Hamburger Cupcakes

Ah, crazy food. Who doesn’t love a bit of crazy food? Normally, I wouldn’t usually bake something like hamburger cupcakes, as I find I prefer to stick with the old favourites! But this was a lazy Sunday. I had no plans. Absolutely Zero. So, what the heck, let’s bake! I stumbled across these cuties on Pinterest, and thought, well, I’ve got all day, so why not? If it takes hours, all the better! And really, what could go wrong? They’re cupcakes after all – they should taste good even if they don’t end up looking like burgers!

So how is the magic done, you may ask. Well, it’s particularly tricky and takes a lot of time and effort. Ha! It really doesn’t! It’s much more straightforward than it seems. You see, the burger bun is one whole cupcake cut horizontally to make the top and the bottom bun. The patty is actually a round of brownie. The cheese is yellow-coloured buttercream frosting. The lettuce is also buttercream frosting, just green. And the sauce? You guessed it, red buttercream frosting!

So get your cake tins ready, it’s time to bake!


Hamburger Cupcakes

Allow 2 hours | Makes 24



For the brownie

115g dark chocolate, chopped

160g unsalted butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 cup caster sugar

75g plain flour

3 tbsp cocoa

2 eggs


For the cupcakes

200g butter

1 ¾ cups caster sugar

4 eggs

1 cup milk

2 ¾ cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

sesame seeds to top (optional)


For the frosting

125g butter, softened

4 cups icing sugar

Red colouring

Yellow colouring

Green colouring


  1. Start by making the brownie – it takes the longest to cook and cool, so it’s good to give it time to cool while you make everything else.
  2. Preheat the oven to 175°C fan-forced and line a 20x30cm rectangular lamington pan with baking paper (you want the brownie to be pretty thin)
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring gently.
  4. Once completely melted, turn off the heat and stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
  5. Add the flour and cocoa then the eggs, mixing until well combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the brownie is dry and the batter is still a bit gooey, but holds its shape. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. Now make the cupcakes: bump the oven down to 170°C and line 2 muffin trays with patty pans – just use any old patty pans, as they will be discarded before the burgers are assembled.
  8. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter for 2 minutes then, keeping the motor running at medium speed, gradually add the sugar. Once all the sugar is added turn the motor up high and beat for a few minutes until the sugar is almost dissolved.
  9. Turn the speed down to low and add the eggs one at a time making sure they are fully incorporated before adding the next one. Then and the vanilla and beat for 10 seconds.
  10. Add the milk and flour alternately, beating on low speed. Beat until just incorporated – if you beat too much the mixture will stiffen and the cupcakes will be tough and chewy.
  11. Spoon into patty pans and top with a sprinkling of sesame seeds (optional). Then bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and they bounce back when lightly pressed. Set aside to cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Now make the frosting: Beat the butter on high speed for several minutes until it’s very pale.
  13. Turn the speed down to low and gradually add the icing sugar (so that it doesn’t fly everywhere and coat your kitchen!) until everything is incorporated.
  14. Divide the icing into three bowls, one for each colour, and add one or two drops of each colour to each bowl so you’ve got one red, one yellow and one green bowl of icing.
  15. Now, assemble! Ensure that the brownie and cupcakes are completely cooled before you start. Remove the patty pans from the cupcakes, and slice each cupcake in half horizontally to make the burger buns.
  16. With a round cookie cutter (or just an upside down glass if you don’t have a round cookie cutter) cut as many rounds of the brownie as you have cupcakes. Try to find a cookie cutter/glass that is a similar size to the bun. Place one round of brownie on each of the bottom buns.
  17. Fit a piping bag with a flat nozzle and fill with the yellow frosting. Pipe the “cheese” over each bit of brownie. Try to pipe it so it looks like melted cheese sliding down the side of the patty.
  18. Then fit a new piping bag with a small round nozzle (or wash the first one), and fill it with the red frosting. Pipe the red frosting on top of the cheese for the “sauce” or “tomato” – whichever you prefer.
  19. Now fit a new piping bag with a flat nozzle again (or wash the bag again) and fill it with the green frosting. Pipe the frosting over the “sauce/tomato” to make “lettuce”. Try to make the lettuce swirly so it looks like delicate lettuce leaves.
  20. Finally, top each burger with the bun tops. And voila! You now have burger cupcakes!

Happy Baking!



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