A Birthday Present to Myself – in Cupcake Form

My 27th birthday was Saturday.

My hubby and I went out to breakfast in the morning and we went out to dinner with my family that evening.

In case you were wondering – I got chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. I figured if I was ever going to get them, a birthday was the perfect time:)

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to EVERYONE who wished me a happy birthday!

I appreciated every tweet, text, Facebook message, email, call, card and everything else!!!

As a birthday present to myself, I made these cupcakes.

Traditional moist yellow cupcakes

with cubes of brownie in the middle

drenched with a more than generous heap of thick, dark chocolate frosting

with a hint of sea salt and coffee.

A glass of milk is a NECESSITY with these puppies.

They’re not for the faint of heart

But chocolate lovers… rejoice!

I made brownies from my favorite box mix (Ghirardelli) a few nights before I made the cupcakes.

It’s easiest to do this before hand because you actually want them a bit drier to be able to cut them uniformly to put in your cupcakes. If you want to make some from scratch, go for it! Get em:)

Brownie Filled Yellow Cupcakes w/ Salted Dark Chocolate Mocha Buttercream

Cupcake batter and frosting slightly adapted from Cupcakes! from the Cake Doctor

Yellow Cupcakes


  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain yellow cake mix
  • 1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla or white chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-2 t. vanilla extract
  • Brownies


  1. Make your brownies if you haven’t already (an 8×8 pan is more than enough). When done cooking, let cool completely then cut in 24 1-inch cubes. You’ll still have enough brownies left over for your own little treat:) Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Set aside.
  3. Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. (You can also use a whisk if you’ve got strong forearms)
  4. Scoop 1/4 c. batter into each cupcake cup, filling about 2/3 of the way full.
  5. Bake until cupcakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, about 18-22 minutes.  Remove pans from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes to wire rack and let cool completely.
  6. When cool, use a small steak knife to cut a little hole out of the top. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside. Fill the hole with 1 cube of brownie.

Yum! Now, make the frosting!

Salted Dark Chocolate Mocha Buttercream

makes enough to SLATHER 18 cupcakes, or frost 24-30 (If you just want a small layer of frosting, cut this recipe in half)

adapted from Cupcakes! from the Cake Doctor


  • 1 stick (8 T.) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. (8-12 T.) Dutch processed dark cocoa powder
  • 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 6-10 T. strong black coffee
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. finely ground sea salt


  1. Beat butter in mixer on medium speed. Add in cocoa powder and beat well.
  2. Sift in powdered sugar. Add 2-3 T. of coffee and beat well.
  3. Stop and scrape down the sides. The frosting will be VERY thick.
  4. Add in vanilla and more coffee, a half tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you want. Add in salt. Beat well.
  5. Spread generously on your cupcakes and decorate as desired.


About jackielopina

Follower of Jesus, Pastor's Wife, Cookie Baker.
This entry was posted in Baking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Birthday Present to Myself – in Cupcake Form

  1. Molly says:

    Oh goodness, these look awesome!!!!!

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