Black and White Cupcakes

I have lamented before that I don’t often bake cupcakes. In fact, I don’t really make many things that require frosting. I can usually persuade Quinn to do any frosting that’s needed, because apparently he enjoys that kind of thing. I do like to be self-sufficient, however, so I tend to seek out recipes that don’t require frosting.

I was recently looking through my copy of Buttercup Bakes at Home looking for a specific recipe when I saw this recipe for an un-frosted cupcake. Besides the lack of frosting, these cupcakes have a couple of really good things going for them: chocolate and cream cheese. Those are two things I can rarely resist.

I like these so much. A simple statement, but I can’t think of a better way to say it. To be more specific, the chocolate cake part of these cupcakes is excellent. Very rich, with a wonderful texture. The cream cheese filling/topping is just divine. It’s truly amazing how so few ingredients can make something so very good.

Rich chocolate cupcakes and a sweet cream cheese filling combine to make these delicious Black and White Cupcakes.

I would like to emphasize the use of the miniature chocolate chips for these cupcakes. The size of the mini chips is just perfect for these. Larger ones just wouldn’t work as well. Although, if you’re in a pinch, use whatever size chocolate chips you have on hand. You just have to make these.

Black and White Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 28 minutes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Black and White Cupcakes


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

Beat cream cheese, egg, and 1/3 cup sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center, and add water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix just until blended.

Fill each muffin cup one-third full with the chocolate batter. Top with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture, until cups are about two-thirds full. Bake 22 to 28 minutes, until the tops spring back lightly when touched.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.


Recipe adapted from Buttercup Bakes at Home.

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  1. Marine March 14, 2008 Reply

    Buttercup Bakes at Home is one of my favorite cookbooks. I haven’t made these yet but they look delicious! (My favorite are her chocolate peanut butter crispy rice bars!)

  2. amanda March 14, 2008 Reply

    I am not a big cupcake person. They seem cute on paper but often fail to live up to expectations. But these look really delicious. Cream cheese can’t hurt anything, right?

  3. Oh my… these look so good and moist. I have looked at Buttercup Bakes at the book store many times but I never bought it. Now this is making me go back and get it!

  4. Indigo March 15, 2008 Reply

    These look amazing; what a gorgeous texture. Cream cheese & chocolate are always fantastic!

  5. Cindy March 15, 2008 Reply

    These look awesome! Of course anything with chocolate is going to get my full attention! And cream cheese is just an added bonus.

  6. Tartelette March 15, 2008 Reply

    They look wonderful! I could easily eat a whole batch by myself!

  7. RecipeGirl March 15, 2008 Reply

    I love the pic taken from up above. Very pretty :)

  8. rachel March 15, 2008 Reply

    I love these. We always called them black bottoms.

  9. Chocolate shavings March 16, 2008 Reply

    Those look amazing! I have been having such a cupcake obsession lately, and this really isn’t helping!!

  10. jennifer March 16, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, everyone! With the exception of just a few, I took all of these to work where everyone just seemed to love them. I’m thinking of making them again for a simple Easter dessert.

  11. Cindy March 16, 2008 Reply

    Jennifer, are the mini chocolate chips semi or milk chocolate?

  12. Mandy March 16, 2008 Reply

    Oh, I love these as well! They are one of my favorites and have become a recipe that my friends and family always request. I have always known them to be called Black Bottom Cupcakes, however.

  13. jennifer March 16, 2008 Reply

    Cindy, I used semisweet chocolate chips. Those are usually my preference over milk chocolate.

    Mandy, aren’t they the best? The Buttercup book also references them as Black Bottom Cupcakes. Whatever you call them, they’re delicious!

  14. Shandy March 16, 2008 Reply

    There is nothing like a chocolate and creamcheese fix and the addition of little mini chocolate chips sounds perfect! Very cute.

  15. Sandie (Inn Cuisine) March 17, 2008 Reply

    I often prefer the actual cupcake to the icing, and since this recipe also combines 2 of my favorite flavors (chocolate and cream cheese,) it sounds perfect to me. I’ll be trying it soon!

  16. Patricia Scarpin March 17, 2008 Reply

    What a nice twist on cupcakes, Jen.

  17. jennifer March 17, 2008 Reply

    Shandy, Sandie, and Patricia – thanks very much!

  18. Tiffany March 18, 2008 Reply

    I made another recipe for Black and White cupcakes recently. These look much better!!! The ones I made were just…okay.

