Black Bottom Cupcakes

4 black bottom cupcakes with chocolate cake and cream cheese center on a rack, one split open

These yummy classics deserve a revival. Who doesn’t like individual, moist, and deep-red devil’s food cakes with a creamy cheesecake filling? Children like them in lunch boxes. And adults (like me) enjoy them for breakfast.–David Lebovitz

Black Bottom Cupcakes

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes 12 cupcakes
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Great Book of Chocolate cookbook

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Ingredients

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  • For the filling
  • 8 ounces regular or reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • For the cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • Make the filling
  • 1. Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.
  • For the cupcakes
  • 2. Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F (175°C). Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.
  • 3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  • 4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring until just smooth. Stir any longer and you will over mix the batter and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.
  • 5. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.
  • 6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

Recipe Testers Reviews

The decadent addition of chopped dark chocolate to the sweetened cream cheese filling is a brilliant one. The filling is creamy and dense, the cake surrounding it is deep dark chocolate. What’s not to love about these Black-Bottom Cupcakes? The ingredients are easy to find. These little gems have something for everyone. They are sophisticated enough for grown ups, gooey enough for kids, they travel well to picnics or potlucks as they are meant to be beautiful on their own. There’s no need to frost these. Go make some right now! These will make you very happy.

I came across this recipe while searching for cheesecake on the site. We had perishable homemade Neufchatel cheese in large quantity and cheesecake seemed the perfect solution to use it up, until I spotted this option. Starting with the positive, they were quick and easy to put together. Lebovitz calls for no hard-to-find ingredients. He even benevolently offers the option of regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, and our homemade Neufchatel fell perfectly into the latter category, as well as either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.

Black-Bottom Cupcakes were perfect for dessert on a cold January night, rich, delicious chocolate and cream-cheesy filling melding happily together. They were surprisingly not at all too much—the chocolate and cream cheese balanced each other, and the result was rich, but not cloyingly so. For those not generally interested in cake for dessert, consider these. They held interest through to the last bite, in part because of the variety of textures—the chocolate cake followed by the cream cheese filling and then the chocolate chunks mixed into the filling, happily better than the current cake plus too much frosting cupcake trend.

As a final note, I’d add that these are ideal for anyone feeling a little cupcake-fatigued. They take standard chocolate cake and chocolate chunk cheesecake flavors, bring them together for a classic combination that will stand the test of time, far more than some of the trendier variations being created and marketed en masse at present. They were not the prettiest cupcakes ever—mine looked much like the accompanying photograph, and, to me, part of their charm was this charming homemade look coupled with their undeniably yummy taste.


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