My brother-in-law bought us a tub of Ben & Jerry’s strawberry cheesecake ice-cream for dessert when they came back earlier this month and I was hooked. So, I thought I should bake the cupcake version and boy, do I love them! Pieces of fresh strawberries are used in this recipe and when baked, they moisten the cake and texture of the cupcakes. The crumbled digestive biscuits sprinkled on top add to the flavour of a cheesecake base. This is really an easy bake – no fuss and so straightforward – and I recommend you make them for tea! Another winner from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook!
*If you have silicon cupcake cases, it may be better to use them as the strawberries at the bottom can make the paper ones go soggy but I’m not too bothered with that.
You will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour
a scant 3/4 cup caster sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
12 large strawberries, chopped into small pieces (depending on how big your strawberries are. I used about 6 and others for garnishing)
180g digestive biscuits
12-hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases
For the frosting:
300g icing sugar, sifted
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and the unsalted butter in a free-standing electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
2. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract and beat on medium speed until all the ingredients are well mixed (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Add the egg and beat well for a few minutes to ensure the ingredients are well incorporated.
3. Divide the chopped strawberries between the paper cases. Spoon the cupcake mixture on top until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating the icing sugar and the unsalted butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat it until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.
5. Roughly break up the digestive biscuits and put them in a food processor (alternatively, you can just pound them). Process until finely ground. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the cream cheese frosting on top and finish with a sprinkling of finely ground biscuits. You can decorate it with half of a strawberry.