Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes are moist and light red velvet cupcakes with big red velvet flavor! They’re baked with a chocolate chip cheesecake filling and topped with tangy vanilla bean cream cheese frosting for a deliciously different twist on red velvet!
It’s February, which means hearts and flowers to a lot of people. Running around to find the perfect gift for their loved one(s), and making romantic dinner reservations at a crazy expensive restaurant for Valentine’s Day. My husband and I did that whole Valentine’s Day thing for the first year we were together, and we both decided that night in an overcrowded restaurant with an overpriced Valentine’s Day menu that we were done doing that.
While we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, I am always a sucker for the red velvet desserts. I haven’t posted a real dessert in quite some time, and I couldn’t let February come and go without giving you something red velvet. These Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes hit all the red velvet marks for me — they’re moist and light, with just the right combination of vanilla and chocolate flavor. They’re topped with a tangy vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, and let’s not forget the added bonus — chocolate chip cheesecake filling.
My friends at Rodelle sent me some of their amazing products, and I thought red velvet cupcakes were the perfect way to use their vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, and cocoa powder all in one shot. Rodelle did not pay me to say that — I just happen to love their products and was lucky enough that they sent them to me. 🙂
As much as I love chocolate, vanilla has a very special place in my heart. That’s probably why I love red velvet so much — it’s mostly vanilla and some chocolate wrapped in a gorgeous red package. Red is my favorite color after all. 😉
Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t decide on less than 5 cupcake photos?
I had the idea to do a riff on black bottom cupcakes, which are basically chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate chip cheesecake filling (for more on black bottom cupcakes, see my post here). The chocolate chips sink to the bottom, hence the name. The chocolate chips didn’t really sink to the bottom here, and maybe they would have if I had used regular sized chocolate chips? No matter…as long as they’re in there somewhere it’s all good for me.
I found that if I made a small indent in the batter that the cheesecake filling sunk into the cakes more, so that’s what I included in the recipe. You can even swirl it into the batter, too — there’s really no wrong answer (especially since we’re talking cheesecake).
When it comes to red velvet, I toss my no food coloring rule out the window and pull out all the stops. I love a beautiful bright red, which means no less than 3/4 an ounce or the whole 1 ounce bottle. Go big or go home, right?
No matter how you celebrate Valentine’s Day (and these would be great for Christmas, too!), these Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes would make everyone forget about $100 bouquets, overpriced dinners, and expensive gifts. They do that for me, anyway. Hearts and flowers are overrated. 🙂
More red velvet love!
- 1¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ¾ cup buttermilk, room temperature
- ¾ - 1 ounce red food coloring (I used ¾ of a bottle)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon apple cider or white vinegar
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar at medium speed for 3-5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix slowly until incorporated and scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed.
- Place the buttermilk in a measuring cup and stir in the food coloring and vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by one third of the milk mixture. Repeat, adding the remaining flour and milk in ⅓'s, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- In a small bowl, add the baking soda to the apple cider vinegar, which will fizz up. Stir thoroughly and add this reaction to the batter, mixing on low speed until just incorporated.
- Using a standard ice cream scoop, scoop the batter evenly into each of the 12 muffin cups. Set aside.
- Place the 4 ounces cream cheese in a medium bowl and mix on medium high speed until smooth. Add the egg and sugar, and beat until combined, then stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Make an indent in the top of the cupcake batter with the back of teaspoon and top with 1½ tablespoons of the cheesecake filling. You may have some filling leftover.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes (check for doneness after 15 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool in the pan 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely.
- Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium high speed until smooth. Add the butter, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla bean paste and mix on low until incorporated, then on medium high for about 3 minutes until light and creamy.
- Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes when they are completely cool (I used Wilton tip 1M). Store leftover cupcakes in an air tight container in the refrigerator, but allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!