  19. Maxine March 18, 2008 Reply

    Mmmm! These are my favorite!! My grandma has always made them and I dubbed them “cuppeecakes” when I was little, so that’s what our family calls them. Such a treat!: )

  20. Gigi March 18, 2008 Reply

    What a great recipe for a cupcake sans the frosting. It’s the perfect naked cupcake! :)

  21. jennifer March 18, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Tiffany, Maxine, & Gigi! I still remember these fondly. 😉

  22. katy March 19, 2008 Reply

    those look intensely delicious — i want one as an afternoon snack! i will look around for that cookbook…

  23. jennifer March 19, 2008 Reply

    Katy, there are many good recipes in this book. Definitely worth picking up.

  24. Debbie March 20, 2008 Reply

    I made them last week for my office. But as I usually do-I over-filled them and ended up making a 2nd batch. They had the most intense choclate flavor! The office loved them.

  25. jennifer March 20, 2008 Reply

    I’m glad they were a hit, Debbie!

  26. TBC March 23, 2008 Reply

    Oh they’re simply gorgeous!

  27. jennifer March 23, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, TBC! I made these again for our Easter lunch, and they were just as good as I remembered.

  28. Nan (and Jim) March 25, 2008 Reply

    These are great cupcakes! Normally, we don’t get but one shot at sampling your desserts, so thanks for making them again at Easter! These were really good. In fact, we are still enjoying the ones you left here. This is just the right amount of chocolate for a snack!

  29. amy korngiebel March 26, 2008 Reply

    these look AMAZING! they’ve been on my to-bake list since i 1st saw them.

  30. jennifer March 26, 2008 Reply

    Glad you liked them, Nan & Jim.

    Thanks, Amy! Let me know what you think if you try them.

  31. carmen March 28, 2008 Reply

    I’m going to make these this weekend! thanks for sharing. :)

  32. Erika March 28, 2008 Reply

    My mother has been making these since I was little and they are still a favorite. I don’t know if the recipe is exactly the same or where she got the recipe but they are so good. I love that you made them because no one I know has ever heard of them before! Love the website too!

  33. jennifer March 28, 2008 Reply

    Carmen, I hope you like them!

    Thanks, Erika!

  34. Michelle March 29, 2008 Reply

    The last time I made this; the cupcakes were overflown. Yours look yummy and are to be drooled for!

  35. jennifer March 29, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Michelle! I’m sure yours were still delicious. Definitely one of my favorite cupcakes.

  36. Tara March 31, 2008 Reply

    I just made these delicious cupcakes for my mom (they’re her favorite kind of cupcake) and she was thrilled! Thanks so much.

  37. jennifer March 31, 2008 Reply

    Glad she liked them, Tara!

  38. Chris April 28, 2008 Reply

    These look delicious. Although I haven’t tried the cream cheese part (note to self!!), I have made the chocolate cupcake portion of the recipe before, and it is my favorite!

  39. jennifer April 28, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Chris. I’m sure just the chocolate portion is wonderful on its own.

  40. Justin October 31, 2008 Reply

    These look amazing! Aren’t you going to post the recipe?? (Or maybe you could email it my way…?)

  41. jennifer November 2, 2008 Reply

    Justin, there’s a link to the recipe at the top of the post under the title. Here’s another: Black and White Cupcakes.

  42. Mel March 4, 2009 Reply

    Hey Jennifer! These look delicious and I really want to try them soon.

    One question, however. You say the water must be hot. How hot exactly? Just lukewarm or blazing hot?

  43. jennifer March 4, 2009 Reply

    Mel, the water just needs to be warm. Lukewarm is fine. Enjoy!

  44. Kathi September 8, 2011 Reply

    I bakes them yesterday because I am a big fan of chocolate and cream cheese 😀
    They look really pretty, but when ate one yesterday I was not entirely convinced by the combination of chocolate and cream cheese.
    But when I ate another one today, they were delicious! So I would recommend to let them rest for a day, so they actually taste as good as they look 😀

  45. Sara March 19, 2013 Reply

    Crazy – I have this classic recipe from the Best of Bridge – they call them “Black Bottom Cupcakes.” Sooo delicious. A case of recipe plagiarism??

    • jennifer March 19, 2013 Reply

      Sara, someone else told me they’d been making this recipe for decades! It makes you wonder where it really originated.

  46. Amy S March 9, 2014 Reply

    These sound very good! I wonder if they would freeze well? There is only 2 of us and 24 is a lot. I usually make muffins in batches of 12 and freeze 1/2 for later… Hmmm! I see a freezer test coming to this kitchen soon…

  47. Monika May 9, 2014 Reply

    This sounds delicious!! I will definitely try it soon :)

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