Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes with Cherry Hearts

Ingredients

For the cheesecake filling

  •  1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  •  1 egg
  •  1/3 cup granulated sugar
  •  pinch salt
  •  6 ounces mini chocolate chips (from a 10 ounce package)

For the cupcakes

  •  1 cup granulated sugar
  •  1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  •  1/4 cup cocoa powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1/2 cup sour cream
  •  1 tablespoon white vinegar
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  4 ounces mini chocolate chips (from a 10 ounce bag)

  •  powdered sugar, to dust with
  •  1 can cherry pie filling

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Start by making the filling. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and there are no lumps. Add 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Fold in 6 ounces of the mini chocolate chips. (A little more than half the bag, no need to measure). Scrape the mixture into another bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to the empty bowl (no need to wash). Whisk to combine. Then add the water, oil, sour cream, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Beat until combined, then fold in the remaining 4 ounces of mini chocolate chips.
  5. Line about 20 cupcake tins with paper liners (try these heart themed liners!). Add 1 tablespoon of the cupcake batter to each one.
  6. Add one tablespoon of cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake batter.
  7. Divide the remaining batter between the cupcakes. Try to make sure the cheesecake is covered, but it’s not the end of the world if some is peeking out.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 19-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean. Be sure to check in multiple cupcakes, as the chocolate chips can make the toothpick look wet even when the cupcake is done baking.
  9. Let cool completely on a wire rack. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  10. Open the can of cherry pie filling.
  11. Use a paring knife to cut hearts about 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the cupcakes. Scoop out the heart, try not to eat all 20 at once.
  12. Use a sifter to dust the cupcakes with powdered sugar.
  13. Use a small spoon to fill the heart centers with cherry pie filling. I like to add 3 cherries per cupcake.
  14. Eat right away! Store leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge.

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