Do you have “helpers” in the kitchen? I remember helping my mom and my grandmother with the easiest and lowest-risk-of-the-house-burning-down steps of their cooking procedures when I was a kid. Now I’m into cooking and baking myself, but all the little people around our house have grown up and I’m safe from the “help” of inexperienced little hands…but a certain set of paws sure likes to grace the kitchen counter while I’m working!
Artemis is really a very helpful kitty. Throughout each day and its long list of chores, she’s always eager to pitch in. We should all be grateful for her supervision of folding the laundry:
She also likes to organize the books in our library:
And occasionally she can be found inspecting the water on our kitchen table to ensure cleanliness.
What an industrious feline she is! She somehow finds the time to perform all of the above tasks, as well as a few more (i.e. supervising the family fish, helping my mom make the bed, and sitting on my homework. I can tell by the righteous look on her face as she does this that she truly thinks she’s helping. Either her behind knows how to solve trigonometric equations, or she’s helping me procrastinate!) At the end of every day, you can tell by the long-suffering look in her eyes that she wishes we humans weren’t so needy and helpless.
She’d like to take a vacation, catch up on her beauty sleep, visit the aquarium…but she knows if she left us to do the chores ourselves, the house would probably be falling apart when she came home. So she continues to help us out by sitting on our work and skillfully pawing at our household appliances, ensuring that everything gets done and the house is spick and span. Whatever would we do without our little helper kitty?
As a feline, however, she of course only does things on her terms. She helps when she’s in the mood – otherwise, she’s nowhere to be found. This was the case when I made these cupcakes the other day: maybe she was out catching mice, or enforcing “lap arrest” by keeping my mom or my dad confined in a chair under supervison. Either way, I sort of missed the watchful eye and -ahem! – help of the conscientious cat. I know her assistance would have added a truly special touch to these cupcakes.
Even without the cat’s help, these cuties turned out wonderfully. A simple, sweet cupcake base spruced up with mixed berries and topped off with a rich, tangy yogurt/cream cheese icing…what could be better? To make them even prettier, I added a dollop of strawberry jam to the top of each cupcake. Garnishing with fresh berries would be great too, I just didn’t happen to have any on hand at the time. Too bad Artemis can’t run out to the store and buy last-minute missing ingredients… 🙂
These cupcakes are made with whole wheat pastry flour, and added fiber and nutrients are derived from the almond butter and the fresh, frozen and dried berries mixed into the batter. The yogurt frosting, though not fatty or sugary, is just enough to grace each cupcake with scrumptious goodness! Though they are healthy as cupcakes go, these little guys do not taste healthy at all. My mom liked these cupcakes, and she NEVER eats a dessert that isn’t chocolate.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to those sugary, buttery calorie-bombs that are so easy to crave, if you like cheesecake and cake and don’t want to have to choose between the two, and especially if you enjoy baking and crafting something cool in the kitchen, then go ahead and try these Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes. Get some helpers to join you, and get baking!
Berry Cheesecake Cupcakes
Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tbls brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 eggs (or egg substitute equivalent of 2 eggs)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbls milk
- 1/4 cup organic light agave syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbls Barney & Co. brand Honey & Flax Almond Butter
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 2 medium strawberries, chopped to little bits
for cheesecake frosting
- 1 Laughing Cow brand Creamy Swiss cheese triangle
- 1/2 cup plain lowfat yogurt
- 3 tbls Truvia brand Baking Blend
- 2 tbl strawberry jam
Note: I encourage replacing some of the dried or frozen fruit indicated here with fresh. I just didn’t happen to have much fresh fruit on hand other than the two strawberries I wanted to use up.
Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a regular-sized muffin tin with 12 paper cupcake liners.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix. Add eggs or egg substitute, vanilla, milk, agave, and honey almond butter. Mix well, but do not over mix. Gently fold in the dried blueberries, frozen raspberries, and chopped strawberries.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Frosting: In a small bowl, combine the Laughing Cow cheese triangle, yogurt, and Truvia Baking Blend. Use an electric mixer on a low setting to blend until smooth. Frosting will have a somewhat liquid-y consistency. When cupcakes have cooled, spoon frosting over the top of each. If desired, garnish with additional berries and/or a dollop of strawberry jam.
Chill cupcakes in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy cool.
Even Mr. T. Rex wants a cupcake!
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