Black Bottom Cupcakes

I went to the grocery store at least 3 times this weekend and on each trip, forgot to buy butter. Given the situation, this morning’s treat had to be made with oil. Luckily, I had some cream cheese and was able to make one of the best cupcakes I know. These are called Black Bottom Cupcakes and they’re like rich fudge cupcakes with chocolate chip cheesecake in the center.

black bottom cupcakes

I had not made them in a while and this recipe (adapted from The Magnolia Bakery cookbook) was particularly good. It called for Dutch process cocoa, so I used Hershey’s extra dark Dutch which worked perfectly. The cupcakes were dense, moist, and very chocolaty. The filling was good too. It had more cream cheese and less egg than some other recipes, so the cheesecake part of the cupcake was dense without being eggy.

black bottom cupcake split

For kicks I tried dying some of the cream cheese mixture green for St. Patrick’s Day. I mixed blue and yellow gel and got this not-so-pleasant hue (which was so awful I took down the photo), but I think if you used regular green food coloring and less of if, plus combined it with some St. Patrick’s Day themed or green cupcake cups, you’d have a prettier and appropriately festive treat.

These were delicious, but I still need to try Nicole’s Baking Bites Black Bottom Cupcake recipe. A while back she adapted one from Cook’s Country that looks really good and has a whiter cheesecake filling. I keep saying I’ll try that one, then end up making the oil based version. If it’s good enough for Magnolia, it’s good enough for me!

Black Bottom Cupcakes


12 oz cream cheese, not softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (7.9 oz)
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder – Hershey’s Dark
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 18 muffin tins with paper cups.

In a stand mixer, beat the cold cream cheese until fairly smooth. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the vegetable oil and sugar – I did this with a hand-held electric mixer, but a whisk would probably be fine. The mixture was kind of thick and grainy and didn’t hold a lot of air.

Mix the buttermilk and vanilla together in a cup, then add the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture to the oil mixture alternately, stirring rather than beating, until flour is incorporated.

Divide the chocolate batter evenly among the muffins tins and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake in preheated oven on center for 28-30 minutes. Cool at room temperature for about half an hour and then chill until very cold.

Related posts:


  1. Rina says

    These look great Anna. I’ve only made black bottom cupcakes once (can’t remember which recipe I used), but I remember that they sank after I pulled them out of the oven. How did you avoid that? Maybe your cream cheese mixture was less dense (wish I had the recipe to compare)? Also, I saw an ad on your site for the new Yoplait greek yogurt – they even have coupons up now on their site. 🙂

  2. says

    I keep forgetting to look in the stores for that Yoplait Greek yogurt and I even just bought more yogurt.
    (Just making you feel better about forgetting the butter three times. 😉 I tend to do that most with eggs for some reason.
    I’ve never made black bottom cupcakes before but have seen them often and they look good. Love the dark chocolate look to yours. Reminds me that over Christmas I made some Oreo cheesecake squares with the red filling Oreos and well, they just didn’t look very good. Tasted great, but weren’t that pretty.

  3. says

    I think that the trick with green food coloring is to *really* commit to the color. Bright green and lots of it. I’ve gotten… ah, let’s just call it less-than-positive feedback on things that I’ve attempted to add a green swirl to in the past! =)

    Love the black bottom cupcakes, though. They’re making me crave some myself!

  4. says

    These look great! I’ve never made black bottom cupcakes.

  5. says

    Rina, thanks for the heads up on the Yoplait ad! I’ll watch for it. Speaking of which, Yoplait has a red velvet flavor. I haven’t tried it, but it sounds interesting.

    About the sinking, that’s happened to me in the past. I think these didn’t sink because there was more cream cheese in the recipe and less egg. My other recipe has something like 8 oz cream cheese, 1 egg and 1/3 cup sugar. Also, they specified non-softened cream cheese here so maybe that had something to do with it.

    Katrina, I can’t believe you’ve never tried these!!!! Try them!

    Nicole, I might try it with a bright or pastel colored green. That might do the trick. The other option is the Bailey’s version. I made a Bailey’s version of black bottom cupcakes a long time ago which is kind of on-theme and less tacky.

