For my birthday boy.

February 28, 2011 at 7:56 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 27 Comments

Today is my hubby’s birthday.

He’s 32 years old. That means I’ve celebrated 12 birthdays with him. Man we’re getting old!

Every year I’ll ask him what kind of cake he wants.

And EVERY year like clockwork its… R-E-D-V-E-L-V-E-T.

The man is so predictable. (So help me. I love this man.)

So this year I gave him what he wanted with a little something extra.

In case you were wondering…. Yes. It’s as delicious as it looks.

I also wanna wish HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my friend Stephanie’s husband too. How cool is it to have birthday twin husbands?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcake Bites
Recipe adapted from Dorie Greenspan via Serious Eats & A Tiny Kitchen via Steamy Kitchen

Print this recipe

Makes about 150 bites*


red velvet cake mix, baked & cooled as directed on box for 9×13 cake (I used Duncan Hines)
graham cracker crumbs
2 package of chocolate candy melts** (I used Wilton)
2 package of vanilla candy melts** (I used Wilton)
3/4 can of cream cheese frosting (I used Duncan Hines)

* If you don’t need 150 bites you can just quarter the 9×13 cake, wrap unused quarters in plastic wrap and freeze for another time. Just remember to adjust the amount of frosting accordingly depending on how much of the cake you do use. Each quarter is approximately 36-38 bites for this recipe.

** You probably won’t use all the candy melts but I like to melt more than less. But don’t worry! It won’t go to waste. After it cools, you can save it and melt it for another time.

For cheesecake***
Four 8-ounce boxes cream cheese, at room temperature (I used Neufchatel instead)
1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1-1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combo of the two**** (I used all heavy cream)

*** This is my absolute FAVORITE cheesecake recipe but if you want to make this recipe easier, you can use a no-bake cheesecake mix or buy one already baked from your local grocery store/bakery instead.
**** I’ve tried all sour cream, all heavy cream and a combo of both and I can’t pick a favorite. They are all good. So use whatever you have in the frig. Personally when I use Neufchatel it tends to be more dry so I like to use all heavy cream.


To make cheesecake—
Grease a 9″ x 2-3/4″ spring form pan and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil. Put the spring form on a roasting pan. Set aside.

Boil some water. You will use this for the water bath later.

In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle (or with a hand mixer in a large bowl), beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft, about 4 minutes. While the mixer is still running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light.

Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition. This will give you a well aerated batter.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream. Pour batter into the spring form. Put the spring form and roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the spring form. Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes or until the top is slightly browned and maybe cracked. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Let the cheesecake sit in its water bath for another hour. After an hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let come to room temperature. When it is cool, cover the cheesecake in saran wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (overnight is better).

To assemble cupcake pops—
Crumble the baked and cooled cake with your hands (or food processor) into a large bowl and add cream cheese frosting.

Form the cake mixture into 1/2″ diameter balls. Or if you are OCD like me, weigh each cupcake ball at about 0.2 ounces. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes until firm. (If you are short on time, you can put in the freezer.)

When the red velvet balls are firm, scoop out about 1 tsp of cheesecake and mold it around the red velvet ball. (Be prepared for messy, sticky, gooey hands! I think I rinsed my hands after every.single.cupcake.ball. No joke!) Roll each ball in some graham cracker crumbs until it coats the whole ball. Return to the refrigerator and chill until firm while you prepare the candy melts.

Fill a disposable piping bag about 1/2 way with chocolate candy melts. Don’t seal so that warm air can escape and nothing explodes. Melt in 20 sec intervals until chocolate melts. Snip a small hole at the bottom of the piping bag with scissors and fill the peanut butter candy mold about 1/2 way.

Grab your cupcake balls out of the refrigerator and slowly push them into the chocolate candy melt so that the chocolate goes up the sides of the mold. This may take some trial-and-error to get it right but be patient and you’ll get it after a few practice runs. Chill the peanut butter molds in the refrigerator for a few minutes so that the chocolate can harden. To remove them from the mold gently squeeze the bottom of the mold until each cupcake bite pops out.

In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the vanilla candy melt in the microwave on 20 sec intervals. Slowly dip your cupcake bite into the candy melt to the edge of the chocolate candy melt. Swirl it around a few times so that the top 1/2 is evenly covered. If your candy melt gets too thick to dip, pop it back into the microwave for 10secs.

