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This post and recipe was created for #HalloweenTreatsWeek!
Orange and brown brownie bottom cupcakes are decadent semi-homemade cupcakes topped with fluffy buttercream frosting and Halloween sprinkles!
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and I love making themed baked goods for the occasion. I have a ton of Halloween recipes on my blog but I’m always looking for new ideas.
These Halloween Brownie Bottom Cupcakes are awesome because they look and taste amazing but the secret is that they are semi-homemade! They are made with a jazzed up brownie mix and a jazzed up cake mix topped with homemade buttercream frosting.
Honestly the secret is in the frosting. You can make just about any boxed cake mix and if you top it with homemade frosting everyone will think that they are homemade. Also, I put some caramel in the brownies which just put these cupcakes over the edge.
For the cupcakes you will need:
- yellow cake mix
- vegetable oil
- brownie mix
- caramel sauce
- food coloring
First I made the brownie mix according to the package directions. Then I added in some caramel sauce and a touch of sea salt. I filled the bottoms of each cupcake liner with the brownie batter so that it went about a quarter of the way up the liner.
Then I made the yellow cake according to the package directions. Once the batter was smooth I mixed in the orange food coloring so that my cupcakes would be orange and black for Halloween!
This is where it gets tricky. I tried three different ways to layer the cake mixture over top of the brownie mixture and the way that worked best was to put the cake mixture in a large measuring cup with a handle. Carefully pour the cake batter over top of the brownie batter until it is covered and the cake batter fills the cupcake liners about three quarters of the way up.
While the cupcakes baked I made a batch of my homemade buttercream frosting using Dixie Crystals powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. You can really make your favorite flavor of frosting but I enjoyed the fluffy buttercream with these cupcakes.
After the cupcakes have cooled I piped the frosting on top of each one and then sprinkled them with fun Halloween sprinkles! You can simply use orange and black sprinkles or use any Halloween themed sprinkles. Then I found some trick or treat cupcake picks and stuck those in half of the cupcakes to finish them off.
These cupcakes are out of this world. They have a few different flavor combinations going on that all just work together. My husband and I had a hard time not eating them all. The chocolate caramel on the bottom topped with the yellow cupcake and the rich, fluffy buttercream is perfection. I can’t wait to make them again!
Pro Tips & Substitutions:
- You can use white, yellow, or Halloween funfetti cake mix in this recipe.
- Feel free to add your favorite add-ins to the brownies like peanut butter, chocolate chips, or Nutella instead of the caramel sauce.
- Don’t skip the homemade frosting! You can totally make chocolate or cream cheese frosting but make it from scratch. It brings these cupcakes together and will convince everyone they are homemade.
For the brownie bottoms:
- 1 box brownie mix
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3 Tablespoons caramel sauce
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (optional)
For the cupcakes:
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 1 c. water
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- orange food coloring
For the frosting:
- 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter
- 6 c. powdered sugar
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Halloween sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in 2 muffin pans and set aside.
- To make the brownie batter combine the brownie mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs in a large bowl. Mix for 1 minute.
- Add the caramel sauce and sea salt if desired and mix well.
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of brownie batter in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
- In another large bowl combine the yellow cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Whisk for 1-2 minutes or until well combined.
- Add the orange food coloring and mix until the batter is the desired shade of orange.
- Pour the cupcake batter into a measuring cup with a handle and carefully pour enough batter on top of each brownie batter to fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.
- Bake the cupcakes for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack.
- To make the frosting place the butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar a half cup at a time until the mixture is smooth.
- Add in the milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcake and then sprinkle Halloween sprinkles on top.
Recipe adapted from Two Sisters Crafting
Take a look at more spooky Halloween recipes from our #HalloweenTreatsWeek Bloggers today:
Halloween Cookies & Bars:
- Bat Sugar Cookies from The Flour Handprint
- Voodoo Doll Cookies from Sweet ReciPEAS
- Halloween Confetti Cookies from Fake Ginger
Halloween Cakes & Cupcakes:
- Marshmallow SpiderWeb Cupcakes from Big Bear’s Wife
- Candy Corn Poke Cake from Devour Dinner
- Halloween Brownie Cupcakes from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes from It’s Shanaka
Halloween Pies & Cheesecakes:
- Mini Candy Corn Cheesecakes from Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Halloween Themed Layered Drinks from 4 Sons R Us
Chilled Halloween Treats:
- Easy Chocolate Pudding from Pastry Chef Online
Sweet Halloween Treats:
- Halloween Bark from West Via Midwest
- Halloween Snack Mix from Savory Experiments
- Healthy Halloween Snacks from House of Nash Eats
- Sweet & Savory Halloween Snack Board from An Affair from the Heart
- Spooky Candy Bark from Sweet Beginnings
- Poisoned Candy Apples from Fresh Coast Eats
- Donut Hole Mummies from Family Around the Table
- Halloween Caramel Popcorn Munch Recipe from Back To My Southern Roots
- Spiderweb Baked Donuts from Lemon Blossoms
Savory Halloween Recipes: