Orange Kissed Cheesecake Cupcakes with Strawberries

My thoughtful mother-in-law is always telling me not to "fuss" when I'm planning a family gathering. Since I enjoy what she terms "fussing" -- making a nice meal and dessert -- I often don't heed her advice. But last week, when we celebrated her birthday, my hectic schedule made me give in. We called out for pizza and wings ... but I did manage to make a reasonably nice dessert. Since she likes cheesecake, I made these cheesecake cupcakes, which I adapted from a recipe from Family Circle magazine. I was happy with the way they turned otu -- they had a subtle orange flavor and were just a tad firmer than I usually prefer for cheesecake.

The little cheesecakes form a dome on top as they bake, just like regular cake cupcakes, and then sink down as they cool. Don't make the mistake I did, and put too many graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the cupcake liner. When I went to add the topping, there just wasn't room for it, so a fair amount of it spilled onto the outside of the cupcake liners. (That's why my photos show the opened cupcakes.) If you like a thicker crust, or just want to make sure your cupcakes look tidy, you may want to make a 13th cupcake or a few mini cupcakes. (Note: a friend made these after my original post. She made a few more than 12 and found them to be too small. Don't make this into more than 13 cupcakes. She used raspberry jam and raspberries and liked the flavor.)

My mother-in-law enjoyed the cupcakes, and also mentioned that she appreciated the portion control (as did I). They'd also be a good dessert to have for Easter. Speaking of which ... I won't be posting again until after Easter, so I'd like to wish my friends, family and readers who celebrate Easter a joyful day!

Orange-Kissed Cheesecake Cupcakes with Strawberries
Rah Cha Chow recipe

12 graham cracker squares, crushed
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
Foil cupcake liners

1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons strawberry jam (could use raspberry instead)
12 large strawberries, for garnish (could use raspberry instead)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 12-13 muffin pan cups (or 12 muffin cups and a few minis) with foil cupcake liners. (Yes, you really need them to be foil -- but there are some cute and colorful foil liners out there.) Place 1 scant tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs in each -- just enough to coat the bottom.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat until blended. (Be sure to keep scraping the bowl throughout the mixing process to keep the mixture smooth.) Beat in sour cream, juice, zest and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour and salt.

Spoon about 1/4 cup batter in each cup (I use an ice cream scoop). Bake at 325 for 35 minutes.

While the cupcakes are baking, stir together the sour cream and jam. After 25 minutes, spread about 2 teaspoons of the sour cream mixture on top of each cupcake and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove cupcakes to rack to cool completely.

Slice strawberries without cutting all the way through the stem end (see picture). Fan out strawberries and place on top of cupcakes.


Patsyk said...

They are so cute! I love making cheesecake in portion controlled sizes like this so I can enjoy without being tempted to overdo it!

MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College said...

Mmm I don't always like cheesecake but these look AMAZING! I love that they are little and have those gorgeous strawberries on top. Have a wonderful Easter!

Sue said...

Your blog is looking so great, Tracy! And all your cupcakes are really beautiful. These sound fantastic.

I hope the Easter bunny is good to you!