top of page

Black Bottom Cupcakes

February 6, 2021

As a child anything named “black bottom” would have frightened me. I would have envisioned the dark, murky sea floor, or on endless black hole that I would never be able to climb out of. Who would have known it meant chocolate! A chocolate bottomed cupcake! They should be renamed so kids all over the world know it’s a chocolate cupcake with a dollop of cream cheese yumminess on top.

This recipe comes to me by way of one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors, Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen. She adapted it from another of my favorites, David Lebovitz, so I just knew that it had to be good. I made some adjustments myself and I was thrilled with the outcome. I love that these cupcakes are perfect without any frosting. They are so unfussy. Usually when you get involved with cupcakes it means get ready to pipe some messy frosting, but these casual cupcakes are the perfect afternoon treat.


Black Bottom Cupcakes

Adapted from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen

For the Filling

8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 cup of semisweet chocolate chips

For the Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup brewed coffee

1/3 cup unflavored oil, vegetable or canola

1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract



For the Filling:

In the bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

For the Cupcakes:

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with baking spray, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, brewed coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Make a well (like a hole) in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until smooth. Be careful not over mix the batter or your cupcakes will not be tender.

Divide the chocolate batter among the 12 muffin cups, putting 2 tablespoons of chocolate batter in each cup. This purposefully leaves some batter left over in the bowl. Next, spoon 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling into the center of each chocolate cup. Again, you may have some left over filling. That's ok.

For a decorative look, now spoon about a 1/2 tablespoon of chocolate batter on top of the cream cheese filling. Take a butter knife and insert about 1/2 inch into the cupcake and twist in in the shape of the number 8, swirling the batters together. This swirl just makes the cupcakes look nice on the top.

If you have enough batter left over for another cupcake you can start a new pan. I didn’t. I only had some cream cheese batter left and did not use it.

Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and feel springy when gently pressed. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire cooling rack.


bottom of page