black-bottom cupcakes

March 10, 2010 § 3 Comments

My roommates and I finally decided to man up and clean out the fridge. It has gone from overflowing with unidentified substances, to neatly organized and mildly OCD. We actually have our own shelves now! My roommates’ shelves have sensible items like produce and condiments, whereas mine is pretty much restricted to things containing the word ‘cream’ (heavy cream, sour cream, cream cheese….). My shelf clearly wins.

Having cream cheese on hand is especially important if you like to whip up birthday treats for people at the last second. Although deliciousness is always my main priority, portability is also an issue. These cupcakes are perfect: a moist, chocolatey cupcake is stuffed with a rich cream cheese filling, studded with dark chocolate chunks. No frosting needed! They can be stacked, toppled, and they still arrive in pretty decent shape. Also, they’re very very yummy, and always well received. An extra cupcake went to my roommate, who reported: “The texture is perfectly fluffy and omg there are chocolate-y bits in there! However, one major issue with this cupcake is that there’s only one of it here, or was.” Luckily the recipe makes twelve, so you can avoid this problem for approximately one day.

Black-Bottom Cupcakes – from The Great Book of Chocolate

Yield: 12 cupcakes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used bittersweet chips)


  • 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

Make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat to 350°F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.

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. 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.

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. 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.


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