Easy mini black bottom cupcakes are the ultimate tiny cream cheese and chocolate treat. Perfect bitesize cupcakes to keep in the freezer and have on hand for entertaining or for a quick sweet snack.
What are Black Bottom Cupcakes?
Black bottom cupcakes are essentially chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese filling.
They are called black bottoms because of the dark chocolate cake base. Then a dollop of decadent cream cheese filling is added to the top (usually with some chocolate chips too).
When the cupcakes are baked, the cream cheese sinks into the cake layer a bit meeting together with the cake making a distinctive type of cupcake that has long been popular in the US. I mean, who doesn't love a mix of cake and cheesecake?!
Ingredients for Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes
For any black bottom recipe, you'll need two groups of ingredients: the chocolate cake layer and the cheesecake filling.
1. Ingredients for Black Bottom Chocolate Cake
- Flour - either all purpose flour or plain flour will work fine in this recipe.
- Sugar - you can use granulated sugar (superfine) or caster sugar.
- Cocoa powder - use a good quality cocoa for a good rich chocolate flavour.
- Oil - a flavourless oil such as sunflower, grapeseed or rapeseed oil.
- Warm water - you want lukewarm water, not boiling but also not cold tap water.
- Vinegar - standard distilled white vinegar.
- Vanilla extract - this recipe calls for a lot of vanilla. This is because vanilla works to accentuate the chocolate flavour and also complements the cream cheese filling. As usual, I'll always encourage you to use good quality vanilla - it makes all the difference.
2. Ingredients for Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Filling
- Cream cheese - I use spreadable cream cheese, because this is the only type readily available in the UK. See FAQs below for note about using block cream cheese in this recipe.
- Egg yolk
- Sugar - another small quantity of granulated or caster sugar.
- Chocolate chips - you can use standard size chocolate chips or mini chips.
Process for Black Bottom Cupcakes
Now this recipe makes a lot (and I mean A LOT) of tiny cupcakes. Don't be put off though - these store for months in the freezer and are actually best eaten lightly defrosted after being frozen.
Start by lining your mini cupcake pan. I use a pan that makes about 36 miniature cakes. You can make this same recipe in larger versions, though the baking times and numbers of cakes made will vary.
In order to make this black bottom recipe, you'll need two fairly large mixing bowls - one for the chocolate cake and the second for the cream cheese mixture.
For the chocolate cupcake base, this is a one bowl mix. Simply whisk together the ingredients - I like to start with the sugar and oil, then add in the cocoa with the vinegar. Followed by the water, flour and vanilla.
Cocoa reacts with the vinegar and warm water to blossom and enhance the chocolatey flavour.
Quick Cheesecake Filling with Spreadable Cream Cheese
For the cream cheese filling in this black bottom recipe, I have adapted my family's classic recipe for using spreadable cream cheese instead of the more solid cream cheese block. This is because of ingredient availability in the UK, which I've discussed in my recipe for Cream Cheese Frosting with Spreadable Cream Cheese. I also just generally find it a convenient substitute - no need to pre-soften the cheese!
Simply mix together the soft spreadable cheese with the egg yolk and sugar until smooth. Then stir through the chocolate chips.
Baking Black Bottom Cupcakes
In order to assemble and bake these chocolate cream cheese cupcakes, start by spooning out the chocolate batter. If using the mini cupcake tin, I recommend about a tablespoon of batter per cupcake case (filling each case roughly ¾ full).
Top this off with a dollop of a heaping half teaspoon of cream cheese. Make sure you get a few chocolate chips in each dollop!
These measurements should see you to finish both batters together for mini black bottom cupcakes. But, you may find as you go that you feel like you're using up one faster than the other. If that's the case, you may wish to shift the amounts a bit (for instance using more or less of the cream cheese per cupcake).
Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes until the cream cheese appears set and starting to golden lightly. Remove from the pan to cool on a wire rack and repeat lining and spooning out your batters until you are finished with the mixtures.
While each batch only takes 15 minutes to bake, this will likely take you about an hour of baking overall, unless you have several mini cupcake pans that you can fill and bake at the same time (and a large enough oven for that sort of thing!).
FAQs for Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes
These are best stored in the freezer, even if you are planning to serve later the same day. Once the black bottoms are cooled, place in a single layer in a ziploc bag and set in the freezer. You will likely need a couple of bags, but these can be stacked and make for easy access for serving later.
When serving, allow to defrost for about 30 minutes. They are best lightly chilled.
Yes, absolutely! This recipe makes about 150 tiny bitesize cupcakes (between 4 and 5 trays worth of miniature cupcakes). Alternatively, you could make these as larger cupcakes, including full size black bottom cupcakes. These will take longer to bake, since each cake will have more batter and filling. Keep an eye on them for the cream cheese to set.
Yes you can certainly use block cream cheese instead of the spreadable version in this recipe. If you are using the block version, allow this to soften a bit at room temperature first (a bit like using butter) and use a whole egg instead of just the yolk. Otherwise the recipe can remain the same!
If you like this recipe, try some more cheesecake treats:
- No-Bake Biscoff Cheesecake
- Easy Eggnog Cheesecake
- S'mores Cheesecake
- Chocolate Ganache Cheesecake Cupcakes
Mini Black Bottom Cupcakes
Ingredients for Chocolate Cupcakes
- 2 cups superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour or plain flour
- 6 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup flavourless oil such as sunflower oil
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling
- 12 oz spreadable cream cheese
- 1 egg yolk
- ¼ cup superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar
- 8 oz chocolate chips
- Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan) and lining a mini cupcake tray with miniature cupcake cases.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil. Then add the cocoa powder and vinegar, followed by the warm water, vanilla, flour and salt. Whisk until just combined and smooth - ensuring there are no lumps of flour. Set this aside while you prepare the cream cheese filling.
- For the cream cheese mixture, stir together the spreadable cream cheese, sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Then add the chocolate chips, stirring to coat and distribute.
- Using a tablespoon, spoon out chocolate cake batter into the prepared linings. Fill these about three quarters full.
- Dollop out a small teaspoon of cheesecake filling into the centre of each case of chocolate batter, ensuring that there are a few chocolate chips in each.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the cream cheese appears set and starting to lightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat the process until all of your batters are used up.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, transfer to ziploc bags to store in the freezer until ready to serve.