Tag Archives: cupcakes

Cheesecake Cupcakes!

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Anytime you mention the word “birthday” to Ava, her mind IMMEDIATELY goes to cupcakes! So when I told her that Bumpy’s birthday was the next day, her first question was, “Will there be cupcakes?!” I knew my dad (a.k.a Bumpy) wasn’t big on regular cupcakes. I knew he loved cheesecake so I called my mom (a.k.a. Honey) to double-check. Then I went on a hunt for a good and EASY cheesecake cupcake recipe. I had no idea if one existed, but I was sure that it did, and leave it to Paula Dean to make sure that one did!¬†

Now here’s where it gets tricky. I am just now learning the blogging/cooking rules…and I was not good about making sure I took consistent pictures throughout the process. Anyways, the original recipe called for each cupcake to have a vanilla wafer bottom. My dad loves the traditional cheesecake, which comes with a graham cracker crust, and a vanilla wafer crust just didn’t sound that fabulous. So I decided I was going to figure out some way to do a graham cracker crust for a cupcake. And I only do easy.

I will also preface these pictures with…I’m sorry they’re blurry. I am no photographer, and I have a crappy camera. Well…when I bought it, it wasn’t crappy. It became crappy after I dropped it a few times, and I let my (then) two-year old start man-handling it (she still man-handles it at 3), and now I let my one year old man-handle it. It’s been dropped, and cracked, and fingers have been on the lenses, and I’ve wiped those lenses off with the bottom of my t-shirt that also wiped some boogies, I’m pretty sure. So please excuse the quality of the pictures ūüôā If you’re here to critique my pictures, then feel free to venture elsewhere. But, if you’re here to make some damn good cheesecake cupcakes, then the pictures will be good enough, and I hope your sweet tooth is ready!

Now for the graham cracker crust. If you recall I said, I only do easy…

So I bought a box of graham cracker crumbs

I then followed the recipe on the side of the box to make a graham cracker crust. This was so easy a 3-year-old could do it. And she did.

1 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp sugar

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted

1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.

2. Stir in the melted butter until completely blended (Ava and I mixed it until I could tell every¬†minuscule¬†crumb had some butter-lovin on it). ¬†It looked a bit like this…

What yummy things are made of

3. Next, I (Ava) put cupcake liners in each of the muffin tins, since I would be using this to make a cupcake crust. I then scooped about a heaping teaspoon full of graham cracker crust into each muffin tin.

Heaping teaspoon of yumminess

You’ll see that I almost completed the cupcake crusts before remembering that I needed to take a picture of how much I used for each crust…bear with me on this blog thing.

4. After spooning in the graham cracker crumb mixture, you’ll see from the above picture that I used a medicine cup to pack down the crust. It worked perfectly! I was amazed at my resourcefulness (that must be where my daughter gets it from). ¬†Here’s a close up.

Who doesn’t have those medicine cups lying around? And if you don’t…let me know. I have a MILLION! Thanks to all the teething, ear infections, teething, and ear infections, and teething (have I mentioned the teething?). ¬†And why do I save them when my children don’t use them? Ask my grandfather…I believe it’s in the genes.

5. AnyWHO (Since I mentioned my grandfather, I had to thrown in something from my grandmother), after I made all my crusts, they looked something like this.

I actually made these a couple of days before I made the cheesecake portion, so I covered these in Cling wrap, and stuck them in the freezer. I also only used a portion of the graham cracker crust that the recipe made, so I stuck that in a baggie and froze it as well.

Two days later, Ava and I made the good stuff…the cheesecake portion. As I mentioned previously, I used this recipe, with the exception of the vanilla wafer. It called for:

* 2 pkgs of cream cheese, softened (I try to do things on the light side when I can, so I used¬†Neuch√Ętel cheese – 1/3 less fat {that means you can eat an extra cupcake})
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 tsp vanilla extract (it calls for butter, but I used vanilla)
* 2 eggs
* Blueberry Preserves (It used raspberry jam and fresh raspberries, but I was feeling it blueberry style)
* Fresh blueberries

1. Notice the recipe called for “softened” cream cheese. That involves thinking ahead of time. I don’t believe in that. Life is a lot more fun when you live it on the edge, and don’t soften the cream cheese beforehand. So, to do it quickly, I just cut up each block of cream cheese into cubes, and let them sit there for about 10 minutes. I found other things to do while we waited…like keep Briggs from eating the dog’s food. That’s a full-time job right there.

