November 27, 2013
When it comes to Holiday crafts… I steer away from them. I’m just not that crafty. Somehow, when it comes to trying new things in the world of food… I’m willing to explore my nearly non-existent crafty side which is how we ended up with these cheesecake stuffed strawberry Santas.
Adorable and delicious, how could you say no to this fun recipe?
I thought these cheesecake stuffed strawberry Santas were such a cute idea, I knew I had to share them with you, along with some tips to make the most delicious little Santas ever.
What Makes the Best Strawberry Santa Filling?
While there are lots of ways to make stuffed strawberries, some work a lot better than others.
The first time I tried making them, I decided to whip up some whipped cream (heavy cream is a staple in my kitchen) and attempt to make these stuffed with whipped cream.
The issue: the whipped cream caved with the weight of Santa’s hat. I then tried to stabilize the whipped cream, but I ditched that idea as well because…. well, I don’t expect you go “stabilize” your own whipped cream. I wanted easy, kid-friendly, and delicious.
The better filling: Then I remembered one of my favorite Holiday party foods: strawberry cheesecake ice cream sandwiches! Borrowing some flavors from that recipe, I knew these festive treats would be unforgettable.
Thankfully, the cream cheese in the final recipe below, added the right amount of thickness and made these Santas stand up straight and tall. Perfection!
Kid-Friendly Strawberry Santa Recipe
This recipe helped me discover that my middle son is very patient and is interested in doing things in the kitchen.
Maybe it’s easier for him since he plays with LEGO… but he had no problem putting in the little bitty mini chocolate chips that made up Santa’s eyes —while I thought to myself: surely there must be an easier way! Where are the tweezers?
He stuffed and assembled these Santas like a pro so I could take a few process pictures for you.
Bonus Tips for Better Strawberries
When you make these, remember to start with very soft cream cheese so you can mix it with the honey or powdered sugar easily and stuff the mixture inside a zip bag. Cold “cheesecake” filling is pretty difficult to squeeze out of the zip bag (or piping bag).
Once assembled, refrigerate stuffed Santas so they can hold their shape. If you are bringing these to a party, I recommend making them the night before or a few hours earlier. You won’t have leftovers so plan on making extras.
If you are wondering about using frozen strawberries for this recipe… the answer is no, sorry! When they thaw, they will get mushy .. and you don’t want mushy Santas!
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberry Santas
- 16- ounce package fresh strawberries, washed
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature*
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mini chocolate chips, to decorate
- On a cutting board, slice the stem off the strawberry (try to cut it as “flat” as possible since the Santa-berries will use that as a base).
- Cut the top third of the strawberry, this will be used as the “hat”.
- In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla. The mixture will be thick so it’s best that the cream cheese really is at room temperature.
- Place creamed mixture inside a zip bag (or a piping bag) and snip one corner off. Make this first cut a bit larger since you are filling the “faces” first.
- Top strawberry base with cream mixture, top with the strawberry hats, and squeeze additional mixture on top of the hat.
- Next, snip the opposite corner or the bag (or change your piping tip) and make a smaller opening. Use this end to decorate “Santa’s” jacket buttons.
- Use mini chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles to decorate Santa’s eyes. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
- Once you create the Strawberry Santa’s, they can’t be frozen. When frozen strawberries thaw, their texture change.
- Can you use whipped cream? Yes, but make sure a) it’s very cold when you pipe it onto the strawberry, and b) you make small “hats” otherwise they will sink inside the whipped cream.
- Revised: you can also use whipped cream cheese and cheesecake filling (although I haven’t tried it but one of my readers has).