Hamburger Cupcakes

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My friend Justin and I have a longstanding tration of making cakes together whenever there is occasion to celebrate (birthdays, graduations, Tuesdays…). But this year, after being inspired by Bakerella, I decided I would bake Justin a cake and surprise him with it. Now, he knows that a cake is coming, he just doesn’t know what it will be. I’m seeing him tomorrow for our book club, so I spent all afternoon baking and assembling the cake — Hamburger Cupcakes!

I’m no Duff Goldman, so I started with 1 box of vanilla cake mix, one box of brownies, yellow icing, red icing, and sesame seeds.

First, I made the vanilla cake as per directions. For burgers, I wasn’t sure whether a mini-cupcake size would be a good idea for portioning and the adorable factor, or if they would be too small to work with. To prepare for any and all scenarios, I took the batch of cake mix and filled 24 mini-cupcakes, 4 ramekins, and 3 heart cupcakes. After those came out of the oven, I went about making my brownies.

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Although Bakerella made a regular tray of brownies and then cut them into circles, my aunt suggested I simply make the brownies in the same container that I made the cupcakes, and this was a GREAT idea. With the brownie mix, I filled 18 mini-cupcakes and 4 ramekins. After the brownies were out of the oven, I put them immediately into the fridge (a trick from my great-grandmother to make them extra-fudgy). When they were cool but not cold (maybe 20 min) I cut them in half. This timing was important in my recipe because the mix I chose had chocolate chips in it. I needed the chips to still be a bit melty for the cutting process. I went ahead and pre-cut all of my brownie “burgers” in half so that the meat wasn’t bigger than the bun!

To assemble the burgers, simply place the “meat” between two halves of the “bun.”

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Next, it’s time for the condiments. Although I bought red and yellow to look like ketchup and mustard, I think the yellow looks more like cheese than mustard.

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Finally, top off your burger with some sesame seeds so it looks like a real bun. I found that the top of my cake was sticky enough that the seeds didn’t require any coaxing to stay in place. Bakerella suggested wetting the cake with a bit of water to encourage sesame seed cling, which is a handy tip if your seeds are being rebellious.

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Conclusion: I definitely prefer the burgers made from the ramekins better than the mini-cupcakes. They were easier to frost, so they look a little nicer, and they are also sturdier, so they will (hopefully) survive the trip to book club tomorrow night. I packed all 4 big burgers and a few of the small ones for book club. Then, I packed up the rest of the mini-burgers (sliders?) to bring to work tomorrow, along with the extra brownies and cupcakes that didn’t make it into burgers.

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I hope everyone enjoys the Hamburger Cupcakes! I certainly had fun planning and making this birthday surprise!

P.S. I’m writing this Thursday night, but setting it to post on Friday night so that Justin doesn’t ruin the surprise by reading the blog before he sees the cupcakes in person

P.P.S. For those interested, our book this month is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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