Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Cheesecake

Vanilla Cheesecake – Pure Bliss!

Vanilla Cheesecake is one of the most glorious desserts on earth. Fact. Tangy, creamy, smooth and rich. Paired with a sharp fruit compote, it is even better! Total, TOTAL bliss. Oh, and let’s not forget the buttery crust!

If you’ve read my previous posts in my Perfect Cheesecake Series, you will know that I was absolutely petrified of making baked cheesecake – for yeeeears. There are so many things that can go wrong with baked cheesecake. It can sink, curdle and crack or (on the other side of the spectrum) you can be too gentle and end up with an undercooked cheesecake.

In most cooking/baking shows, we constantly see all the dramas and dangers surrounding the humble cheesecake. BUT, you honestly don’t need to be afraid – at all!

Let’s Get Technical

A perfect baked Vanilla Cheesecake is, seriously, super straight forward.
The method is simple.
The ingredients are simple.

The only advice I would give is that you READ MY PERFECT CHEESECAKE MANUAL FIRST, before diving into the recipe! These tips will prep you for making your own flawless Baked Vanilla Cheesecake.

My Perfect Cheesecake Manual covers all the essential tips you need to avoid any cracks, curdling, sinking etc. I also discuss an alternative method to the traditional (and indiscreetly tedious) water bath baking method. Open the Perfect Cheesecake Manual in a separate tab and give it a read. Remember, method determines at least 50% of the quality of your bake! Method matters.

vanilla cheesecake | perfect cheesecake | cheesecake recipe | baked cheesecake recipe

My Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe Development

There are many takes on baked vanilla cheesecake. Many folks insist on using only cream cheese, eggs and sugar. I do feel that the cake ends up being a bit TOO cheesy though. Obviously a cheesecake needs to be cheesy, but I love it when the flavour is mellowed out just a tad with some cream inside the batter.

The first vanilla cheesecake I made was a recipe by Tyler Florence. He is constantly on a quest to make the ULTIMATE of something. My kind of person! His vanilla cheesecake recipe contained sour cream which gave the cheesecake a beautiful tang. The addition of sour cream also rounded out the flavour of the cream cheese wonderfully! His recipe contained a bit too much sour cream for me though. Sorry Tyler!

I also tried a recipe by Gemma Strafford once. It was lovely, but I really missed the tang of the sour cream.

Some more influence came along from Ashlee Marie. Her recipe didn’t use any cream or sour cream inside the batter, but her baking and mixing methods for vanilla cheesecake were life changing.

For the cheesecake pastry, refer to my previous post in my Perfect Cheesecake Series – click here. I’ll include another link inside this vanilla cheesecake recipe (further down) when you will need it.

I utterly ADORE this vanilla cheesecake recipe… It’s a New York Style Cheesecake; buttery vanilla pastry with super creamy, dense (but not too dense), smooth and tangy cheesecake. Deeeeelectable! It can be eaten as is, or you can top it with a fruit compote of your choice. A mixed berry compote hits the spot for me, so I’ve decided to include that in the recipe.

Here is my ultimate Baked Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe!

