Yeah, you read that correctly. Though it may have seemed impossible, I have improved upon both the cupcake and the cheesecake by combining them into the cup cheesecake.
I’d seen the idea somewhere on the internet, but most googled recipes for a cup cheesecake use some form of vanilla wafer cookie for the crust and then a cheesecake batter top.
Why use a vanilla wafer cookie as a “crust” when you can make a genuine graham cracker crust?
I actually didn’t have that thought process. My actual thought process when making the cup cheesecakes was more along the lines of…
“Whoops. I made two batches of cheesecake batter and I only have one springform pan!”
Because the cheesecake has to cool overnight in the pan, baking one after the other isn’t really an option.
Instead I remembered the idea of the cup cheesecake. So I grabbed a couple muffin pans (1 cheesecake recipe = 24 cup cheesecakes), inserted liners, inserted graham cracker crust into each one, poured out the cheesecake filling, and baked… for some amount less time than a normal cheesecake bakes for (I didn’t really keep track of time).
When they were done, I had single serving mini-cheesecakes! The size was perfect for casual sharing, something that has always been hard to do with normal cheesecakes (because slicing a normal size cheesecake is a bit frustrating sometimes…)
The only downside was that the second batch of crust had, for whatever reason, ended up way butterier than the first batch, and a lot of that butter leaked through the cupcake wrappers, hence the post it note in the first set of pictures (to keep grease off my desk).
This isn’t really a huge problem, though. Not compared to the amazingness of the cup cheesecake.
Admittedly, this isn’t much of a food adventure for me. Cheesecake has been a lifelong love, and I’ve only really eaten my dad’s cheesecake… which means that when I left for college and realized I wanted cheesecake, I only had to call him and get the recipe. I’ve only had one cheesecake fail and I blame the oven for that one (it was still undercooked after having been in the oven for about twice as long as it usually needs).
Cup cheesecake, however, is still a fantastic experiment that I’m really happy with. I’ll definitely be making these again sometime.
Cheesecake (Recipe originally from a Good Housekeeping cookbook, I think)
coarsely chopped walnuts
tablespoons brown sugar
stick) unsalted butter plus a little more
(8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temp
grated zest of 1 orange
- Smash graham crackers (seriously the best part of the process)
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Melt butter
- Combine crumbs, walnuts, brown sugar, and
cinnamon. Add the butter and toss to
- Save 3 tablespoons of the mixture for the top of
the cheesecake and press the rest evenly and firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. (OR: Evenly distribute into 24 cupcake cups, pressed into the bottom of each cup)
- Bake crust for 10 min at 350°F with a baking
sheet underneath to catch dripping butter (baking sheet not necessary for cup cheesecakes).
- Cut cream cheese into pieces and add to blender
a few pieces at a time with the sour cream.
Add sugar and salt, blend until very smooth. Add eggs and blend
just a short time to avoid air bubbles. Then fold in the vanilla and fold
in the zest.
- Slowly pour batter in pan over crust and bake for about 45 minutes (15 minutes for cup cheesecakes). If the top is not
starting to turn brown and it still looks wiggly (when the center is still
loose and moist and only the very edges are rising but it looks as if it is
about to start hardening), or the bubbles are turning brown, remove from oven
and add the topping. Then bake another
- Let cool completely. Refrigerate until
ready to serve. (My dad prefers to take the cheesecake out of the fridge an hour or so before serving, I like my cheesecake cold.)
- When cutting, use a long slender knife and
wiggle it back and forth (don’t saw).
Rinse or wipe the knife off between cuts. Best when shared with friends!