Happy Thursday Party Girls!
I spent the weekend trying out this new recipe (it was such a hardship, trying all those cheesecake batches!) because I am on this huge miniature dessert kick right now and wanted to come up with a fun little dessert that uses less dishes for a dinner party Saturday. One of my favourite things about cupcakes are that it’s pretty much no mess and no clean up, which is a major reward when you have dinner dishes to deal with. But I was tired (!!!) of traditional cupcakes, so I decided to whip up some cheesecake cupcakes!
I had to play around with different recipes because some ingredients are called completely different things in Canada (why? I don’t understand why graham cracker crumbs are the grocery store equivalent to a treasure hunt but okay) and the sizes didn’t always match up and it was just apparently a big deal. SO, ultimate I adapted this recipe and it turned out perfectly!
Oven Temperature: 325°F
What You Need:
For the crust:
- 1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (contrary to what they tell you at the store, these are NOT with the cookies, but instead are with the flour, for absolute no logical reason I can think of)
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp. sugar
For the filling:
- 3 packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1½ cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
For the raspberry swirl:
- 6 oz. fresh raspberries (6 oz. is generally the size of one container you find in the produce section!)
- 2 tbsp. sugar
1. Line cupcake pan with paper liners. I used the pretty parchment paper ones I’m currently obsessed with, but any will work. You can customize the liners for your party theme, or just let the cheesecakes speak for themselves with classic liners 🙂
2. Make the crust first. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl. I used my mixer because I’m lazy, but a bowl and a spoon really will work just as well. You want the dry ingredients to be moistened. If the butter isn’t wet enough sprinkle some water to get the moisture you need.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon into the bottom of each cupcake liner, pressing down with the back of your spoon or a small cup to flatten everything out.
Pop the cupcake pan in the oven for about 5 minutes, until everything browns up and is a little firmer. Let them cool on a rack for a few minutes.
3. While everything is baking/cooling, make your raspberry puree. I found the original recipe too complicated (it involved using a mesh sieve to remove the raspberry seeds, but who has time for that when they’re cooking a full dinner?) but if that sounds like something you’d be into you go right ahead! I skipped that step because of the whole time thing, and we didn’t taste a single seed in the cheesecakes so I don’t think its absolutely necessary.
If you have a food processor this will be a lot easier, but I just used our blender and it worked fine, albeit a bit of a pain to wash after (those darn blenders!). Pour the raspberries and sugar into the processor/blender and mix until there are no chunks. Insert whole sieve draining process here if interested.
Go ahead and put the puree aside now while you take out your crusts or whatever you’re up to. You’ll need it later once the filling is done.
4. Now it’s time to make the filling! Dump the cream cheese packages (I used Philadelphia Light because it made me feel less guilty when I ate six cheesecakes in one night later…) into your mixer (it’s a lot of heavy ingredients so even if you aren’t lazy, use a mixer if possible!) and beat on medium speed until fluffy. If this is confusing, basically it will be a lot softer to poke with a fork than before (the Party Girl’s scientific definition of fluffy, you’re welcome!).
Once you’ve gotten to the fluffy level, stop and add in the sugar. Blend it around a bit (basically just give it about ten seconds mixing on its own) and then add in the salt and vanilla. The original recipe suggested beating the eggs one at a time, but really? I added one beat egg after the vanilla and mixed for a minute, and then I just beat the last three eggs together and added that. Honestly your mixer can handle beating an egg so don’t stress about that part, but again, if you feel like individually beating four eggs your cheesecake won’t taste worse for it!
5. Spoon a couple tablespoons over the crust in each liner. You want them more full than normal cupcakes because while they rise in the oven they flatten out again. Maybe about 3/4 full for a guide.
6. Add a few dots of raspberry puree on each cupcake. Use a toothpick to mix around the puree. I made little swirls because I wasn’t feeling that creative, but if you make a ton of little dots in a big spiral and then draw a toothpick through the centre of each dot you can make a bunch of little hearts. You can also just dump one big spot on each cupcake and call it a day, or coat the entire top with it. There’s room for creativity!
7. Bake until the filling is set, probably no more than 22 minutes (that’s what the recipe called for and that’s exactly what my oven needed, and my oven NEVER cooks as per any recipe, so I think 22 might be a magic number). The recipe calls for rotating halfway through but we didn’t have time for that (we had a chicken meltdown around that time) and they turned out just fine, so don’t stress if you forget!
8. Let cool on a rack until room temperature, and then chill in the fridge for a few hours. We gave ours maybe 2 hours before we couldn’t resist and dove in and they were great, but the ones we had the next day were even better, so I don’t think there’s any particular science to the cooling:deliciousness ratio!