SK Black-Bottom Cupcakes

Deb Perelman (AKA Smitten Kitchen) recently posted a recipe for these amazing looking black-bottom cupcakes. They’re old-school – chocolate cupcake swirled with cheesecake. They don’t have any frosting and honestly don’t need any because the cheesecake adds enough sweetness to these. Since Trevor was looking for a baking project to do over the weekend with Amelia, we all decided to get in on the fun and make these together.

While I think adults would like these more because of the strong flavors, Amelia did eat half a cupcake. These might even be perfect for a quick Valentine’s Day dinner. Either way, let me know how you like them! ❤

SK Black-Bottom Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • 8 ounces cream cheese, regular or reduced fat, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, or 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup unflavored vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Make the filling: Beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces. Set aside.
  2. Make the cupcakes: Adjust the rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line the tin with paper muffin cups.
  3. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, 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.
  4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups, leaving just a couple spoonfuls behind in the bowl. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly. Spoon any remaining chocolate batter back over the cream cheese center, if you plan to marble the tops. Use a butter knife inserted only about 1/2-inch into the cupcake to swirl the batters together decoratively. The cupcakes will be almost completely full (90%), which is fine. If you still have batter leftover, make one or two additional cupcakes.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed. Enjoy once cooled! 

Note: These moist treats will keep well unrefrigerated for 2 to 3 days if stored in an airtight container.

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