Brownie Bottom Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Filling

I couldn’t decide between chocolate and vanilla, so why not have both?

Brownie-Vanilla Cupcake

Perfect combination!

Brownie-Vanilla Cupcake inverted

Makes 24 Brownie Bottom-Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For Chocolate Brownie:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Gherardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Vanilla Cupcake:

  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups white granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Nielsen Massey Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup Valrhona unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

For Vanilla Buttercream:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt

Brownie-Vanilla Cupcake without top

Directions:

For Chocolate Brownie:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
    • You can use unsweetened cocoa powder, but then readjust the amount to sugar to 1 cup.
  • Using a whisk attachment for standing mixer, on low speed, combine eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Once combined, add melted butter.
  • Pour chocolate and flour mixture into the standing mixer bowl with egg and butter.
  • Mix on low speed until just combined.
  • Set on side.

For Vanilla Cupcake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bourbon and set aside.
  • In a standing mixer, with paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approximately 3-5 minutes).
    • While mixing, occasionally stop and scrap the sides of the bowl down to ensure ingredients are well incorporated.
  • Lightly beat one egg at a time in a small bowl with a fork and then add to mixture with the mixer on low speed. Make sure the first egg is well incorporated before adding the second egg.
  • With mixer on low speed, alternate adding the flour and milk mixtures, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. In between, stop the mixer and scrap down the sides to ensure flour is well incorporated.
  • Mix until just combined.

To Fill Muffin Tins:

  • Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir the brownie mixture, since it has been sitting for a little bit.
  • Scoop one tablespoon of brownie batter into the muffin tin and spread evenly on the bottom of each liner.
  • Use ice cream scoop to place vanilla bean cake batter on top of the brownie batter.
  • Bake in oven for about 25-28 minutes.
  • Allow the cupcake to cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from muffin tin to cooling rack.

Brownie-Vanilla Cupcake inside with caramel

Optional – Salted Caramel Filling:

  • Use a Wilton 230 tip (long tip with pointed edge on the end).
  • Fill piping bag with salted caramel sauce (see recipe).
  • Puncture top of each cupcake with decorating tip down about half-way into the cupcake and squeeze approximately 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of salted caramel into cupcake.

For Chocolate-Vanilla Buttercream:

For Chocolate Buttercream:

  • Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl and set on side.
  • In standing mixer, with whisk attachment, on medium-high speed, cream butter until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Set chocolate buttercream on side.

For Vanilla Buttercream:

  • In standing mixer, with whisk attachment, on medium-high speed, cream butter until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).
  • Add sugar, vanilla extract, salt and heavy cream and mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Set vanilla buttercream on side.

Pipping Bag

To Pipe Buttercream:

  • Use a wide star shape tip.
  • Place the head of the spatula or cone shaped piece of paper in the pipping bag as a divider to separate the pipping bag in half.
  • On one side use a small spatula to fill with vanilla buttercream and the other side with chocolate buttercream.
  • Once filled to the top, slowly pull out the divider.

Assemble:

  • Use serrated knife to cut off the top of the cupcake.
  • Pipe the buttercream on the middle layer and then on top of the cupcake top.

A definite crowd pleaser! Enjoy!!

Brownie recipe adapted from Gherardelli.

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