My dreams came true when I combined two of my favorite desserts into one culinary masterpiece.
Enter the Cake-On-Cake Cupcake. I was brainstorming recipe ideas in my bakeshop when I remembered the little 4″ layer cake in the chiller. Normally I’d devour one of those little guys but I thought “Wait a second, would I be crazy to slice this up and use it to top cupcakes? Would it work!?” Sure enough it did; and I wondered why I hadn’t thought of such an idea earlier.
Enter the red velvet cheesecake version. I always top red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing. I was baking an 8 pound batch of cheesecake for my gigantic cheese slice cake and I had a bit of batter left. I baked it in a 4″ pan and left it to cool. “Isn’t that a cute little cheesecake?” I thought. The next day I was baking red velvet cupcakes and I thought back to the cake-on-cake cupcake. Stroke of genius.
I’m sharing the recipe for my favorite cream cheese icing as well as a scaled version for my New York Cheesecake below. The cheesecake recipe will fill a 4″ cake pan.
- 5 ounces cream cheese
- 2 ounces white sugar
- 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup cookie crumbs (sugar cookies, vanilla wafers, oreos, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Prepare the crust
- Preheat your oven to 325* F and bring a kettle of water to boil on the stove (you'll use this to bake your cheesecake in a water bath)
- Grease a 4" round cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper
- Combine the cookie crumbs, butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl and work the mixture together until it looks sandy
- Press the cookie crumbs into your prepared pan using a glass or measuring cup. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes then move to a cooling rack and reserve
- Prepare the custard
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the cream cheese until smooth
- Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl and paddle
- Add the egg and blend on low speed until combined
- Add the sour cream and vanilla and blend on low to combine
- Pour the custard over the warm crust and give it a few light taps on the counter to remove any air bubbles
- Place the pan into a slightly larger cake pan (a 6" or larger pan will work.) Carefully pour about 1" of boiling water into the larger pan to create a water bath
- Bake the cheesecake for 40-45 minutes or until the center barely jiggles (a thermometer inserted into the center should read (155*-160*F.)
- Turn the oven off, open the door slightly and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 30 minutes
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool completely
- Wrap the cheesecake and then refrigerate overnight before cutting
- *TIP* Place your mini cheesecake in the freezer for two hours before cutting to ensure clean slicing!
The cupcakes can be frosted with your favorite frosting, but I like to use my favorite cream cheese icing recipe!
Dan’s Cream Cheese Icing
Yield: About 2.5 pounds, enough to frost 2 dozen cupcakes
10 ounces cream cheese, softened
6 ounces unsalted butter, softened
22 ounces confectioners sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or buttermilk
In the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth then add in the cream cheese and beat for 1 minute.
Scrape the bowl and add half of the confectioners sugar. Mix on low to combine.
Add the remaining sugar and mix until smooth, scraping your bowl and beater as needed.
Raise the mixer the medium speed and beat for 1 minute
Add the vanilla and heavy cream and blend on low until smooth. Raise the mixer to medium speed and beat for 1 minute longer.