Black Bottom Cupcakes are an old-fashioned dessert that was developed during World War II, requiring no butter, eggs, or milk, all rationed at that time. They are lovely chocolate cupcakes with a cheesecake-like filling that gives you beautiful creaminess in every bite. These cupcakes are adapted from a recipe in an Amish cookbook and reminds me of the desserts my grandmother made when I was a child.
For the most attractive cupcakes, try to get the filling directly in the center. To do this, use a small cookie scoop or 1 tsp measuring spoon. It will make it much easier. Even being careful, the filling tends to move toward the edges. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, they will all taste fantastic!
You will have a little of the filling left over. I tossed mine out but if you want, you can bake it off in a small buttered ramekin for a gluten-free cheesecake.
You may be wondering about the black spots in the filling – those are from vanilla beans because I used vanilla paste. The paste is the seeds of the vanilla pods suspended in a sweetened gel. My favorite is Nielsen-Massey Madagascar and I buy it in big bottles because I use so much of it making sweets for you guys!!
I chose to leave my cupcakes unfrosted to make them even easier to assemble, bake, and eat, but you are welcome to frost yours if you prefer. With frosting, the cream cheese filling would be hidden and more of a surprise!
You can make a traditional buttercream frosting or a cream cheese frosting would be fun too. Whip it up, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a piping tip and have fun creating fancy designs on each cupcake!
I hope you keep this recipe for Black Bottom Cupcakes handy so you can make them for your next occasion … a birthday, luncheon, or just because it is for a special person. They are a wonderful way to celebrate!
Did you enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!
Key Ingredients for Black Bottom Cupcakes:
- Filling: Cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, salt
- Cupcakes: Flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, water, vegetable oil, vanilla
Be certain your cream cheese is at soft room temperature so that it will blend smoothly and evenly with the other ingredients – you don’t want the filling to be lumpy!
This makes a very thin batter, so I found it easiest to pour it into a 2-cup measuring cup with a spout and use that to fill the cupcake liners. It was much neater that way with fewer spills.
How to make Black Bottom Cupcakes:
- Fill the muffin tins with paper liners and preheat oven to 350°F
- Beat together all the filling ingredients until smooth and creamy; set aside at room temperature
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and put them in the bowl of your stand mixer if you are using it, or you can mix by hand; add the water, oil, and vanilla and mix until smooth, scrape the bowl and beater and beat on last time
- Fill each muffin tin about half full then place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each cupcake batter; bake at 350°F for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cupcake portion comes out clean
- Cool the cupcakes in the baking pan a few minutes then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To move the cupcakes from the hot pans to the wire rack to cool, you can use tweezers to grab the paper liners and lift them out or use a mini offset spatula and carefully insert it between the liner and the pan.
Don’t be surprised if the centers sink as they cool, especially if you are using gluten-free flour. The filling is denser than the cake batter and thus heavier.
Recommended Tools (affiliate links; no extra cost to you):
- Kitchen scale
- Muffin tins
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Silicone spatulas
- Measuring cup with a spout
- Cookie scoop or measuring spoon
- Wire cooling rack
If you want to try the extra oomph of vanilla seeds in your baked goods, try Nielsen-Massey’s vanilla paste. It is addicting!
You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela’s, Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
- 8 oz package of cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1-1/2 cups (180 g*) gluten-free flour blend or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup (28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup (8 oz) water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
* See Note
- Place paper liners in 16 to 18 muffin tins. Preheat the oven to 350°F with the top rack in the center. If your pans do not fit side-by-side in the oven, set the racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven.
- Make the Filling: In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer on low speed, combine the cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy and the sugar is dissolved with no lumps of cream cheese. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature.
- Prepare the Cupcakes: In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until fully combined. Next, using your stand mixer, a hand mixer, or mixing by hand, add the water, oil, and vanilla, mixing until smooth and fully incorporated. Scrape the bowl and beater and beat for another minute. The batter will be very thin. Pour the batter into a measuring cup with a spout for the easiest and cleanest filling of the cupcake liners.
- Fill each cupcake liner about 1/2 full. Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of each cupcake. Bake cupcakes for 25 to 28 minutes or until the filling is set and a toothpick inserted in the cupcake portion comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for a couple of minutes then carefully remove them from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe found at www.theheritagecook.com
Adapted from the Amish Recipes by Yoder's Country Cooking cookbook
*You can adjust any recipe to gluten-free by using 120 grams per cup of my favorite gluten-free flour blend. If you are using another brand of gluten-free flour, whisk the mix, spoon it lightly into a measuring cup until mounded, level off the top with a straight edge, and weigh the flour left in the cup. Use that weight as your standard per cup of that specific flour. Do this for each flour blend you use. Commercial blends such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1, or King Arthur Measure for Measure are all good choices.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 187Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 26mgSodium: 172mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
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