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Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Rich, vanilla sour cream cupcakes swirled with strawberry jam, baked right on top of a buttery brown sugar graham crust, topped with a smooth cheesecake frosting and finished with a ripe juicy glazed strawberry.


The graham cracker crust beneath each little cupcake, is the same crust I  use on my classic cheesecake recipe; buttery, sweet and perfectly crunchy. 

On top I baked my favorite vanilla sour cream cupcake recipe and added a little bit of tangy lemon to add a little something extra to the flavor and make it more cheesecake-like. I also used an egg white, instead of an egg yolk, to make these cupcakes extra light and airy, just like a cheesecake.

On top of the batter, I swirled a little bit of strawberry jam to make it look just like a cheesecake. I loved creating the pretty marble effect on top and think it makes these cupcakes extra special.

You really could enjoy these cupcakes as is... but to take it to the next level, I topped them with a swirl of my favorite cream cheese frosting, a little sprinkle of left over graham cracker crust and a fresh strawberry glazed in the strawberry jam.

The best part about these cupcakes is you can swap out the strawberry for your favorite fruit flavor, like blueberry, raspberry or cherry, by using different flavor jams or pie fillings.

These cupcakes are so impressive and so much fun to eat. From the surprise crust at the bottom, to the luscious cheesecake frosting, to the juicy glazed strawberry on top.



Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted  



Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cup (140g) cake flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 cup (144g) granulated white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/57g) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature 
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, room temperature 
  • 3/4 cup seedless strawberry jam, divided

Frosting:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar), sifted 
  • 12 strawberries, for garnish


Directions 

Prepare Crust: 
Combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups. Spoon about 1 tablespoon into bottom of each baking cup and press down with the bottom of a cup or your fingers (use about 1 teaspoon per cup with mini cupcakes); reserving extra for garnish. 


Prepare Cupcakes: 
Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

With an electric mixer, beat together cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt on low speed for about 20 seconds. Add softened butter and oil and mix for about 1-2 minutes to coat the flour, until mixture resembles wet sand.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream until smooth. Slowly add the wet mixture on low speed. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Increase to medium speed and beat for about 1 minute until batter is smooth.

Distribute the batter between the baking cups, filling about 2/3 full. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of jam on top of each cupcake and swirl with a toothpick to create a marbled effect.

Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (About 10 minutes for mini cupcakes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare Frosting: 
With an electric mixer, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in cream cheese and vanilla until smooth (make sure it is at room temperature so you don't get any lumps in your frosting). Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time on low speed, until fully incorporated. Scrape down bottom and sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high speed and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. 

Frost completely cooled cupcakes and top with a sprinkle edges with graham cracker crumbs. Stir remaining strawberry jam until smooth, dip strawberry in jam and place on top of each cupcake. Pour extra jam over cupcakes, if desired.