Burger Boy's Birthday. I found it only natural to create some sort of burger-inspired dessert and I had been agonizing over what sort of sweet treat I wanted to make him. After deciding I didn't want to make a cake (tougher to share with friends), I settled on the next best thing: burger cupcakes!
Inspired by this post from Bakerella, I created my own version consisting of a buttermilk-vanilla bean cupcake "bun", toffee brownie "meat" and cream cheese frosting "lettuce", "tomato" and "cheese". Each individual cupcake was then topped off with sesame seeds.
I tweaked some recipes that I had found online to make these and found that they all came together nicely. The buttermilk-vanilla bean cupcake was just faintly sweet and helped to balance out the richness of the fudgey brownies. I added toffee to the brownie batter, not only because it's a Burger Boy favorite, but because they added a nice surprising crunchy texture. The cream cheese frosting helped to tie it all together with a complimentary tang.
I have to say, these were really fun to make and they even helped me discover that when it comes to creating my own baked goods and doing something new with some flexibility for creativity, that's when I get excited and really begin to enjoy baking. These babies look a little trickier to make than they actually are. No doubt they take a little time to pull together but I guarantee the burger lover in your life will love them.
Cupcakes: The recipe for the Buttermilk cupcakes came from Martha Stewart and can be found here. For an added boost, I split a whole vanilla bean down the middle, scraped out the seeds and then added them to the batter. Just be sure to make the brownies in paper muffin tins so that the sides of them don't brown. Let the cupcakes cool completely before cutting them in half, just under the muffin top.
Brownies: The brownie recipe comes from Food Network's Alton Brown. Rich and chocolaty, they were a snap to put together. As mentioned above, I added broken up bits of a toffee bar to the batter, just before baking. Let them cool before using a biscuit cutter (that's approximately the same size as the cupcakes) to cut out little rounds.
Frosting: This has always been my go-to cream cheese frosting recipe, apologies, I've been using it so long I don't know what the original source is. To make, combine 1 package of softened cream cheese, 1 stick of softened butter and 1 1/2 cups of sifted powdered sugar. Mix in 1 tsp vanilla extract and blend until well incorporated. I then divided the frosting into four bowls and used food coloring to create a brown (for the top of the bun) redish (for the tomato) green (lettuce) and yellow (cheese). I then put each color into a separate disposable piping bag and was ready to go!
Next comes the assembly. Simply place a brownie on top of one of the cupcake bottoms. Pipe each of the "toppings" onto the brownie, making sure they overlap and sort of hang off the edges. Frost the top of the cupcake with brown frosting, add sesame seeds and place on top of the frosted brownie. Repeat this for all of the cupcakes.
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