Get Ready for James’ Annual Cheesecake Bakeoff!

Those of you that know James know that every year, no matter where he is, he hosts a decadent Cheesecake Bakeoff.  This year, the Bake-off returns to New York and has a charitable twist — all proceeds will go to Broadway Care/Equity Fights AIDS.

Here’s the invitation:

Cheesecake Bake-Off 2013 Returns to New York

A Benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

Monday Night March 4, 2013
1560 Broadway, 14th Floor
(Seventh Avenue between West 46th Street and West 47th Street,
Entrance in the Times Square Visitors Center.)

Baker’s registration between 7:00 – 7:30pm Doors open 7:30pm
Tasting and judging to follow

The rules are simple:  either BAKE a cheesecake or make a $20 donation to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

Wine and soda will be provided. Everyone tastes and votes for their favorites and the cake with the most votes gets the crown. Judging will be in 10 categories: CREAMIEST, CHEESIEST, BEST TOPPING, BEST HOMEMADE CRUST,BEST PRESENTATION, MOST SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE, MOST ORIGINAL FLAVOR, MOST DECADENT, BEST CLASSIC CHEESECAKE AND THE VIRGIN PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST EFFORT.

Because space is limited you must RSVP by March 1st.

Please indicate if you are baking or just tasting.
Phone RSVP- 917.716.8005
Email RSVP- or
Facebook events

And now on to today’s recipe:  “Bottom’s Dream” Cupcakes!  These were James’ offering for last week’s Wine and Unwind at “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.”  (By the way, last chance for tickets, because the show closes this Sunday, March 3!)


James first made these cupcakes for a production of MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM in Central Park at the Delacorte. Jay O. Sanders played Bottom. James called these “Bottom’s Dream” because the cupcakes have a rich, chocolate bottom and a light, dream-like cheesecake topping.


James’ delightful Sunday evening spread!

“Bottom’s Dream” Cupcakes


Cupcake Mixture:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 tsp vanilla

Cheesecake Mixture:
1- 8 oz. pkg Cream Cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup mini-chocolate chips

Chopped nuts
Granulated sugar


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.  Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.  Mix up cupcake and cheesecake ingredients in separate bowls.   Fill each cup 1/3 full of cupcake batter. Drop one heaping teaspoon of cheesecake mixture into each cup and sprinkle the tops with chopped nuts and granulated sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30- 35 minutes.

Makes 18 – 22 cupcakes

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