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Cream Cheese Protein Muffins: The Perfect Snack!

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This cream cheese protein muffin recipe is the perfect on-the-go healthy breakfast or post workout snack.

Sweet, fruity jam, nutty poppy seeds (or flaxseeds) and rich cream cheese come together with a scoop of vanilla protein powder to create a muffin that is both delicious and healthy!

Protein muffins are on the dark plate. Near it there are some whole muffins on a metal grid as well etc | Hurry The Food Up

High protein muffin recipes are one of my favorite ways to get in a bit of extra protein, while also enjoying a sweet treat.

A scoop of protein powder does little to alter the taste and texture of a muffin, but raises protein levels massively!

These cream cheese muffins are a particularly delightful example.

There are a million chocolate muffins, blueberry protein muffins or healthy banana protein muffins out there, so I thought I’d shake things up a bit and try a more unusual flavor combination.

The batter for these high protein muffins contains rich, tangy cream cheese and a sprinkling of poppy seeds.

In the middle of each muffin is a dollop of jam of your choice! The result is a creamy, sweet, nutty muffin that has all the comforting flavors of a good old fashioned jam sponge!

These healthy protein muffins are a great way to meet your protein quotas between meals.

Ingredients

Poppy seeds

Poppy seeds have a subtle sweet and nutty flavor. They are not as pungent as, say, sesame seeds, however their flavor can be intensified by roasting.

They add a nice texture to these muffins. If you don’t have poppy seeds, use flax seeds instead.

Protein muffins ingredients like poppy seeds, eggs, oil, milk, cream cheese, sugar, flour, baking soda, protein powder, jam etc | Hurry The Food Up

All purpose flour

You can use white flour or whole grain flour, depending on what you have to hand. If health is your main priority, I would always recommend whole wheat flour, as it is more fibrous and nutritious.

However, be aware that whole grain flour might make for a slightly drier muffin.

Vanilla protein powder

You can choose whatever protein powder you like – I used whey protein powder, but I’m sure any other would work just as well. I would recommend going for a vanilla flavored one and steering clear of plain ones.

Plain protein powder would affect the overall flavor, whereas vanilla actually enhances it, as vanilla extract would!

Low fat cream cheese

I like to use low fat cream cheese in order to keep fat levels down. The cream cheese adds a richness and a slight tang which perfectly offsets the sweetness of the jam.

If you don’t have cream cheese, you could try a dollop of greek yogurt instead, but you might need to up the flour levels to compensate for the extra wetness.

Jam

You can go for any flavor of jam here. I enjoy cherry or raspberry, but strawberry or blackberry would also work well. Or why not go off-piste and try a dollop of apricot jam?

Make sure the jam you use isn’t too thick, because you want it to form a nice, runny filling!

Eggs

The eggs are used for binding, of course. If you are vegan, flax or chia eggs would also work for this recipe. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tbsp ground flax seeds with 2.5 tbsp water, stir and leave to rest for a few minutes.

Milk

Any milk, dairy or non-dairy, is good to use here. I tested oat milk and it worked perfectly!

Sugar

​I’ve tried to minimise sugar amounts to 1/3 cup, but it is necessary to have some in order to sweeten the muffins. If you are really averse to eating sugar, you can use honey instead!

Protein muffins are on the dark plate. Near it there are some whole muffins on a metal grid and a small bowl with poppy seeds etc | Hurry The Food Up

How many calories in these protein muffins?

There are 177 kcal in each of these protein-packed muffins. This may sound like a lot, but they are big and intended as a whole breakfast or substantial afternoon snack.

177 kcal is the perfect amount for this!

Here’s a quick overview of 1 serving:

kcal 177kcal

Carbs 27g

Fat 5g

Protein 8g

Health benefits of cream cheese protein muffins

The main benefit of this recipe is that it will help you eat all the protein you need in a day in order to be healthy. Each of these protein powder muffins contains 8g of protein.

The amount of protein recommended for the average woman is 45g a day and for the average man, 55g a day. Therefore one of these protein breakfast muffins contains almost a third of your daily protein requirements!

