So after hemming and hawing over trying to find a new Valentine’s Day recipe, we decided to just go ahead and do something red velvet, but only use a minimal amount of red food coloring. Therefore, our cupcakes were more pink than red, but they were delicious!
The idea of a filled cupcake was Ben’s. He found this glorious site: Bake it in a Cake and so our cupcake filling adventure has begun!
The actual cupcakes are a Paula Deen recipe, so they are a traditional southern Red Velvet. That means they are more of a cornbread type texture and not so sweet, which I thought was perfect for a filled cupcake. Just keep that in mind if you are looking for a sweeter, more cake-like version.
For the cheesecake you’ll need:
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 teaspoon brown sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cupcakes you’ll need:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting you’ll need:
- 1 pound cream cheese, softened
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
First make the cheesecake. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees (F).
Mix the brown sugar, salt, graham cracker crumbs, and melted butter in a small bowl until all the crumbs are moist. Press the crumbs in an even layer into the bottom of a 9x9 non-stick baking pan.
Combine the cream cheese, and sugar in a mixer on med-high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, on at a time, until the batter is smooth and creamy. Then mix in the vanilla. Pour the batter over the graham cracker crust and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top and the edges of the cheesecake start turning golden brown. The cake will be only slightly jiggly, but still feel firm to the touch.
Allow to cool completely and then store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.
In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.