Spring is almost here, honest it is.  Once spring arrives, summer isn’t far behind so why not start planning for your summertime dessert treats?  Cooking Classy has the perfect treat – a lemon flavored cheesecake cupcake topped with fresh strawberries.  Oh yes indeed.

Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecake Cupcakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (from about 2 cups cookies)
  • 3 Tbsp salted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
For the cheesecake
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp packed finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I always recommend using Philadelphia for cheesecake)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Strawberry Sauce
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together wafer crumbs, melted butter and 1 Tbsp granulated sugar until evenly moistened.
  • Divide mixture among 12 paper lined muffin cups, adding about 1 1/2 Tbsp to each cup (use paper liners, don’t use foil liners) and press mixture in each cup into and even layer.
  • Bake in preheated oven 5 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  • In a food processor, pulse together 3/4 cup granulated sugar with lemon zest (if you don’t have a food processor you can just rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips).
  • Add cream cheese to a mixing bowl and pour sugar mixture over cream cheese and using an electric hand mixer set on low speed, blend mixture together just until smooth.
  • Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing just until combined after each addition. Blend in sour cream and heavy cream. Stir in lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla extract.
  • Tap mixing bowl against counter top to release some of the air bubbles, about 30 times.
  • Divide mixture among muffin cups, pouring mixture over crusts and filling each nearly full.
  • Bake in preheated oven 20 – 25 minutes until centers only jiggle slightly (cupcakes will become puffed and domed but will sink when removed from oven).
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours.
  • Serve with strawberry sauce.

For the Strawberry Sauce:

  • Add strawberries, 1 Tbsp sugar and 2 tsp lemon juice to a food processor and blend until pureed. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.