Mini Cheesecakes

Or, maybe I should call these Individual cheesecakes. But either way, they are the perfect portion so you don’t accidentally eat too much. We all do it. Then you feel sick and wish you hadn’t. So here is the solution. Cheesecake made in cupcake tins. Super easy, great for a party or gathering, and just as delicious (and super cute!). Go start your ovens…

What you will need:

14 standard muffin cups with cupcake liners ( I know, weird number but the recipe I followed said it makes 12 but I got 14, so just in case, have 14 ready πŸ˜‰ )

For the crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

For the cheesecake filling:

2- 8 ounce packages cream cheese
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup sour cream at room temp

To make the crust:

In a bowl, stir all ingredients together until crumbs are moistened. Put about a tablespoon of graham cracker crumbs into each muffin cup. Press down with your fingers.

Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream and beat until incorporated.

Remove crusts from the refrigerator. Evenly divide the filling into each cups, filling almost to the top. Bake for 18-22 minutes until edges are firm but the middle still wobbles a little. Let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, refrigerate 3-4 hours (or even overnight) before serving.

Once chilled, carefully remove the paper liner from the cheesecakes. Serve with drizzled chocolate and/or fruit. Enjoy!

Pound Cake

I’m bored. When I’m bored, I bake. Pound cake is easy and delicious and we had fresh strawberries so…. Done deal. Β This recipe is for an old fashioned pound cake. No added or crazy ingredients. Butter is the MVP. Do I need to say anything else? Go start your ovens.

What you will need:

9 x 5 inch loaf pan, greased

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
13 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add milk and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add in flour mixture until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before inverting. Slice and serve with fresh berries and/or whipped cream! Enjoy!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake

Oh strawberries. How I love you so! I actually wanted to make a strawberry shortcake but I’ll save that for another day. I didn’t have any heavy whipping cream. But this cake is delicious and really easy to make and a great alternative. And it’s perfect for this spring weather we are having in Chicago! So here we go… Let’s go cut some strawberries πŸ™‚

What you will need:

9 inch springform pan, greased

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash of salt
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons yogurt (greek or regular, I used vanilla flavor)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips + more for top of cake
About 12 strawberries cut in half (+/-)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another large bowl (or bowl of your electric mixer), beat butter, yogurt and sugar. Add in egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture and milk and beat until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Place the strawberries cut side down on top of batter. Add more chocolate chips on top as well. Here is what it looked like just before going into the oven:

Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown. Like so:

Let cool on wire rack completely before releasing sides of pan and dusting with powdered sugar. Slice and enjoy!