- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: Makes about 3 dozen cupcakes
Last summer was officially the end of the cupcake era for me. It was killed, ruined, destroyed for all eternity. Every ounce of cupcake-eating pleasure had been taken from me just as AM-radio overplay had erased all the pleasure of so many great songs from my childhood. Remember how great the Gypsy Kings were when you first heard them? Now, years later, just hearing the opening riff of “Bambaleo” is cringe-inducing. Overuse, overplay and the gnawing tedium of hearing The Kings was too much, and so it was with cupcakes. A great food to be sure, but all the stores, TV shows, magazine articles and books that shot up too fast, too soon and too frequently ruined cupcakes for me. I was angry. Then one day on the road, a friend of my in-laws brought me a plate of these little black-and-white beauties, and my faith was restored. These are simple to make, and while kids love them, you will love them even more. They are rich and decadent and just tart enough with the cream cheese to allow you to eat several. They will change your life and reaffirm your faith in the cupcake. Amen.—Andrew Zimmern
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces mini chocolate chips
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 cups water
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line three 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
- MAKE THE FILLING In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese with the egg, sugar, and salt until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.
- MAKE THE CUPCAKES In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, salt and baking soda. Sift in the cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla and whisk just until the batter is smooth.
- Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the filling on top of the batter, followed by another 1 tablespoon of the batter. Bake the cupcakes for about 30 minutes, until firm and no longer sticky to the touch; turn the pans halfway through baking. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.