For my first recipe post, I wanted to start out with a bang. What better way to incite said bang than with sharing a family secret of a family that is currently only mine in theory?
Boyfriend (for whom I am still trying to determine a clever pseudonym) and I have been dating for 5 years. We live together, our finances are meshed, we have a dog. For the entirety of our relationship I have heard about these secret cupcakes that no one makes better than his mother. It’s not some Oedipus thing, it’s just that she is the best at making these particular cupcakes (and is also to blame for his love of peanut butter on nearly everything). During our courtship, this cupcake lore has turned into a story of intense toiling over a hot stove (which would explain why these particular cupcakes are only produced on very special occasions) and a secret family recipe that only exists on a single sheet of scrap paper wedged into the back of a cabinet.
On this past Christmas morning, I was awarded the coveted opportunity not only to see the recipe for myself, but to quickly jot down the secret ingredients. And yes, the recipe was on a tiny slip of paper, and was really only a shopping list of ingredients with an oven temp and cook time.
Lucky for you, dear reader(s, I hope!), I am now able to present to you a fully reconstructed recipe for these amazing and secret cupcakes. Shh, don’t tell anyone or I might get disowned from the family before I even get in. I also am referring to them as “chocolate and cream cheese cupcakes” because I honestly can’t stand the word “bottom”. It is just one of those no-no words for me. Especially in food. No bottoms in my food, please.
Chocolate and Cream Cheese (AKA “Black Bottom”) Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 ½ c flour
1 c sugar
¼ c cocoa powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1/3 c oil
1 c water
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature (I used Neufchatel cheese)
1/3 c sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt
- In a separate bowl, mix oil, water vinegar and vanilla extract
- Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
- Line a standard cupcake tin with liners and distribute batter, filling about half full
- To make filling, beat together the cream cheese and egg
- Mix the sugar and salt, and gradually add into the cream cheese mixture
- Add vanilla extract
- Fold in chocolate chips
- With a tablespoon or piping bag*, distribute 1-2 tablespoons of the filling over the tops of the cupcakes so each liner is a little more than ¾ full
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
[* I am a disaster in the kitchen, and have found that piping not only the filling but the chocolate cake part of this recipe generates much less waste and burnt on grossness on the cupcake tin. It also makes for a more artistic finished product.]