Garnish with graham cracker crumbs and/or sprinkles.


Husband rating: A+
Initially when I told him what was inside the cupcake bite, I think he was in shock about combining his 2 favorite desserts together. Even though I didn’t actually get any words, if his facial expression was any indication… I think he loved it.

Wifey rating: A+
Oh so sinful but oh so worth it.

Other rating: A+
I made the cupcake bites for his students and fellow teachers to celebrate his birthday with him and he said everyone raved. Many were upset they couldn’t have more than 1. I think that means they were a success!



  1. This must have taken days!! Happy birthday T!! Your man is a lucky dude!

  2. Oh man oh man do these look good! Happy birthday to your hubby!!

  3. Wow! You really outdid yourself, but they’re adorable and look delicious!

  4. Wow! These are pretty epic and special. Perfect Birthday cupcakes!!

  5. I love making these cupcake bites, but I haven’t made them with cheesecake yet. That’s my next step.

  6. Oh My Word!! These look sooooooooo yummy!! Happy Sweet Birthday to your hubby!!
    Thanks for sharing this yummmmmmmmilious recipe!!!


  7. Yes yes it did. haha

  8. Oh you have to try with cheesecake! I’m a believer. So friggin good…

  9. These are so cool! What a great idea. They turned out really cute. :)

  10. Oh my…mmmm. Cupcake bite heaven!

  11. Aw, hope he had a good bday! I love the look of these, the candles are so cute poking out the top!

  12. I am dying to try this recipe! This looks so devilish-ly good! lol

  13. I can’t wait to try this recipe! It looks difficult, but soo good!

  14. THANK YOU!! These turned out marvelous! A friend of mine recently found out her cancer came back, so I wanted to bake her and her kids a little something to cheer the mood a little, and these did just that!! Thank you for sharing this recipe! It brought smiles to faces and bellies alike! :)

    I think i actually may use this as a centerpiece idea for a bridal shower i’m throwing in June… Would you have any cute Cake Pop display ideas?

  15. So glad you enjoyed my recipe! Do you want cupcake “pop” or “bite” display ideas? You can check out my parents’ anniversary party (here) where I used cupcake bites. I just displayed them on pretty white cake tiers. Classic and pretty IMO. Maybe you could do a simple 6″ cake on the top tier and then other tiers could be cupcake bites. As for pops you could display them in vases filled with candy (that matches the theme colors) so they will stay propped up.

  16. oh my GOSH!! this looks awesome!!! must try!!!

  17. How did I not see this in my RSS till now!? HOORAY birthday twin husbands!! :D

  18. These worked so well! I tried them a couple weekends ago! One word: Delicious!!

  19. I’m sooo glad i found your blog, i had come up with something similiar but was missing a few elements and you filled the blank…now i’m making every kind of flavor i can with different toppings/other than graham cracker…also doing ice cream ones…thanks sooo much for putting what i had in my head to paper/internet…smooches

  20. the one comment i had is on the cheesecake part. are you doing a thin layer of cheesecake, and/or freezing the cheesecake because it tends to not adhere to the cake balls especially when they start to get room temperature. i used a combo of heavy cream and sour cream on the cheesecake recipe so i’m not sure if that made a difference.
    thanks, Elaine

  21. Yeah I’d say it’s not that thick of a cheesecake layer around the red velvet ball. I like to chill it before dipping into the candy melt so it was stiffer and didn’t come off in the warm chocolate. But it’s definitely a step you can skip if you feel the cupcake ball is firm enough without chilling. HTH!

  22. What a combination! They must taste awesome. I’ve only attempted cupcake bites/pops once, they were just okay, so I’ve definitely got to try again.

  23. i love these! i soooo want to steal this for my baby shower to give out as favors! any ideas on boxing sizes that these would fit in perfectly?

  24. LOL. I’ve never seen such a tiny cupcake. I’ll have to add that to my list of things to make :)

  25. Do you have a Container Store near you? I’ve found tiny boxes there that would fit them. HTH!

  26. I’ve seen many small containers that look like they could probably fit them, mainly the truffle boxes! Thank you so much!

  27. Is Pamela Terry driving you crazy yet?

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