Mariel here. As you may have noticed, my mom whipped up one of my grandmother’s delicious Chocolate Cheesecakes last week. While the recipe is beyond simple, I don’t have much use for a full-on cake unless it’s a) somebody’s birthday or b) I’m trying to impress a group of friends. Cupcakes on the other hand, well those are an everyday delight – pre-cut into portion-controlled servings and everything. Plus they freeze well, so if you’re not toting a batch off to Jimmy or Josie’s kindergarten class, you can store a reserve supply in an airtight freezable container and defrost ’em anytime a craving comes a-calling.
OK, so that was a long-winded way of saying that the following recipe dishes up flavors inspired by mom’s Choco-Cheesecake, but the vehicle is just a bit different. And I lightened up a few of the ingredients, although there’s still plenty of butter…this is baking after all. One final note: You’ll notice that these cakes are slightly more “shrunken” than a non-cream cheese cuppie; that’s because they’re denser, moister and generally more decadent…or at least they are in my humble opinion.
Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Makes 18-20 cupcakes
Ingredients for the Cupcakes:
1 cup flour – stock
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa – stock
1 cup sugar – stock
1 teaspoon baking powder – stock
½ teaspoon baking soda – stock
1/8 teaspoon salt – stock
8-oz package 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature – $1.69
1 stick unsalted butter (½ cup), room temperature – stock
2 teaspoons vanilla – stock
3 egg whites – stock
¼ cup skim milk – stock
Ingredients for the Frosting:
8-oz package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese -$1.69
1 cup confectioner’s sugar – stock
1 teaspoon vanilla – stock
½ teaspoon lemon juice – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $3.38
Cost per cuppie: $0.19
Directions for Cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin pans with 18 paper liners.
2. Very gently whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
3. Using an electric (or hand) mixer, beat the sugar and butter in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in the cream cheese just until it forms a thick creamy paste. Beat in egg whites. Add the vanilla and beat on high for 5 seconds. Beat the in flour/cocoa mixture, alternating with the milk. When all ingredients are combined, beat on high for 5 seconds to blend.
4. Using a spoon, divide the batter among cups, filling about ½ full. Bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes in pan. Then, gently remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack. Do not attempt to frost while they’re warm.
Directions for the Frosting:
1. Using an electric (or hand) mixer, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until blended. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and beat on high for 5 seconds.
2. To frost these cupcakes, I suggest using a regular spoon-size amount on each. Add a dollop on top and then, using the back of the spoon, gently press down on the icing. Don’t worry about frosting right to the edge, these cupcakes actually look prettier with just a fluffy little mound right in the middle (as pictured).