Vanilla Cheesecake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9 inch cheesecake
  • 210 g All-Purpose Flour
  • 60 g Icing Sugar
  • 130 g Salted Butter, cubed
  • 55 g Egg Yolks (about 2 ½ egg yolks)
  • 950 g Medium Fat Cream Cheese (25% fat), at room temperature
  • 320 g White Sugar
  • 5 g Salt
  • 4 X-Large Eggs (240 g)
  • 250 ml Sour Cream
  • 40 ml Water
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 35 g Cream
  • 40 g White Chocolate
  • 100 g Blueberries
  • 100 g Strawberries (passion fruit use 2 tubs (230 g) total)
  • 120 g sugar (passion fruit use 70 g)
  • Tiny pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 45 g Water
  • 13 g Corn Flour
  1. Refer to my previous post, Cheesecake Pastry, for instructions.
  1. Preheat your oven to 300˚F/150˚C and move an oven rack to the center of your oven. Place the largest roasting tray you have on the bottom rack of your oven.
  2. Use a stand mixer to make this vanilla cheesecake. Do not use a hand mixer. If you don’t have a stand mixer, then rather mix the batter by hand. Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of your stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium low speed till smooth.
  3. Add in the sugar and salt. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and beat again on medium-low speed till sugar is dissolved (30 seconds).
  4. Scrape down the paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Beat again on medium-low speed till smooth (30 seconds).
  5. From here on out ONLY mix on the lowest and slowest turtle speed possible. If your mixer doesn’t have the option to go very slow, then do the rest by hand.
  6. Crack all the eggs in a separate bowl. Stir lightly with a fork till the yolks are broken.
  7. Pour more or less 1 egg at a time into the cream cheese mixture with the mixer going on its slowest speed, or stir by hand. It is crucial to not whip in any air.
  8. Add the remaining egg in in 3 sessions. Don’t watch it the whole time, you will be SO tempted to increase the speed. It is a great opportunity to spend some time on pinterest or learn a language on the Duo Lingo App (I’ve become 7% more fluent in French, just from cheesecake mixing time! Haha!).
  9. Before mixing in the last egg, scrape down the sides and bottom of your bowl thoroughly and mix again on lowest speed.
  10. At this point, start boiling a full kettle of water on the side.
  11. Stir the sour cream, water and vanilla into the cheesecake batter by hand because the mixer takes forever to incorporate the liquid.
  12. Pour the vanilla cheesecake batter into the semi-baked pastry.
  13. Place the cheesecake in the center of your oven. Fill the empty roasting tray with just boiled water. Bake for 1 hour.
  14. Turn the cheesecake 180 degrees around. Bake for another 35 minutes. Switch off the oven with the cheesecake still inside and the door still closed.
  15. After 5 minutes, leave the oven door ajar. Leave the cheesecake inside the switched off oven for 1h30.
  16. Remove from the oven and leave to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge and leave to cool overnight.
  1. Place the berries, sugar, lemon juice and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Allow to cook till the sugar is dissolved. Smash some of the berries with a fork during the cooking process.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve the corn flour in the water. Add it to the cooking berries while stirring constantly. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes, while stirring, so that the corn flour gets cooked through. The compote should be thickened. Set aside to cool.
  1. The next morning you can decorate the cheesecake! There may be some condensation on the surface of the cheesecake; dab the surface with some paper towels to absorb the moisture.
  2. Heat the cream and tsp of sugar in a saucepan to simmering point. Remove it from the heat and pour it over the finely chopped white chocolate. Leave to stand for 2 minutes, stir till smooth. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Once cool, whip till fluffy and white (about 30 seconds).
  1. Spread the whipped white chocolate ganache in a thin, even layer on top of the vanilla cheesecake. This ganache layer will prevent the fruit compote from seeping into the cheesecake.
  2. Top the white chocolate ganache with your cooled berry compote and spread it out evenly.
  3. Carefully push up the bottom of the tin all around the cheesecake to loosen the sides. Place the cheesecake on top of a mug or sturdy glass, gently pressing down the sides of the tin.
  4. Lift the bare sided cheesecake back onto your work surface. Slide a large, smooth edged knife under the pastry to loosen the cheesecake from the bottom of the tin. I like to go all around the edges first before attempting to loosen the center-bottom. Push the cheesecake gently, with a cupped hand, onto your cake stand/cake board/serving platter.
  5. Cut slices with a hot, dry knife. Enjoy!!!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please let me know how you get on by using #philosophyofyum or even tagging me @philosophyofyum on Instagram.

In my next post we’ll be making Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake 😀 ooooooh yeah…

Chat soon!

Aurelia 😊

Hi! I’m Aurelia 🙂

I help HOME BAKERS to become FOODIE BAKERS & make profit from it! Recipes from my own Foodie Home Bakery, BEST baking tips & food adventures.


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Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

Cheesecake Pastry Recipe – With 2 Flavour Variations!

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Cheesecake Pastry

Cheesecake Pastry was not something I grew up with at all! Come on, we all mostly eat cookie crust cheesecakes – and they truly are fantastic! Who can ever manage to figure out if they like cheesecake’s crust or filling more?? BOTH are super delicious. The slightly crunchy texture of the crust along with the flawlessly smooth cheesecake filling is the highlight of Dessert World.

BUT, did you know that Cheesecake Pastry was actually the original crust used by the clever Greeks and Romans? (Read more about the history of cheesecake). Since they are generally considered as geniuses, I always knew deep down that cheesecake pastry might be something to look into.

Honestly, my decision to start making cheesecake with a cheesecake pastry base was due to the nature of my Home Bakery. I had to figure out how to make a crust sturdy enough to handle being moved over to a disposable cake board.

perfect cheesecake | cheesecake pastry | chocolate swirl cheesecake

Crushed cookie bases are quick to prepare, but super difficult to transfer to a different dish, serving platter, cake board etc. Typically, you leave the cheesecake on the bottom of your springform cake tin and use it as a “cake board”. Problem with this idea is that I can’t exactly expect my clients to return my cake tin’s bottom. Too tedious for them and me. Cheesecake Pastry is much sturdier and still contains gorgeous butter, so you aren’t missing anything!

