Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ll be honest, I am not a massive fan of Valentine’s Day, I think the last time I was excited about it was in school hoping someone would give me a card/flowers (spoiler alert: it never happened). However, I do think I can get excited about v-day food!
I have known for a while that I want to make something for this day, however, I was not sure what. I kept thinking about red velvet cupcakes, but I felt like it was such an obvious thing to do, a bit of a florals for spring situation, but then I thought about the cheesecake situation! A cupcake filled up with cheesecake?! That I can do! Especially when oven cooked cheesecakes are really, really not my forte.
What is red velvet?
I feel like a lot of people hate on red velvet by saying they are just red cupcakes (I am looking my bf right now). However, they are not just that, in addition to the normal base ingredients to make a cupcake and the red food colouring, red velvet also has cocoa powder and it’s presented with a cream cheese icing. Back in the day the red colour was achieved by mixing certain ingredients which would cause a chemical reaction and turn the batter red, thankfully, now we have food colouring to make our lives easier! One of the ingredients used that you can still see in some recipes is vinegar, this is one of the things that used to cause the reaction, however, since we don’t need it anymore, I have decided to avoid it all together.
How about the cheesecake
The cheesecake is super easy to make and is basically a mix of an egg yolk, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract, that is it! The filling should not be too runny, just a bit softer than normal cream cheese, if yours is too liquid, simply add a bit of flour, see the picture below for an idea of the consistency of your mix. I built my cupcakes by adding a layer of cupcake batter, a layer of cream cheese mix and then another layer of cupcake batter. The cheesecake makes the inside of the cake super soft and moist so it’s the perfect combination with the light sponge around it.
Let’s talk about the icing for a minute
I want to talk about the icing on these cupcakes because it has caused a bit of a debate in my house. The icing in these cupcakes is simply cream cheese and sugar, that is all. Whenever I make icing, I always try it as I am making it just to make sure I get the taste I like, so I always start with less sugar (or less of other ingredients) and increase them slowly until I get the desired taste. With these cupcakes, I had initially intended to add 120 gr of sugar, however, I initially added only 80 gr and when I tasted it I found it perfect! However, my boyfriend thought it was not sweet enough. This is why I always suggest tasting your icing as you make it.
One last note!
I found these cupcakes were tastier the day after I made them, the ingredients have more time to set and mix inside the cupcake. I put mine in the fridge.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
Ingredients (makes 14-16 cupcakes):
For the cupcakes:
- 120 ml of vegetable oil
- 200 gr of sugar
- 120 ml of milk
- 155 gr of greek yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tsp and 1/2 of red food colouring
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 260 gr of flour
- 2 tbsp of cocoa powder
- 230 gr of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 60 gr of sugar
- 1 egg yolk (medium sized)
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 500 gr of cream cheese
- 80 gr of sugar*
- Preheat the oven at 170 degrees celsius.
- Start with the cupcake batter. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and milk and mix until combined. Then, add in the yoghurt and vanilla extract and mix again. Continue by adding the eggs and whisking them in. Then, add in the red food colouring and finally the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and cocoa powder). I mixed my dry ingredients with a hand mixer to make sure they incorporated properly. Set aside.
- Now, make the cheesecake filling by simply mixing all the ingredients with a hand mixer until incorporated.
- Line your cupcake tray with cases and using an ice cream scoop or simply a spoon add one layer of cupcake batter, then top it with the cheesecake mix and finish it off with more cupcake batter. Make sure you don’t fill up the cupcake case to the brim so they have space to grow and they don’t spill over.
- Cook in the oven for around 25 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Please note that the skewer may come out white from the cheesecake mix, that’s fine, we just don’t want it to come out red, make sure you go all the way to the bottom of the cupcake when you pierce it.
- Once they are cooked, let them cool down completely.
- For the icing, simply whisk together the sugar and cream cheese and pie it over the cupcakes.
*If your cheesecake filling seems too liquid, simply add a little bit of flour to thicken it up (see picture above).
* This amount of sugar is perfect for me, however, you may like it sweeter, add the amount stated and try it, if it’s not sweet enough, slowly add extra sugar until you get the desired taste.