November 21, 2014


When I was in high school, I was hanging out with some friends at a summer camp when someone said something about “special brownies.”

My ears perked up and I instantly chimed in, “I make special brownies!”

Everyone stopped talking and looked at me. (This was a Christian camp, mind you.)

Wow, they’re really interested! So I offered, “…I can make you some!”


Oblivious, and a little weirded out by their fascination with my brownies, I continued to explain, “I use this cream cheese mixture from a really good cupcake recipe I have…”

A pregnant pause, and then an explosion of laughter.

“JO!” Chris yelled out, laughing, “Can you make me some special brownies?”

“Uh… sure?”

More laughter. I was super confused.

Anyway a few moments later they let me in on the laughter, at which point I was half mortified… and half horrified– why would you do such a thing?! (If you’re still confused, you must be even more innocent than I. Search it. Google won’t laugh at you :-)).

Special Brownies

In all seriousness, though, chocolate + cream cheese filling = SO GOOD. My favorite application is these black bottom cupcakes, but yes… the same filling recipe is great swirled in to a special batch of brownies =).


I used to bring these cupcakes with me when I visited my brother in college. Another lifetime ago. They were (and still are) his favorite, and were always a hit with his roommates and friends! It was great. I loved hearing people call me “Theo’s little sister,” and I liked being associated with yummy food. I guess some things never change!


Serve these rich, gooey, chocolatey cupcakes with a tall glass of cold milk! Yum yum!!!!

PS: This treat also makes it into my imaginary bakery’s top 10. Fosho.

PPS: These are also my pastor’s fav and one of my husband’s favs. You should really try making it if you know someone who likes chocolate!


Black Bottom Cupcakes
slightly tweaked recipe from allrecipes.com


For the cream-cheese filling

For the chocolate cake


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with paper cups.
  2. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. Make the cake: In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, 1 cup sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt). Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients (water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla). Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until edges of cream cheese parts are just browning. Let cool completely before enjoying. Serve with a tall glass of cold milk!

I enjoy these best the next day, when the two parts have married and everything holds together well when you bite into it.

4 responses to “Black Bottom Cupcake Recipe”

  1. oh my. looks great. I’m not a huge cream cheese fan but yours looks good b/c you added chocolate chips with it! I need to try 🙂 thanks!

  2. Dakota says:

    YUM. I swear I gain weight just looking at your yummy recipes!

    Also, I totally am the girl who would have been saying “I make special brownies!” I homeschooled 1 – 8th so there are a lot of references (sometimes still!) that I didn’t get. I’m learning, but oh it’s so embarrassing sometimes…

    • joellen says:

      Haha yeah I don’t count calories when I bake… =P
      I love it. I think that’s one of the pros of homeschooling 🙂