What does this entail? The cake is a vanilla cake with the addition of strawberry puree baked inside. The cupcake is then cored and a tiny cheesecake, like you would see at Christmastime or on a Pittsburgh cookie table, is placed inside. Yes, a tiny cheesecake inside the cupcake.
Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
(makes 2 dozen)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cups and 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 8 oz packages of cream cheese softened
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Line mini muffin pan with paper cups.
Combine graham cracker crumbs, 2 Tbsp sugar, and butter; press into bottoms of paper-lined mini muffin cups. Toast in oven for 4 minutes.
Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
Mini Cheesecake Tip: The best way to fill the muffin cups is to put the cream cheese mixture into a large squeeze bottle. You can cut the nozzle wider if bottle nozzle is too small. It saves so much time when we make these around the holidays.
Bake 15 to 20 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.
Line a 24-count pan with cupcake liners.
Slice strawberries and place in a food processor or blender. Pulse until strawberries are a chunky puree.
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Stir in sugar. The mixture will be gritty. Stir in egg, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and vanilla extract until combined.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no lumps remain. Fold in the strawberry puree. The batter will be thick.
Divide batter among cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before coring (more on that below).
Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
4 cups of confectioners sugar
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until it is softened, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and beat together for 3 minutes.
Add vanilla extract and mix. Add strawberry powder and mix. Slowly add 4 cups of powder sugar and mix. Add more sugar if needed to get desired consistency. Continue mixing until frosting is creamy.
Hollow out the cooled cupcakes with a cupcake corer. This is the cupcake corer that we use, but you could also use a melon baller to hollow out the cupcakes to make room for the mini cheesecake.
Remove wrapper from cheesecake and place inside the cupcake.
Frost cupcakes and garnish with strawberries or the garnish of your choice.
Since there is a cream cheese component to these cupcakes, be sure to store them in the refrigerator.
~Tara and Allison