Dessert, Recipes

Pumpkin Bottom Cupcakes

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In this recipe, we’re taking those delicious black bottom cupcakes we know and love and giving them a fall makeover. Say hello to pumpkin bottom cupcakes- filled with pumpkin spice and delicious cream cheese.

pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes on cooling rack

Wow wow wow, guys. These are honestly one of my favorite fall desserts I’ve ever made. I’m setting aside my grandma’s Jewish Apple Cake (which will be a recipe here sometime soon!) and enjoying every bite of these.

What the heck is a Pumpkin Bottom Cupcake?

My mom always made the BEST black bottom cupcakes. If you have no idea what a black bottom cupcake is, it’s a (super moist and delicious) chocolate cupcake that has a dollop of cream cheese and chocolate chips baked into it. When it bakes, the cream cheese sort of falls and melts into the chocolate cupcake. This means every bite is destined to be fantastic, even without any frosting!

I loved her cupcakes so much, I decided it would be fun to create a fall twist. I’m all about pumpkin this season and know cream cheese and pumpkin flavors blend so well together. Creating these Pumpkin Bottom Cupcakes was a no brainer!

pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes stacked

Let’s talk about canned pumpkin

For this recipe, we are using 100% pure canned pumpkin. If you decide you want to use a fresh pumpkin for this, by all means go for it! I sincerely applaud you for your efforts. I, on the other hand, am lazy and love to take shortcuts when I can, so I use canned pumpkin.

There are 2 kinds of “canned pumpkin” on the shelves in the store. There is 100% pure pumpkin and there’s pumpkin pie filling. We aren’t making pumpkin pie in this recipe, so please be sure to use PURE PUMPKIN only! The results of these cupcakes depends on this.

bite taken out of pumpkin cupcake, sitting on cooling rack

Cream Cheese Method

When I first made these cupcakes, the cream cheese didn’t react the same way it did in black bottom cupcakes. Instead of melting and meshing with the cake, it just melted on top. It was still delicious and acted like a baked frosting, but wasn’t exactly what I wanted out of this. I believe this could have happened since the pumpkin cake was denser than the cream cheese, but I’m not a professional baker or scientist so I’m not entirely sure.

Anyway! When making these cupcakes, I find it best to create a little dip in the cupcake batter after pouring it into the liners so the cream cheese can bake down into the center of the cupcake.

pumpkin cream cheese cupcake with bite taken out
pumpkin cream cheese cupcakes stacked

Pumpkin Bottom Cupcakes

These pumpkin bottom cupcakes are a fall twist to the iconic black bottoms you know and love. A harmony of pumpkin spice and cream cheese.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Servings : 12 cupcakes


Pumpkin Cupcake

  • cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
  • ½ Tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup light brown sugar , packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese , softened
  • cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • tsp salt
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake pans with liners or spray with oil
  • In a small bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and salt. Fold in chocolate chips and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, pumpkin spice, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
  • In another bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla
  • Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined
  • Fill cupcake liner about halfway with the pumpkin cupcake batter. Using a spoon, create a dip or indent in the center of the batter
  • Insert a spoonful of cream cheese mixture into the dip that you created in the center of the cupcake batter. Repeat until all batter is used
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean in the cake portion*


* If you have cream cheese mixture pulling on the skewer, that’s okay! You want to ensure the cake portion of the cupcake is completely cooked 

Looking for more pumpkin treats? Try out this Vegan Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Love this pumpkin version of a black bottom cupcake! I always look for a good way to use white chocolate chip and this recipe suits it perfectly 💛

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