(This post includes affiliate links for your convenience.)
When you have to be gluten free, it’s always a challenge to find something sweet to eat. There are now several gluten free flours on the market, but some still suggest adding xanthan gum to the mix for the best results. If you bake a lot, xanthan gum might work for you. However, at $11.00 for a 8 oz. bag (and you only need to add about 1/2 tsp. to a batch) those are going to be very pricey cupcakes. Ha! We’re going to circumvent the whole idea of what a cupcake is and create something different. Gluten free cheesecake cupcakes.
These cheesecake cupcakes are brightened with lemon zest. To compliment the cupcakes, they are frosted with just a bit of lemon buttercream. The finishing touch is the fresh raspberry on top – a burst of flavors in your mouth!
Traditionally, a cheesecake base is made from crushed graham crackers. Those are not gluten free. There are gluten free graham crackers on the market, but I decided to use gluten free gingersnaps instead.
Put the gingersnaps into a large ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin into fine crumbs.
Prepare 12 muffin tins with DOUBLE cupcake liners. Make the crusts, cover and refrigerate while making the filling.
Divide the filling evenly into the 12 lined muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes. They will poof up and you’ll think, “Oh no! This is not right!”, but cover and refrigerate them for at least a few hours and they will sink back down.
After refrigerating for a few hours (or even better, overnight) frost with the Lemon Buttercream Frosting and add a fresh raspberry.
- 1 cup crushed gluten free ginger snaps
- 1 Tbls. sugar
- 4 Tbls. butter, melted
- 2 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. Madagascar bourbon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 or more Tbls. heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin tins with double paper liners.
Make the crusts: In a small bowl, combine gluten free ginger snap crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and melted butter. Press a heaping teaspoon of crumbs into the bottoms of the 12 cupcake liners. Press the crumbs with a juice glass. Cover and refrigerate while making the filling.
Filling: On high speed of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy and smooth. Turn the mixer to low speed and add 2/3 cup sugar and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest and sour cream and beat until will mixed.
Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until firm but centers still wobble. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours or overnight.
In a stand mixer, beat 1/4 cup butter until creamy.
Turn the mixer to low and slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the confectioner's sugar and mix until incorporated. Add the fresh lemon juice and the rest of the sugar.
Add 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream and mix well. Add more cream, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.
Scrape down the bowl and add the lemon zest.