Recipe : Black Bottom Cupcakes

The idea for these cupcakes was first discovered during my weekly Sunday grocery shop, where I stumbled across black bottom muffins for the first time. I had absolutely no idea what they contained, and left it to the kind counter lady at the Food Lovers' Market to explain it to me (essentially a dense chocolate cake base topped with a cheesecake mixture and vanilla bean cream cheese icing). It seemed like the perfect Sunday tea-time treat to buy and try out on the lovely man, and it was an instant hit. It became a little ritual for a few Sundays, until I realised I should be making them myself!

So, one Sunday I invited the parents for lunch, and used it as the perfect excuse to try these out for myself. As my mom is a diabetic, I wanted to make these as "guilt-free" as possible, so used Canderel Yellow as a substitute for sugar in the recipe.  

The chocolate base is quite a dense cake, which supports the cheesecake mixture on top. My mom was a fan, as it filled all the sweet, tangy and chocolatey requirements. She was equally impressed that it didn't contain any sugar - a success all round.

(Although, a little guilty secret on my part..a little of the batter was intentionally left in the bowl for me to nibble on while the cupcakes were baking. Don't tell me you haven't ever done the same?)
The Hummingbird Bakery's Black Bottom Cupcakes
Makes 12

for the chocolate sponge base
190g plain flour
120g caster sugar (or 12g Canderel Yellow)*
40g cocoa powder, plus extra to decorate
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
40 ml sunflower oil
1½ tsps white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract

for the cheesecake filling
140g cream cheese
60g caster sugar (or 6g Canderel Yellow)*
1 egg
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g milk chocolate chips

for the cream cheese icing
300g icing sugar, sifted (or 30g Canderel Yellow)*
50g butter, at room temperature
125g cream cheese, cold

Preheat the oven to 170°C. For the chocolate sponge base put the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and mix with an electric beater on slow speed until all the dry ingredients are evenly mixed.

Pour the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and 125 ml water in a jug and whisk to combine. While the electric beater is running in the flour bowl, slowly add the contents of the jug, increasing the speed of the blender as the mixture thickens. Continue to beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Line a 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cases. Spoon the chocolate base mixture into the paper cases until two-thirds full and set aside.

For the cheesecake filling beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract with an electric beater on medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon until evenly mixed.

Scoop about 1 tbsp of the cheesecake filling on top of the cupcake mixture and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are firm to the touch and they have an even golden colour on the cheesecake filling. Don’t overcook as the cheesecake will become very dry and crumbly.

Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

For the cream cheese icing beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric beater until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (be careful not to overbeat, as it can quickly become runny).

When the cupcakes are cold, pipe or spoon the cream cheese icing on top and decorate with a drizzle of melted chocolate, if you feel the need (there's always a need...)

*A note about the measurements : Canderel is spoon-for-spoon the same as any sugar, but weight wise, you only use 10% of the equivalent amount of sugar. Trust me, it works.

Disclaimer : this forms part of a 5 week "0% Guilt" campaign I am commissioned to do for Canderel - it is a product I endorse and appreciate when baking, especially for diabetics.


  1. Thanks soo much for my "guilt free" black bottom cup cakes darling. They were a real hit with me and look forward to enjoying some more guilt free delights from your kitchen. Well done :)

  2. I nearly made cupcakes as well :) These look divine!