2. Once I was fairly certain Briggs was finished eating dog food, Ava and decided the cream cheese was soft enough. I wasn’t reading the directions very carefully, and I added the sugar next (The original recipe says to beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then add the sugar). Then we used an electric hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar until it was pretty light and fluffy. We did it for a while. Until we got tired of it, and it looked pretty smooth. Now is also a good time to start preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

3. We then added the vanilla extract, and beat in one egg at a time (I don’t know how important this is, but we did it this way). Ava likes to crack the eggs, so we cracked it into the measuring cup (to avoid any eggshells), and she got to pour the egg into the mixture, which she liked. After each egg, we beat the mixture until it was well blended.

4. Now it’s ready to pour into those cupcake liners we made a couple of days ago with the graham cracker crust! Remember I told you I’ve been bad about remembering to take pictures throughout the process, so it was about now that I remembered I should have been taking pictures. Here’s what the mixture looked like once it was ready to be poured (we had already poured most of the cups when I remembered to take this picture)

Mmmmm….cheesecake

5. We used a ladle to fill the cupcakes. I only filled them about 2/3 full because that’s how I’m used to making cupcakes that rise, but these don’t rise (hello! I wasn’t thinking), so you can actually fill these almost all the way full. To be honest, though, I think they were perfect only 2/3 full…all the way full would have been a little much.

6. Since I only filled them 2/3 full, I ended up needing more cupcake liners with graham cracker crust bottoms. Luckily, I saved the unused graham cracker crust from the other day, so we just pulled it out, and made a few more. Ava got to assist in this.

This is Ava’s, “I’m working, Mom.” face

7. Once we had all 18 cupcakes filled, they looked something like this.

8. Now throw those puppies in the oven, and let them bake for 20 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll look like this:

The sunken middle lays the perfect ground for the topping.

9. Now all that’s left to do is put on the topping, but you want to let them cool first. I actually put these in the fridge for a while. As I mentioned previously, I was feeling the blueberry, so I used a small¬†teaspoonful¬†of blueberry preserves.

Sorry for the blurry picture…please refer to beginning of blog on my picture-taking skills ūüôā

10. I then topped each cupcake with fresh blueberries. They looked divine! The original recipe called to dust each cupcake with powdered sugar, buuuuuut I forgot. Ooops. I don’t think it hurt them much ūüôā

I definitely could have made these prettier, but I was in a bit of a hurry when I was doing it.

11. I totally didn’t plan on this happening, but when I took the cupcake liner off of mine, I thought it looked like the perfect little cheesecake! If I were to make these for a party, I would serve them without the cupcake liners. This picture is blurry, but you can get what I’m talking about.

All that was left to do then, was taste test. And the results were SPECTACULAR! Everyone loved them (except Ava, but she’s a weird child who isn’t big on sweets…she just ate the graham cracker crust off the bottom – silly girl). I will DEFINITELY be making these again, and SOON. They were so easy, and SO yummy!

Here are the recipes without all my commentary ūüôā

Graham Cracker Crust (this makes way more than you need):

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, Keebler brand
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted ( or margarine)

1. Combine crumbs and sugar in medium-sized bowl. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly blended.

2  Spoon a heaping teaspoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Pack mixture firmly.

3. Chill at least one hour before filling.

Cheesecake Cupcakes

2 pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup  granulated sugar
1 tsp.  vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup  blueberry preserves
Handful fresh blueberries
2 Tbsp.  powdered sugar for dusting (I forgot to do this in my recipe)

HEAT¬†oven to 350¬įF.

BEAT cream cheese with a hand-held electric mixer until fluffy. Add granulated sugar and vanilla extract, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

SPOON cream cheese mixture over graham cracker crust. Bake for 20 minutes.

ALLOW tarts to cool completely. When cool, top each cheesecake cupcake with 1/2 Tbsp. of blueberry preserves and fresh blueberries. Dust with powdered sugar. And ENJOY.