Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Total Time
Prep: 30 min. Bake: 20 min. + cooling
Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes serve all the flavors of a slice of cheesecake in a handheld treat. No plate or fork required!

Updated: Apr. 03, 2024

One of the best things about baking and making desserts (other than eating them), is the opportunity to get creative. You can take a couple classic dessert recipes, like cheesecake and vanilla cupcakes, and smush them together for a perfectly delightful dessert mashup. These strawberry cheesecake cupcakes fall into that category. They feature all the flavors of strawberry cheesecake combined with the handheld stature of adorable cupcakes. Win-win!

What are strawberry cheesecake cupcakes?

These little sweet treats have three different layers working together to give you all the flavor of a slice of cheesecake.

A graham cracker crust for each cupcake provides the same cheesecake crust. However, instead of a traditional baked cheesecake filling, these cupcakes contain a fluffy, white cake-y middle with fresh strawberries mixed in. And for the top layer, a cream cheese frosting provides the rich flavor that cheesecake is known for. After all, you can’t have a dessert recipe inspired by cheesecake without cream cheese!

Ingredients for Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

  • Graham cracker crumbs: A graham cracker crust sets the stage for these strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, just as you’d find in a traditional cheesecake. You can buy a box of graham cracker crumbs, or simply pulse graham crackers in a food processor to create fine crumbs.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour is incorporated into the cupcake batter to provide structure.
  • Egg whites: Many cake batters call for whole eggs, but this cake uses egg whites only. This creates a light, fluffy cake without introducing the color from egg yolks. This way, you end up with a lovely, pale-pink cake batter.
  • Butter: Butter is key to providing flavor and structure in cakes. It’s creamed with the sugar for aeration, resulting in a light, tender crumb. For the best results, be sure the butter has been softened to room temperature before using it.
  • Strawberries: The cake layer features fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped then folded into the batter. The tops of the cupcakes are decorated with even more fresh berries. And if you should still end up with leftover berries, try any of these recipes with fresh strawberries (be sure you know how to store strawberries properly).
  • Cream cheese: Cream cheese is a main ingredient in cheesecake. Therefore, it’s a main ingredient in strawberry cheesecake cupcakes! Be sure the cream cheese is softened to avoid any unwanted bumps in the frosting.
  • Confectioners’ sugar: When blended with butter and cream cheese, this sugar provides lots of sweetness in the frosting.

Directions

Step 1: Prep the graham cracker base

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners, and set aside. Pulse the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Press tablespoonfuls into the bottom of the liners. Bake for three to five minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

Step 2: Start the cake batter

Place the egg whites in a large bowl, and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In another large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, five to seven minutes.

Step 3: Finish the cake batter

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternately with the sour cream, beating well after each addition.

Step 4: Fold in egg whites and strawberries

Using clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold one-third of the egg whites into the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites and chopped strawberries.

Step 5: Bake the cupcakes

Fill the muffin cups three-fourths full with the batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans and transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Step 6: Make the frosting

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes arranged on a large plate on a wooden surfaceTMB Studio

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Frost the tops of the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with strawberries and additional graham cracker crumbs.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake Variations

  • Use a boxed cake mix: You can use this method using a boxed cake mix instead our from-scratch batter! Use a strawberry cake mix, and skip the fresh strawberries in the batter.
  • Give the cupcakes more color: This cupcake recipe naturally produces a light-pink batter thanks to the addition of fresh strawberries. To boost the color even more, you could add a drop or two of red gel food coloring. Want the cupcakes to be entirely red, perhaps for a party? Mix red gel food coloring into the frosting, or add a bit of food coloring to a piping bag before adding the frosting for a swirled effect.
  • Make a strawberry cream cheese frosting: Want more strawberry flavor? Why not! Instead of a regular vanilla cream cheese frosting, try making a strawberry cream cheese frosting to pair with these cupcakes instead.
  • Top with strawberry sauce: If you have extra strawberries on hand, why not make a quick strawberry sauce? This is a great option for drizzling over the top of the cupcakes to dress them up even more.

How to Store Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Since these cupcakes are topped with cream cheese frosting, they should be kept refrigerated. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Serve the cupcakes either chilled or at room temperature.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake Tips

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes served on a large plateTMB Studio

Can you use frozen strawberries for strawberry cheesecake cupcakes?

In a pinch, you can use frozen strawberries for this cupcake recipe. The strawberries should be thawed and coarsely chopped.

How can you tell cupcakes are done without overbaking them?

You can tell if these cupcakes are done by inserting a toothpick into the center of one of the cupcakes. If the toothpick comes out clean, it means the cupcakes are done!

Watch how to Make Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 20 min
Yield 2 dozen.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • BATTER:
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
  • FROSTING:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Fresh strawberries and graham cracker crumbs

Directions

  1. Line 24 muffin tins with paper liners; set aside.
  2. Place the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a food processor; cover and process until fine crumbs form. Press tablespoonfuls onto bottoms of liners. Bake at 350° for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  4. Beat egg whites with clean beaters until stiff peaks form. Fold a third of the egg whites into batter. Fold in remaining egg whites and strawberries.
  5. Fill muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost tops. Garnish with strawberries and cracker crumbs. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

1 cupcake (calculated without garnishes): 387 calories, 24g fat (15g saturated fat), 66mg cholesterol, 167mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

You can have your cake and eat it guilt-free with these taste-tempting treats. The petite graham cracker “crust,” chopped fresh berries and cream cheese frosting offer all the goodness of cheesecake in manageable portions. —Jill Drury, Milwaukee, Wisconsin