Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

We love a good dessert mashup here. That’s why I was so excited for my boyfriend’s birthday because I know cheesecake is his favorite, but wanted to give him some traditional cake, too. These cupcakes are the perfect combo and came out super cute! The crunch of crust adds a great texture variety to the fluffy cupcake. I absolutely love the strawberry flavor, but feel free to experiment with any berry (or really any fruit). They seem sophisticated and complex, yet they come together fairly easily and please even picky eaters. Plus, they are the perfect treat for Easter and Mother’s Day coming up.

7 Nabisco Graham Crackers

2.5 tbsp melted vegan butter/coconut oil

1.5 c flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c strawberries

1/4 c almond milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c coconut oil/ vegan butter

1 c sugar

1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water

1/4 c aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)

cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake tin. Blitz graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Combine with coconut oil and crumbs until combined. Use a spoon to evenly distribute mixture between each cupcake tin, pressing the layer down with a spoon to create 12 mini crusts. Bake for 7 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. In a food processor or blender, place strawberries and blitz into a puree. Whisk in almond milk and vanilla. In the bowl of a paddle fitted stand mixer, beat vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add flax mixture and gradually mix until incorporated. Add aquafaba and let beat for about 2 minutes. Add half the dry mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the strawberry mixture and let run again until combined. Finally, add remaining dry mixture and mix until you have a cohesive batter. Divide batter evenly between your premade crusts in the cupcake tin and bake for about 23 mins. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool before frosting. Frost and top with graham crackers before serving.

cream cheese frosting:

1 8oz tub of vegan cream cheese

1/2 c vegan butter/coconut oil

1/8 tsp salt

3.25 c powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Beat vegan cream cheese, coconut oil/vegan butter, and salt in the bowl of a paddle fitted stand mixer for about 2 mins until fluffy. Gradually sift in the powdered sugar on low until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and beat on medium for about another minute until fully combined.

Tips/Things I Would Try:

  • I want to try filling these with strawberry jam or adding strawberries to the batter. I’ve only made this recipe once and I usually like to slightly stick to it the first time around, but I’ll definitely update if I try it and like how it goes.
  • I use kite hill vegan cream cheese, but feel free to use whatever you have available. There are also many ways to make vegan cream cheese at home, so do a quick google search if you’re struggling.
  • Remember that the crusts will be baked for a second time, so don’t worry if they’re not perfect browned.

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