What Makes Cheesecake Pastry Different?

There are a few differences between cheesecake pastry and regular shortcrust pastry. Cheesecake pastry typically contains more egg, because egg is a great binding agent. It provides extra strength and stability to the pastry. I would even go so far as to say it provides a small amount of elasticity. Shortcrust pastry, in my opinion, needs to pretty much have the texture of shortbread. I did a very thorough post on Shortcrust Pastry earlier this year.

It might be a bit unorthodox, but I like to add vanilla extract to my cheesecake pastry instead of water. It really bumps up the flavour and compliments the cheesecake so beautifully!

cheesecake pastry recipe plain or chocolate

Perks of Using Cheesecake Pastry

  • The biggest perk for me is that it protects the cheesecake during baking. It COMPLETELY eliminates the risk for over-cooked/browned/curdled edges around the cheesecake.
  • It keeps the cheesecake moister during baking since the delicate cheesecake filling never touches the hot and dehydrating aluminium sides of the tin.
  • As I mentioned before, it makes the finished cheesecake a BREEZE to transfer onto a cake board or cake stand without lending out your tin’s bottom.
  • It really is super delicious! Since I’ve switched to cheesecake pastry, I’ve never had the desire to go back to crushed cookie bases.
  • It is really not difficult at all! In a food processor, it really takes like 5 minutes. I’m going to give you step by step instructions so that you can also make your own cheesecake pastry!

cheesecake pastry recipe | pastry recipe | cheesecake chocolate pastry | cheesecake pastry

Before you make this Cheesecake Pastry and proceed with making a Baked Cheesecake, I strongly urge you to read my 6 TOP TIPS FOR PERFECT CHEESECAKE.

Cheesecake Pastry - Plain or Chocolate
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9 inch base
  • 210 g All-purpose Flour (sub 40 g cocoa if making chocolate pastry)
  • 60 g Pure Icing Sugar (use 70 g if making chocolate pastry)
  • 130 g Salted Butter, cubed
  • 50 g Free-range Egg Yolks (about 2 ½ egg yolks)
  1. Place flour (and cocoa powder if making choc pastry) in a food processor. Cut the butter into a 1 cm dice and add to the food processor. Try to distribute the cubes of butter evenly in the flour so that they don’t stick together.
  2. Process on high speed until resembling even bread crumbs.
  3. Add icing sugar and process for about 10 seconds on high speed.
  4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Process on high speed for about 15 seconds. The pastry will not form a ball inside the processor.
  5. cheesecake pastry process
  6. Pour the crumbly mixture onto a work surface – do not add any extra liquid! Press all the crumbs together and press the pastry together till more or less smooth. This should take only about 3 minutes. Form the pastry into a ball and squash it flat to a 2 cm thickness.
  7. Wrap the pastry in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut a 30 cm x 30 cm square of non-stick parchment paper. Place the chilled pastry on the paper and roll out to a 3mm thickness roughly in a circular shape. The parchment paper makes it super easy to turn the pastry when rolling!
  9. Spray/butter the inside of your 9 inch (22,5 cm) tin. Place the loose bottom face side down onto the pastry. Cut around the sides of the tin’s bottom and also at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to divide the excess pastry into 4 strips.
  10. Remove the strips one by one and place to one side. Press down on the tin’s bottom so that the pastry squishes out slightly underneath. I find this little lip of pastry helps to combine the pastry on the sides with the pastry on the bottom.
  11. Flip the parchment paper and tin’s bottom. Peel away the paper.
  12. Drop your tin’s bottom back into your tin and fill in the sides of the tin with your pastry strips using your fingers. Do not worry about a smooth finish just yet.
  13. Preheat your oven to 180ᵒC/350ᵒF.
  14. Place your tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and smooth the edges and bottom with a metal spoon. Return to freezer for a further 10 minutes or until frozen solid.
  15. Line the entire tin with heavy weight foil (enough to go up over the sides. Leave no pastry exposed) and smooth it onto the pastry). Be sure to press the foil down very snugly into the corners of the cheesecake pastry. Run your finger over the top edge as well to maintain the shape of the pastry during baking.
  16. Fill the cavity with baking beans (I prefer rice).
  17. Bake one notch below the center of your oven for 35 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and leave to stand (with foil and rice still inside) for 10 minutes.
  19. Remove the foil and rice and proceed to fill with cheesecake filling. Bake again for as long as your cheesecake recipe states.

