Last week I mentioned a story about the first time my mom fell in love, with a muffin. So many people have reached out and asked, “What was the muffin that your mom loved so much?,” that I felt compelled not only to answer the question but share her recipe.

These farm cakes, also known as black bottom, are rich and creamy and everything that a dessert muffin should be.

Some will argue that they resemble cupcakes more than a muffin. To that I snarkily reply: A cupcake consumed before 10 a.m. is technically a muffin … I hope you enjoy these decadent treats!

These rich and creamy farm cakes include chocolate chips and a cream-cheese mixture.  (Rebecca Davis-Suskind)

Farm Cakes

12-cup muffin pans
Cupcake liners
Large and medium mixing bowls

1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon, plus ⅛ teaspoon, salt
1 cup, plus ⅓ cup, sugar
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 egg

1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Insert the paper liners into each cup. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together your flour, baking soda, cocoa powder and ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. In another bowl, gently mix together one cup sugar, the vegetable oil and water until blended. Then stir in the vinegar and vanilla. Add your flour mixture and combine.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, ⅓ cup sugar and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Gently mix in your chocolate chips.
  5. Fill your muffin cups with the batter one-third full. Into each cup, place a large tablespoon of the cream-cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the cupcakes are “springy” when pressed gently. Allow to cool and voilà!