Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread

I love muffin tops. Those sweet, super moist crowns that adorn muffins, but are gone in about three bites.

So I decided to bake a whole  loaf of bread that tastes like one big muffin top.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

The ‘bread’, however, tastes more like dense cake-meets-muffin-top than bread. Bread implies a drier and coarser crumb, but this is super springy and bouncy, soft, tender and muffin top-esque. The cream cheese filling adds even more softness and moisture, along with a pop of tangy flavor. Plus, something termed bread implies it’s healthier than cake or even muffins, so you can have seconds, but of course.

The recipe makes two loaves, one 9-by-5-inch, and one 8-by-4-inch, just like the Carrot Cake Loaf recipe. I almost made it in a Bundt pan, but have noticed people seem to prefer things made in loaf pans compared to big cakes. You could use two 9×5 pans, but don’t use two 8×4′s. I regrettably did, and at the last minute had to transfer and redistribute batter from one of the 8×4′s into a 9×5, which messed up the visual appeal of the neat middle layer of cream cheese I had so carefully added and it turned out more swirled than layered.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

It’s fast to make and you don’t need a mixer. Begin by whisking eight ounces of cream cheese with sugar and although you could use a mixer, 13 seconds of vigorous whisking will get you to the same place, minus dirty mixer dishes. Set that bowl aside.

In another bowl, toss the blueberries with one tablespoon flour. Coating the berries helps to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the pans while baking. It’s a peeve of mine when bread or muffins are fairly blueberry-less on top, and they all sink to the bottom, creating a thick, murky-blue wall on the bottom. I do love to eat that kind of sweet, juicy wall though.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter and to it add the oil, buttermilk, eggs, sugars, vanilla, and whisk. Buttermilk tenderizes the bread and things made with buttermilk tend to rise so nicely while baking. This batter is weighed down with cream cheese and an abundance of blueberries and needs all the help it can get.

Melted butter, as opposed to creamed, usually produces denser cakes rather than light and airy, which is my preference. I used both oil and butter because butter adds flavor and although it does add moisture, oil adds a dense sort of moisture that you cannot get from butter alone.

I made this bread with one-half cup oil and although the bread is a little on the oily side on the first day, by days two and three, it soaks in creating the most gloriously moist muffin top taste and texture. In adding one-half cup of oil, you’re going to have oily bread on the first day. I wouldn’t call it greasy, but some people are very particular about this, so I wrote the recipe to reflect one-quarter cup oil, increasing from there as desired. I’d rather have slightly oily bread on day one, but two absolutely stunning loaves on days two through seven or longer, if you freeze the second loaf.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

Stir in the dry ingredients and don’t overmix because it will make the bread tough. Fold in the coated blueberries, and pour batter into prepared pans. The approach is batter-cream cheese-batter. Don’t fill either of the pans more than two-thirds of the way full total, and when pouring in the first layer of batter, aim for it come up about one-third of the way up the side. Because you’re working with two pans that are different sizes, the 9×5 should get slightly more batter than the 8×4, and just eyeball it.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the blueberry layer, giving the 9×5 pan slightly more, and smooth it lightly with a spatula. Top the pans with the remaining blueberry batter, distributed roughly evenly between the two. Smooth the batter lightly with a spatula, and bake.

Baking times will vary greatly by pan sizes used, but 45 to 65 minutes is recommended, with the smaller pan being on the lower end of the range. I baked the 8×4 for 48 minutes and the 9×5 for 60 minutes. If you’re making mini loaves or muffins, I’d start checking them by 20 minutes, and go from there. One big Bundt cake will probably take 60 to 65 minutes, but because of oven variances, various pans used, moisture content in the blueberries, amount of oil used, and personal preference, baking times are variable.

blueberrybread-18

If your bread is browning a bit too fast on top before center is cooking through, tent with foil in the last 15 minutes of baking. Because these loaves are stuffed to the max with blueberries, and are heavy and dense from the butter, buttermilk, oil, and cream cheese, they do take their sweet time to fully cook through. And all the while, the scent that’s wafting through the house will put you in a baked blueberry trace.

The bread is so unbelievably moist and soft. Even with an extremely sharp knife, it was hard to slice without squishing and compacting it. The whole time I was slicing it I was thinking Don’t Squeeze the Charmin.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

It’s buttery and sweet, and the cream cheese that runs through the interior is a winding, white river of creamy tanginess in the 9×5 loaf (shown). The 8×4 loaf had a perfect floating layer of cream cheese sandwiched between bread layers, like cream cheese filling in a layer cake. It was so pretty that I almost took my camera back out, but I wanted to eat my slice of muffin top more than I wanted to take more pictures.

My husband loved this bread and he agreed, it gets better with time, which is normally not the case with muffins or quickbreads. If you can let it linger for a day or two, it gets even better. The oil soaks in completely, the flavors meld together, and each bite is dense, soft, and squishy like a muffin top.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com As the blueberries bake, they soften and release their juices and biting into a warm, juicy, baked blueberry is a gift from the berry gods, which is why I wasn’t stingy with how many I called for, two full cups, so I can bite into as many of those gifts as possible.

I immediately froze the 8×4 loaf thinking it would take awhile to get through the 9×5 loaf. Wrong. I baked these on a Saturday morning, and by Monday the 9×5 loaf was gone and we dug into the second loaf.

I just love a juicy muffin top.

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread averiecooks.com

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread - A whole loaf of bread that tastes like one big muffin top! Supremely soft & moist from all the blueberries & cream cheese swirls!

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Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread

This bread tastes like one big muffin top and is more like a dense cake-meets-muffin-top than bread because it's falling-apart soft, tender, and moist. It's dense yet springy and bouncy, and it oozes with blueberries.There's a cream cheese filling that's baked in, adding more softness and moisture to the bread, as well as a nice tangy pop of flavor. The bread comes together by hand with a few bowls and a whisk in just minutes. It's the perfect way to use up you extra fresh or frozen blueberries. I'd much rather have slice after slice of this bread that tastes like muffin tops, than an actual muffin - the tops on them are gone far too fast. Plus this bread is infinitely moister and softer than any muffin I've ever had.

Yield: 2 loaves - one 9x5 & one 8x4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: about 70 minutes

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, well softened (whipped or light are okay, I use Trader Joe's Whipped Light)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (see below)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt, optional (buttermilk is already a salted milk and I omitted adding salt)
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional for lemon-flavored bread (I omitted)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F; spray loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. I used one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and one 8-by-4-inch loaf pan. Or try two 9x5 inch pans, a 10- to 12-cup Bundt or tube cake pan, 9-inch springform pan and bake as a coffee cake, or muffin pans. Do not use two 8x4 pans; batter will not all fit.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and whisk vigorously to combine. The softer the cream cheese is, the easier this will be. If yours isn't quite soft enough, heat in the microwave for 5 seconds. Set bowl aside.
  3. In another medium bowl, combine blueberries, 1 tablespoon flour, and toss gently to coat. This helps prevent blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking. If using frozen berries, keep them frozen or very cold rather than thawing them in advance because they stay intact better and bleed less when still frozen or very cold.
  4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power. Add the buttermilk, oil (I use 1/2 cup canola oil and the second day and beyond it's perfect. The first day it's a bit oily, but I don't mind it and it dries out on the second day and longterm results are great. If you prefer drier bread, use 1/4 to 1/3 cup noting bread will dry out more as it ages), eggs, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and whisk vigorously until combined.
  5. Add 2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, optional salt, and stir to incorporate; don't overmix. Gently fold in the blueberries. Eyeball it and pour about one-quarter of the batter into each of the two prepared pans, with the 9x5 getting slightly more than the 8x4; batter should come up about one-third of the way up the side of each pan.
  6. Distribute the cream cheese mixture between the two pans, with the larger pan getting slightly more. Smooth it lightly with a spatula. Distribute remaining blueberry batter roughly evenly between the two pans, with the larger pan getting slightly more. Smooth it lightly with a spatula.
  7. Bake the two loaves (9x5 and 8x4) for 45 to 65 minutes, or until top is set in the center and golden; a toothpick may or may not come out clean because it could hit a patch of cream cheese. Baking times will vary greatly by pan sizes used. I baked the 8x4 loaf for 48 minutes and the 9x5 for 60 minutes. Muffins or mini loaves could bake in as short as 20 minutes, a big Bundt cake may need 60 to 65 minutes. Allow bread to cool in pans for at least 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. If bread is browning fast on top before center is cooking through, tent with foil in last 15 minutes of cooking.
  8. Store bread that's been wrapped in plasticwrap and placed inside a large ziptop plastic bag for up to 1 week at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months. Freezing second loaf after it's cooled is recommended if you're not going to eat it within a week.

Related Recipes

Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Lemon Vanilla Glaze – An easy to make dense, moist cake made with Greek yogurt and stuffed with blueberries. The tangy lemon glaze is the perfect complement to the blueberries and really makes the cake pop

Blueberry Muffins with Raspberry Jam Swirls – The muffins are moist, soft, and have raspberry jam swirled throughout, creating a bounty of berry flavors

Microwave Blueberry Banana Oat Cakes (vegan, GF) – Ready in 3 minutes and although the recipe is older, I get so many reader emails about this being a go-to breakfast and portable snack, especially for anyone in a dorm room or who has limited kitchen access. All you need is a microwave for this little single-serving cake

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – The buttermilk helps this bread rise up so soft and fluffy and the browned butter adds so much flavor. An easy bread to make when you have extra ripe bananas to use and the Strawberry Butter adds a special touch

Carrot Cake Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting – My favorite carrot cake recipe because it turns out ridiculously moist, soft, tender, and is full of cinnamon-and-spice-and-everything-nice, including an abundance of carrots and sweet, juicy raisins. The batter is extremely fast and easy to make by combining the first 11 ingredients together at once in a bowl and whisking

Creamy Mixed Berry White Chocolate Crumble Bars – If you like berries-and-cream, and easy desserts, this layered cake-bar is for you. A cake base is topped with coconut, sweet milk, and berries (fresh or frozen) or try your favorite seasonal fruit

Do you like muffin tops?

Do you have a favorite recipe for (blueberry) muffins or bread?

I’ve tried ‘muffin top pans’ that are supposed to yield muffin tops, and although they’re fine, it’s not like eating a muffin top. Part of why muffin tops are just so darn good has to do with air and steam rising, overall surface area and volume of batter, the depth of the muffin pan cavity, and the sacred muffin top never actually touching the base of the pan. All those things change when you pour batter directly into a flat little pan. Not the same.

My suggestion is to either make this bread or to just go around and shamelessly pick off muffin tops.

   

112 Responses to “Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffin Top Bread”

  1. #
    51
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — February 12, 2013 at 7:33 am

    This looks so incredibly moist–just like muffin tops! :) I don’t think this would last more than a day in my house…

    Reply

  2. #
    52
    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — February 12, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Love the title- the muffin top is the best part :)

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Cassie — February 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    On my to do list this weekend! Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Laura Dembowski — February 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    Muffin tops are the best! This bread looks very yummy, but it is also super pretty with the berries and perfectly brown crust.

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    Ari @ Ari's Menu — February 12, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Is it totally inappropriate to make muffin top jokes? ;) Ummm, I want to eat this whole loaf. It just looks so unbelievable soft, and with the cream cheese swirled in–I am in so much love!

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — February 13, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I love that you created an entire bread of the best part of muffins! Now if you have any leftovers, I’d gladly help you out with those.

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    angela @ another bite please — February 15, 2013 at 10:28 am

    muffin top bread….i am so LOVING this idea! the top of the muffin is the best part…i may dust off my bundt pan to try this recipe…it would look so pretty.

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 15th, 2013 at 11:37 am

      It would be gorgeous and actually, perfect. If I wasn’t making this to blog about, I would have done that from the get-go. But people have a Bundt fear and like their loaf pans. But in a blogless-world, Bundt would be best!

      Reply

  8. #
    58
    Cassie — February 17, 2013 at 5:53 am

    If I use frozen blueberries, is it ok to leave them frozen when I mix them in?

