Black Bottom Cupcakes

It turns out that my habit of baking for others has earned me quite a reputation in my med school class.  I have been given many nicknames, including “Betty Crocker” and “cooking lady”.  At the beginning of my current rotation, the professor mentioned jokingly that students were welcome to bring in baked goods.  Three or four of my classmates automatically pointed at me, and one even volunteered the fact that I have my own website.  SO, I pretty much had to bring in some goodies for our lectures…not that it took much convincing 🙂

First I brought in chocolate chip cookies, which were definitely a hit.  This week I wanted to bring in cupcakes, but since I don’t have a cupcake carrier yet, they needed to be without frosting because there are 30 people in the class, and bringing in 30 decorated cupcakes is not something I could do successfully.  These black bottom cupcakes turned out to fit the bill perfectly.  Everyone LOVED them!  Really, who wouldn’t love chocolate cupcakes with a cheesecake center and chocolate chunks??  That’s what I thought.  Of course I am not surprised at how wonderful they turned out because this is another recipe from the fabulous David Lebovitz.  I used a large scoop to fill the wells with the chocolate batter, and then used a medium scoop to add the filling.  This really helped speed things up.   I loved these myself, and can’t wait to make them again!

Black Bottom Cupcakes


For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped


For the cupcakes:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp. white or cider vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract



To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in chopped chocolate pieces.  Set aside.


To make the cupcakes, adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.


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 extract.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring just until 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 will keep unrefrigerated for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz

18 Responses

  1. What a fabulous recipe! They look absolutely sinful!

  2. I can relate! All my co-workers are waiting for some goodies everyday, I love it though. Those cupcakes look delicious!

  3. These are my kind of cupcakes – this is a must make…. 🙂

  4. Those DO look sinful! I have a feeling if I made those, I’d eat half the batch by myself… *grin*

  5. Black bottom cupcakes are one of my favorites! You always feature great recipes Annie!

  6. The cupcakes look fabulous! These are always a hit!

  7. I’ve been checking out your blog for a while now and I love all the awesome stuff you cook and bake! I didn’t realize until this post, though, that you’re a medical student. I’m a second year and am SO incredibly impressed that you have the stamina to do as much cooking and baking as you do. You’ve inspired me to try some more cooking =) Keep up the great work!

  8. I would go back to school if I was guaranteed a “cooking lady” in every one of my classes. Great idea about no frosting and portable.

  9. I know the feeling, I’m know at the restaurant as the cake lady. I can taste those cupcakes!! Cream cheese and chocolate together…wonderful!!

  10. Such a great idea! Similar to cheesecake brownies, but a little lighter – delish!

  11. Phew….I’m glad I made the red pepper pesto pasta before you! Because everything else I’ve been making is inspired by your blog. I swear I need to rename it Annie’s Repeats by Emily 🙂 I think I’m going to make Halloween cookies this week with your Christmas sugar cookie recipe. And I am determined to make my mom’s black bottom cupcake recipe asap. I miss those from my childhood!

  12. These look delicious! I am going to put them on my “to make” list! Thanks for sharing! I’m a new reader of your blog and am really enjoying it so far.

  13. made these today, they were incredible! thanks!

  14. They look delicious. I bet they were quite the hit with your classmates.

  15. […] came across a black bottom cupcake recipe at Annie’s Eats (adapted from David Lebovitz).  I’ve never made homemade cupcakes before (gasp!)…I […]

  16. This is a favorite cupcake in our house. I usually cheat and use a devils food cake mix when I need a cupcake in a hurry.

  17. wow they look yummy trying these out soon !! xx

  18. I have made these five or six times, and they always turn out delicious. I do have one bit of advice for fellow bakers, however: do NOT attempt to make these without cupcake liners. It’s not that the cupcakes stick — it’s that they need the extra stability provided by using liners, or they fall apart as you try to take them out of the pan. I made the mistake of not using liners tonight, and you can bet I won’t do it again. Oh well — the silver lining is that now I get to eat the ones that fell apart instead of taking them to work. 🙂

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