Cheesecake, in a muffin. Enough said.
I have been making these muffins for a long time, years probably. They are simple, versatile and most of all they taste so good. The ratio of effort vs. reward is heavy on the reward side.
The crust is amazing. It’s a real cheesecake crust made from graham crackers and Nilla Wafers in muffin form. In my opinion that’s the best part. I usually don’t use boxed cake when baking (yeah, I’m old school like that) but in this case it just works in the muffin. Then the jam filling adds that sweet fruitiness and the cheesecake topping – well, there are no words.
The great thing about these guys is that you can do whatever to transform them. You can change up the jams to strawberry, cherry, grape even. In the fall, you can use pumpkin butter – anything goes. They keep pretty well too so you can make them a day ahead for a crowd – p.s. if you make them for a group, also bring a print out of the recipe. You will be asked for it.
One last thing, as I was baking these I was reminded that I still owed my friend Claudia this recipe from earlier this year. So, Claudia – here it is, enjoy!!
The beginnings of that amazing crust. Yes, you are right – those are Nilla Wafers.
So when you put the warm butter with the sugar into the Nilla Waffer and Graham Cracker crumbs, the lovely scent that emanates from it makes me want to bust out a spoon and eat it. There. I admitted it.
Next, you’ll want to take the crust mixture and spoon a few cookie scoops into each buttered (or sprayed) muffin hole. I like using the mini cookie scooper because it really aids in pressing in the crust up the sides of the tin.
You’ll want to go about 1/2 or 2/3 of the way up the side of the tin with the crust.
You also want to keep a bit of the mixture for the topping – like less than a 1/4 cup. When you are done you want to set aside.
So I neglected to take a picture of the muffin part of this recipe. Sorry. I was excited.
After you make the muffin part mixture, set aside.
Next up, the cheesecake part. Sugar, egg, lemon juice and cream cheese.
Now you see the muffin mixture part. I really did make it, I promise.
Drop these into each crust with a large ice cream scoop. I love scoops – they make everything uniform. Such a helpful kitchen gadget with more than one use.
The preserves part. Less is more here.
I learned the hard way. Since the preserves are more dense than the muffin mix they tend to sink, the more you have the more they sink and end up making your crust jammy and sticky and hard to get out. Take my advise.
This is an important part, don’t skip it. It really prevents the sinking of your preserves. Cut the preserves into the muffin mix very gently.
Now the cheesecake part. Add your cheesecake mixture to the top of the jam and muffin mix.
I have a confession. I was in a rush (as usual) and my cream cheese wasn’t totally soft so my mix was a little lumpy. I was going to gloss right over it but I thought I’d just be really transparent (and human).
Turns out, you can’t even tell after they come out of the oven. Fancy that.
Take a bit of the crust you set aside and sprinkle it on top.
Hot out of the oven.
See the cheesecake and preserves?
Another ‘in the pan’ shot, couldn’t help it.
Now, the crust. Its a real, cheesecake crust people.
A little farther away.
I’ve gone overboard on the finished muffin shots, I know.
The inside. Crust, muffin, preserves and cheesecake. Yup, perfection.
I hope you get a chance to make these muffins soon and if you like pumpkin and want to make a pumpkin version please write to me and tell me how it goes – its on my list for Fall.
Triple Berry Cheesecake Muffins
1 box moist white cake mix
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cups graham cracker crumbs (crushed)
1 cup nilla waffers (crushed)
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup berry preserves
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the batter, in a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, softened cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and 1/4 cup sugar. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a smaller mixing bowl, beat together all ingredients for cheese filling until smooth. Set aside.
Divide half of the graham cracker mixture among the 12 muffin cups and lightly press into bottoms. Fill cups all the way to the top with muffin batter. Place 1 teaspoon of cherry preserves on top of muffin batter and with a teaspoon, lightly cut preserves into batter.
With the back of a spoon dipped in water to keep from sticking, indent the batter and top with a dollop of filling to cover the cherry preserves. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker mixture over the top of muffins. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before removing muffins from pan.30