Why is protein important? It is one of the 3 key macros, alongside fats and carbs. Your body needs all 3 of these in balance in order to function healthily.

Protein contributes to muscle growth and maintenance. It is also the most filling macro, so it is important for managing your appetite.

​If you are trying to lose weight or build muscle, protein is one of the most important things you should be focusing on! Check out our 7-day Weight Loss Meal Plan to find out more about the role of protein in weight loss.

Bird's-eye view of protein muffins are on the dark plate. Near it there are some whole muffins on a metal grid and a small bowl with poppy seeds etc | Hurry The Food Up

How to make the perfect protein muffin

The key to making protein muffins lies in the proportions of ingredients!

The easiest way to make protein muffins is to add protein powder to muffin batter.

However, you can’t just add protein powder and keep the other quantities the same.

Protein powder absorbs a lot of liquid, so if you don’t alter the other quantities, you will end up with an extremely dry muffin.

Reduce the amount of flour you use and increase the amount of wet ingredients, like milk and fat. This should balance out the drying effect of the protein powder.

If you are looking to incorporate protein powder into your baking/cooking, check out these protein powder recipes for snacks and breakfasts!

Protein powder is not the only way to make protein muffins. You can also use natural protein sources such as peanut butter, almond butter, greek yogurt, cream cheese and ricotta.

You are unlikely to get the same amount of added protein with these options, as protein powder is far denser, but they are certainly good options!

Luckily, muffins are very easy to experiment with, so you can try all different combinations and find the perfect way to make tasty muffins that are packed with protein.

How to make cream cheese protein muffins

Let’s go through the simple process for making this recipe, step by step!

Total Time: 37 minutes

Preheat

Switch the oven on at 200 C.

Prepare tin

Line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin liners.

Mix

In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients (poppy seeds, eggs, vegetable oil, milk, cream cheese) with the sugar until fully incorporated.The process of mixing the wet ingredients in a large bowl | Hurry The Food Up

Sieve

Use a sieve to add the remaining dry ingredients to the bowl (flour, baking powder, salt and protein powder)The process of adding the remaining dry ingredients to the bowl | Hurry The Food Up

Mix

Stir the batter until incorporated.The process of stiring the batter in a large bowl | Hurry The Food Up

Fill

Pour the batter into the muffin cups, until they are about a third full. Add a dollop of jam to each, then fill them up with the remaining batter.The process of pouring the batter and adding jam into the muffin cups | Hurry The Food Up

Sprinkle

Top muffins with remaining 1 tbsp of poppy seeds.The process of topping up the muffins of poppy seeds | Hurry The Food Up

Bake

Pop in the oven for 18-22 minutes. You’ll know they are ready when the top is golden and the muffin bounces back if gently pressed.The baked muffins with golden top are in the muffin cups | Hurry The Food Up

Now sit back and enjoy your new favorite healthy muffins!

Alternatives & substitutions

If you are vegan, you can easily make these high protein breakfast muffins vegan-friendly with just a few simple changes.

Use flax eggs or chia eggs instead of normal eggs, pick a non-dairy milk, vegan cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese, and a vegan protein powder, like pea protein!

If you are gluten free, all you need to do is use a gluten-free flour like almond flour! Easy! If you want to avoid refined sugar, replace it with honey, agave or a very ripe mashed banana.

You can also experiment with flavor combos: why not try banana and cinnamon, or chopped strawberries and vanilla, or skip the jam entirely and add some yummy chocolate chips?

One of the best combinations I have tried used flax seeds, cinnamon and cherry jam.

Protein muffins are on the dark plate | Hurry The Food Up

Protein muffin FAQs

If you’ve got questions, I’ve got answers! And if I don’t have the answers, drop me a line in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.

How do you make muffins rise bigger?

To make your muffins rise bigger, make sure you have preheated the oven so that it’s already piping hot when they go in. It’s also a good idea not to let your muffin batter stand for too long before you bake it.

The longer it stands, the less efficiently it rises.

How to add protein to muffins?

