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Everyone will want seconds of this delicious strawberry muffins recipe! It’s got a tender fluffy crumb and a cream cheese swirl topping.

Strawberry muffins
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Here’s a recipe that’s even more delicious than it sounds…these insanely tasty Strawberry Muffins with cream cheese swirl! Imagine: a muffin with a tender crumb: just sweet enough and delightfully moist. Then add a strawberry cream cheese topping, that coats everything in sweet savory richness. Our 4 year old had the idea of making strawberry muffins (genius!), so we made a riff on our favorite pumpkin muffin. Turns out, this one is even better than the original!

Why to make these strawberry muffins

Some strawberry muffins have little chunks of strawberries in the batter, much like you would a blueberry muffin. But when we tried that type of strawberry muffin, the bits of berry made the batter soggy. Here’s what makes this strawberry muffin recipe truly the best ever:

  • The strawberries are incorporated in a cream cheese swirl. This way, the berries incorporate into a creamy topping, leaving the bottom portion of the muffin perfectly moist. Man, is it delicious!
  • The muffins are just sweet enough. Many muffins are glorified cupcakes: these are just sweet enough to be aptly called a muffin.
  • They’re moist from applesauce! Applesauce makes a perfectly moist cake portion of the muffin, without it being too buttery or oily.

How to make and swirl the cream cheese topping

These strawberry muffins are pretty straightforward: the only part that needs a little more explanation is the cream cheese swirl. Here’s what to know about this part of the recipe:

  • Dice the strawberries into small pieces. This helps the strawberries to integrate into the cream cheese — it will turn pink but still have strawberry chunks (this is intended!).
  • Place dollops of cream cheese on top of the muffin batter. Use a heaping 1 tablespoon.
  • Use a toothpick to swirl and push the cheese into the batter. Swirl it in so that it incorporates into the top portion of the muffin batter.
Strawberry muffins

Storage info for strawberry muffins

Because there’s cream cheese on top, you’ll want to store these strawberry muffins in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature like other muffins. Here are a few pointers:

  • The muffins are the best the day of making. Wait after baking until they’re about room temperature, then devour. They taste incredible the day of.
  • Refrigerate for 5 days. Pop them into the fridge for storage. Remember to let them warm back to room temp for a minute or two before you enjoy them.
  • Do not freeze. The cream cheese topping doesn’t hold up well in the freezer, so we don’t recommend freezing here.

When to serve them!

These strawberry muffins are great for when you have a bunch of strawberries you don’t know what to do with. They’re absolutely perfect for entertaining, too! Here are a few ideas for how to pair them:

Strawberry muffins

More strawberry recipes

Love this popular berry? Us too! Here are some of our favorite ways to make strawberries into a tasty treat:

This strawberry muffins recipe is…


Strawberry muffins
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Strawberry muffins

Best-Ever Strawberry Muffins

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
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Everyone will want seconds of this delicious strawberry muffins recipe! It’s got a tender fluffy crumb and a cream cheese swirl topping. 


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rolled Old Fashioned oats
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup diced strawberries


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 12 muffin cups to a standard muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and cinnamon with the baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the applesauce, neutral oil, and vanilla extract. Wait to add it to the dries until you’ve made the cream cheese topping. 
  4. Clean and dice the strawberries into small pieces. Use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or electric hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, and strawberries: beat them on medium speed until fully combined (the cheese will turn pink but still have chunks of strawberries). 
  5. Mix the wet ingredients (applesauce, oil and vanilla) into the bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, oats, etc.) and stir until a smooth batter forms.
  6. Divide the batter evenly into the 12 muffin cups. Dollop a mounded tablespoon of strawberry cream cheese onto the center of each muffin. Then use a toothpick to swirl the cream cheese until it is smoothed onto the top and partially worked into the batter (see the photos).
  7. Bake for about 25 to 28 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the muffin portion. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins and place them on a cooling rack. Cool 1 hour until room temperature. Enjoy or refrigerate up to 1 week (these muffins do not freeze well).
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Muffins
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Carol O'Neill says:

    Can you use frozen strawberries in this recipe?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t tested it but I think it would work as long as they are fully thawed!

  2. Sarah says:

    Wow! I absolutely loved these! The strawberry cream cheese topping was especially delicious, and came out better than other cream cheese muffins I’ve tried to make in the past. I’ll definitely be making these again!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  3. Emily says:

    These were delicious! I made them twice in a two week period. They are definitely toddler and partner approved and my friend (who is “not a sweets person”) loved them!

  4. Lesley Bailey says:

    Hi! SO curious why there are no eggs. I often look for recipes with less eggs because I don’t want it to ever taste eggy. But wondering how you “get away with it?!” Thanks! These look delicious!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! This is a very light applesauce base that doesn’t require any eggs. It’s moist and sweet — I think you’ll like it :)