These pitch-black mini-cheesecakes have a glossy finish that looks perfect in a dimly-lit Halloween party, thanks to dyed-black filling and a maraschino cherry garnish. Baking this dessert in cupcake molds makes it easy to serve individually to party guests without the fuss of extra plates and flatware. This recipe comes compliments of top-rated private chef (and Thumbtack Pro) Michelle Fitzgerald, owner of Let’s Eat Sonoma.
Recipe: Brooding Cheesecake
Makes eight cupcakes.
- 8-10 Oreo cookies
- 1 tablespoon sugar (for the crust)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 eight-ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar (for the filling)
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 drops of black food coloring
- 16 maraschino cherries (2 per cupcake)
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake liners
- Electric hand mixer
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in the cupcake pan.
Make the crust:
Separate Oreo cookies in half, scrape off the icing and put the crispy shells in a resealable plastic bag. Crush them into a fine powder, then add the melted butter and sugar and mix it.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each lined cupcake tin (you should have enough for six to eight pans). Press gently with the button of the scooper or spoon to form even layers. This layer should occupy less than a quarter of the cupcake molds.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese and ½ cup of sugar until light and fluffy. It’s ideal to do this with a hand mixer. Be diligent with this step, because if the cream cheese and sugar are not creamed they’ll clump up with the egg. Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg until fully blended in. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and black food coloring until well combined.
Pour the batter into the cupcakes molds until they’re about 90 percent full. Bake in the center of oven for 30-35 minutes until set (center may still jiggle a bit, but will firm up).
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing the cupcake liners. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour for best flavor. Top with dark maraschino cherries.
Plus: black magic candied apples
For a stovetop-only alternative to Brooding Cheesecake, Michelle adapted this recipe from Baked by Rachel for our Halloween photoshoot. If baking isn’t your thing, try making classic candied apples so much creepier with a drippy layer of dyed-black caramel.
This post is part of our 2017 Halloween recipe series. For more food and drink recipes, see all the stories here.