Whether you’re prepping breakfast for the week or whipping up special brunch treat, these Orange Cheesecake Muffins are bound to please everyone.
There are so many things I love about muffins, but I mostly love that they’re basically glorified cupcakes that we’re allowed to eat for breakfast. They’re one of my favorite things to have around for guests and these Orange Cheesecake Muffins, in particular, are perfect for a last minute Easter brunch addition.
It’s tough for me to choose my favorite holiday between Christmas, Halloween, and Easter. Christmas and Halloween have their obvious appeal, but Easter brings back the most wonderful nostalgic memories for me. My mom was always an amazing Easter basket giver. Every year, she hid it so I had to go find where the “Easter bunny” so strategically stashed it away. When I was ten, I got my favorite Easter basket that was full of the most 1998 things you could think of. Britney Spears …Baby One More Time CD, butterfly hair clips, and of course, all my favorite candy. We don’t have a ton of kids in my family on my mom’s side, so our Easter always consisted of my grandpa and I hunting eggs. One of the things I suck worst at in life is hunting Easter eggs, but he always let me win. I kid you not when I say that I was at least 25 before we stopped this tradition. Now that I have miss Norah, I’m even more excited about starting Easter traditions. I hope that she grows up to have the same fond memories of the holiday as I did. Since she’s only 9 months old, we probably won’t start the egg dying and baskets until next year, but you better believe I’ll be spending the next 12 months planning the best traditions I can think of.
I can’t wait for Norah to be able to help me in the kitchen, and if you have toddlers or kids, these muffins would be perfect to make as a family. Let the older kids zest the orange for you and spoon & level the flour, and give the toddlers the chance to get out their energy by whisking the eggs or stirring the batter. What are some of your families favorite Easter traditions? I’m taking vigilant notes for the future!
Making Easter brunch? Try my Bourbon Brown Sugar Bacon for a show-stopping side!
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, cold
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 and ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 425ºF. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or line with cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, toss together the brown sugar, flour, and orange zest. Cut in the butter in very small pieces using a pastry knife or mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat on high until creamed about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, yogurt, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute, then turn up to high speed until the mixture is combined and uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and slowly mix with a whisk until combined and little lumps remain.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric handheld or stand mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, orange juice, and sugar. Beat until combined.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon of muffin batter into the muffin cups. Layer with about 1 tablespoon of cheesecake filling (using up all filling), then another tablespoon of muffin batter (or however much batter is needed to fill the cups all the way to the top). Sprinkle each muffin evenly with streusel topping and gently press down gently.
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 425ºF degrees. Keeping the muffins in the oven, lower the temperature down to 350ºF and bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.