"Skip the spring form pan and the water bath - if you own a muffin tin then you could have your own individual sized serving of orange cheesecake with a sweet orange marmalade glaze!"
I was going to start this post with, “We’ve got company coming over tonight, so this will be a quick post…” but then I stopped myself.
And it’s not because we don’t have company coming over tonight (we do) or because this post will have to be a little short because I’m pressed for time preparing for said company (sorry, it will be).
What really got me is that this is the third week in a row that I’ve had to hustle and bustle to get the house ready for friends to come over. Because apparently, unbeknownst to me, I somehow managed to develop a social life.
Granted, my friends and I are doing super nerdy things like playing Dungeons and Dragons, but what we do is irrelevant – for me, it’s all about the good times with good people.
I can be a bit of a hermit and introvert when left to my own devices (like a Gollum-style hermit, where chocolate is my Precious) so it totally blows my mind that these people not only want to come over but keep coming back. Somehow or another, me and my social awkwardness haven’t scared them off yet.
So it is with a mixture of utter perplexity and child-like giddy that I leave you with these orange ricotta cheesecake cupcakes. Or mini orange ricotta cheesecakes. Single serve cheesecakes? Whatever you call them, one of these can be all yours and you don’t have to share.
I’ve been meaning to make more cheesecake recipes for a while now, especially since my last cheesecake post did so well, but most of the recipes I research call for cooking the cheesecake in a “water bath.”
And I know what a water bath is, and it doesn’t sound that complicated to do, but you have to remember: I’m like Gollum, so I just want to hang around in my cave, float in my boat, tell riddles to my Precious, and wait for my food to stumble into my lair.
Well, okay, what I’m really trying to say here is that I’m like 99% of the population in that I like things that are good and I like things that are easy.
What I like best of all are easy good things.
When I read the Wikipedia page on water baths, nowhere did it say anything about “easy good.”
On the other hand, when you put a cheesecake in cupcake form?
I think “easy good” is the actual definition according to Webster.
Granted, there is a bit of waiting involved with this recipe, but that’s a fact of life when it comes to good cheesecake. Good things come to those who wait. Just be like me and wait to make these on a cloudy day while you’re watching Netflix – you’ll have cheesecake before you’re a quarter through a season. Thankfully the actual active steps to make the cheesecake really are very simple.
This was also my first time making a cheesecake with ricotta cheese.
The taste difference was subtle to me, but the new texture obvious – ricotta makes a lighter, fluffier cheesecake, and that just made it all the more perfect for a cupcake-sized serving.
Orange Ricotta Cheesecake Cupcakes
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbled, roughly 7 sheets
- 1 and 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 oz ricotta set in a mesh strainer at least 30 minutes*
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks and whites separated
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 salt
- 1/2 tsp orange juice
Orange Marmalade Topping
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp granulated sugar optional, for sprinkling on top of glaze
For the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.
Crumble the graham crackers in either a food processor (pulsing for 2-3 minutes) or by placing them in a zip lock bag and pounding with a meat deodorizer.
Place graham cracker crumbles and sugar into a small bowl and mix together. In a separate bowl, microwave butter for 45 seconds, then drizzle on top of graham crackers and sugar. Use a fork to thoroughly mix ingredients together. Consistency should be like wet sand.
Scoop a heaping tablespoon of crust mix into each prepared cupcake liner. Use the back of a spoon to securely flatten the crust to the bottom of the cup.
Bake the crusts in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
For the Orange Cheesecake
Using a stand mixer (or a hand mixer + large bowl), add cream cheese, ricotta, sugar, egg yolks (but save the whites!), vanilla, salt, and orange juice. Mix on medium high until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.
Pour about 1/3 of the egg white fluff in with the other wet ingredients. Use a spatula and gently fold together. Add remaining egg white fluff and gently mix until big clumps are gone.
Before adding cheesecake mix to cups, forcefully knock the bowl of cheesecake mix against the counter 10-15 times. This will help remove air bubbles from the batter.
Fill each cupcake liner with about 1/3 cup of cheesecake mix, so that cups are nearly full. Once all cheesecake filling has been distributed, gently shake the muffin tin to even out the tops of the cheesecakes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. When ready the tops of cupcakes should be puffy, slightly cracked, and appear dry (not shiny).
Turn the oven off, but do not open the oven door. Leave cupcakes undisturbed in the oven for another 25 minutes.
Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cupcakes will shrink slightly while cooling, creating dip in the middle.
Orange Marmalade Topping
In a small saucepan, heat orange marmalade and water over medium heat. Whisk frequently until marmalade has dissolved and syrup is bubbly. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Putting it all Together
Spoon cooled marmalade on top of cupcakes. If possible, keep a small gap around the edges of the cupcakes clear of marmalade. This will make it easier to remove the wrappers once the cheesecakes are set.
Chill cupcakes in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or ideally overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to eat. If desired, sprinkle more granulated sugar on top of the marmalade once glaze has set.