Copyright Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved
Cream cheese cupcakes
There is a cupcake truck here in Chicago that sells a cupcake unlike anything I have
ever tried and when I thought about it, I realized they were selling cream cheese
cupcakes, not traditional regular cake cupcakes ... not that they tout as such, but I
figured it out

I also finally figured out a recipe

Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap. For
optimal texture, allow the cake to return to room temperature before serving.


For the Lemon sugar almond topping  
1/4cup sugar
1 1/2teaspoons finely grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2cup sliced almonds

For the cupcakes
2 1/4cups flour
1 1/8teaspoons baking powder
1 1/8teaspoons baking soda
1teaspoon extra fine salt
10tablespoons butter, ART
1cup plus 7 tablespoons sugar
1tablespoon finely grated zest plus 4 teaspoons juice from 1 to 2 lemons
4large eggs
5teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4cups sour cream
8ounces cream cheese, softened


For the topping
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together sugar
and lemon zest in small bowl until combined and sugar is moistened. Stir in almonds;
set aside.

For the cupcakes
Spray 12 cup cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside

Beat butter, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and lemon zest at medium speed until
light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with
rubber spatula

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, about 20 seconds, and scraping
down beater and sides of bowl as necessary. Add 4 teaspoons vanilla and mix to
combine. Reduce speed to low and add one-third flour mixture, followed by half of
sour cream, mixing until incorporated after each addition, 5 to 10 seconds

Repeat, using half of remaining flour mixture and all of remaining sour cream. Scrape
bowl and add remaining flour mixture; mix at low speed until batter is thoroughly
combined, about 10 seconds. Remove bowl from mixer and fold batter once or twice
with rubber spatula to incorporate any remaining flour.

Reserve 1 1/4 cups batter and set aside

Spoon remaining batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Return now-empty bowl
to mixer and beat cream cheese, remaining 5 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, and
remaining teaspoon vanilla on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened,
about 1 minute

Add 1/4 cup reserved batter and mix until incorporated. Spoon cheese filling mixture
evenly over batter, keeping filling mainly in the center; smooth top with an offset
spatula. Spread remaining cup reserved batter over filling and smooth top

Gently swirl filling into batter using figure 8 motion, being careful to not drag filling to
bottom or edges of pan. Firmly tap pan on counter 2 or 3 times to dislodge any

Sprinkle lemon sugar-almond topping evenly over batter and gently press into batter
to adhere

Bake until tops are golden and just firm, and a cake tester inserted comes out clean
(skewer will be wet if inserted into cheese filling), 22 to 27 minutes

Remove pan from oven and firmly tap on counter 2 or 3 times (top of cupcakes may
sink slightly)

Cool cupcakes in pan on wire rack 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling
completely before serving