I trust that these simple an thorough steps will enable you to make your own amazing cheesecake pastry! Please let me know how you get on by using #philosophyofyum or even tagging me @philosophyofyum.

In my next post we’ll be making Vanilla Cheesecake with a fresh fruit compote 😀

Chat soon!

Aurelia 😊

Hi! I’m Aurelia 🙂

I help HOME BAKERS to become FOODIE BAKERS & make profit from it! Recipes from my own Foodie Home Bakery, BEST baking tips & food adventures.


Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Pear, Apple & Blueberry Muffins

Pear, Apple & Blueberry Muffins

Pear, Apple & Blueberry Muffins were one of my first big successes in my bakery. I’ve sold tons of them to local coffee shops and deli’s. They are just so delicious!

I know you guys have really enjoyed my muffin recipes, so I thought it’s about time that I share another one with you. Plus, the last few posts have been so laden with chocolate, it’s like I can hear my blog whispering to me, asking for something more wholesome… So here you go! Now we can all feel better about ourselves again!

Now if you’ve been following my blog for a while you will know that I have a very sentimental attachment to muffins. My mother used to bake fresh muffins for my sister and I on very special holidays like youth day! I have such grand memories of the beautifully laid breakfast tray, complete with a flower from our garden and fruit juice in a wine glass. We felt like queens!

These Pear, Apple & Blueberry muffins are so light, tender and moist! Great muffins for an on-the-go healthy breakfast. The crunchy cinnamon sugar crust on top pairs perfectly with the muffin's soft crumb underneath. And the bursts of fresh, dark blue-purple blueberries throughout the muffins just makes you swoon!

Recipe Introduction

I am a huge fan of putting a lot of fruit in muffins because it adds much needed fibre to your breakfast. The added moisture and flavour is also fantastic. I LOVE the idea of eating a muffin on the run that doesn’t need any butter or jam. These Pear, Apple & Blueberry muffins are one of those. You can eat it just as it is, no add-ons, and still be completely satisfied and yummified!

Try to use fresh fruit if you can. The texture and flavour of fresh fruit is always WAY better!

If you have concerns about the sugar crust on top of the muffins, do not be alarmed. I used sugar that would have gone inside the muffins anyway and just gave it a promotion to form a crust on top. The muffin itself is not very sweet at all, so the crust really goes with it super duper well.

When it comes to muffins, you really want to mix the batter as little as possible. Once the wet ingredients hit the dry ingredients, STIR gently with a metal spoon, don’t beat it.

These Pear, Apple & Blueberry muffins are so light, tender and moist! The crunchy cinnamon sugar crust on top pairs perfectly with the muffin’s soft crumb underneath. And the bursts of fresh, dark blue-purple blueberries throughout the muffins just makes you swoon!

Pear, Apple & Blueberry Muffins
Serves: 10
  • 220 g Cake Flour
  • 16 g Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 g Canola Oil
  • 110 g Milk
  • 110 g Yogurt, plain and low fat
  • 120 g Sugar
  • 1 Egg + 1 Yolk (80 g)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 90 g fresh apple, granny smith preferably
  • 100 g fresh pear
  • 80 g blueberries, thawed if frozen
  1. Start by preparing the fruit. Chop the fresh apple and pear into approximately a 1,5cm dice (you may toss the fruit in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, diluted with 1 tablespoon of water, to stop it from browning.) Keep 20 of the blueberries aside for later use. If they were frozen, place them on a piece of paper towel so that most of the excess liquid is absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 180ᵒC (355ᵒF).
  3. Grease and line muffin tins with individual baking paper liners (remember the recipe makes 10 large muffins). You can make your own muffin liners just like mine! Click here to see how.
  4. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, milk, yogurt, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Set aside the wet mixture for a minute or 2 so that the sugar can dissolve.
  5. In the meantime, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger in a large mixing bowl. Mix all dry ingredients together thoroughly and make a well in the center.
  6. Return to your small bowl of wet ingredients. Beat for another 30 seconds till well combined. Pour the wet mix into the well you created in the dry ingredients. Don’t mix just yet!
  7. Add apple and pear into the well too and mix slowly with a metal spoon until just combined (over-mixing toughens the texture!). Scape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and lightly stir to combine.
  8. Divide the batter evenly between the 10 lined muffin holes in the muffin tin. Top each muffin with 2 of the reserved blueberries. Sprinkle each muffin with a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar just before they go in the oven.
  9. Bake on the lower rack of your oven for 15 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Then bake on the higher rack for a further 15-20mins or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Pear, Apple & Blueberry muffins are best eaten fresh, on the day you made them. The cinnamon sugar crust will go soggy if you try to refrigerate them or keep them in a tupperware. You can do it, but I don’t recommend it.

