Black Bottom Cupcakes

black bottom cupcakes with chocolate buttercream
Black bottom cupcakes are the perfect combination of chocolatey cupcake and decadent cheesecake topped with a swirl of fudgey buttercream.

I seem to have a real problem with the concept of en mise.  For those of you not familiar, en mise is the French cooking term for “everything in place.”  Basically, it means, get all your crap out on the counter before you start your project so that you aren’t swearing into your bowl of cupcake batter because you are out of cocoa powder.  Yeah.  That happened.  Like three times this past weekend.

Luckily, I don’t live in the middle of nowhere and was able to trot off to the grocery store and solve my problems.  Also luckily I hadn’t added the wet ingredients to my batter yet.
These cupcakes are delicious on their own, a chocolaty cupcake topped with creamy cheesecake batter.  But, because I believe frosting-less cupcakes are probably one of the seven deadly sins, I topped them with some chocolate buttercream.  Also, they were kinda ugly naked.  Probably someone could make them look all nice and flat and not cracked, but I am not that guy (see: how to fix an ugly cake).

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Course Dessert
Servings 20 cupcakes


Cake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder I use Hershey’s
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil I used peanut, you want a neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar I used apple cider, but white vinegar will work too
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Cheesecake Batter

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar


For the Cake Batter

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, mix together water, oil, vanilla, and vinegar.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine.  The batter will be fairly thin.  Set aside and make cheesecake batter.

For the Cheesecake Batter

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. 
  •  Add in sugar, beat to combine. Add in egg and beat until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

To Finish The Cupcakes

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cupcake pan with cupcake papers. If you don’t want to use cupcake papers, grease your cupcake pan really well. 
  •  Spoon cake batter into the cupcake papers until they are about 1/2 full. 
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.  After about 15 minutes, pull cupcakes out of muffin pan and allow to finish cooling on the cooling rack.
  • Frost as desired.


 You may have more of one kind of batter.  I ended up baking 4 plain chocolate cupcakes because I ran out of cheesecake batter.
I burned the pan I placed on the top rack so I would advise not to use the top rack.  Place your rack on the second to the lowest setting in your oven.  

Chocolate Buttercream

Easy to make, soft, American style chocolate buttercream perfect for any cake or cupcakes.
Course Dessert
Keyword buttercream


  • 1 sticks salted butter softened (1 pound)
  • 8 cups powdered sugar (2 pound bag)
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup water as needed


  • Beat butter on high speed until smooth.
  • Slowly beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder.  As mixture becomes thick, add in heavy cream.
  • If buttercream is still thicker than desired, add water while mixing, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.  


  • Don’t add the whole amount of water at once.  Just add it one tablespoon at a time.  You think you are going to save time, you are not.  You are going to have soupy buttercream on your hands.
  • For chocolate buttercream with a little bit something extra, substitute strong brewed coffee for the water portion.  
  • For a peanut butter chocolate buttercream, use 1 cup of peanut butter in exchange for 1 cup of butter (2 sticks).

If you liked these black bottom cupcakes, you might also what to check out these cherry chocolate cupcakes or these chocolate stout cupcakes!