Brownie Sundae Birthday Cupcakes

Thursday, November 7, 2013

These sort of came about completely accidentally. I love those kinds of recipes the most I think! Little Boy wanted cupcakes as well for his Star Wars party -- chocolate to be exact. Fine, easy enough. When it came time to do a frosting, to my horror I realized I completely ran out of butter and had too much to do still to leave the house with all 3 kids in tow, to get butter. So, staring at my wide-open fridge and freezer, my eyes zeroed in on the ice cream. "BRILLIANT!" I thought to myself. Instead of more frosting, I'll incorporate the ice cream and cake element into one, cohesive dessert!

Thankfully Little Boy was not only willing to do the cupcakes this way, he completely embraced the idea and came up with the brilliant idea to add sprinkles like a sundae. Done and done.

I baked off a test batch of the cupcakes and they turned out amazing. Adding the chocolate chips gives pockets of melted goodness. Using a healthy dose of good quality cocoa powder made the cupcakes taste exactly like brownies. This couldn't be more perfect. Now we inadvertently made a brownie a la mode dessert. And they looked freaking adorable with the sprinkles.

Thankfully I had a plethora of sprinkles already saved up from prior dishes and purchases in my baking drawer. I did a combination of chocolate sprinkles with blue crystal sprinkles that made a perfect color match up to the Star Wars themed paper wrappers. Also, mixing the two kinds of sprinkles gave the dessert wonderful texture! The soft regular sprinkles mixed with the crunchier crystal versions were really a great effect. I also had left over these awesome silver star sprinkles. They just went perfectly with the theme. You can find all of these items at your local baking or Michael's stores! They even have gold star versions!!

Add a candle on top if you like! I found these cool color-burning flame candles at the party store. They burn the flame the color of the candle. I don't know...they looked futuristic and light saber-y to me.

You'll love how easy these are to make. And if you have any older kids they can help in the assemble line with the ice cream and toppings before serving. You'll make this recipe over and over again, using different ice cream flavors and colors to suit your party's color palate! File this one away for sure!

Brownie Sundae Birthday Cupcakes
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (quite soft)
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup good Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk chocolate chips
vanilla ice cream
sprinkles (optional)
cherry (optional)
birthday candles (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with papers. Using melted butter or plain vegetable (or canola, or safflower, etc.) oil, brush the top of the baking tin. As the cupcakes bake, they will fluff up and over and this will help prevent them from sticking to the pan!

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and the color turns a pale yellow. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate the egg in before adding the next one. Having the eggs at room temperature help this process go faster as well as allowing the egg to mix in better.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Sifting the ingredients will make a fluffier, more evenly consistent cupcake. Set aside.

Combine the milk and vanilla in a separate container -- I use one of those classic pyrex glass measuring cups.

With the mixer on low, begin adding the flour mixture to the batter. Then, add some of the milk mixture. Then more flour, then milk, then end with the flour mixture. Go slowly and occasionally scrape down the bowl to make sure all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated into the batter.

Fold in the chocolate chips using a spatula. Scoop out the batter into the cupcake tins and fill about 2/3 of the way full. I'm asking you to fill them more than usual because they will fluff up and over the tin, creating a lip. I personally want this effect because it helps keep the scoop of ice cream on top better; it creates a sort of secure plate on which to set. If you'd rather have traditional cupcakes, then fill the tins about halfway full as normal.

Bake in oven until a toothpick comes out clean, about 13-15 minutes. The cook time will depend on your oven's strength, so start checking them about 10 minutes in! When done, remove and run a knife around the edges of the top of the cupcakes if you filled them to puff over. Pop the cupcakes out of the pan and let stand to fully cool on a rack.

You can make the cupcakes a day in advance of your party. Just cover until ready to use. You can keep the refrigerated or at room temperature; just make sure they are fully cooled down and wrapped well with plastic wrap!

When ready to serve, simply scoop out your desired ice cream right on top and add sprinkles. Serve immediately!

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