I really hope you make these yourself at home! If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum. I would LOVE to see!

See you in 2 weeks!

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I’m Aurelia 🙂

I help HOME BAKERS to become FOODIE BAKERS & make profit from it! Recipes from my own Foodie Home Bakery, BEST baking tips & food adventures.


Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Chocolate Cupcakes – POY Classic

Chocolate Cupcakes – POY Classic

Chocolate Cupcakes Introduction

Sharing my ultimate recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes with you this week seemed quite fitting because it is (or actually was) Philosophy of Yum Blog’s 1-year Birthday!! Yayyyy! 😀 I wanted to share a super special recipe on this special occasion and also to just thank you for your support over the last year. It means so much to me.

Many of you have asked me why I don’t share my bakery’s “claim to fame” recipes like Double Chocolate Brownies, German Apple Cake or Dark Chocolate cake. The simple reason behind this is that my home bakery (Philosophy of Yum) is by FAR my main source of income. These recipes are my bread and butter so sharing them with the world is still a little bit risky at this point.

This week however, I’m making an exception because of my blog’s birthday ? So I am sharing with you my top-secret recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

Top Secret recipe fort Chocolate Cupcakes! Super moist, soft and creamy. Immensely chocolatey! Absolutely divine!

Recipe Development

Chocolate Cupcakes are really just one of those classic and sacred baked goods that ring nostalgic notes for ALL of us. They were and are always present at every kid’s birthday party, every bake sale, every church bazaar, every bakery and every grocery store.

I’ve probably tried out about 15 different recipes for chocolate cupcakes in my life. You know me by now. If cake doesn’t melt me with its powers of YUM, then I’ll stop eating it. Why waste the calories? I tried recipe after recipe. Often tweaking a recipe 3 times before finally moving on to the next one. It became my mission for many years to finally find THE ONE!

I’ve found that butter based recipes are just not ideal for any kind of chocolate cake. Oil locks in a great deal more moisture! The method is also absolutely critical. Once a hot liquid is added, you really want to keep the mixing low and slow.

The chocolate cupcakes recipe I was finally and fully pleased with ended up being a combination of a few plus some added tweaks I made on the spur of the moment. It worked perfectly and I am so grateful! The base recipe was from Homemade by Holman. One huge perk about this recipe is that you can mix it in one bowl from start to finish which means less dishes – yes please!

Recipe Introduction

The texture of these chocolate cupcakes is very moist, soft and creamy. And the flavour is SUPER chocolatey! The smooth chocolate ganache and slightly tangy chocolate frosting round off an indulgent texture and flavour experience.

The chocolate frosting recipe I shared in my previous post here. You can also make your own fancy Dark Chocolate shavings like I did! I posted a whole step by step tutorial here. I didn’t think I would share one of my best recipes this soon, but here it is…

My top-secret Philosophy of Yum recipe for Chocolate Cupcakes!

Top secret recipe for CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES! Super moist, creamy, soft and chocolaty! Absolutely divine...

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate Cupcakes
Serves: 14
  • 240 g Granulated White Sugar
  • 190 g Cake Flour
  • 50 g Cocoa Powder, best quality you can find
  • ⅓ tsp Baking Powder
  • ¾ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 55 g Egg (out of shell)
  • 115 g Milk (4-5% Fat)
  • 125 g Canola Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup Water (just boiled)FOR GANACHE140 g Cream (about 35% fat content)140 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids)
  1. Preheat your oven to 170°C.
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  3. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, add in the sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs.
  4. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the same mixing bowl.
  5. Warm the milk in the microwave for 20 seconds to bring it more or less to room temperature. Add it to the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Beat all the ingredients together with the paddle attachment on a low speed for 20 seconds to roughly combine. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  7. Switch on your kettle at this point for the boiling water.
  8. Beat the batter once more on medium high speed for 2 minutes. The batter will be very stiff! As the sugar dissolves, it will become a bit looser.
  9. Pour in your boiling water.
  10. Mix in light pulses on super low speed to stop the boiling liquid from splashing everywhere. After a few light turns it should be safe to turn up the speed to a steady low. Mix until liquid is no longer separate.
  11. Remove the mixing bowl from the machine and stir the batter thoroughly with a metal spoon till you have an even and smooth consistency.
  12. Divide the batter evenly between 14 lined cupcake holes.
  13. Make sure your oven has two oven racks inside. One rack should be in the top half of your oven, and one in the bottom half of your oven so that your oven cavity is basically divided into 3 equal spaces. Place an empty muffin tin, roasting tray or any other baking tin on the top rack. Place your cupcakes on the lower rack.
  14. Pour about ½ cup water into the bottom of your oven to create some steam. If your oven has an element right on the bottom or if you have a gas oven, pour 1 cup of water into the baking tin on the top rack in your oven.
  15. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes, turning after 8 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if the cupcakes are cooked. Ideally there should be a few moist crumbs sticking to the skewer… Remember, they will continue to cook for a minute or two more after you remove them from the oven.
  16. Read below for decorating instructions with chocolate ganache.

