Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes

My husband is obsessed with salted caramel in desserts.  He was first exposed to it with these sweet and salty brownies, and then with these salted caramel chocolate chip cookie bars.  And now these cheesecakes.

If there is anything better than cheesecake, then it'd be cheesecake cupcakes.  A perfectly sized, individual portion of cheesecake.  And if there is anything better than cheesecake cupcakes, it's salted caramel cheesecake cupcakes.  I kind of feel like I should just stop talking right now and share the recipe, because I don't know what else to say about these.  They have effectively usurped any previous favorite dessert and are basically the best thing ever.

You start with a graham cracker crust.  Then you mix up a standard cheesecake batter, mixing in salted caramel sauce so the entire cheesecake is permeated with that wonderful flavor.  And just before baking, swirl in more salted caramel sauce.

If you don't want to make your own salted caramel sauce, the one from Trader Joe's is actually pretty good, so you can save time by buying that.  Also, when swirling the caramel into the cheesecake batter, it's easier when the caramel is warm - I just heated it in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, and it was much easier to swirl.  

Salted Caramel Cheesecake Cupcakes
basic cheesecake adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes
makes 16 cupcakes

For the crust:

  • 3/4 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 6 graham crackers)
  • 1 1/2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • pinch of salt
For the Cheesecakes:
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs salted caramel sauce, plus more for swirling (just under 1/4 cup)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 muffin tins with liners.

Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each lined cup (a shot glass works really well for pressing the mixture down).  Bake about 5 minutes and set muffin pans aside while you mix the cheesecake batter.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy.  With the mixer on low speed, add the sugar in a slow steady stream.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Add the salt, vanilla, and then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition.  Stir in the 3 tablespoons of salted caramel sauce.

Spoon 3 tablespoons of filling into each lined muffin cup.  Then dollop about 1/2 teaspoon (total) of salted caramel sauce in a few spots (this works best if the sauce is warm).  Use a toothpick or skewer to swirl the caramel into the batter.

Bake 22-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until the filling is set.  Remove from the oven to cool completely, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.


Anonymous said...

i am probably just as obsessed with salted caramel as your hubbie! it's the best, and these little cupcakes are the perfect way to eat it :)

donna said...

I am obsessed as well with salted caramel...This look super easy to make that I might actually venture on making it. :)

Anonymous said...

Like your husband, I am also obsessed with salted caramel. It's so good!

These cheesecakes look absolutely delicious!

Laura said...

Girl, you did not just post these! I can't even imagine how good they are...

Anonymous said...

I think the recipe might be missing an ingredient. It says for the filling to "add the sugar in a slow stream" but there is no sugar in the filling recipe. What am I missing? These look delicious, can't wait to try them!

Josie said...

Thanks for catching that! I've updated the ingredient list.

Lynsey said...

These look and sound amazing. I have a weakness for salted caramel and cheesecake; this is definitely a dangerous combination! Thanks for sharing.

Julie @ Table for Two said...

oh Josie, these look absolutely amazing! I love that they have a graham cracker crust and resemble a cheesecake. Miniature is always better for some reason. Salted caramel is one of my favs because of the salty sweet. So delicious!

Joanne said...

You know who ELSE is obsessed with salted caramel? Yours truly. Want.

Lauren @ Part Time House Wife said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmm. The title alone makes me want these now!!!! The pictures are even better at teasin my taste buds! I'm so making these!!!!

Curious Country Cook said...

I love both salted caramel & cheesecake! These look sinful, I can't even imagine how good they taste.

Annie said...

Effffff. These look amazing.

Anonymous said...

If you make this with a crushed pretzel crust instead of crushed graham crackers it is AMAZING

Cupcake Daily Blog said...

Absolutely lovely! Thanks for sharing...

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