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Black Bottom Cupcakes

These Black Bottom Cupcakes are moist, fluffy, and totally irresistible. Made with a fudgy chocolate base and a cream cheese center loaded with mini chocolate chips, these classic cupcakes are super easy to make.

Black bottom cupcake with more in the background.

Easy Black Bottom Cupcake Recipe

Black bottom cupcakes (or “black bottoms”) are one of my favorite treats to make. They hit all the things I’m looking for in a cupcake – fudgy chocolate, tangy cream cheese, and no frosting. If you’ve followed Bake or Break for a while, you know I’m a sucker for cakes and cupcakes that don’t require frosting!

Black bottoms are easy to make, are a little decadent, and are packed with flavor. I love the contrast of flavors you get in a single bite and the subtle addition of texture from the mini chocolate chips. 

If you love this combination of flavors as much I do, you must make these little chocolate cakes. They’re a massive hit at parties, bake sales, and family get-togethers. 

Ingredients for black bottom cupcakes.

What You’ll Need

These chocolate and cream cheese cupcakes come together easily and use ingredients you probably have in your pantry today. Scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Cream cheese – Bring the cream cheese to room temperature before mixing. You can expedite the softening (and make mixing a little easier) by cutting it into small squares while it’s still cold. Full-fat cream cheese works best.
  • Egg – Bring the egg to room temperature before mixing. I recommend baking with large eggs.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Chocolate chips – Use mini chocolate chips for this recipe; larger ones won’t work as well.
  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight for best results. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Apple cider vinegar – This helps make your chocolate cupcakes fluffy and moist.
  • Vanilla extract: Store-bought vanilla extract is great, but you can also make your own. Learn more: How to Make Vanilla Extract
three Black Bottom Cupcakes on a marble surface

How to Make Black Bottom Cupcakes

If you’ve ever wondered how to make cupcakes, this section is for you. We’ll break down every step you need to make these delicious chocolate cream cheese delights. These couldn’t be easier since you don’t have to worry about frosting!

  • Prepare for baking. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • Make the cream cheese filling. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, egg, and 1/3 cup of sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips. Add the mini chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture and fold them in with a spatula. Set this aside.
  • Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining 1 cup of sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix everything together until well blended.
  • Fill the muffin cups. Fill each muffin cup one-third full with the chocolate batter. Top with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture until the cups are about two-thirds full. Do not overfill the cups or the batter will overflow when it cooks.
Cooked black bottom cupcakes
  • Bake. Bake one pan at a time for 22 to 28 minutes or until the tops spring back lightly when touched. Let the first pan cool while you cook the second pan.
  • Cool. Cool the black and white cupcakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Then, remove them from the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.
overhead view of Black Bottom Cupcakes piled on a white plate

Tips for Success

This is one of those easy cupcake recipes you’ll want to come back to again and again. Here are a few tips to make the process seamless from start to finish.

  • Measure the flour accurately. Adding too much four is the most common mistake that will cause your cupcakes to be dry and dense. Measure by weight for best results. Otherwise, use the spoon and sweep method. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Don’t skip the paper liners. Use paper liners to prevent the batter from sticking to the muffin pan. They also make the cupcakes more portable and more easily stored.
  • Use mini chocolate chips. The size of the mini chips is just perfect; larger ones won’t work as well. With that said, use whatever size chips you have on hand if you’re in a pinch. Chop them into smaller size pieces to simulate mini chips.
  • Don’t fill the muffin cups too high. Black bottom cupcakes should have black bottoms and a slightly sunken cream cheese filling in the middle. To get this look, don’t overfill the cupcake liners with chocolate batter or the chocolate will swell over the cream cheese layer and swallow it up.
Close up of a black bottom cupcake in the tray

How to Store

These black and white cupcakes are really easy to store. Wrap up extras in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. Make sure your container is well-sealed, or they may get dry. Let the cupcakes come to room temperature before serving.

How to Freeze Black Bottom Cupcakes

Place leftover cupcakes on a sheet pan in the freezer until they’re frozen solid. After they’re frozen, place the cupcakes in an airtight, freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. For an extra layer of protection, you can wrap each one in plastic to help stave off freezer burn. Properly stored, these cupcakes should keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw on the counter for an hour or two, or place them in the refrigerator overnight and then bring to room temperature before serving.

half of a Black Bottom Cupcake on a white plate

Black and White Cupcakes

Yield 24 cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Total Time 48 minutes

Decadent, fudgy chocolate and sweet cream cheese combine to make these rich Black Bottom Cupcakes. Moist, fluffy, and full of flavor, this easy cupcake recipe will become your new favorite!

A plate full of black bottom cupcakes.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (67g) plus 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (177g) miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, egg, and 1/3 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center, and add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix just until blended.
  4. Fill each muffin cup one-third full with the chocolate batter. Top with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture, until the cups are about two-thirds full. Bake, one pan at a time, 22 to 28 minutes, or until the tops spring back lightly when touched.
  5. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Buttercup Bakes at Home.

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    51 Comments on “Black Bottom Cupcakes”

  1. Buttercup Bakes at Home is one of my favorite cookbooks. I haven’t made these yet but they look delicious! (My favorite are her chocolate peanut butter crispy rice bars!)

  2. I am not a big cupcake person. They seem cute on paper but often fail to live up to expectations. But these look really delicious. Cream cheese can’t hurt anything, right?

  3. Oh my… these look so good and moist. I have looked at Buttercup Bakes at the book store many times but I never bought it. Now this is making me go back and get it!

  4. These look amazing; what a gorgeous texture. Cream cheese & chocolate are always fantastic!

  5. These look awesome! Of course anything with chocolate is going to get my full attention! And cream cheese is just an added bonus.

