Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

The chocolate cupcake to end all cupcakes! The cream cheese center makes it incredibly moist. (Nothing worse than a dry cupcake, can I get an amen). These are the best Black Bottom cupcakes I’ve EVER had. You totally don’t need the frosting…but I mean come on, live a little. 

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

You know what is awesome? When all your friends read the Japanese tidying up book, and you don’t. I already told you about how my BFF came to visit me and spent her whole vacation organizing my pantry. Since then, I’ve had two more friends read the book and purge their closets. You know what this means? Free clothes for Karen.

I tried to explain a capsule wardrobe to my brother Nathan. “Basically it’s where you give away all of your clothes that you don’t wear, and just keep the things you really love.”

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

“You just described a man’s wardrobe.”

I think he’s right. Why do women complicate everything??

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

In other news, Charlotte was reading a book today when suddenly she looks up and says, “Mom, what do dinosaurs eat when there are not persons around?”

I told her they eat these cupcakes. (Although REALLY I should have told her what my brother tells his kids: that dinosaurs ate spinach, and if they want to be cool like dinosaurs, they better eat their salad.)

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

My sister-in-law Sandi gave me her mother’s recipe for these cupcakes after I was telling her once that all cupcakes are dry and not worth the calories. (Who’s with me??) But these cupcakes are SO GOOD. And not dry at all. It’s kind of impossible for them to be, because the center is made of molten cheesecake basically.

They are completely from scratch, but not hard at all. Usually I am all for the doctored cake mixes, but I thought this was pretty simple. These cupcakes are so rich that you really don’t need the frosting, but I included it because what’s a cupcake without a little bling?

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food Charlatan

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes

Yield: Makes about 20 cupcakes


    For the filling:
  • 1 (8 ounce package) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1(10 ounce) package mini chocolate chips, divided
  • For the cupcakes:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (I used special dark)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 (8 ounce package) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • dash salt, optional
  • 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
  • For the chocolate curls (optional):
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon shortening


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Start by making the filling. In a stand mixer or large bowl, beat together cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt. Fold in 6 ounces of the mini chocolate chips. (A little more than half the bag, no need to measure). Scrape the mixture into another bowl.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt to the empty bowl (no need to wash). Whisk to combine. Then add the water, oil, sour cream, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Beat until combined, then fold in the remaining 4 ounces of mini chocolate chips.
  5. Line about 20 cupcake tins with paper liners. Fill each one about halfway with the cupcake batter.
  6. Top the center each cupcake with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. It's okay if it sinks down a bit.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 19-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake part comes out clean. If you see any golden spots on the cheesecake filling, take it out right away.
  8. Let cool on a wire rack.
  9. To make the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar, salt, and coconut extract, if you're using it. Beat well.
  10. Pipe or spread the frosting on top of the cupcakes when they are cool.
  11. If you want to make chocolate curls, add the chocolate chips and shortening to a small bowl. Microwave until the shortening is melted, then stir together until combined. Pour the mixture onto an upside-down baking sheet and spread thin with a spatula.
  12. Place the pan in the freezer for 4-5 minutes, then use a metal spatula to scrape the chocolate off the pan. Sprinkle on top of the cupcakes and serve.


You totally don't need the frosting for this recipe. The cupcakes are amazing by themselves. But I mean, it's a cupcake, not a salad. Just go for it.

Source: adapted slightly from

Cream Cheese Chocolate Cupcakes from The Food CharlatanIf you are piping the frosting, throw your bag into a tall glass to give it structure while you spoon the frosting in.

I don’t make a lot of cupcakes, but here are some other cakes you will love!

Strawberry Truffle Cake:   come on now do the Truffle Shuffle with me

Strawberry Truffle Cake from The Food Charlatan


Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake: (You’ll  have to click over to get the story behind this photo…)

Butterscotch Pumpkin Cake


Coconut Layer Cake:

Coconut Layer Cake from


More cupcakes from friends!

The Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes from Sprinkle Some Sugar
S’mores Cupcakes
from Life, Love, and Sugar
Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting from Cupcake Project





  1. says

    Oh my goodness! These look like the cupcakes that make all other cupcakes envious. :). They look so decadent and yummy. I’m definitely making them soon. Yum.

  2. says

    Oh my goodness! I wish I had friends who were getting rid of clothes!! I like to get rid of things in my pantry.. but to get rid of clothes.. they have to sit in there for about a year not being worn THEN I’ll get rid of them!
    Beth recently posted…Cherry Brownie TartMy Profile

  3. says

    Blah of course right when I declare I’m giving up dairy, I stumble into your DELICIOUS CRAZY MOIST looking cupcakes!!!!!!! Geez Karen thanks a bunch ;) Ugh. I’m just sitting here imagining you and your fam feasting on these and trying to pretend that brings me joy instead of insane jealousy.
    Erika recently posted…Whole Wheat Stuffed Pancakes (vegan)My Profile

    • says

      OMG ALSO! My friend JUST told me about the Konmari method and I totally did it with my closet! It’s so great! I feel way less stressed whenever I step into my closet now! Baha if only we could all be so great about our closets all the time like…men…*side eye*
      Erika recently posted…Whole Wheat Stuffed Pancakes (vegan)My Profile

  4. Donna says

    Made these for a gal I work with, Oh man oh man oh man…gooooood stuff those cream cheese chocolate cupcakes. Also, the liners you used would be perfect for my nieces 30th 1930’s Birthday party! (and of course these cupcakes will need to be made again) do you happen to remember where you purchased them?

    • says

      Hey Donna! So glad you enjoyed them. And I’m so sorry, I have no idea where the cupcake liners came from! My mom bought them for me ages ago and I just now found a chance to use them. I think they may have been Wilton liners, you could poke around to see if you find something similar. Sounds like a fun party!!

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