Cherry Cheesecake Cupcakes
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 28 vanilla wafers
  • Vegetable oil spray for misting a spoon
  • 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 28 cupcake cups with paper liners. Set the pans aside.
  2. Prepare the filling: Place the cream cheese in a small mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low speed until the cream cheese has softened, 15 seconds. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla and continue to beat on low until the ingredients just come together, 1 minute. Set the filling aside.
  3. Prepare the cupcake batter: Place the cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed.
  4. Place 1 vanilla wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Spoon or scoop 1/4 cup batter on top of each vanilla wafer. Gently dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of filling on top of each cupcake. The cup will be nearly full. Do not shake the pans. Place the pans in the oven.
  5. Bake the cupcakes until they are golden and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for 5 minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake liners, lift the cup­cakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your finger­tips. Place them on a wire rack to cool for
  6. 15 minutes before topping.
  7. Mist a teaspoon with vegetable oil spray and use this to press down on the cupcake to create an indentation. Place a heaping teaspoon of cherry pie filling in the well of each cupcake. Dust with con­fectioners' sugar. The cupcakes are ready to be served.
  8. Store these cupcakes in a cake saver at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Or freeze them wrapped in aluminum foil or in a cake saver, for up to 6 months. Thaw the cupcakes overnight in the refrigerator before serving
  9. Makes 28 cupcakes
Blogged at Recipe from Cupcakes From The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn. MY NOTES: I used cheesecake flavored pudding instead of the vanilla pudding. I used vanilla extract instead of the almond extract. I recommend to anyone that makes these, use a traditional graham cracker crumb/butter mixture for the crust instead of the vanilla wafers. The wafers got soggy and didn't taste like much of a crust at all. I filled my cups 2/3 full with batter before adding the cheesecake filling (I got exactly 28). If you don't want these to rise above the cupcake liners, only fill the cups 1/2 full with cupcake batter before adding the cheesecake filling (you'll probably get around 30-32).