baking. cooking. eating.

Black Bottom Cupcakes {All Dressed Up}

by flavorthemoments on June 9, 2013

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

Black bottom cupcakes are near and dear to my heart.  Why?  I’m so glad you asked. :smile:   When I first began my job in San Francisco at the ripe age of 23, I had a wonderful boss that would bring in black bottom cupcakes each and every time one of us had a birthday.  This was long before cupcakeries and Cupcake Wars, obviously.  I was so impressed that she made cupcakes with a filling in them.  It was the first time I’d experience a filled cupcake outside of the Hostess bake shop.  :lol:

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

I remember thinking how much effort my boss must have gone through to make her special birthday cupcakes, which she topped with chocolate frosting.  What I didn’t know until years later when I made some myself, is that these are some of the easiest cupcakes you’ll ever make.  They’re chocolatey with a rich, cream cheese chocolate chip filling.  Normally they aren’t frosted as they taste perfectly indulgent without it.  Mine were for a graduation party, which is why I thought frosting was entirely necessary, and why I titled them black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}.  They needed to be dressed to impress.  :smile:

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

As I said, these little gems don’t need frosting.  At all.  They’re fabulous on their own.  I love the way they look without frosting as well.  Who can resist that chocolatey cupcake with that luscious filling bursting through?  Certainly not me.

black bottom cupcakes black bottom cupcakes

The frosting is only for decoration.  I’ve made them for birthdays with chocolate frosting, chocolate cream cheese frosting, and chocolate whipped cream cheese frosting.  All were fantastic.  This time I opted for plain cream cheese frosting because I was making carrot cupcakes as well, and I didn’t want to make two different frostings.  I mean, I made 60 cupcakes yesterday, so I cut myself a break.  The carrot cupcakes will be coming very soon.  :smile:

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

These black bottom cupcakes are super special.  The simplicity is spectacular, and the taste is out of this world.  They’re my go-to chocolate cupcake, hands down.  I never got the recipe from my boss, but thank heaven for Google!  I found the recipe around 13 years ago and have been making these ever since.  If you’ve never tried black bottom cupcakes, you just have to.  Frosted or unfrosted, you’re going to enjoy every single chocolate cream cheese bite!  :grin:

black bottom cupcakes {all dressed up}

Black Bottom Cupcakes {All Dressed Up}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes {All Dressed Up}

Black Bottom Cupcakes {All Dressed Up} are rich, chocolatey cupcakes with an indulgent cream cheese-chocolate chip filling. Eat them as is, or dress them up with cream cheese frosting!



8 ounces 1/3 less fat neufchatel cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1/3 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

6 ounces 1/3 less fat neufchatel cream cheese, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin pan with 12 paper or foil liners.

Prepare the filling:

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

Prepare the cupcakes:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso, powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. Add the water, canola oil, cider vinegar, and vanilla. Stir everything together just until everything is incorporated. Using an ice cream scoop, pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups about 1/3 of the way full. Add a heaping teaspoon full of the cream cheese filling on top of the batter in the center. If you have leftover filling, you can add a little more if desired! Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the filling appears set and the cupcakes spring back when pressed gently with your fingers. Cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the cream cheese frosting:

Place the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the mixing bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on low speed until the powdered sugar is just incorporated, then mix at medium high speed until fully incorporated. Beat at high speed for 1-2 minutes until super light and creamy. Frost the cooled cupcakes and garnish with more mini chocolate chips and sprinkles, if desired.


Black bottom cupcakes are great with chocolate cream cheese frosting as well! Just add 1/2 cup melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate chips or Baker's chocolate to the frosting and stir until incorporated.

Cupcake recipe adapted from

Frosting recipe adapted from Georgetown Cupcakes.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Liz June 9, 2013 at 8:08 pm

These do look good! I like the added cream cheese frosting on top – perfect!


flavorthemoments June 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Thanks, Liz! They’re one of my favorite things in life.


Jaclyn June 10, 2013 at 7:11 am

Cream cheese chocolate chip filling? Sold!


flavorthemoments June 10, 2013 at 7:28 am

You really can’t go wrong with that, can you?! Thanks, Jaclyn!


Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 June 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I love black bottom cupcakes! Yours are so pretty with a little frosting on top.


flavorthemoments June 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thank you, Nicole! You certainly can’t go wrong with these!


Sika June 10, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Wow, your photos are so amazing! And the recipe sounds so great, I have to try it!


flavorthemoments June 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Thank you so much! I highly recommend these. Easy and delicious!


Anne ~ Uni Homemaker June 10, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Chocolate and espresso pair so beautifully together. A glass of milk or coffee would do it for me with some of these beauties. Great post Marcie!


flavorthemoments June 10, 2013 at 2:47 pm

It’s probably my favorite flavor combination. Thank you, Anne!


Grace August 24, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Thank you! I made these for my friend and babysitter for her birthday today. She loved it! I doubled the cheesecake though…I’m a bit of a cheese cake fiend. These are amazing cupcakes. :)


flavorthemoments August 25, 2013 at 3:27 am

I’m so glad you loved these, Grace! They’re definitely a favorite of mine.


Cheryl April 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

DD loves Black Bottom Cupcakes and asked for them for her graduation…gluten free, though. I was looking at how to dress them up and came across your post. Thanks so much! We will be using your ideas. Her other flavor choice was our Pumpkin Brownies, in cupcake form, and so I loved your ONE frosting idea!! Thanks for your help for our reception.


flavorthemoments April 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm

I’m happy you found what you were looking for here, Cheryl! Pumpkin brownies sound so delicious, too — your graduation desserts sound perfect! :)


ruth August 24, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Is it ok to skip the apple cider vinegar?


flavorthemoments August 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Hi Ruth — you should definitely use the vinegar, but you can sub the apple cider with white or white balsamic. Hope that helps!


J September 22, 2014 at 5:17 am

Hi! I made this for my friend as a present and he loved it!i’m a first time cupcake baker so i was elated when i got very positive comment. Just wonderin’ about the shell life of these lovelies? Thanks!


flavorthemoments September 22, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Hello, and I’m glad these worked out for you! If you refrigerate them, they’ll keep for at least 3 days and still taste good. You can enjoy them cold, or let them stand at room temp if you like them that way better (I love them room temp). :) Thank you for the feedback!


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