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 17th, 2013 at 11:17 am

      Right in the directions in the recipe I wrote this: ” If using frozen berries, keep them frozen or very cold rather than thawing them in advance because they stay intact better and bleed less when still frozen or very cold.” – so yes! LMK how it goes for you!

      Reply

      • Cassie replied: — February 17th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

        Great thanks!! Sorry I missed that!

  9. #
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    jocelyn @BruCrew Life — February 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I am loving that cream cheese swirl that winds around the juicy berries!!! The bread looks so dense and absolutely perfect! I love a great muffin top!!!

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 18th, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Thanks, Jocelyn. I love a great muffin top too (on my muffins – and if I ate more of this, it would be on me…lol)

      Reply

  10. #
    60
    Kevin @ Closet Cooking — February 27, 2013 at 6:15 am

    That looks so good! I cannot get enough blueberry breakfast treats! :)

    Reply

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — February 27th, 2013 at 11:06 am

      Thanks, Kevin, for saying hi and you have tons of goodies on your site I cannot get enough of! Normally I am a sweets rather than savory person, but pretty much every dip you post, I want!

      Reply

  11. #
    61
    Axewhy — June 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Hi there I baked this cake today. It turned out really oily and soft. I baked it for 60mins in a 9″ cake pan. It did not turn out anything like yours except for the outer most layer. The yellow is like it’s rotting or just very dirty yellow? I would like to know what was wrong with it? My family loves it by the way! I am a fan of your recipes. Keep on going!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 4th, 2013 at 11:58 am

      I baked my bread in a LOAF PAN not a cake pan. Of course your results will be different than mine if you used a CAKE PAN, not a loaf pan.

      If you try the recipe again and bake it as written, you will have better results. If you found the batter oily, reduce the oil slightly.

      Reply

  12. #
    62
    Axewhy — June 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

    I used fresh blueberries did that made a difference to the cake? It is really oily and I immediately place it in the refrigerator when it has already cooled down. I used a toothpick and inserted to the cake, it was a clean toothpick. Does it make a difference whether I use a cake tin or a loaf tin just like yours? I’m just really very troubled at it ! Sorry! The picture of the cake you’ve posted at the top, was it after a few days or was it the first day?

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Axewhy — June 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Oh yes, when the cake was cooling. The middle kind of sunk a bit? Why did that happened? Please reply, I would appreciate it a lot! I’m going to try to bake it again some time later on. Continue posting your recipes! It makes me drools and motivates me to keep on baking haha! :)

    Reply

  14. #
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    Sarah — December 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I cut the recipe in half in order to make one 9×5 loaf. I made it on Saturday, wrapped it in plastic-wrap over night and had it with Sunday breakfast. It was wonderful!

    I used the highest amount of oil recommended and it turned out great. It really lived up to the description of a blueberry muffin top.

    The only snag I ran into was figuring out how I wanted to do the cream cheese swirl. I think it ended up just baking into the bread which wasn’t bad since it added to the moisture.

    Very yummy!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — December 15th, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Glad it lived up to the description of a blueberry muffin top for you! Sounds like it turned out great and with the swirl, yes, if you’re not careful it can sort of just seep down, which isn’t a bad thing for added moisture as you noticed.

      Reply

  15. #
    65
    Jen and Emily @ Layers of Happiness — February 24, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    This may be an old recipe, but I just saw this via Pinterest and I’m OBSESSED! The fluffy/ crunchy part of the muffin that bubbles over the tin is pretty much the best/the only reason I eat a muffin in the first place. And now I can make a whole loaf with those qualities… Love it!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — February 24th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      It is an older recipe but I just repinned it today (I forgot about it!) and in the last couple hours, it’s come back to life! Enjoy it!

      Reply

  16. #
    66
    Shannon — February 24, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    do you have a similar recipe for banana muffins?

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    MWWAG — July 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    I made these for breakfast this morning and they were incredible!! I did half the recipe because I only own one bread pan. Other than that I followed the recipe and everything turned out great. We have guests staying with us this weekend, so thank you thank you thank you for posting this recipe and letting me impress them!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 19th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks for trying the recipe and glad you impressed your guests and loved this one!

      Reply

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