Vegan Black Bottom Cupcakes 

When I was little, my Mom would bake some pretty amazing things.  Mostly things that were passed down from my Grandma or from the old church cookbooks.  Things like 7 layer bars, banana chocolate chip bread, or black bottom cupcakes. Black bottom cupcakes were amazing, especially to my 8 year old self.  If you haven't heard of them, they are a chocolate cake with some vanilla cream cheese and chocolate chips dropped onto the top before baking. What's not to love about that?!  It was like cheesecake in my chocolate cupcake!  I was obsessed with anything cheese or cheesecake when I was little so I was all about these.  They were the sort of thing that I got excited about helping bake, because I got to lick the excess filling and cake batter from the bowls.  Best part of baking for me sometimes, still to this day.

I decided last weekend that I needed to make a vegan version of those cupcakes, so I went for it.  I have made some vegan pumpkin cream cheese muffins before and I figured they would be similar and turn out just as good.  I had some Raw Guru cacao powder that they recently sent me, which has a really wonderful rich chocolate flavor so it was the perfect time to make something like this involving chocolate.  I whipped up my classic chocolate cake filling with it, because I know it always turns out good and tastes delicious.  It is actually fruit sweetened because I use dates in it instead of any kind of sugar.  They also keep the cake moist and soft without making it heavy.

For the filling, I used a mixture of thick full fat coconut milk and cashew butter.  Once you add in a few other ingredients, it tastes just as good as cream cheese (if not better).  I mixed in some chocolate chips and topped the cupcakes off with it.  They smelled amazing while baking.  Like chocolate and vanilla, almost like marble cake but better.  Now I could have gone traditional and just left the cupcakes as they were once they cooled.  But as you know I am not traditional.  I like to make things my own way.  So I decided that I wanted frosting on these too.  I made a cream cheese frosting to top them off. Because one can never have too much frosting or creamy things on cupcakes, and it didn't feel right to me to have cupcakes with flat tops (like the old fashioned ones).  I like my cupcakes with rich frosting.  Most of the time as much frosting as the cupcake, but I went more conservative with these guys.

OMG, they were sooo good!  The cake was rich and chocolaty, the texture soft and moist but not heavy, and that sweet vanilla cream cheese and frosting were the perfect contrast with it!  If you are in the mood for something chocolate, give these guys a try!  You will not even be able to tell that they are vegan and gluten free!

Vegan Black Bottom Cupcakes 
Makes 12 cupcakes


12 muffin tins fitted with liners

"Cream Cheese" Filling:

  • 1/4 cup thick coconut milk (from the top of a chilled can)*
  • 3/4 cup cashew butter (or almond butter will also work here)
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/16 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips



  • 3/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour**
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Guru cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup packed soft medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 2 Tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar


For topping:

  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips


For Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk (the thick part from the top of the can)*
  • 1/4 cup raw cashew butter
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid


For Topping:

  • vegan dark chocolate chips



  1. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and position rack in center of oven, and line a 12 hole muffin tin with liners.
  2. To make the cream cheese, whisk together all of the cream cheese ingredients until smooth, and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt in a large bowl to blend well.
  4. Place dates, water, cashew butter, and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth, then whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form.
  5. Pour the cake batter into prepared tins, filling them 3/4 full, then spoon a heaping Tbsp of the filling onto them.
  6. Place in the oven, and bake cakes until set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven, let cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth.  Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer until the consistency of stiffly whipped cream (about 30-45 minutes depending on how warm it has gotten.  Once it is ready place in the refrigerator until ready to frost.
  8. Place the frosting in a pastry bag, and pipe onto the tops of the cupcakes.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips and enjoy!
  9. Store any leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Be sure to use a brand of coconut milk with thick cream, like Thai Kitchen coconut milk or coconut cream.  You want the thick part from the top of the can, not the runny part.

**If you don't want to make these gluten free, you can swap organic whole wheat pastry flour for the gluten free flour 1:1.

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