I dug out my mom’s old, tried and true recipe for rich, moist, and delicious Black Bottom Cupcakes with a dreamy cream cheese filling. Then I  jazzed them up with a delectable Cream Cheese Frosting. 

These gems were called “Filled Rich Chocolate Cupcakes” according to my mom’s recipe card from back in the ’70s. But no matter the name, they’re still finger-lickin’ good Chocolate Cupcakes!

Frosted Black Bottom Cupcakes on a white tray.

Why You Must Make

I’ve been making these black bottom cupcakes since high school, and even some Mini Black Bottom Brownie Bites for a luncheon a few years back.

  • The unexpected surprise of sweet cream cheese filling when taking that first bite is a phenomenal introduction to these cupcakes.
  • Adding a swirl of cream cheese frosting was the perfect way to push these gems over the top.
  • They are a tasty change of pace from regular chocolate cupcakes.

The delectable filling is just a mixture of cream cheese, sugar plus an egg. Adding a few mini chocolate chips helped play off the cocoa in the cupcakes. And who isn’t in favor of more chocolate!???

I’d never added frosting to my black bottom cupcakes before, but this was a game-changer. Whether cream cheese or chocolate buttercream, this chocolate cupcake recipe will always be served with frosting at our house from now on. But, if you’re so inclined, they’re pretty darn tasty without icing, too. The additional layer of decadence made for an exquisite dessert!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staple – Sugar, Salt, Flour, Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Water, Vegetable
  • Cream Cheese – at room temperature for easy blending.
  • Egg – at room temperature for easy blending.
  • Cocoa Powder – Regular, not Dutch-Processed.
  • Vegetable Oil – Neutral flavored like Canola
  • Vinegar – white or cider work well. When combined with the baking soda, this combination will help the cupcakes rise in the oven.
  • Vanilla Extract – Make sure it’s real vanilla not artificially flavored.
  • Butter – At room temperature for easy blending. Salted butter works fine.
  • Powdered Sugar – Sift to remove small lumps.

How to Make

  1. Before you start, get out your butter, cream cheese, and egg so they can come to room temperature. Then proceed with the recipe.
  2. First, make the cream cheese filling and set it aside.
  3. Next, whisk together the dry ingredients for the cake, either in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a handheld whisk.
  4. Mix in the liquids and beat for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl to make sure it’s combined.
  5. Divided the batter into muffin/cupcake tins lined with paper liners, about 2/3 full. This leaves room for the filling to be added.
  6. Add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the middle of each cupcake.
  7. Bake as directed, then cool on a wire rack. The cupcakes can be eaten without frosting. In fact, that’s the way my mom made them.
  8. If you want to top with cream cheese frosting, make the frosting, put it into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe a swirl of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.
One black bottom cupcake with a forkful removed to reveal the cream cheese filling.

Expert Tips

  • Have your refrigerated ingredients at room temperature for easy incorporation into the batter and to make the frosting.
  • Sift your powdered sugar for the smoothest frosting.
  • Line your cupcake tin with paper liners. This will make for easy cleanup. Then to serve, drop them into a second liner for a pretty presentation.
  • Fill your cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way up with batter. This gives them room to rise.
  • Don’t be put off by the vinegar in the recipe. It will give the baking soda an extra boost of leavening without making the cupcakes taste like vinegar. It also weakens the gluten bonds in the flour which makes a more tender cake.
  • Use mini chocolate chips, not regular chocolate chips. They will be easier to chew.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Did Black Bottom Cupcakes Originate?

From my experience, these filled cupcakes started showing up in the 1970s across the U.S. I’m certain my mom got the recipe from her bridge club or church friends.

How to Store Black Bottom Cupcakes

To keep your cupcakes fresh, store them in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will taste better at room temperature, so feel free to bring a few out at the beginning of a meal if you prefer not to eat them cold. They also freeze well for up to 3 months as long as they’re stored in an airtight container. Just defrost in the refrigerator overnight before eating.

Why Are There No Eggs in the Cupcake Batter? 

These are homemade chocolate cupcakes without eggs. The filling has an egg, but the cupcakes themselves, are egg-free. It’s the combination of baking soda and vinegar that helps the cupcakes rise and the vegetable oil keeps them moist and tender.
PRO-Tip: If you happen to be looking for an eggless chocolate cupcake, this recipe would work well if baked without the filling.

You May Also Like:

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A black bottom cupcake on a square white plate

Frosted Black Bottom Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 27

Cocoa Cupcakes with a chocolate chip studded cream cheese filling and a swirl of dreamy cream cheese frosting.



  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ⅔ cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (white or cider)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ½-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners (you may need a third muffin tin because this batch can make up to 28 cupcakes). Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, ⅓ cup sugar, egg, and salt until creamy.  Mix in chocolate chips by hand. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until combined.
  4. Fill muffin cups ⅔ full with cake batter. Spoon 1 level tablespoon of cream cheese into the center of each cupcake.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool.
  6. Make frosting by beating the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then mix in the vanilla. Add 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined. If your frosting is too thin, add up to another ½ cup of powdered sugar.
  7. Pipe frosting on cooled cupcakes.


For Halloween, you can color the cream cheese with 4 drops of yellow food coloring and 3 drops of red food coloring.

For Valentine's day, add 4-5 drops of red food coloring.

If you're looking for a moist, delicious egg-free chocolate cupcake, just eliminate the filling and bake for a little less time than called for in this recipe.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cupcake

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 386Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 239mgCarbohydrates: 65gFiber: 1gSugar: 51gProtein: 3g


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