My P.S. volunteered my chocolate cheesecake for a fundraiser a couple of weeks ago. It was a Decadent Desserts fundraiser at a coffee shop on the UND campus. We were leaving town to go to another political dinner and wouldn’t be able to attend. What a shame to miss a room full of desserts! But I did contribute mini chocolate cheesecakes.
I usually make the chocolate cheesecakes in jars for holidays. To be honest, I doubled the recipe and made the fundraiser 24 cupcake sized cheesecakes and about 20 in the half pint jars for us here. It seemed cruel to miss out on the dessert! The recipe below is only for a single batch of cupcakes.
I set the cream cheese bricks out on the counter to reach room temperature early in the day. By 6 pm they were ready.
I melted the margarine in a bowl in the microwave then stirred in the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Usually I prefer a regular graham cracker crumb with these chocolate cheesecakes as they are super rich and very chocolate. But I went the step further this time and used chocolate grahams. It was a little more complicated as they don’t comb pre-crumbed. I had to research and figure out how many crackers to use to have 1 1/2 cups. The answer was: 9 whole crackers.
I placed a teaspoon scoop measure of crust into each of the 25 cupcake papers and pressed it down gently with my tart tamper.
I melted a bag of milk chocolate chips with 1/2 cup evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture was smooth. It takes awhile for those tiny bits to melt, you’ll need patience! The set the saucepan off the heat and let it cool to room temperature. This is best done ahead of time but honestly I usually forget and end up waiting for it to cool while I assemble the rest of the ingredients.
In a stand mixer or with a large bowl and a hand mixer, I creamed the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. I scraped the sides down several times while mixing. I added the eggs, one at a time, making sure they were fully mixed before adding the next. Finally I beat in the melted chocolate, scraping the sides several times while mixing.
I used a tablespoon cookie scoop to ladle the cheesecake mixture into the cupcake papers. It’s a bit messy no matter how I’ve tried it.
I placed one of the 12 cup cupcake tin into the preheated oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. When I checked, they weren’t firm and I let them bake another 5 minutes. I set the tin on a rack and baked the second tin of 12 cheesecakes for 20 minutes. I let both pans cool to room temperature, then placed them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
When the cheesecakes were cooled I made the caramel sauce by melting a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits with 1/2 cup evaporated milk in a saucepan.
I poured the melted caramel into an old ketchup squirt container and used it to drizzle the caramel over the cheesecakes.
The next day, for the fundraiser, I placed each cheesecake cupcake in a clear plastic cup then placed the cups in clear plastic bags. I tied a ribbon around the bag with a tag that read “Chocolate Cheesecake with Caramel Drizzle”. I bought the Solo plastic cups at the grocery store. At the Dollar Tree I found packages of 25 clear bags, 40 clear forks and a spool of thin silver ribbon each for $1.
I made the tags in Photoshop and my template can be downloaded by right clicking the picture of the template above.
I didn’t take pictures of the cheesecakes in half pint jars I made for us here since I posted that four years ago. I posted the link again, in case you forgot I did it earlier. The cheesecakes were as delicious as ever, even without the caramel drizzle. I was in a rush to get the fundraiser cupcakes delivered then we had to leave town for another political dinner. I decided we could do without the extra drizzle of caramel.
Choclate Cheesecake Cupcakes
Rich and creamy chocolate cheesecakes baked muffin-sized, drizzled with caramel sauce.
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup margarine
- 16 oz cream cheese (2 packages)
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips (1 bag)
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- Caramel Sauce for drizzling (see below for recipe)
In a medium saucepan melt chocolate chips in evaporated milk over medium heat, stirring constantly, until no lumps remain. Cool.
Melt margarine and mix with graham crumbs and 1/4 c sugar. Scoop a tablespoon of crumbs into each cupcake paper. Press down gently with a tart tamper or the bottom of a flat glass.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture.
Pour cheesecake batter into cupcake cups leaving about 1/4″ space at top. Bake at 300 degrees until center is set (15-20 minutes). Remove from oven and place on a rack. Bake the second pan.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Drizzle with caramel and refrigerate overnight in covered container.
- 11 oz bag Kraft Caramel Bits
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk