Typically I’m not one to be a slave to trends. However, the cupcake trend that has been sweeping the nation over the past several years has pretty much won me over. Cupcakes are delicious, nostalgic, often whimsical, and perhaps best of all, portable. Regular cakes are beautiful, but they are not easy to transport. They also require additional serving utensils and dishes. Cupcakes, on the other hand, are a different story. Individually packaged in their own wrappers, they are the perfect on-the-go treats.
Today’s cupcakes are even more portable because they don’t have frosting. This doesn’t take away from their flavor though; they are rich and decadent all on their own. Chocolate devil’s food cake with a cheesecake-like filling. Oh, and did I mention the chocolate chunks in the filling? Kids will love the chocolaty, creamy flavors, and adults will appreciate the lack of sickly sweet frosting. (Though there is certainly a time and place for frosting!) I took these cupcakes to a flag football game and they were gone before halftime.
Black Bottom Cupcakes
Adapted from Annie’s Eats, Originally from David Lebovitz’s The Great Book of Chocolate
For the Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate or chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
5 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 T. white or cider vinegar (I used cider vinegar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), add the cream cheese, granulated sugar, and the egg. Beat until smooth and well-combined. Stir in the chopped chocolate, and set aside.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.
In third bowl, stir together the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Stir in the wet ingredients, until just combined. Be careful not to over mix or the cupcakes will not be tender.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups.
Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake. The cups will be very full. (Don’t worry if the filling isn’t perfectly centered. The cupcakes will be delicious even if they aren’t perfectly formed!)
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cupcakes are lightly golden and the tops of the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
Remove cupcakes to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
The cupcakes will keep for 2 to 3 days tightly covered in the refrigerator.
These cupcakes taste great cold from the fridge or at room temperature.
Makes 12 cupcakes.