Strawberry Brownie Cupcakes

Tri-colored cupcakes have a layer of chocolate brownie on the bottom, a pink strawberry middle, and vanilla frosting on top.



For the Brownie Cupcakes
18-ounce Ghirardelli  brownie mix plus the ingredients listed on the box

For the Strawberry Buttercream
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces (about 2-1/4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
about 5 medium fresh strawberries, pureed (you’ll need 2-3 tablespoons of puree)

For the Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup  heavy cream
1/4 semisweet chocolate chips

For the Brownies :
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a  12-cup standard  muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Prepare brownies according to the directions on the box.

3. Use a  large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) to portion the brownie batter into the prepared muffin cups.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 27- 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on a cooling rack and allow the brownies to cool completely.

For the Strawberry Buttercream:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 5 minutes.

2. Turn the mixer down to low speed and gradually add in the powdered sugar until it is completely incorporated.

3. Add in vanilla and 2 tablespoons of the strawberry puree, mix until incorporated.

4. Turn off the mixer and check the buttercream for taste and texture. Gradually add in the last 1 tablespoon of strawberry puree until you reach the desired level of strawberry flavor.

Please note that adding more than the recommended 2-3 tablespoons could result in a thinner frosting.

5. Turn the mixer back up to medium-high speed and beat the mixture for about 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

6. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and if desired, garnish with fresh strawberries.

For the Chocolate Ganache:
1. Microwave heavy cream until bubbling; about 40 seconds. Carefully pour hot cream over chocolate chips.

2. Allow the mixture to sit for about 3 minutes.

3. Whisk until the topping comes together.

4. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before drizzling the sauce over the frosted cupcakes. If desired, top with half of a strawberry.


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