One of my all time favorite desserts has got to be cheesecake. I love the graham cracker crust and all that cream cheese goodness in every bite. Then one day, while in one of my gluttonous moods, I thought to myself...what if I took the delicious glory of cheesecake and transform it into a cupcake? Voila, thus came the creation of the all mighty "strawberry cheesecake cupcakes". In some instances I would almost have to say that these are better than cheesecake, with the cream cheese goodness in the icing, graham cracker crust for the bottom, AND THEN a moist vanilla cake with fresh strawberries in every bite!!! *Exhales* I am in foodie heaven.
Ingredients for Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
- 3/4 c all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 c + 1 T sugar
- 1/2 t vanilla
- 1/4 c sour cream or plain yogurt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup fresh strawberries, hulled & coarsely chopped
- 1 package of graham crackers, smashed into crumbs
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4-oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 T butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare 6 - 8 muffin tins. Sprinkle about 1 t of the crushed graham cracker into the bottom of each prepared muffin tin. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder & salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter & sugar until light & fluffy and then add the vanilla & beat on a low-speed. Then add half the flour mixture until incorporated then mix in the sour cream or yogurt. Add remaining flour & mix until just blended. In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peak appear, about 2 minutes. Gently fold 1/3 of the egg into the batter until combined, do not over mix the egg whites or the cake will fall flat. Add remaining egg and fold in the chopped strawberries. Fill each muffin tin about 3/4 of the way and bake for about 20 minutes depending on your oven. You can test the doneness by sticking a toothpick through the center, if it comes out clean it is ready to take out!
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Spread icing on cupcakes and garnish with fresh cut strawberries -- yields 6-8 cupcakes.