I volunteered to bring some baked goodies for a rowing event earlier this year, and for some reason I decided that I would really like to bring something that looks nice. Some bits of Googling later, I came across a lovely recipe for cheesecake cupcakes with raspberry swirls at Annie’s Eats. These not only look amazing: they taste amazing. You get all the joys of cheesecake in a nice, manageable quantity. And cupcakes are much easier to make than ordinary (big) cheesecake. In short: make this recipe.
Cheesecake is quite forgiving, as long as you’re gentle with it. I didn’t need as much cheesecake as the original recipe, and I found it was a little tricky to find cream cheese in the particular quantity I needed, so I modified the original recipe for my purposes. A few weekends ago I did it again with the same tweaks and it worked out wonderfully, so I thought I would share.
My recipe makes about two thirds of the original, so it will give you a little over two dozen cupcakes. I added some cottage cheese, and I’m using “medium” cupcake cups, which are 2.5″ in diameter at the top and a little under 1″ tall.
Those extra raspberries in the photo provide scale, and deliciousness. I don’t mention them in the recipe, but I’m sure you know what to do. I’m sticking with the raspberry swirl here, but I should mention it’s really easy to make a few different toppings and mix them in as well. I’ve listed some I have tried at the bottom.
Fair warning: I am not an experienced chef, which is why my website is about software and not cooking. But, hey, it worked for me! (And of course, the recipe at Annie’s Eats is bound to work perfectly. It’s tried and tested and very well photographed).
For the crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tbsp sugar
For the filling
- 500 grams reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature (use blocks of cream cheese if you can)
- 100 grams cottage cheese (try to squish it a little and drain some of the liquid)
- 1 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- ⅔ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
For the raspberry swirl
- ¾ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Preheat the oven to bake at 325° F, and line some muffin tins with cupcake liners. If you have a lot of empty spaces in the tin, fill one of those spaces with a bit of water. You may need to come back to this step a few times (depending on how many muffin tins you have), and that’s okay.
- In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp sugar and melted butter until they are well combined and moistened.
- Press up to 1 tbsp graham cracker filling into each cupcake liner, and push it down. This isn’t exact, of course, but your crust should be even, and about 5 mm thick. Bake these until the crust is set – about 5 minutes – then set aside to cool. Leave the cupcake liners, with the crusts, in the tin: you’ll be using it again very soon.
- Meanwhile, put the raspberries in a blender, and blend until they are smooth. Run the purée through a fine strainer to remove the seeds, then stir in the 2 tbsp sugar.
- Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and the cottage cheese until it is light and fluffy. Blend in the 1 cup sugar until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the salt and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Pour 2-3 tbsp of the cheesecake filling into each cupcake liner, on top of the graham cracker crust. (You might want to add a little more or less depending on your cupcake liners. Keep an eye on them in the oven and you’ll be fine).
- For each cupcake, dot ⅓ tsp of the raspberry purée in a few dots on top of the cheesecake filling. Then, using a toothpick or a chopstick, swirl the purée to create a marbled effect.
- Bake the cupcakes until the filling is set; about 22 minutes. Transfer them to a cooling rack until they have cooled to room temperature, then transfer them to the refrigerator for 4 hours. The cupcakes will be quite puffy when you remove them from the oven, but they’ll settle back down once they have cooled. Be extra careful with them until that happens, though.
- Now is a good time to plop on some decorations, if you were planning to. Once your cupcakes have settled a little, lightly push a fresh raspberry onto each one, or maybe sprinkle some chocolate flakes on top. You can do that later, too, but once the cupcakes cool you’ll need to find other means to make things stick.
Just try not to eat them all yourself, and you’re done. Good luck!
Some extra toppings you could try…
The original recipe calls for raspberry swirls, and that works beautifully. But you might like to try something else, too. Chocolate sauce and blueberry sauce have worked well for me. It’s hard to be exact, so be prepared for some leftovers. Careful, though: the raspberry purée is quite light, but the others aren’t always like that. If your topping seems to sink into the cheesecake filling, make sure you spread it out lightly. If you leave a particularly heavy dot, it could punch a hole in your cupcake.
I was meaning to try orange sauce, too. If you do, I’d love to know how it goes.
- 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tbsp lemon juice
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat, mashing the blueberries slightly, for about five minutes. Once the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Use just the liquid part with your cheesecake. You can save the blueberry bits to sprinkle over the cupcakes. Or you can eat them, because blueberries are delicious.
- ⅔ cup cocoa
- 1 ½ cup white sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and let it boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Allow the sauce to cool before adding it to the cheesecake.
The flakes in the photo are from a block of white cooking chocolate and a lemon zester. Just add them when the cupcakes come out of the oven and they should stick nicely.