So, back in the day. Waayyyy back in the day, my great grandmother, Mama Driver, held all of the family holiday gatherings at her house. It was this tiny little house that seemed to magically expand as the number of people who showed up grew and grew. She had this tiny kitchen with red counter tops and an old Frigidaire from the 50′s that held enough food for 30 people at all times. The house had wood paneling and a Wurlitzer organ ( on which Mama taught me a few carnival tunes). In the backyard was a concrete patio covered in Astroturf and an old school brick barbecue that I never saw anyone use. Not once.
Easter was my favorite. There was always a giant egg hunt, and not the plastic eggs. These were real eggs. The ones you had just spent 2 hours coloring in the 1950′s kitchen. The older kids got to hide them- they were ruthless- and the younger kids had to search for them. It took forever, but the sense of accomplishment as I gazed down upon my full rabbit/milk carton Easter basket was immense and a feeling I will never forget.
Of course, like any family gathering, there was a lot of food. But there is one dish, one dessert, that I can remember vividly enjoying from the time that I was a small child. It is my Great Aunt Linda’s Blackbottom Cupcakes. I can’t tell you much about my Aunt Linda. I haven’t seen her in 20 years. She was funny, with short, gray hair and she smiled a lot, and she made these cupcakes. The cupcakes I have begged for since I was about 4 or 5. The very cupcakes that I could describe to you in great detail from memory! The cupcakes that were at every single family gathering until the day Mama Driver went into a nursing home.
So it is only natural that I want to introduce my own children to these fantastic cupcakes. So we all piled in the kitchen to whip up a batch. Fun was had by all. There was whisk licking…
and there was the tell-tale signs of a budding food photographer
It was my kind of day.
Aunt Linda’s Blackbottom Cupcakes
makes 12 cupcakes
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 t. salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. AP Flour
1/4 c. cocoa
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 T vinegar
Preheat oven to 350.
Whisk together cream cheese, sugar and salt until everything is well blended.
Stir in chocolate chips. Set bowl aside.
In a seperate bowl, sift cocoa, flour, sugar, salt and baking soda together.
In a small bowl, mix together oil, water and vinegar together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together well, until all lumps are gone.
Line muffin pan with baking cups. Fill each cup about half full with cake batter. Then drop 1 Tablespoon dollops of cream cheese filling into the center of each cup.
Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cake batter is done ( stick a toothpick into the edge where just the cake is. If it comes out clean, it’s done. Don’t stick it in the middle. The middle stays soft and gooey.)