Make Individual Valentine Cheese Cakes With Your Foster or Adoptive Child



With Washington’s Birthday and Valentine Day approaching it is time for a “cherry” treat. One of my family’s favorites has always been “Individual Cheese Cakes.” The recipe is relatively simple and easy for children to help with.


Yields about 19 cakes

  1. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners (we like to use the foil cupcake liners)
  2. Place 1 vanilla wafer in the bottom of each muffin cup
  3. Beat:
    • 1 – 8 oz package cream cheese
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
  4. Fill ¾ full and bake 10 minutes at 375°.
  5. Cool for 2 hours and top with cherry pie filling.
  6. Remove from muffin pans and refrigerate.

Heart-Shaped Option

For an extra Valentine touch these can easily be baked in heart shaped muffin pans. However, if these are unavailable there are other options available to make heart shapes. A glass marble can be placed between the cupcake liner and the muffin pan to make an indent to create sort of a heart shape.

Another option is to crumple aluminum foil into a small ball about the size of a marble. Insert that between liner and pan at the 12 o’clock location of the cup. Then make two more smaller balls of foil and insert them near the bottom of the cup near the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock locations to create the tip at the bottom of the heart shape.

Talk About Love And Kindness

Preparation of these heart shaped treats with foster/adoptive grandkids presents a wonderful time to discuss love and kindness. Of course we share with them how great our love is for them, but we can also encourage them to show love and kindness to others, especially to their parents and siblings. Often we are so busy telling them what not to do (bullying, etc.) that sharing with them ways they can show kindness to others takes a back burner.

  • Tell the kiddo you love them. Then ask them how they can see proof of your love.
  • Ask the kiddo what they think it means to love someone. Talk about how it means that you’re committed to someone.
  • Ask the kiddo if loving someone means you’re happy with them all the time. Talk about a time you were upset with someone but were still committed to them.

With all the times that people are correcting behaviors this is also a good time to talk about how love is unconditional. Try making up some scenarios of bad behavior – starting small and working your way up to bigger and more outrageous things. After each event, ask the kiddo if you would still love them after the bad behavior. The goal is not to even think of things they have done but to focus on the fact that you’re committed to them no matter what.

For example:

  • Do you think I would love you if you told someone a lie about me? (Let child answer) Of course I would still love you.
  • How much would I love you if you got an alligator and let it eat my pet cat? (Let child answer) I would love you more than you can show me.


Written by
Maxine is the mother of two grown children and grandma to seven grandchildren. Four of her grandchildren have been adopted out of the foster care system. Maxine currently lives in Quincy, Illinois with her husband Don.

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