It turns out that my habit of baking for others has earned me quite a reputation in my med school class.  I have been given many nicknames, including “Betty Crocker” and “cooking lady”.  At the beginning of my current rotation, the professor mentioned jokingly that students were welcome to bring in baked goods.  Three or four of my classmates automatically pointed at me, and one even volunteered the fact that I have my own website.  SO, I pretty much had to bring in some goodies for our lectures…not that it took much convincing :)

First I brought in chocolate chip cookies, which were definitely a hit.  This week I wanted to bring in cupcakes, but since I don’t have a cupcake carrier yet, they needed to be without frosting because there are 30 people in the class, and bringing in 30 decorated cupcakes is not something I could do successfully.  These black bottom cupcakes turned out to fit the bill perfectly.  Everyone LOVED them!  Really, who wouldn’t love chocolate cupcakes with a cheesecake center and chocolate chunks??  That’s what I thought.  Of course I am not surprised at how wonderful they turned out because this is another recipe from the fabulous David Lebovitz.  I used a large scoop to fill the wells with the chocolate batter, and then used a medium scoop to add the filling.  This really helped speed things up.   I loved these myself, and can’t wait to make them again!

Black Bottom Cupcakes


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, coarsely chopped


For the cupcakes:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

5 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbsp. white or cider vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla extract



To make the filling, beat together the cream cheese, granulated sugar and egg until smooth.  Stir in chopped chocolate pieces.  Set aside.


To make the cupcakes, adjust a rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350°.  Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  In a separate bowl mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla extract.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients, stirring just until smooth.  Stir any longer and you will over-mix the batter, and end up with less-than-tender cupcakes.


Divide the batter among the muffin cups.  Spoon a few tablespoons of the filling into the center of each cupcake, dividing the filling evenly.  This will fill the cups almost completely, which is fine.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown and the cupcakes feel springy when gently pressed.  These will keep unrefrigerated for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

Source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, originally from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz