I think I’m finally starting to settle into the rhythm of being a student again. At first, it was a bit of a shock switching back to the other side of the classroom. For two years, I’ve been able to spend my entire day on my feet, constantly having to be the most excited person about Biology in a room full of high schoolers who were significantly more concerned with my personal life than their grades. Now, I’m the one sitting for hours on end trying to absorb a new subject, and, though I am thoroughly enjoying the learning part, it is definitely a different pace of life.
But after having gotten through the first couple of weeks, I do feel more confident in being able to handle the workload with a bit more efficiency. I no longer need to read a case three times to get the main idea. I’ve at least taken a stab at writing a legal memo. I even feel like joining an extracurricular or two wouldn’t be completely unmanageable.
The other perk of being able to handle the work a little better is that I no longer feel the need to restrain myself to baking simple bar cookies. This weekend, since I dedicated my Saturday to the library (which, if you know me from college, should strike you as a huge stride forward in my academic life), I was able to spend today watching the Patriots dominate the Bills and baking cupcakes. In this, I found my new favorite way to spend a Sunday.These cupcakes may not be quite as impressive looking as some I’ve made in the past, but they are a step above brownies and drop cookies. I’m also not sure what made me think of them, since I’ve never actually had a Black Bottom cupcake prior to making these, but when I opened my Magnolia’s cookbook, it was with the hopes that they had a recipe for them.
Fortunately, they did. And now I bring it to you, verbatim. Magnolia’s is one of those bakeries whose recipes you just don’t mess with. The only thing you’ll notice is that my pictures seem to have double the ingredients they should – this is not you being unable to judge what a package and a half of cream cheese is. I doubled it so that I could bring more than 5 to class tomorrow morning. So Section 4 folks, if you’re reading – I’ll have them outside Property bright and early!
First, in a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar. I used a hand mixer, but from the smell of overworked machinery, I would suggest doing this in a stand mixer instead – I was being lazy in not wanting to wash a bowl more than once.
Add the egg and beat to incorporate. This will go quite a bit easier than trying to beat cold cream cheese. Stir in the mini chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Set aside.In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.In your stand mixer, beat together the oil and sugar on medium speed using the paddle attachment until combined. Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers. You should be able to make about 18 cupcakes, so you will need a second tin if you have it. Fill each cup about two-thirds full of batter.Scoop about a tablespoon and a half of cream cheese filling onto the top of each cup. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean.Allow to cool 30 minutes in the muffin tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you are making more than one batch, keep the cream cheese filling in the fridge between batches.These are the type of cupcake that require nothing in the way of toppings, so if you don’t have a lot of time, they are a great option. Also, if you define cupcakes as having frosting, you can pretty easily convince yourself that these are actually muffins and appropriate for breakfast, especially if you look to the fact that they have cream cheese, a decidedly breakfast topping.
Store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
Black Bottom Cupcakes
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 12 ounces cream cheese, not softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/3 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar on medium speed until combined.
- Add the egg and beat to incorporate.
- Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil and 1 cup sugar on medium speed using the paddle attachment until well blended.
- Add the flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla extract. Beat until thoroughly blended.
- Line two muffin tins with 18 cupcake papers. Fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full with the cupcake batter.
- Add about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cream cheese filling on top of each cup.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 30 minutes in muffin tin before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.