Patriotic Cheesecake Bites

This is a very rare day where we get to call a Monday a Friday. Let’s take full advantage of it with some Patriotic Cheesecake Bites!

The cupcake liners of these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites peel away to reveal three layers of brownie, cheesecake and blueberry compote.

Let’s be real, I’m pretty dang excited to tell you about these little bites of heaven. After all, how often do you get the taste of rich red velvet brownies, creamy cheesecake and refreshing blueberry compote all in the size of a cupcake? Not very often, I’m betting.

I’m not gonna lie, these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites were a labor of love. In fact, I didn’t even attempt to photograph them the first time around because I knew it would be a recipe that needed a lot of refining. Well, I’m happy to say that my hard work paid off, and now I have delicious layered cheesecake bites to tell you all about!

These Patriotic Cheesecake Bites feature three layers of red velvet brownie, cheesecake and blueberry compote. The perfect bite-size festive dessert for 4th of July!

But first, tell me what you all are doing to celebrate 4th of July?? Did you take today off so you could have a four day weekend? Or are you stuck at your desk today madly trying to get things done so you can cut out of work early and TGIF the heck out of Monday?

The hubs and I had a nice relaxing weekend at home, full of lots of time out in the sun enjoying some beach volleyball and, as we do every weekend, cooking up oh so many delicious things! I made cinnamon rolls on Saturday morning and Sunday morning I finished up the cheesecake bites. Last night the hubs smoked up a tri tip after we did a little new car research, since we’re hoping to upgrade before baby comes in October. Right now we’re looking at either a 2017 Subaru Forester (I currently drive a 2010) or Honda Pilot. Any thoughts/input are welcome!!

The cupcake wrappers on these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites peel away to reveal red, white and blue layers of deliciousness!

We also leave for our babymoon in a week and a half (Kauai, here we come!) so unfortunately neither of us was able to take today off of work, but we’re definitely planning on relaxing with some beach time, friends and more delicious food tomorrow. I can hardly wait. I think every week should only be a four-day work week.

Okay, but I digress, and I need to keep this fairly short because I’ve got things to do and relaxing to commence. Let’s talk about these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites.

A big cake stand full of Patriotic Cheesecake Bites. The perfect dessert to celebrate the 4th of July!

They’re a little more time-consuming than just-your-average cupcake, but not nearly as bad as whipping up an entire full-size cheesecake. There are three layers, so three main steps to the process, but none of them takes very long because we’re talking cupcake-size portions.

The first layer is a rich, chocolate-y red velvet brownie. I’m the first to admit that I’m a BIG chocolate-lover, so this layer came out more of a darker red than a bright, vibrant red, but trust me, the extra chocolate flavor is worth it.

The first layer of Patriotic Cheesecake Bites: red velvet brownie!

The second layer is a classic cheesecake, which I based off of my Classic New York-Style Cheesecake I made a while back. The great news is that for these Patriotic Cheesecake Bites we don’t need to worry about the hassle of a water bath, and they cook sooooo much quicker.

The second layer of Patriotic Cheesecake Bites: creamy New York-style cheesecake!

The third and final layer is a fresh blueberry compote. You guys, this is the proverbial “icing on the cake.” I based my recipe off of this one from Martha Stewart, and added in a little gelatin to make sure the compote set enough to eventually peel off the cupcake liners and reveal the festive red, white and blue layers.

The third layer of Patriotic Cheesecake Bites: blueberry compote!

That’s it! So easy. The first time I made these, I tried making them in my mini cheesecake pan, but even with a generous coating of cooking spray they stuck quite a bit and were hard to pop out. The next time around, I decided to go with a classic cupcake pan with liners (I used these fun Fourth of July ones from Amazon!) and that turned out to be soooo much easier. If you don’t want things to get too messy, you can serve the bites right in the wrappers, or if you want people to really see why you call these “Patriotic Cheesecake Bites,” peel off the papers to reveal the surprise.

These Patriotic Cheesecake Bites are the perfect fun, festive dessert for Fourth of July!

So what do you think? Have I motivated you yet to try these out tomorrow? Better yet, get them started and into the refrigerator tonight, and you won’t have to spend any time in the kitchen tomorrow. More time to enjoy sunshine and good friends!

This post contains affiliate links.

Patriotic Cheesecake Bites
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

These individually-sized festive bites feature layers of red velvet brownie, classic cheesecake and blueberry compote to make the perfect treat for the Fourth of July!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 dozen
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the red velvet brownie layer:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red food coloring
  • 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar
For the cheesecake layer:
  • 8 ounces regular cream cheese
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
For the blueberry compote layer:
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2 dozen cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

  2. First, make the brownie layer. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. 

  3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined. 

  4. Beat in the food coloring and vinegar.

  5. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the brownie batter into each of the cupcake tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly, leaving oven heated to 350 degrees for baking the next layer.

  6. Next, make the cheesecake layer. In a clean stand mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheeses, sugar and eggs. 

  7. Add the flour, vanilla extract, sour cream, lemon zest and salt and beat until combined.

  8. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter in the cupcake tins on top of the red velvet brownie layer. Return cupcake pans to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until cheesecake is set and not jiggly, Remove and let cool while you make the third layer.

  9. For the blueberry compote, combine all ingredients except the gelatin in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the blueberries break down and a gel-ish liquid forms, about 8-10 minutes. 

  10. Turn off the heat and stir in the gelatin. Let sit for 5 minutes, then scoop 1 tablespoon of the blueberry compote over each of the cheesecake bites.