Decorating the Chocolate Cupcakes:

I love the combination of chocolate ganache and frosting! The chocolate frosting I used here is my signature low sugar chocolate frosting I use in my bakery every day. Although it’s “low sugar” use it BY CHOICE, because it’s the tastiest darn frosting in the whole world!

I made chocolate ganache with equal parts cream (around 35% Fat) and 65% Dark Chocolate (from my local chocolaterie CocoaFair). Place the frosted cupcakes in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you make the chocolate ganache. To make the ganache, simply heat the cream till it starts to simmer and add it to the chopped dark chocolate. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes and stir till smooth & dreamy.

Just spoon the semi-runny ganache over the frosting and work it around the top till you are happy with the look. Do not dunk the frosted cupcakes in the ganache! This frosting is a lot softer than traditional frosting and it will probably fall off.

Alternatively you can also dip the bare cupcake tops in ganache first before piping frosting on top. For a dipping ganache, use a 2:1 ratio of cream to chocolate so that the ganache is runnier.

Finally, I topped the chocolate cupcakes with some pretty dark chocolate shavings. Click here to see how to make your own!

I really hope you make these yourself at home! They are just DIVINE. If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum. I would LOVE to see!

See you in 2 weeks

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I’m Aurelia 🙂

I help HOME BAKERS to become FOODIE BAKERS & make profit from it! Recipes from my own Foodie Home Bakery, BEST baking tips & food adventures.


Grainy Ganache | Broken Ganache | Split Ganache
shiny brownies | brownies shiny | brownies shiny crust
cupcakes troubleshooting | perfect cupcakes | cupcakes tips | cupcakes baking tips | pointy cupcakes | cupcakes sink | cupcakes with flat tops | cupcakes overflow
Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting

Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting

Frosting Memories

Philosophy of Yum’s Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting is not a recipe that happened over night. I used to HATE frosting actually! My childhood memories of frosting are completely grim. Conventional Chocolate Buttercream piped onto semi-dry sheet cakes with a star tip was a STAPLE at every single birthday party as a kid.

Oh and don’t forget the garnish of chocolate vermicelli sprinkles, glace cherries or the tiny rosettes of dulce de leche! Even though every birthday party had a themed cake, there was always one of these chocolate sheet cakes on standby in the background.

As fond as my memories are of childhood birthday parties, the chocolate sheet cakes are not included in that fondness. That frosting was just too darn sweet. The overwhelming sweetness penetrated into your gills and made your mouth turn skew! Every time I ate chocolate cake, I hoped this chocolate frosting might taste different, and every time the outcome was the same…

Photos by Alice Swan

I ended up having one tiny bite, proceeded to scrape off all the frosting and ate the semi-dry cake on its own instead (which suddenly seemed a whole lot yummier after tasting that awful frosting!). Did anyone else also do this??

In the end I was so opposed to ANY kind of frosting. I had just never tasted a frosting that actually had FLAVOUR of its own. Not just sweet fat to make a dry cake seem less dry. I apologize for the clouds of criticism… I’m just so passionate about flavour 🙂

A Second Date with Frosting

My mother was writing Low Fat Low GI recipe books throughout my school years. The series is called “Eating for Sustained Energy”. The carrot cake recipe is just fantastic! Naturally they had to take a road less travelled when it came to the frosting. Butter is not exactly “low fat” 😀

They also wanted a frosting with less sugar. Problem with buttercream is that you need to add a LOT of sugar to achieve the right consistency and something resembling flavour. Thus, a smooth cottage cheese (which is even lower in fat than cream cheese), low sugar frosting was the option they went for.





Finally, a frosting that had a great flavour and didn’t make my head spin from sweetness! A frosting you wanted to eat, as is, with a spoon! The frosting was often a bit temperamental though… If you mixed it too much, it would go runny in seconds. Even so, the flavour and different approach was a great lesson I would draw from in the future.

Philosophy of Yum’s Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting Development

When I started baking part-time in 2012, I kind of avoided frosting. I knew I wouldn’t use buttercream. EVER. And I was honestly too scared to make my mom’s frosting out of fear that it would go runny. I wanted something pipe-able.

Luscious, easy, CRAZY delicious LOW SUGAR CHOCOLATE FROSTING. You will NEVER want to eat buttercream ever again!

I realized that cream cheese on its own would be too solid and cheesy tasting, so adding whipped cream would make it lighter. Truly, I had never read about whipped-cream-cream-cheese-frosting before or heard about it or anything! It just seemed like a good idea.

The great thing about cream cheese is that it already has flavour and it’s softer than butter, so you can add WAY less sugar to achieve the right consistency and sweetness. Wonderful!

It worked out PERFECTLY. Easy to pipe, super yummy and it seriously goes with ANY cake. At this point I was still using chocolate ganache as my chocolate frosting. Although I LOVE ganache, it is a bit intense and heavier – even if you whip it. I wanted something more mellow, but still very chocolatey.

About 2 years later I was watching another episode of Unique Sweets (all my stories seem to involve this show! LOVE IT!). The crew was visiting The Yellow Leaf Cupcake Co in Seattle, Washington. It is a unique cupcake eatery that makes an INSANE amount of cupcake flavours. Like 150+ flavours! The frosting they use is Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC).

The one cupcake flavour on the episode was the “Tomato Soup Cupcake”, which is a flavour one of the owners had as a kid at every birthday party. Amazing! On top of this cupcake they put chocolate SMBC and it just looked divine. At that moment I realized that I can easily turn my vanilla cream cheese frosting into a chocolate frosting by adding cocoa powder. I tried it and it was amazing.

One fine day, I didn’t have enough cocoa powder on hand to add to my Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting. I was super upset since Alice Swan and I were having a food photography session that day. I did however have some dark chocolate ganache on hand. Why not just mix it in? The result was insanely delicious! A blend of cocoa powder and dark chocolate ganache added to vanilla cream cheese frosting was just perfect. Sometimes speedbumps can turn into unexplored avenues of greatness! So cool!

Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting is so easy and TASTIER!! Photos by Alice Swan

So here is my super classified (until now) Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting recipe. I have made it 1000’s of times, refined it and perfected it in my 5 years of full time baking.

I guess if you wanted to be technically correct you could call it whipped-cream-chocolate-ganache-cream-cheese-frosting.

Reasons to make Philosophy of Yum’s Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting:

# It is so flipping DELICIOUS!!! So delicious in fact that it makes you giggle, squirm and dance from the deliciousness.

# Philosophy of Yum Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting contains a staggering 75% – 80% LESS SUGAR than any other frosting, but it is completely sufficiently sweet enough.

# It is actually a whole lot quicker and easier to make than buttercream or traditional cream cheese frosting.

# You don’t need a stand mixer to make this chocolate frosting! A simple electric hand mixer is ideal.

# Because there is no butter in this frosting, it is also 55% lower in fat than any other conventional frosting. What a bargain!!

Let’s get started! My instructions are going to be rather thorough so that there’s little room for error. I really want  you to experience the awesomeness of this low sugar chocolate frosting.

Low Sugar Frosting | Chocolate Frosting | Alternative frosting Photo by Alice Swan

Philosophy of Yum Chocolate Frosting

Serves: 15
  • 40 g Whipping Cream with ½ tsp Granulated Sugar
  • 30 g Dark Chocolate (at least 65% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 80 g Cold Whipping Cream, ±35% fat
  • 200 g Cold Medium Fat Cream Cheese (smooth, non-aerated) ±25% fat
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 70 g Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder (Good quality)
  • Cold Water
  1. First make the chocolate ganache. Place chopped chocolate in a ceramic or glass bowl.
  2. Place 40 g cream and ½ tsp sugar in a saucepan and heat till simmering.
  3. Add hot cream to chopped dark chocolate. Stir well until fully combined and glossy. Transfer to the fridge to cool down for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Next make the frosting. Whip cold cream to stiff peaks with an electric hand mixer in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Beat in cold Cream Cheese till smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat again till smooth and thickened. About 1 minute.
  6. Beat in Vanilla and sugar. Leave to stand for 5 minutes to that sugar can melt in cream cheese.
  7. Beat again till smooth and thick – about 1 minute. Rub a bit of the frosting between your fingers to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. If it is not fully dissolved, leave to stand for another minute, beat it and then test it again.
  8. The longer you beat the frosting, the thicker it becomes. If it gets a bit runny once the sugar has fully dissolved, just keep beating it in one spot and it will thicken up. After this the “thickness” spreads to the rest of the mixture when you incorporate it.
  9. Sift the cocoa powder into the mixture and beat to combine. Beat in the cooled chocolate ganache till the frosting is uniform in colour. If you want your frosting even more chocolatey, go ahead and beat in more cocoa powder.
  10. The frosting will be quite thick at this stage, so I like to thin it out a little. Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time till you reach the desired consistency.
  11. Signs of my perfect consistency: when you tap the side of the bowl, the frosting jiggles a tiny bit. When you scoop up a spoon, it takes about 2,5 - 3 seconds to drop back into the bowl.
  12. Stir the chocolate frosting with a spoon to smooth out any air bubbles before transferring to a piping bag or smoothing onto a layer cake.

