Raspberry Cheesecake Kiss Cupcakes


Do you remember your first kiss?

I do.

I had a humongo crush on my neighbor–we’ll call him Redneck (uh, self-explanatory?)–when I was a kid.

Redneck was, um, well, you know. His family bred like rabbits and did weird things like chop firewood in the middle of the night and have tire slides and large sky-gliders in their front yard.

And hygiene? That there’s just a fancy word created by them Democrats tryna get us here folk to shower mo’ often.

(Do you like my redneck accent?)

But seriously, Redneck was hardly the perfect guy, so says my hindsight bias. But back then, Redneck was adorable. Brown hair. Green? eyes. Cute dimples. And he seemed the most bathed of them all.

Anyway, one day, Redneck came over to play with my brother and I. We had a swing-set in our backyard and were known to play fun games like Orphanage and tag.

This was totally my opportunity. Carpe diem, man! I was prepared for my future hubby to give me the smooch of my LIFE. It’d be something I’d tell all my Barbies and reenact the scenario with them when Redneck left.

So what better way to segway from boring-tag to kissing time? Truth or Dare.

Just so you know, in order to get what you want, you seriously need to whip out Truth or Dare. I swear, it (almost) works (almost) every time! Just dare someone to clean the bathroom and they HAVE TO DO IT.

It’s so smart. Totally foolproof.

Well, hence the *almost*.

See, after a few rounds of doing dumb dares like barking like a dog or truthfully telling that I was secretly disgusted by the kid who ate his boogers, I knew I had to seize this kiss or else I was doomed for a childhood with boring first-kiss stories.

So I said it. “I dare you to give me a kiss.”

(Seriously, I’m still admiring my five-year-old boldness)

Redneck looked annoyed, probably because kissing is like, so old school for someone older and wiser as he (he was a grade older) but he reluctantly agreed.

There: sitting on the swing-set, tummy FULL of anxious five-year-old butterflies, Redneck leaned in and his lips got closer and closer and cloooooserrrr and I puckered up and he leaned in and smooooooooch. 

Cheek kiss.



I thought this was going to be super romantic and stuff and Redneck fooled me with a CHEEK KISS?! Ugh. My dog could do better than that!

Slightly annoyed with my sub-par kiss yet excited that I had a kiss nonetheless, Redneck was eager to forget the moment and punish me for asking such a dumb, girly dare in the first place. So I had to climb in the garbage can and sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” before I could come out.

It smelled like poop in there.

So there you have it: a cheek kiss that smells like poop. AKA, my first  kiss.

Wanna know the real funny part to this story?

Later, when I grew up and got pretty and stuff, I’d see Redneck around and he’d alwaaaaayyys say hello to me or wanna chat.

Silly Redneck, that’s what your opportunity was for!!

I should inform you I’ve since given up my crush on Redneck and all folk like him in favor of a sweet, lovable, funny dude named Jessie who gives me smoochies without forcing me into garbage cans. It’s really the sweetest.

And Jessie loooves himself some cheesecake.

So what better way to reward him by daring him to eat five of these Raspberry Cheesecake Kiss Cupcakes at once?

(He took the dare)

…(on me AND the cupcakes). Awwwwhhhhhh.

Raspberry Cheesecake Kiss Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix
1 can raspberry soda*
1 small box raspberry jello mix
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp lemon juice
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe & ingredients follow)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with 24 paper liners and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, half-can of condensed milk and lemon juice until blended and smooth, then pop in the fridge for a few hours to thicken.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix and raspberry jello until blended, about 2 mins. *You ONLY need the mix + soda. Do NOT add water, eggs or oil!* Stir in the raspberry jello mix (just the mix) until combined into the cake batter evenly.
3. Evenly portion into muffin tins (about 2/3 full) and bake for approx. 14-16 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs. Cool completely.
4. Once cupcakes are cooled, core out the centers of the cupcakes with a small paring knife, careful not to cut all the way through the cupcake (just cut out a small circle in the center, about halfway deep). Fill the cored-out cupcakes with a small teaspoon of cheesecake filling almost to the top (don’t overflow!) Put back in fridge until your frosting is ready.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 5 cups powdered sugar
Small heart or Valentine’s sprinkles, optional

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually begin adding powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until a stiff yet spreadable consistency is achieved. If too thick, thin the icing out with a teensy bit of milk.
2. Once you have a nice consistency, pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, careful to cover the filled center of the cupcakes. Sprinkle with rainbow or festive holiday sprinkles, if desired. And if you like, top with white chocolate kisses, like I did! Store these cupcakes in the fridge.

I found my lips mold at a local candy shop in town, but you can find one like mine HERE. I just melted a couple squares of white almond bark until smooth, stirred in a couple drops of red food coloring until I got a pink color I liked, then poured & smoothed them in the clean mold and allowed them time to set. If you wanna get fancy (I love getting fancy) you can add luster dust into the cavity before pouring the chocolate for a little sparkle. You can find luster dust HERE.

I love the tartness of the raspberry cake and the creaaaamy delicious cheesecake filling. So did Jessie–(I even got myself a smooch).

Hope you enjoy these!

xo, Hayley


  1. Super cute cupcakes!

  2. what a lovely idea, they look beautiful and that filling seems delicious

  3. Can you tell me what brand of raspberry soda you used in this cupcake recipe? I’ve been on the lookout locally for a few weeks now and am not having much luck finding raspberry flavored soda. The only one I have found so far is called Hot Lips brand soda http://hotlipssoda.com/
    This one comes in a 12oz. bottle and I have not tasted it yet. Was wondering what kind and what size soda you used. I am pretty excited about making this cupcake recipe for Valebtines!!

    • Hey Leslie! I actually found my raspberry soda in a 2-liter bottle size at Walmart for $1! You can always forgo the raspberry soda and instead use a berry or cherry 7-Up and just stir in the raspberry jello mix (it will give it the red color and raspberry flavor). Hopefully there’s a Walmart near you that sells the soda bottles 🙂 happy baking!!

      • Thanks! We do have Walmart so I will check there. If you bought a 2 liter bottle, did you just measure out some (how much?) for recipe…like 12oz. or 16oz… I think cans are usually 12oz. (?)…
        Your alternate ideas are good too! Oh, and that was obviously supposed to read “Valentines” in my post & not that other mushmouth word I typed!! 😀
        Thanks again!!

  4. Will raspberry ginger ale work as well? Or a raspberry juice? Or should it be a soda for the fizz and whatever that does for the baking?

    • I’m not sure how the soda and the fizz affects the baking process because I’ve only used soda and it’s worked (never juice alone). I’m sure the ginger ale should work since it’s like a soda. But I will look into the juice thing since I really don’t know about that one.

  5. This post was SO entertaining. I loved your story about Redneck and your first kiss haha. At least you’ll never forget that experience!


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