Years ago, before I began a serious baker, I marveled at the Starbucks black bottom cupcake. I had no idea what was in it – I simply knew it was delicious, and that it was the only cupcake in existence that didn’t need frosting. How could one achieve such a thing? What was that spongy, chocolate chip-studded white layer? This remained a mystery, until today.
The black bottom cupcake is surprisingly simple to make, requiring basics that you likely have in your pantry. The batter could certainly hold its own without the cream cheese/sugar/egg/chocolate chip filling, but that would defeat the entire black bottom purpose. Although it’s Lent and I’m refraining from sweets at present, this will be on the top of my list to make once Easter arrives. Next time, I might increase my filling quantity, perhaps even doubling it, so that I can add more filling to each cupcake.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- dash of salt
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; my recipe yielded 33 cupcakes, just shy of three dozen.
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; beat until well combined. Add egg and salt and beat until very well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
In a large bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla extract and mix very well.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop batter into cupcake wells, filling just over half full. Drop a heaping teaspoon of the cream cheese filling mixture into the middle of each.
Bake for 20 minutes; remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.