Please try out my Low Sugar Chocolate Frosting! It’s a perfect match with my Banana & Chocolate Cupcakes, not to mention my most epic Dark Chocolate Cupcakes. I know you’ll love it! 

If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum. I would LOVE to see!

Next time I’ll be sharing a recipe to go with this frosting… a VERY special recipe since it is Philosophy of Yum Blog’s 1 year birthday! 😀

See you in 2 weeks

Aurelia 🙂

Hi! I’m Aurelia 🙂

I help HOME BAKERS to become FOODIE BAKERS & make profit from it! Recipes from my own Foodie Home Bakery, BEST baking tips & food adventures.

Ultimate Bran Muffins

Ultimate Bran Muffins

Ultimate Bran Muffins – seriously.

Before I commence with my mammoth baking spree for The Good Food & Wine Show, I thought I’d share my Ultimate Bran Muffin recipe with you. The biggest reason why is because I’ll be making some for myself to last me throughout the next 2 weeks of super intense baking!

Quite a few muffin recipes have been shared on Philosophy of Yum blog. Like Cranberry & Coconut Muffins, Pumpkin & Cream Cheese Muffins and the super popular Apple, Date & Pecan Muffins! There comes a time, however, when a human just needs a boost of fiber man. Yep, you know what I’m talking about.

Recipe Introduction

All photos by Alice Swan Photography

These muffins are SO MOIST AND FLUFFY! And boy do they taste incredible! Serve them warm with some preserves and cheese, or eat them just as they are. Either way, they are sensational! Even at room temperature. They make great lunchbox fillers as well.

What I love about these ultimate bran muffins is that they freeze incredibly well! I keep a batch in my freezer and just whip one out whenever I need a healthy, fiber filled breakfast or snack. It takes just 2 minutes to defrost them in the microwave, but I prefer to gently heat it up in the oven at a low temperature.

I like adding raisins to my ultimate bran muffins, but you are welcome to sub cranberries, or add some nuts if you wish. If you place the nuts right on top of the batter before baking, they will toast in the oven and add a whole new depth of flavour 🙂

There is mashed banana in this recipe, but you really don’t taste it at all (if you are worried about that). It just adds a beautiful moistness and tenderness to the crumb. It also provides some natural sweetness which enables us to use less refined sugar.

The most important note I have for my ultimate bran muffins is to really just stir the mixture until combined. A few lumps are really okay. They will work themselves out during baking. As soon as you add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, focus and be gentle. Stay away from that hand mixer!

If you would like to know how I make my pretty Muffin wrappers/liners, click here for a step by step tutorial post.

Bran muffin recipe | Bran muffins with molasses | Bran muffins healthy

Ultimate Bran Muffins
Serves: 10
  • 125 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60 g Granulated White Sugar
  • 60 g egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • 90 g sweet molasses
  • 1 ripe banana (90 g flesh), mashed
  • 45 g raisins
  • 205 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cocoa Powder
  • ½ Tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bran (47 g)
  • Oats, to sprinkle on top
  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F.
  2. Lightly spray the top surface of a muffin tin. Line 10 holes of the muffin tin with muffin liners/wrappers.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the egg, buttermilk, vanilla, mashed banana and molasses. At this point the mixture might look a bit curdled and messy, it’s completely normal. Stir in the raisins.
  5. Get a separate, large bowl. Sift together flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, spices and salt. Stir in the bran.
  6. Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the well. Stir the batter with a metal spoon until it is just combined (the batter will be slightly lumpy.)
  7. Divide the batter evenly into the 10 lined muffin holes. Sprinkle with regular, rolled oats.
  8. Bake the muffins in the middle of the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a skewer tests clean. Leave to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the muffins on a rack and let them cool further, or eat them 🙂

Thank you so much for reading! If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram @philosophyofyum. I would LOVE to see!

See you in 2 weeks AFTER the Good Food & Wine Show!

Aurelia 🙂

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