Cheesecake is one of the most amazing things in existence. I almost always order it for dessert when I go to a restaurant. It is one of my favorite things in this world…probably right up there with cupcakes. Now the mere thought of combining the two...omigosh…I don’t think it is possible for me to be anymore ecstatic than that.
These babies do just that.I made these last night for my friends birthday and I LOVED them! Now these guys aren’t supposed to be frosted but I have this philosophy…unfrosted cupcakes are pretty much just muffins…and muffins are ugly cupcakes. Actually wait…I like muffins…muffins are like me during the week when I’m going to class and work I throw on my sweats, pull back my hair…I may look like hell but I’m still me. Cupcakes are me on the weekends…I’ve got my heels on and I’m ready to party. I’m content with that analogy.
So anyways I respected the recipe half-way by frosting half with cream cheese frosting and leaving the other half naked. I got this recipe from Allrecipes.com. My tweaks are rather subtle...as always
A chocolate cupcake with a cream cheese chocolate chip filling in the middle
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel, it has less calories and fat than cream cheese and tastes just as good)
1 egg (I use brown eggs, they're pretty and have a smaller yolk which equals less cholesterol)
1/3 cup white sugar (I use a sugar/splenda blend which halves the sugar so therefore I used 1/6 cup of sugar)
1/8 teaspoon salt (sea salt is preferred)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used about a cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup of regular all-purpose flour)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder...dark is where it is at!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil: I hear this is more heart healthy, whether or not this is true is beyond me, but what I don't know can't hurt me right?)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2.In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
3.In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
4.Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. (I found that 20 minutes was sufficient, any longer and your cupcakes will be way too dry)
I made the frosting from scratch because when it's made with love, it tastes oh-so-good. I also get a good arm workout because I am too poor to own a mixer (someone please buy me a light pink kitchenaid mixer!) so I use the good old-fashion fork method. Again, this recipe comes from Allrecipes.com. I halved the recipe so that I only had enough for half of the cupcakes.
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel, its definitely the way to go)
1/2 cup butter, softened (I used light "I Can't Believe its Not Butter")
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
After frosting, I sprinkled the cupcakes with clear sprinkles. They looked glittery and glamorous and oh-so-pretty!