​Adding protein powder to muffins can be achieved simply by incorporating protein powder into the recipe. When doing so, make sure you reduce the amount of flour accordingly, so as not to dry the batter out.

If you do not have protein powder to hand, cream cheese, greek yogurt, almond flour or nut butters can also turn regular muffins into easy protein muffins!

Why are protein muffins dry?

Protein muffins turn out dry when there is too much protein powder compared to other ingredients, as protein powder absorbs quite a lot of liquid.

For the best results, make sure you have plenty of wet ingredients and reduce the amount of flour according to how much protein powder you use ie. do not just add protein powder to a normal muffin recipe!

Use less flour and more wet ingredients than usual and you should get a delicious fluffy texture!

What are morning glory muffins?

Morning glory muffins are a type of healthy muffin that gained popularity in the USA in the 1970s after being invented by chef Pam Mckinstry.

The original morning glory muffin was full of shredded carrots, apples, seeds, bran, nuts, raisins, coconut etc.

The idea behind a morning glory is just to pile in a load of healthy ingredients and bind them together with muffin batter.

You can really put what you like in a morning glory muffin and even the batter doesn’t have to be a traditional batter.

Many opt for natural sweeteners like ripe bananas or agave syrup, healthy fats like coconut oil and non-wheat flours like almond flour. Go crazy!

Can I make them ahead?

Yes! You can make protein muffins ahead of time and store them in an airtight container to be eaten throughout the week. They will remain moist for a few days, but after 4-5 they will probably get a bit stale!

You can store them at room temperature, no need to refrigerate.

What to serve with protein muffins?

Protein muffins are great served by themselves as an easy breakfast on the go.

However, if you want to jazz them up a bit, serve chopped in half with a dollop of greek yogurt in the middle and a handful of berries sprinkled over the top! Delicious!

Protein muffins are on the metal grid | Hurry The Food Up

More recipes

If you loved this recipe, you need to check out my other recipes made with protein powder. For example, this delicious winter oatmeal with apples, our perfect protein powder cookies and this super easy protein french toast.

Cream Cheese Protein Muffins
5 from 1 vote
Looking for a high protein muffin recipe? Our tasty jam & cream cheese muffins contain 7g protein each! Try them now!
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:22 minutes
Total Time:37 minutes
Servings:12 muffins
Calories:177kcal
Author: Abril Macías
YouTube video

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  • Prepare a standard 12 cup muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl mix 1 tbsp of poppy seeds, eggs, vegetable oil, milk of choice, cream cheese and sugar until fully incorporated.
    2 tbsp poppy seeds, 2 egg, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, ⅔ cup milk of choice, 1 cup low fat cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar
    The process of mixing the wet ingredients in a large bowl | Hurry The Food Up
  • Sieve on top the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and protein powder. Mix the batter until incorporated.
    1 ⅔ cup all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking soda, Salt to taste, ⅓ cup vanilla protein powder
    The process of adding the remaining dry ingredients to the bowl | Hurry The Food Up
  • Fill with batter ⅓ of the muffin cups. Add 1 tsp of jam in the middle of each muffin cup, then fill all of them evenly with the remaining batter.
    ⅓ cup jam
    The process of pouring the batter and adding jam into the muffin cups | Hurry The Food Up
  • Top muffins with remaining 1 tbsp of poppy seeds.
    The process of topping up the muffins of poppy seeds | Hurry The Food Up
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the top is golden and the muffin bounces back when you press it gently.
    The baked muffins with golden top are in the muffin cups | Hurry The Food Up

NOTES

Make-ahead? Yes, prep the night before. They’re good warm and cold.
Freezable? Yes, absolutely.
Looking for more? Try out some of these recipes:

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Cream Cheese Protein Muffins
Amount per Serving
Calories
177
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.02
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
44
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
283
mg
12
%
Potassium
 
169
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
27
g
9
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
12
g
13
%
Protein
 
8
g
16
%
Vitamin A
 
203
IU
4
%
Vitamin C
 
2
mg
2
%
Calcium
 
97
mg
10
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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I hope you enjoyed trying these awesome protein muffins! Let me know what you thought of them in the comments below!

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