These Brownie Cupcakes have the WOW factor for sure! See how you can make this double layer dessert at home– no need for the bakery this Valentine's Day!
Brownie Cupcake Recipe:
Over the top chocolate desserts are what comes to mind for a lot of us around Valentine's Day! I love chocolate– especially a rich chocolate dessert that you might only enjoy on special occasions. These cupcakes are very rich and of course very chocolatey, so you might find you need a cup of coffee to balance this one out!
These Brownie Cupcakes are made with a chocolate cupcake base. The recipe is written using a chocolate cake mix. However, if you have a certain go-to mix or recipe you can use whatever you prefer. I will say –the recipe is a bit labor intensive, so if you plan to take short cuts including a cake mix and brownie mix, go for it! There is a recipe note at the end of the printable recipe about using mixes rather than making your own brownies for this recipe.
Great Homemade Special Occasion Dessert:
You may be thinking, no thanks, it's too much work! I think this recipe is actually ideal if you don't have access to a bakery, or large store with a bakery. For those who are located far from the store or just don't have the option for bakery treats in the budget, this recipe is a winner!
We love gourmet cupcakes but know it can be an extra expense that you may not be able to fit into a tight food budget. And, if you have a larger family or school group or class you need treats for, homemade is a great option to keep the cost lower.
Most of the ingredients for this recipe should already be in your pantry. A couple specialty items you may not have include the heavy cream and sprinkles (about $5 or under, total) and of course the cake mix for the cupcake portion. (These are around $1). If you have the other ingredients, this recipe will come in well under $10– compared to anywhere from $12 to even $50 for a dozen gourmet cupcakes!! It's definitely budget friendly even if it's a lot of time spent in the kitchen.
Hacks to make this special occasion Brownie Cupcake Recipe Easier!
For starters, icing — or frosting :)– can be made well in advance. Prep your chocolate icing 1-2 days ahead and refrigerate. Prior to piping onto your cupcakes, just pull the icing out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temp. I do not microwave my icing since it heats unevenly and can get a little too soft. My trick is to just set the container of icing on top of my stove, as my dessert is baking! Give it a good stir and allow to sit at room temperature until the cupcakes are fully cooled. You can add more liquid (1/2 teaspoon at a time) to thin out if it's still too stiff for piping.
The other hack I have to share is the Ganache- as you can see in the photos the ganache is drizzled over the dessert and under the top layer of icing. This is optional, so if you don't have the desire to include the ganache it will be great either way!
hacks for brownies:
Secondly, make your brownies ahead. Ideally they should be completely cool before you cut them and add to your cupcakes. These can be made the night before you assemble your dessert, if needed. Otherwise I would make them 2-4 hours prior to the cupcakes so they have plenty of time to cool. Brownies tend to mush up a bit if they are cut when they are still warm– and you want them to look great for this recipe!
Finally, for the perfect cupcakes, be sure to follow the package directions and do not undermix. Cupcakes tend to “fall” or have the middle sink a bit if the ingredients are not fully mixed. A stand mixer or hand mixer is best to completely mix your batter. And, make sure not to open the oven to check on your cupcakes as they cook. This will give them the best chance to rise without sinking! Your cupcakes will look fresh from the bakery.
Final hack- double up the cupcake liners so they look perfect. Cupcakes have a lot of oils in them, so the liner can often become discolored while cooking. Adding a second liner gives it a professional look and hides any baking oils!
Print your Brownie Cupcake Recipe below. And don't be intimidated by this big recipe! It's perfect for a Valentine's Day romantic dinner, or even a gift for the foodie in your life. Enjoy!
- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, melted and cooled 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cupcakes (Dessert Base)
- 1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix (Triple Chocolate Preferred)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1⁄4 cups milk
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 1 cup unsalted sweet cream butter, softened
- 2 1⁄2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup Hershey cocoa powder
- 5 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 container (about 1/4 cup) sprinkles
Chocolate Ganache (Optional)
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 and spay a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray
- Using a medium bow, melt the butter in the microwave.
- Using a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, oil, and sugars.
- Add in the eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla extract to wet ingredients.
- Using a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder
- Gradually whisk in the dry ingredients into the wet
- Fold in the chocolate chips (optional)
- Pour batter into the baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely-- important!
- Cut into small bite size bars, about 2x2"
- Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners
- Using a hand mixer, beat all ingredients until combined and smooth
- Scoop batter into the liners, filling each about 3⁄4 way full
- Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes and allow to cool before removing from the pan. One mix should make about 18-22 regular size cupcakes.
Chocolate Ganache and Frosting
- Make your chocolate frosting first and set aside: Using a standing mixer with whisk attachment, beat the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract until combined, smooth and stiff. Place into a decorating bag or set aside.
- Start your Ganache: Using a small pot, bring the heavy cream to almost a boil.
- Pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl and let sit for 1 minute.
- Whisk until smooth, creating a ganache. You can alternately use a double broiler and heat up the heavy cream and chocolate chips together.
- Scoop the ganache into a new piping bag and cut the tip off.
- To build your cupcake: Using your chocolate frosting, frost a ring of frosting around the top of the cupcakes.
- Top with 1 brownie square, and drizzle ganache over the brownie.
- Add one more swirl of chocolate frosting over the top of the brownie.
- Sprinkle the Valentine's Day sprinkles over the top.
The Ganache is completely optional! You can make Brownie Cupcakes with just chocolate frosting.
For additional shortcuts, purchase pre-made chocolate cake/cupcake frosting in your baking aisle, and/or use a brownie mix. Nutritional values will vary with any substitutions, as will cooking time. Follow directions on mixes if you choose to substitute.
Amount Per Serving Calories 502Total Fat 33gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 126mgSodium 267mgCarbohydrates 51gFiber 2gSugar 42gProtein 5g
Looking for more Valentine's Day Inspiration? See our budget friendly, DIY, and at-home ideas! Scroll down for more from Consumer Queen!
Romantic dinners out can be just the thing you need to reconnect. However, that may not be feasible every year!
See this 3 course Valentine's Day dinner you can create at home for you and your sweetie– or the entire family.
Need more dinner ideas? See these 15 Dinner Ideas you can mix and match!
Valentines Day Craft Ideas:
Make their day special with these crafts:
Snowy Valentine's Day Scene
Not sure you have time for a DIY Gift? Find these Care Freshies here!! These are gorgeous and so fun to give for Valentines. They make perfect teacher gifts, or something for an office space or home. We've also included directions to make your own.