Label with date and recipe name; they will last up to 2-3 months. When ready to enjoy, let the muffins thaw in the refrigerator.

4.50 from 2 votes

Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins are sweet and moist lemon-flavored muffins with a tangy cream cheese filling and crumb topping for a delightful crunch. It is a bright and citrusy variation of my super popular and dare I say, perfect, Cream Cheese Muffins! They are delicious for breakfast or a snack and go so well with a cup of coffee or tea!

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • cup (83 g) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Muffins

Crumb Topping

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • In a small bowl, mix the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and lemon juice. Set aside while you prepare the muffin batter.

Muffins

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and butter and mix until smooth.
  • Gradually add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix until incorporated.
  • Add the flour and salt to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • With the mixer on low, add buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated. Set aside.

Crumb Topping

  • To a medium bowl, add the cold butter, flour, and confectioners' sugar. Using a fork, break the butter down until it is no larger than a pea.

Assembly

  • Fill each cup halfway with the muffin batter.
  • Add 2-3 teaspoons of cream cheese swirl to each muffin cup, followed by muffin batter, filling each cup to the top of the liner.
  • Using a toothpick, carefully swirl the batter and the cream cheese of each muffin together.
  • Top each muffin with about 2 tablespoons of the crumb topping.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top of the muffin springs back when gently touched.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes in the muffin tin before placing them on a wire rack to continue to cool.

Video

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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Autumn

The lemon flavor really makes this cream cheese muffin shine! I would serve these up for breakfast with a nice cup of coffee or tea!

Elizabeth

Even though I am not a super fan of lemon desserts, these muffins are incredible! I mean, our regular cream cheese muffins are perfect, so I knew these would be good. The hint of lemon in both the muffin and cream cheese swirl is just right.

Bella

I love all of our cream cheese muffin recipes. Without a doubt, my favorite version has to be these lemon muffins. There is a burst of flavor from the lemon. It pairs beautifully with the smooth cream cheese.

Annabelle

I love these muffins! The texture is incredible, they stay so moist, and they're deliciously tangy. What a lovely recipe!

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. How much cream cheese for each the muffin batter and how much in the filling? Did I miss something? TIA. They sound delish.

    1. This is listed in the assembly for the muffins in the recipe card:
      Assembly
      Fill each cup halfway with the muffin batter.
      Add 2-3 teaspoons of cream cheese swirl to each muffin cup, followed by muffin batter, filling each cup to the top of the liner.
      Using a toothpick, carefully swirl the batter and the cream cheese of each muffin together.
      Top each muffin with about 2 tablespoons of the crumb topping.

  2. These were very fluffy, but I did add a little baking powder though. Reduced the recipe because I only had one cream cheese package on hand, worked out great.

  3. These came out great – super moist with just the right amt of lemon. The cream cheese swirl puts them over the top. They’re barely cooled and everyone is already talking about the next batch 😀 – instant new family favorite recipe!

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