  11. Refrigerate cheesecake bites at least 2 hours or overnight. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. You can serve them in their cupcake wrappers or remove the papers to reveal the patriotic layers. 

Patriotic Cheesecake Bites | CaliGirlCooking.com

Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue

[This post is brought to you by yours truly and the wonderful folks at Drizly, who are making delicious cocktails possible for everyone without the hassle of going to a grocery store. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting CaliGirl Cooking and my sponsors!]

We have two reasons to be celebrating today! And we’re going to celebrate with a Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail.

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

REason #1

It’s Friday! Hallelujah. It’s been a long, weird week and I’m looking forward to some nice down time and relaxation this weekend. I’ve got some great beach volleyball games planned and other than that we’ll be laying reallll low (not like we have much of a choice with the hubby laid up with his healing Achilles 😉 That’s a-ok with me, though. I’m such a constant busy-body that sometimes it’s good for me to be forced to just sit down, relax, and not be doing anything. Can anyone else sympathize with me here?

Reason #2

I literally am so, so excited to share this Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail with you. I know I make cocktails for you every week, but every once in a while there’s one that comes along that just knocks my socks off and I get incredibly anxious to get the recipe out to you so you can start making it for yourself ASAP. This is FOR SURE one of those cocktails. It killed me that the hubs couldn’t taste it because he would be so proud. (He’s taking a little break from drinking while he’s on his after-surgery pain meds…good plan!)

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

When the folks at Drizly asked me to create a recipe for them, my mind immediately went towards creating a cocktail that would both celebrate the last few days of summer, but also welcome in fall with open arms. I thought a combination of blueberry (a very summer-y fruit) would pair deliciously with a heavier, more cool weather-inclined liquor. Enter bourbon! And, more specifically, Bulleit Bourbon (because that’s certainly our household favorite…What’s yours?)

But of course I couldn’t stop there. We needed to jazz this up even more for our friends at Drizly. Good thing they also have an incredible selection of bitters, mixers, etc. in addition to alcohol on their site, because I was easily able to pick out the Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters as the perfect addition to my blueberry and bourbon cocktail. The final touch was a vanilla-almond simple syrup, which I whipped up quickly on my own and have included the recipe for below.

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

I bet at this point (unless you’ve clicked on the link I’ve included above) you’re wondering what exactly this Drizly thing is. Well, friends, let me tell you, because it’s amazing. Basically, if you live in one of 18 major cities in the United States and Canada (and you’re of legal drinking age, of course), you can go to Drizly’s website, place an order, and have wine, beer, liquor and other cocktail ingredients delivered right to your door in under an hour. How sweet is that? I am so bummed they’re not in Santa Barbara….yet. (Hint hint.)

In Their Own Words:

“Drizly is the technology company powering a superior shopping experience for beer, wine and liquor. Combining the best selection and price, content-rich and personalized shopping experiences, and the speed and convenience of on-demand delivery, Drizly delivers “The Joy of Drinking” to legal-age drinkers across the United States.”

So as you can imagine, this was right up my alley and I was beyond stoked to partner with them to whip up this delicious Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue cocktail. Let’s get back to the whole process, shall we?

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

The first step you’ll want to take is to whip up the vanilla-almond simple syrup. This can be done an hour or so in advance of you making the cocktail, or you can even make it a day or two in advance (it will come in useful for so many delicious cocktails!) The most important thing is to have time to let the syrup cool before you add it to your drink.

Once you have your vanilla-almond simple syrup in hand, the rest is easy. You’ll just need to muddle together the syrup, some fresh blueberries, fresh lemon juice and rhubarb bitters, add a healthy scoop of ice, and top it all with your Bulleit bourbon. Give it a little stir and enjoy immediately.

I’m just going to call it right now: This cocktail will probably turn into your go-to for the next couple of months. It strikes that super-fine balance between the fresh flavors of summer and the warm, comforting flavors of fall. The juiciness of the blueberries and the acidity of the fresh lemon juice balance the earthy rhubarb bitters and sweet vanilla-almond simple syrup PERFECTLY. It’s fairly strong for a cocktail, but you’d never notice it if you didn’t look at the recipe. The natural sweetness from the blueberries is the perfect veil for the strong bourbon flavor, and (when enjoyed moderately) this cocktail won’t leave you with a raging headache the next day (no thank you, artificial sweeteners!)

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirl Cooking

Trust me, the end of summer never tasted so good!

Bourbon, ‘Barb and Blue

10 minutes

Yield: Makes one cocktail

This end-of-summer cocktail combines fresh blueberries, rhubarb bitters, vanilla-almond simple syrup and bourbon to create a perfectly balanced drink.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 ounce vanilla-almond simple syrup (recipe below)
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce rhubarb bitters
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces Bulleit bourbon

Instructions

  1. Combine blueberries, simple syrup, lemon juice and bitters in the bottom of a rocks glass. Muddle together until all of the blueberries are broken up and the mixture takes on a bright purple-pink hue.
  2. Fill the glass all the way to the top with ice.
  3. Top with bourbon and stir gently to combine.
  4. Enjoy immediately!

Notes

To make the Vanilla-Almond Simple Syrup: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, the seeds from ½ a vanilla bean and about 2 drops of almond flavoring in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool completely before using.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
https://www.caligirlcooking.com/bourbon-barb-and-blue/

 

Bourbon, 'Barb and Blue | CaliGirlCooking.com

You had me at bourbon <3

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