Vanessa's Recipes

Posts tagged ‘Cupcakes’

Apple Honey Mini Cheesecakes

Rosh Hashanna is upon us!  (Sept 24, 2014) You know what that means!  Well, I didn’t know what that meant until about a year ago, when we decided to begin attending a Messianic congregation.  While we aren’t Jewish, and many of our congregants aren’t either, some are, and as a whole, we do like to observe and appreciate many Jewish elements of food and Feasts.  I learned that some traditional foods for Rosh Hashanna (which is the Jewish New Year, by the way, Happy 5775!) are apples and honey. 

Since our congregation is on the small side, I’ve learned to make cupcakes instead of sheet cakes for special occasions.  People seem to prefer the individual servings much more than having to deal with slicing and plating a piece of cake.  So, I started making things like meatloaf and cheesecakes in cupcake forms for our monthly buffet style meals.  I am pleased to say the smaller size does seem to be pretty popular.  I almost never have to bring home leftovers.  Smile

I did a lot of searching for recipes that combined apples and honey, that weren’t too traditional.  I opted to do a cheesecake version but all I could find were ones that combined apples and caramel.  So, I improvised. 

I found this recipe below from Paula Deen’s site, and it seemed simple enough.  I omitted the caramel and used honey instead. 

I also made my own crust (recipe at the bottom of the post) and used parchment liners in my cupcake pans.  I found a little custard cup in one of my cabinets and used that to press down the graham cracker mix into the cupcake cups so the bottoms of the cheesecakes would be firm.  You could use a spoon and pretty much get the same result. 20140605_122720

I mashed the apple filling to make it small enough so that there weren’t these huge pieces of apple in the cupcake sized portions.  My old fashioned potato masher worked just fine for this, so I didn’t have to pull out the stick blender or anything electrical.  So much easier on the clean-up! 20140923_154741

The cooking time remained the same.  Took me 35 min to get these mini cheesecakes baked. Then I chilled them overnight in the fridge.20140923_15475220140924_145755

I did choose to use the stick blender to puree the apple/honey mix on the top. 


I opted not to use the pecans on top as a garnish.  We have some elderly folks at our church and I was concerned they wouldn’t want to eat things with tiny nuts. 

All that’s left to do now is eat them! 

Happy New Year!

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Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen SHOW:


1 video | Caramel Apple Cheesecake (02:32)

Total Time: 56 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 36 min
Yield: 8 servings
Level: Easy


  • 1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • 1/4 cup caramel topping
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 pecan halves, plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon 3/4 can apple pie filling into the crust. Add the remaining 1/4 can filling to a small saucepan and mix with the caramel. Heat over low heat until melted and spreadable, about 1 minute.

Whip the cream cheese in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla and eggs and beat until smooth, a few seconds. Pour this over the pie filling.

Bake until the center of the cake is set, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Spoon the apple-caramel mixture over the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly. Decorate the edge of the cake with pecan halves and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate the cake until ready to serve.

From Caramel Apple Cheesecake Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network


To make your own crust:

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Mix together the graham crumbs, sugar and butter and press into an 8 or 9 inch pie plate, OR 24 cupcake cups. Set aside.


Hanukkah Cupcakes

Our Hanukkah celebration at church was postponed a week, so we’re celebrating this weekend.  In honor of Hanukkah, I made cupcakes, natch.  🙂  It seems it’s what I do, and I’ve discovered that I really, really like to make cupcakes.  No one ever frowns at you when you present them with cupcakes.  They break out in wide, happy smiles like kids at a birthday party.  I love that.  🙂


I gave a little flavor boost to these by adding equal parts (1.5 teaspoons each) of vanilla and almond extracts to classic white cake mix.  The house smelled like a Danish while they were baking, mmmm!  It’s not too strong, just a hint of flavor, so that’s good.  I didn’t want anything overpowering.  I let the kids have 2 each – my taste testers, since I don’t each cupcakes anymore. 

I used most of 2 tubs of frosting – one I left classic white, and one I tinted blue, but I didn’t add any extracts to the frosting. 

And I managed to find some blue and white cupcake liners.  Not specifically Hanukkah, but a pretty match with the colors.


Speaking of cupcake liners, I got tired of the mess accumulating in my baking box.  So I found a handy dandy way to organize them with those empty frosting tubs I love so much.  Plus I got to use my label maker, too.  Yay! 


How about you, what sorts of things do you take to social get-togethers?

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Cherry Bombs

We have a new girl in the office where I live.  I wanted to welcome her, so I made cupcakes.  Hey, it’s what I do.  🙂 

Remember that cherry extract I got a few weeks ago?  Yeah, it rocks in the plain white cake mix.  I used 2 teaspoons.  Also, because it’s Autumn and I wanted to play a little – I’ve been in a mood, not sure why – I added some food coloring.  McCormick has these Fall Colors that are really nice.  I used 10 drops of the burgundy in this batch.

They looked okay going in, and the kids said the batter tasted good.  But I still kept my fingers crossed anyway. 


And they turned out okay!  Whew!


I added 2 drops of regular yellow food coloring to plain white frosting and mixed it up right in the little tub.  I was going for an ivory look.  I thought that might have more of an Autumn feel than stark white. 

And of course, I had to use the Autumn cupcake liners and sprinkles I picked up recently, too.  🙂





I let the kids have one, testing purposes you know!  They said they turned out awesome, yay! 

But wouldn’t you know, when I took the cupcakes over to the office to meet the new girl and say hello, it was her day off!  *facepalm* 

Oh well.  The other ladies said they might leave her some, lol. 

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