Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cheesecake Filling for Cupcakes

You know how the Cheesecake Factory has all of these wonderful half-cheesecake, half-cake desserts like their carrot cake cheesecake and red velvet cheesecake, just to name a few (of my favorites)?  Well, I'm obsessed with those desserts, but I'm also obsessed with cupcakes because they're just such a perfect size and easy to transport, so I've devised my own cheesecake filling for cupcakes.

It may look like a regular cupcake on the outside....

But there's cheesecake on the inside!!!
Cheesecake-filled carrot cake... UH-freakin'-mazing!

And, in case you were wondering, these were Christmas gifts for family...
Warning:  I am not responsible for weight gain or diabetes onset...

I want to let you in on a little secret while I'm talking about cupcakes.  Cupcakes are only as plain as you make them.  Sure, I've slaved away using cake flour and twenty different ingredients to make completely homemade cupcakes, but Betty Crocker isn't bad if you use it as a base.  Those cheesecake-filled carrot cake cupcakes I made last Christmas started out as a Betty Crocker cake mix, but I added extra vanilla, cinnamon, raisins, pineapple, carrot, and pecan chips, and no one could believe I didn't work all day to make a cake from scratch.  Of course, no one also could get past the cheesecake and icing, which were homemade, so I guess it doesn't matter what kind of cake you use as long as you make your own filling and icing.  

So, below is the recipe for homemade cheesecake filling for cupcakes and how to make it work.  I will note that the cheesecake filling only works well with dense cake batter.  If you have a very thin batter, this isn't going to work well for you.

Typical white cupcake with white frosting?  Nope.  Not in this house!

Cheesecake Wedding Cake Cupcakes
White cake with cheesecake and strawberry filling and buttercream frosting

Cheesecake Filling for Cupcakes

1 block (8 oz.) Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar (brown sugar can give it a slightly different taste, which I personally like)
1/8 tsp salt
Vanilla to taste (somewhere between a teaspoon and a tablespoon)
- With a mixer (I love my KitchenAid Professional Line), beat all ingredients until combined
- With your cake batter, fill the bottom of each cupcake tin just enough to cover the bottom with approx. 1/8" of batter (this doesn't have to be perfect, just fill it less than halfway)
- Now, spoon about a large marble-sized amount of the cheesecake mixture into the center of each cupcake tin
  Note:  If you divide the cheesecake batter properly, you will have just enough to fill 24-26 cupcakes
- Fill the cupcake the rest of the way with cake batter, covering the cheesecake completely (you should have about 1/8" of space left between the batter and top of the cupcake tin
- Bake your cupcakes as you would normally (typically 17-20 minutes; they shouldn't bake any differently)

Note:  You may have a slight marbling effect on the top of the cupcake from some of the cheesecake baking through, but don't worry!  When you ice the cupcakes, you won't be able to see the swirl.

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