  6. They look wonderful! I could easily eat a whole batch by myself!

  7. I love the pic taken from up above. Very pretty 🙂

  8. I love these. We always called them black bottoms.

  9. Those look amazing! I have been having such a cupcake obsession lately, and this really isn’t helping!!

  10. Thanks, everyone! With the exception of just a few, I took all of these to work where everyone just seemed to love them. I’m thinking of making them again for a simple Easter dessert.

  11. Jennifer, are the mini chocolate chips semi or milk chocolate?

  12. Oh, I love these as well! They are one of my favorites and have become a recipe that my friends and family always request. I have always known them to be called Black Bottom Cupcakes, however.

  13. Cindy, I used semisweet chocolate chips. Those are usually my preference over milk chocolate.

    Mandy, aren’t they the best? The Buttercup book also references them as Black Bottom Cupcakes. Whatever you call them, they’re delicious!

  14. There is nothing like a chocolate and creamcheese fix and the addition of little mini chocolate chips sounds perfect! Very cute.

  15. I often prefer the actual cupcake to the icing, and since this recipe also combines 2 of my favorite flavors (chocolate and cream cheese,) it sounds perfect to me. I’ll be trying it soon!

  16. What a nice twist on cupcakes, Jen.

  17. Shandy, Sandie, and Patricia – thanks very much!

  18. I made another recipe for Black and White cupcakes recently. These look much better!!! The ones I made were just…okay.

  19. Mmmm! These are my favorite!! My grandma has always made them and I dubbed them “cuppeecakes” when I was little, so that’s what our family calls them. Such a treat!: )

  20. What a great recipe for a cupcake sans the frosting. It’s the perfect naked cupcake! 🙂

  21. Thanks, Tiffany, Maxine, & Gigi! I still remember these fondly. 😉

  22. those look intensely delicious — i want one as an afternoon snack! i will look around for that cookbook…

  23. Katy, there are many good recipes in this book. Definitely worth picking up.

  24. I made them last week for my office. But as I usually do-I over-filled them and ended up making a 2nd batch. They had the most intense choclate flavor! The office loved them.

  25. I’m glad they were a hit, Debbie!

  26. Oh they’re simply gorgeous!

  27. Thanks, TBC! I made these again for our Easter lunch, and they were just as good as I remembered.

  28. These are great cupcakes! Normally, we don’t get but one shot at sampling your desserts, so thanks for making them again at Easter! These were really good. In fact, we are still enjoying the ones you left here. This is just the right amount of chocolate for a snack!

  29. these look AMAZING! they’ve been on my to-bake list since i 1st saw them.
    yum!

  30. Glad you liked them, Nan & Jim.

    Thanks, Amy! Let me know what you think if you try them.

  31. I’m going to make these this weekend! thanks for sharing. 🙂

  32. My mother has been making these since I was little and they are still a favorite. I don’t know if the recipe is exactly the same or where she got the recipe but they are so good. I love that you made them because no one I know has ever heard of them before! Love the website too!

  33. Carmen, I hope you like them!

    Thanks, Erika!

  34. The last time I made this; the cupcakes were overflown. Yours look yummy and are to be drooled for!

  35. Thanks, Michelle! I’m sure yours were still delicious. Definitely one of my favorite cupcakes.

  36. I just made these delicious cupcakes for my mom (they’re her favorite kind of cupcake) and she was thrilled! Thanks so much.

  37. Glad she liked them, Tara!

  38. These look delicious. Although I haven’t tried the cream cheese part (note to self!!), I have made the chocolate cupcake portion of the recipe before, and it is my favorite!

  39. Thanks, Chris. I’m sure just the chocolate portion is wonderful on its own.

  40. Hey Jennifer! These look delicious and I really want to try them soon.

    One question, however. You say the water must be hot. How hot exactly? Just lukewarm or blazing hot?

  41. Mel, the water just needs to be warm. Lukewarm is fine. Enjoy!

  42. I bakes them yesterday because I am a big fan of chocolate and cream cheese 😀
    They look really pretty, but when ate one yesterday I was not entirely convinced by the combination of chocolate and cream cheese.
    But when I ate another one today, they were delicious! So I would recommend to let them rest for a day, so they actually taste as good as they look 😀

  43. Crazy – I have this classic recipe from the Best of Bridge – they call them “Black Bottom Cupcakes.” Sooo delicious. A case of recipe plagiarism??

  44. These sound very good! I wonder if they would freeze well? There is only 2 of us and 24 is a lot. I usually make muffins in batches of 12 and freeze 1/2 for later… Hmmm! I see a freezer test coming to this kitchen soon…

  45. This sounds delicious!! I will definitely try it soon 🙂

  46. These are excellently delicious cup cakes! I bought Chiardelli semisweet chocolate chips because my boyfriend’s sister loves Chiardelli. I only have one 12 regular cupcake baking pan, so I guess I have to buy another one baking pan.. The problem with my boyfriend is he gobbles up chocolates and cookies and he might do the same with these yummy creation of yours. Can I freeze the remaining ones after I have given away half of the 24 cup cakes. Thanks!

  47. When I started making these years ago they are called “Black Bottoms! So I don’t know who took the recipe and change it to Black and White Cupcakes”. But I don’t think is that is is right to do that!

    • I just check my recipe and it is same. It is the one my Mom had made these since I was 13 years old. I have kept on making them ( I am now 68 years old) .

      • Hi, Dianne. I’ve seen these with several different names, but I have no idea where they first originated. I first made them from the cookbook noted in the recipe. How wonderful that you’ve continued baking a childhood favorite!

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