When you think filling, think cream cheese. A sweet cream cheese filling is a tasty complement to cupcake batters of just about any flavor. Adding a filling to your favorite cupcake recipe doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, once the cream cheese filling is prepared, getting it inside the cupcake is the easy part. The versatility of the cream cheese base gives you the option of filling the cupcakes before or after they bake.
Whip It Thick
Filling cupcakes with cream cheese before baking is only possible if the consistency of the cream cheese mixture is thick. If the mixture is too thin, the batter absorbs it as the cupcake bakes. Over-blending in a food processor thins the mixture, so it is best to blend the cream cheese with a hand mixer set to the lowest speed. Blend until smooth and creamy, stopping once the ingredients combine.
Dollop on Top
To add cream cheese filling to cupcakes before they bake, fill cupcake tins 2/3 of the way with batter. Spoon a heaping dollop of cream cheese filling on top of the batter. Alternatively, fill the cupcake tins 1/2 full with batter, add the cream cheese filling and then cover with a final spoonful of batter on top. Carefully slide the cupcake pan into the oven after filling. Jostling may cause the contents of the cupcake tins to spill.
Open the Tops
If you prefer to fill your cupcakes after they bake, add the cream cheese once the cupcakes cool. Cut a cone-shaped crevice into the center of each cupcake by angling the blade of a paring knife towards the center as you cut a circle approximately 1/2 inch from the sides. Set the cupcake tops aside and spoon the cream cheese mixture into the crevices of each cupcake. Replace the cupcake tops after filling.
Cream Cheese Squeeze
Use a decorating bag with a round tip to inject the cream cheese filling into the cupcakes without removing the tops after they bake. Simply fill the bag with the cream cheese mix and insert the tip into the top center of the cupcake. Give the bag a light squeeze to extract the filling. Stop squeezing when the cream cheese mixture reaches the top of the cupcake, or insert a metal filling cylinder into the center of the cupcake to control flow.
Remove a package of cream cheese from the refrigerator, allowing it to reach room temperature before blending. Add the room-temperature cream cheese to a large bowl and blend until smooth. For every 1/2 pound of cream cheese, blend in one egg and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Add a few drops of vanilla extract to taste. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside as you prepare the cupcake batter.