  6. says

    those look delicious!! The green swirl cracks me up, nice try 🙂 heehee It looked like spinach mixed in at first!

  7. says

    Black bottom cupcakes are one of my favorites and I haven’t made them in awhile. These look really good. I had forgotten about the Bailey’s version. I have to make something for a group on Wednesday. Maybe I should give those a whirl. I had something else in mind, but I might change gears!

  8. Sarah says

    I recently tried a very similar recipe, but it included peanut butter in the cream cheese filling. I wasn’t a huge fan of the peanut butter w/cream cheese, but this one sounds good. Will hopefully try this recipe sometime this week!

  9. says

    The ‘plain’ (if that is an appropriate word) look great! The green food colored ones look very healthy, like they have spinach in them.

    I would think that green foil cupcake liners might be the solution or a green foiled Hershey’s kiss, for a ‘kiss me I’m Irish’ effect 😉

    I’m in a non-dairy ‘phase’ but those look really tempting…

  10. says

    This really speaks to me! I wonder if there’s a way to just leave out the eggs and still bind the cream cheese? I don’t think the flax substitute would work here, or look too appitizing! LOL I notice in the recipe is says 12 cream cheese. What is that?

  11. Jen says

    I needed this recipe the other night. Was all set to make cupcakes and had no butter. Had everything in these, though. Made another cupcake recipe that I bet isn’t as good and now to make these, I will need to go out and buy more buttermilk. It seems I never have everything I need to make something I want to.

  12. CindyD says

    Maybe to make them Irishish you could chop up some Andes mints instead of the chocolate chips, or if you didn’t want the mint flavor, green M&M’s or what would happen if you put green sprinkles in the cream cheese???

  13. says

    I can’t believe how many of you bakers haven’t tried this recipe! I’ve been making these since fourth grade and they are delicious. So far, I think this Magnolia version is the best I’ve ever made. However, I have a batch of Nicole’s Cooks Country recipe chilling in the refrigerator and will do a side by side comparison later today.

    Lisa, this recipe would probably be easy to veganize if there isn’t a vegan version out there already. The cake part doesn’t have any eggs, so that makes it easier. You could use this recipe, swap out the buttermilk for some vegan milk alternative, then use a vegan cheesecake filling. I’m sure it’s been done.

    Cindy, along that same line — what about a mint flavored cheesecake for the filling? You could use this same filling but add a little green food coloring, some mint and mini chocolate chips.

  14. Fat Fudge says

    Those were the cupcakes my Aunt always made when my cousins’ had a slumber party! I gobbled those up like potato chips. Thanks for the posting that gem.

  15. Louise says

    LOL The green dye makes the black bottom cupcake look like it got lost in the back of the refrigerator.

  16. says

    Anna, most vegan cheesecakes use tofu as the base, which I don’t think would be good here. I don’t mind the actual cream cheese, just not the eggs. But yes, there must be a way to make it work without eggs, and I’m intrigued enough that I want to give it a try!

  17. janet says

    My best friend from high school wants me to make these for her daughters wedding in a few weeks. She wants them as mini cupcakes. How long should I bake them?

  18. says

    Janet, I’ve never made them as minis, but if I did I would probably take them out after 20 minutes. You might want to make a test cupcake just to be safe.

  19. Ela says

    Hi Anna, I the Black Bottom Cupcake of Magnolia, I followed the recipe but the cupcake part came out dry, I baked mine for 28 minutes and I have an oven thermometer. I used Hershey’s Dark Cocoa. Do you think I can use my tried and true chocolate cake recipe for it? Or should I use a different kind of chocolate the taste is kinda flat with Hershey’s Dark Cocoa. Thanks.

  20. says

    Hi Ela,
    Sounds like you used too much flour. Did you weigh the flour? The cake shouldn’t be dry, but there could be other variables, especially since you mentioned the taste was flat. Too much flour will do that (or leaving out the salt). This recipe is my favorite made as is and everybody loves it, but you could definitely try your favorite chocolate cake recipe. Let me know how it works!

  21. lisa says

    I make the black bottom cupcakes with chocolate cake mix…and it works great for bottom part of cupcake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *