Last night I was seized with the most irresistible urge to bake something. But what to bake? Nothing chocolate. I’m sick of chocolate, if you can believe it. Maybe a pie? Nah, too much work — no pre-made pie crusts in the freezer, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to start rolling out my own crust at 9pm on a Wednesday. Then I remembered that Dan had been talking earlier in the day about his love of apple turnovers and sugary apple filling. Apple cheesecake cupcakes are topped with something similar to apple pie filling…
The first time I made this recipe was 2 or 3 years ago, the summer of my 1L year. I was working at the FDA in Rockville, MD, but living in DC. My friend Karen, who was also working there, lived down the street from me, and we took the Metro to work together every morning. After several failed attempts to get her to go running with me after work (Dan was living with me that summer, but he is lazy), I devised a plan to change her mind. I whipped up a batch of these cupcakes, then casually started to bring her one every morning “for breakfast.” Karen has IBS, so she is generally a light eater, but she has a weakness for cheesecake. After a few days of eating cheesecake for breakfast, she started feeling guilty about indulging her sweet tooth — but, these cupcakes were too good to resist! It was easy to bully her into working out with me after that. Love you, Karen!
When I made these cupcakes the Summer of Karen’s Downfall, I used peach/mango topping, but any kind of fruit would work just as well. This was my first time using apples, but I think I like them the best. If an apple pie and a cheesecake were to fall in love, mate, and produce a baby, these cupcakes would be it. Dense and creamy, not too sweet, with a hint of tang from sour cream, and topped off with sweet apple pie filling. Yum!
Apple Cheesecake Cupcakes
– 1-1/2 8oz packages of cream cheese
– 2 eggs
– 2/3 cups sugar
– 1 tbsp vanilla
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
(Sour cream topping)
– 1 cup sour cream
– 2 tsp vanilla
– 3 tbsp sugar
– 1 large apple, peeled/cored/diced
– 4 tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp white sugar
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tbsp corn starch
(1) Preheat oven to 300. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
(2) In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy.
(3) Add eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix well.
(4) Spoon cheesecake mixture into cupcake liners, each about 2/3 full.
(5) Bake for 40 minutes. Pull out of the oven and set aside to cool. Leave oven on, and do not remove cupcakes from the tin.
**Cupcakes will come out puffy, but the middle will sink in drastically — this is good!
(6) In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Mix well.
(7) When cupcakes have cooled, spoon about a tablespoon of the sour cream topping into the sunken middles of each cupcake.
**Use more if necessary — I like to see a heaping mound peeking over the edges of the cupcake.
(8) Stick cupcakes back in the oven for 5 more minutes.
(9) While you’re waiting for the cupcakes to cool again, start the apple topping. Place apples in a small pot or saucepan, and cook on high heat.
(10) Add sugars and stir. The apples should start getting juicy right away.
(11) Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Keep stirring.
(12) When the apple pieces start to look soft, throw in the corn starch. This will thicken up the juices and leave you with something similar to preserves.
(13) Let the apple mixture cool before spooning on top of cupcakes.
(14) Cupcakes are good warm, but even better after some time in the fridge/freezer.