Chocolate cupcakes, chocolate cream cheese frosting and a surprise cheesecake centre.
So it’s been a couple of months now without making a cupcake. Sniff! Well, this past weekend I thought it was time I remedy that indescribably appalling situation. I had a great excuse though. A work friend had a baby shower to go to which, of course, required cupcakes as any good event does.
Remember those cupcakes I was busy making, while darling hubby was cooking us those Braised BBQ Beef Short Rib Tacos? Well this is them. Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes. You’re totally welcome 🙂
Ok, so I don’t think I’ve met a cupcake I didn’t like but for chocolate, these are my favourite, favourite, favourite cupcakes. They’re moist and rich and perfectly tender. The melted butter and dark brown sugar make sure of that. When I made the chocolate cream cheese frosting the cocoa does take over the cream cheese flavour quite a lot so I felt the need to add a vanilla cheesecake centre.
I seem to have a difficult time NOT putting a filling in my cupcakes. I just like to take the opportunity to add more flavour. No, actually, I know what it is. I’m a frosting girl at heart (cake girl second).
True story; I actually eat cupcakes from the bottom up. I break off the bottom half and eat that, then when I eat the top half I can get a large amount of frosting with it. By removing the bottom half first the ratios are much, much betterer 🙂 Yer, right …. ok, moving on …
I made a chocolate bark to go on top (totally optional) with pieces of cheesecake biscuit base and then sprinkled it with sparkly gold edible glitter. So pretty. And there were leftovers so we demolished them too.
So how about it. Get baking, peeps 🙂 You know you need some Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes in your life.
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 1 cup (128g) plain (all-purp) flour
- 1/2 cup (40g) cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (bicarb)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (113g / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) caster sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, at room temp
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
FOR THE CHOCOLATE BARK
- 200 g dark (50%) chocolate
- 120 g digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
- 60 g unsalted butter, melted
FOR THE FILLING AND FROSTING
- 250 g cream cheese, softened
- 2 ¼ cup icing (confectioners / powdered) sugar
- ½ cup thickened (heavy) cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80 g unsalted butter, softened
- The leftover cheesecake filling
- ¼ cup cocoa (I used dutch processed for the colour)
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced and line your muffin tins with paper cases. This recipe makes 13 cupcakes – a bakers dozen.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix well to combine.
- In a separate bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the melted butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl each time and beating well after each. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
- Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir through gently until just combined. Now add half of the buttermilk, Mix gently again. Continue like this until all the flour and buttermilk is combined… just. It is important not to overmix or be too heavy handed otherwise your cupcakes will turn out dense and tough.
- Fill the cupcake cases only to about half full. Bake in the oven for around 18-20 minutes, turning the pan around in the oven half way through to make sure they bake evenly. When a skewer inserted comes out with just a crumb or two, they are done.
- Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack
For the Cheesecake Base
- Place the biscuits in a sealed plastic bag and use a rolling pin the crush them into crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix well.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Melt the 2 chocolates together in the microwave, in 30 second increments, stirring well between each until fully melted. Pour it onto the lined baking tray and spread out quite thinly with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Sprinkle the biscuit crumbs over the top and then glitter if using. Place in the freezer to set hard.
- For the cheesecake filling* Add half of the cream cheese, ¼ cup of icing sugar , half the cream and the vanilla to a bowl and beat on high until smooth and fluffy. You will only use around 3 tablespoons to fill the cupcakes. The remaining filling will be added to the frosting.
- Once the cupcakes have cooled, cut a small hole in the top of each in the centre and fill with a teaspoon of the cheesecake filling.
For the frosting
Add the remaining cream cheese, cream and cheesecake filling to the butter and beat well until smooth. Add the cocoa and beat again. Now add the rest of the sifted icing sugar ½ a cup at a time and beat well to incorporate, then give it a final beat for around 2-3 minutes on high to get it nice and smooth and whipped.
- Top the cupcakes with frosting. Break the chocolate bark into shards and poke them into the top of your cupcakes.
- I use an Australian standard 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
- I use corn starch a lot in my baking. Cake flour is a combination of all-purpose and corn starch but in Australia is not so readily available. I use this combo in my recipes a lot instead of using cake flour.
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- I love these silicone muffin trays for the shape these give my cupcakes and because they're so flexible.
- A medium ice cream scoop is perfect for portioning the cupcake batter
- A handheld beater or stand mixer will make mixing easier.
- A silicone spatula makes sure nothing gets left behind
- A cupcake corer makes cutting the little holes in the centre so simple
LOOKING FOR MORE CUPCAKES? CLICK HERE
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