When I was in California for the Rose Bowl, we were bumped from our return flight home.
Bummer, I know. Trapped on the Left Coast an entire extra day, in a room at the Westin with a Heavenly Bed. The horror.
So, to liven up our depression, we hopped on a shuttle that took us to Manhattan Beach, the cutest little town I’ve seen yet in California. So sweet. And speaking of sweet, I happened upon a Cupcake Shop – Cupcake Couture.
It was tough deciding on their flavors, but eventually, I locked on to a Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake. Delicious! I knew right away it was something I wanted to recreate once I got home, and a few days ago I did just that.
At $4 a pop, I’d be broke if I didn’t figure out how to make ‘em myself. And so would you. So make them!
Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
- 3 c. cake flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 c. sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1¼ c. buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- 2 teaspoons bourbon
Preheat the oven to 340 degrees (I like a lower temp than 350, I get better results!). Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside. Add the butter to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla bean seeds into the bowl with the butter. Beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 more minutes.
Add the sugar to the butter mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, beating 1 minute after each addition. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and bourbon and beat for 1 additional minute. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another minute.
Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling around half to 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans.
Cream Cheese Frosting
I have a special recipe I like to use, but honestly, it’s really long and quite complicated. Plus – it’s how I make a living, so I have to keep SOME things a secret, right? But – this recipe from the Food Network will more than suffice!
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract.
How to assemble:
Using a piping tip designed for filling, or, using the cone removal method, add a bit of strawberry jam to the inside of the cooled cupcakes. Top with a healthy amount of the cream cheese frosting.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs and stir well, Sprinkle the mixture on the frosting.
Halve some fresh strawberries and add one half to each cupcake.
Serve and enjoy!