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All the red velvet flavor packed into a muffin, filled with lightly sweetened cream cheese filling.
Aaaaand, it’s February. Finally! Anyone else feel like January always lasts 87 days, and Christmas seems months behind us when in reality, it’s only been 3 or 4 weeks?
Every. Single. Year.
But it’s finally gone, the rest of the year is ahead of us, and we’re fully into the lovey dovey month of February where we can confess our love for all things red velvet.
And don’t you worry– I’ve put together a killer roundup of some of the cutest, reddest, most creative and must-try red velvet recipes from friends and fellow bloggers around the interwebs for next week. Stay tuned for that one!
I set out to find some sort of muffin that was like a cupcake, but not a cupcake. I’ve spoken out before against cupcake-like muffins, and I am not about that life.
I didn’t want my cupcakes in muffin form, but rather, I wanted a muffin that could stand the test of breakfast (not too sweet!) but also stand in as a treat if that’s what I wanted.
I settled on a recipe I found in the Red Velvet Lover’s Cookbook, but I tweaked it a bit to meet my standards.
Deborah (from Taste and Tell) swirls the cream cheese into her original red velvet muffins, but I wanted to fill mine with a cream cheese surprise, because I wanted to reserve all the deep, beautiful red color for the muffin and worried swirling would give me some pink business and I didn’t want that.
So here we are, all the red velvet flavor in the form of a muffin, filled with an ever-so-lightly sweetened cream cheese filling to make the perfect complement to that morning cup of coffee.
Of course, you are totally welcome to top these red velvet bad boys with some sort of icing, but this is FAF style (remember, not about that icing-on-my-muffin life), and this is the way we’re working it over here. K??
Nothing fancy in these muffins, but you’ll see a big major key player: buttermilk. It is absolutely essential to creating the ideal texture and flavor that red velvet brings to the breakfast table.
You can certainly make your own (see my post about how to make homemade buttermilk), but you cannot use regular milk. It just won’t be the same.
You’ll also notice there is no vinegar in this recipe at all, which is atypical of classic red velvet. The reason it’s not in this recipe is because we aren’t necessarily going for that light and fluffy texture of a cupcake. We’re working with a slightly denser texture for muffins, so we don’t need that extra “oomph.”
What we loved most about these muffins was that each bite had its own little accompaniment of cream cheese filling.
It was the perfect ratio– not too much cream cheese going on to drown out the red velvet flavor, but certainly not so little that you missed that creamy, dreamy sidekick to your red velvet bites.
Of course, if you’re into extra cream cheese, these would be absolutely fabulous smeared with a little more of that good stuff, if you ask me (!!!!).
So let’s add a little love to our February in the form of breakfast for our sweets. How about it? And if you’re really chomping at the bit for more red velvet recipes, come back next week for the ultimate collection so you can really get elbow deep in all that red velvet goodness!
Cream Cheese Filled Red Velvet Muffins
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup buttermilk1
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon red gel food coloring2
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Line 8 wells of a 12 count muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
CREAM CHEESE FILLING
- In a small bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Set aside.
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, egg, food coloring, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir together with a spatula until everything comes together.
- Using a Tablespoon measure, spoon 1 Tablespoon of muffin batter into the bottom of the 8 prepared wells. Using a second Tablespoon measure, spoon 1 scant Tablespoon of cream cheese filling on top of each mound of batter. Finally, add 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons of batter to each well, mostly covering the mound of cream cheese filling. If some is poking out, that's ok.
- Bake the muffins for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes is up, reduce the temperature to 350ºF without opening the door and bake another 10-12 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out mostly clean (there will be cream cheese filling on it-- check for wet red batter).
- Allow muffins to cool in the pan about 10 minutes so filling can set. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely before serving. Muffins are best on the day they are baked, but leftovers will last 3 covered tightly at room temperature up to 3 days or in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.