Let’s discuss the cupcake trend, shall we? It’s gotten slightly out of control. Cupcake shops are dotting the streets of cities and towns. Cupcake cookbooks and blogs are, quite literally, taking over the world. I want to resist the pressure. I want to be able to stare at a cupcake, and turn up my nose. But (you knew there would be a but), they’re just so good. They’re the perfect size, and when combined with the right amount of frosting, are just about impossible to refuse. So without further ado, the hamburger cupcake.
I confess these cupcakes serve mainly aesthetic purposes. Not that you can’t eat them, just that they came from a box, and the frosting from a tub (and a jar of food coloring). And that’s not usually my style. But for a 4th of July barbeque, I can’t think of anything better.
- 2 boxes of yellow cupcake mix; and the necessary eggs and oil*
- 1 box of brownies; and the necessary eggs and oil**
- 1 tub of cream cheese frosting (though you could use vanilla if you can stomach the sweetness)
- food coloring (red, yellow, and green)
- about 1 C of shredded coconut
- sesame seeds
- little deli toothpicks
Bake the cupcakes according to the directions on the box. I greased the pans rather than using cupcake wrappers, something I have never done before. But again, these cupcakes are lookers and I couldn’t have little pleats ruining my hamburger buns.
Bake the brownies in a 13 x 9 pan according to the directions on the box.
Let them all chill out on your stovetop for a while.
Meanwhile, you can be crafting some toppings:
Mix up your coconut with just a few drops of green food coloring.
Mix up a little less than half of the frosting with yellow food coloring until you have a yellow that resembles a processed cheese. I used one drop of red. I’m not sure if it really had any effect on my attempt at orange, or if it just made me feel better.
Mix up a little less than half of the frosting with red food coloring. You will need gobs of this stuff before you reach a color that is anywhere close to red.
Use a serrated knife to slice your cupcakes in half. Depending on the size of your brownies, you may want to cut some of the middle part of the cupcake out. Save the cake to make some cake pops later.
Use a circle cookie cutter, or biscuit cutter, to cut the brownies. Then, cut the brownies in half to create thinner patties.
Pipe some of your yellow frosting along the bottom of the cupcakes to create the cheese. Good news! This is not the time for perfection. You want the cheese to look like it’s oozing out of the bun, so a little dribble here and there looks more realistic.
Place a brownie patty on top, and pipe some red frosting to serve as ketchup. Then, sprinkle with your coconut lettuce.
Put the top half of the cupcake on, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Some recipes I saw online said to brush the tops with OJ to get the seeds to stick, but since I used boxed cupcake mixes, they were plenty moist and sticky.
Stick a toothpick artfully through the center, and bask in your glory.
No really. Take these to your next barbecue, tailgate, or kids’ birthday party and watch people go nuts.
*By all means, use your favorite yellow cupcake recipe here. You’ll want about 4 dozen, give or take a few.
**Though I like baking from scratch, I’ve been known to pull out a boxed brownie mix now and again (read: whenever the mood strikes and can’t wait for my butter to soften). I’ve tried them all and I have never found a mix better than Duncan Hines chewy fudge. But again, use your favorite recipe here if you have the time.