Cheese cupcakes have a texture of a light but chewy cake that is packed with amazing flavor of cheddar cheese. With just the right balance of sweetness, richness and a note of saltiness, these cheese cupcakes are a perfect filling treat any time of day.
Merienda is a Filipino term for snack and we Filipinos are very keen on our merienda. There is always the typical hunger pangs that strike between 2 and 4 pm, and we take that seriously. As a kid though, I remember not being too crazy about all the typical Filipino snacks. While my elders usually feast on typical merienda food like pancit, turon (banana fritters), banana-que (deep fried sugar coated bananas), pandesal, ensaymada, and puto, I was munching on something that is more…western. Cheese cupcakes.
There were once these commercial cheese cupcakes that were packaged individually and sold for 4.50 pesos. They were my favorite. During summer vacations to my uncle’s, I always buy those cheese cupcakes from the nearby store, then I would sit in my perfect spot on a wooden bench where I ate and munched away. Brownie, my uncle’s dog was always there watching at my feet and breathing heavily as we both delighted on the cheese cupcake- me while eating and him in anticipation of any small bits that will fall. The thick and humid summer air dampened our skin.
I remember those cheese cupcakes to be so rich, dense and very filling. They were perfect to fill in the gaps of hunger in between meals so I always saved part of my money to buy those cheese cupcakes.
Then I grew older. Time passed. I went to college. I stopped (or forgot) buying them. I have never seen them in stores anymore. Those cheese cupcakes were gone in the market as fast as my childhood went by through the years. But I always remember them fondly for those summer vacation afternoons that I spent so happily in the province.
Now after I baked cheese cupcakes, there is this familiar smell and the taste in my mouth that reminds me of my younger years. Though years has passed and I am far from the province, I feel like I am that little girl in the wooden bench once again.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- 300 ml condensed milk
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup +1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy while scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary
- Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Combine the flour and baking powder in a bowl. With the mixer still running, add ⅓ of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Add half of the condensed milk and continue mixing. Add another third of the flour, followed by the remaining half of the milk and finish by adding the last third of the flour.
- Fold in ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese into the batter using a rubber spatula.
- Spoon batter into the cupcake liners until the liners are about ¾ full. Top each cupcake with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes or until the tops are nicely golden and a toothpick inserted at the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
- Let cool and store leftovers in a covered container at room temperature.
Originally published on July 13, 2016