Believe it or not, there was a time when I thought I didn’t like cheesecake.  It’s true.  And then I finally tried a piece of real cheesecake – with chocolate chips – and I was hooked.   A few years later, I went on a trip to the northern Rockies and we stopped somewhere in Wyoming at a small dairy / eatery for a travel break. It was there that I first tried strawberry cheesecake ice cream and became hooked on that, too. So it’s no surprise that The Girl Who Ate Everything caught my attention with this recipe.

These cupcakes have it all – a graham cracker crust under a delicious vanilla cupcake filled with fresh strawberries topped with a cheesecake frosting.  Just wow.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Ingredients 

Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 2 sleeves of graham cracker crumbs (about 18 whole crackers)
  • 1 stick of butter (8 Tablespoons), room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar
Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped (and more for garnish)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 (8 ounce) packets of cream cheese (16 ounces total)
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter (16 Tablespoons)
  • 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 16-18 muffin tins with cupcake liners. Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter and sugar using a food processor. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the crushed graham cracker into the bottom of each prepared muffin tin. Press down using fingers and bake for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove immediately from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks appear, about 3-4 minutes, be careful not to overbeat. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then add the vanilla and beat on a low-speed. Then add half the flour mixture until incorporated then mix in the sour cream or yogurt. Add remaining flour and mix until just blended.
  4. 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 to see if they are done by sticking a toothpick through the center, if it comes out clean it is ready to take out!
  5. For the cream cheese frosting:In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar slowly in small batches, beating on low speed until incorporated. Once all sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy. Refrigerate for 1 hour (I didn’t do this). When ready to serve, spread icing on cupcakes or use a pastry bag with a star tip. Garnish with freshly cut strawberries and graham cracker crumbs and refrigerate until ready to serve. I definitely think these cupcakes are best when they have been chilled and then taken out of the fridge for a couple of minutes to soften.

strawberry-cheesecake-half

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