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Triple Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

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These award-winning Triple Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes re-imagined fudgy brownies in the form of an over-the-top cupcake! A rich and moist chocolate cake base is topped with creamy brownie mix frosting, then finished off with brownie chunks and hot fudge.

A close-up shot of a frosted chocolate cupcake on top of a sheet of parchment paper

Super Chocolatey Brownie Cupcakes

Back in the day, I made these decadent brownie cupcakes for a local cancer fundraiser and they won the award for best tasting cupcake! They have everything a chocolate lover could wish for and more. The cake part is made with a classic cake mix plus a few little upgrades, and the frosting uses a boxed brownie mix to give you that lightly grainy brownie batter texture.

With the inclusion of sour cream, milk and vanilla extract, you get a super light and fluffy cupcake without having to make the batter completely from scratch. If you’d like to whip up a 100% homemade version, you can make your cupcakes with my Ultra Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe. It’s just as soft and fluffy as the cake mix version included in this recipe.

Even though I’m obsessed with the cupcakes and frosting alone, the extra toppings are really what make these cupcakes shine. You can use store-bought brownies for the brownie chunks, but I suggest throwing together these Easy Homemade Brownies instead. They’re extremely fudgy and indulgent! Paired with a drizzle of your favorite hot fudge sauce, these have to be the greatest chocolate cupcakes of all time.

A triple chocolate brownie cupcake on a plate with more cupcakes and brownies in the background

What You’ll Need

It’s time to get familiar with the specific ingredients you’ll need to gather for this recipe. It’s all pretty basic stuff!

For the Cupcakes

  • Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix: Or another 14-ounce chocolate cake mix of choice.
  • Sour Cream: I like to use reduced-fat sour cream, but you can use regular sour cream if preferred.
  • Milk: Or a diet-friendly milk substitute.
  • Vegetable Oil: Or canola oil.
  • Eggs: For structure.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: To enhance all that yummy chocolate in the cake mix.

For the Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter: Brought to room temperature.
  • Sweetened Dark Cocoa Powder: I use Hersey’s Special Dark. The cocoa powder intensifies the chocolate flavor, which isn’t quite strong enough with the brownie mix alone.
  • Powdered Brownie Mix: Use your favorite brand.
  • Powdered Sugar: To give the frosting structure.
  • Milk: Or heavy cream.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Use a good quality extract for the best results.
  • Light Corn Syrup: You could also use maple syrup or honey if preferred.
  • Brownie Chunks: Homemade or store-bought.
  • Hot Fudge Sauce: To top it all off.
Three chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting, brownie pieces and hot fudge with three more cupcakes in the background

How to Make Triple Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

If you make the cake mix cupcakes and use store-bought brownies for the topping, these bad boys come together in just about 30 minutes! So even though this dessert is very luxurious, it’s also very quick and simple.

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Beat on medium–high speed until the batter is well blended.
  3. Bake: Divide the batter evenly, filling each liner about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cupcakes are set. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of one of them. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
  4. Let Cool: Allow your cupcakes to cool completely after removing them from the oven.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Whip Butter: Use an electric mixer to beat the butter at medium-high speed for approximately 5 minutes, until the butter is almost white. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. Combine Brownie Mix & Cocoa Powder: In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder and brownie mix together.
  3. Slowly Add to Butter: Slowly add the combined brownie mix and cocoa powder to the butter and beat until combined.
  4. Add Powdered Sugar, Milk & Vanilla: Continue to slowly add the powdered sugar while beating on medium speed. The frosting will become very thick, so I suggest alternating adding the milk and vanilla extract with the powdered sugar to maintain a smooth consistency. Continue to beat the frosting on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add Corn Syrup: Once you have added all of your powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, add the corn syrup and continue to beat until well combined.
  6. Top Cupcakes: Pipe the frosting onto the completely cooled cupcakes using a large open star tip. Top the frosted cupcakes with 3 small brownie chunks and a drizzle of hot fudge.
A brownie cupcake with a bite taken out of it sitting on top of two homemade brownies

Tips for Success

I have a brief list of tips and tricks that will help you make the ultimate brownie cupcakes. Let’s get down to business.

  • Heat Treat the Brownie Mix: If you’re worried about consuming uncooked brownie mix, you can easily heat treat it before using it for your frosting to eliminate the low chance of any bacteria in the flour. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the flour on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for approximately 10 minutes, or until the temperature of the flour reaches 160°F. 
  • Add the Dry Ingredients Slowly: Once your butter is fully beaten, it’s best to add the dry ingredients slowly and beat periodically with the paddle attachment. This improves the frosting’s light and fluffy texture.
  • Use a Large Piping Tip: Because boxed brownie mix is grainy and sometimes contains small chunks of chocolate, it’s important to use a large piping tip to top the cupcakes. This prevents the tip from popping off of the piping bag while you’re working.
  • Save Leftover Brownie Mix! Don’t let your leftover brownie mix go to waste – use it for this scrumptious Brownie Batter Poke Cake!

Variation Ideas

You can totally change up this recipe with some simple swaps and substitutions if you’re in the mood to experiment. Here are some fail-proof ideas!

  • Use Cream Cheese Frosting: While a chocolate overload is always amazing, it’s also nice to balance out the richness of the cupcakes with a tangy cream cheese frosting like this one. To maintain the chocolate overload and also add some tang, make this Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting instead.
  • Add Different Toppings: There are many ways to top off these cupcakes besides the brownie chunks and hot fudge. You can add sprinkles, small chocolates, candies, berries or whatever else you’re craving!
  • Make German Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes: If German chocolate is your guilty pleasure, you can adjust these cupcakes accordingly to create your fantasy dessert! Just fold some shredded coconut into the cupcake batter and top the cupcakes with chopped pecans and caramel sauce.
A chocolate cupcake on a white cake plate topped with brownie frosting and brownie chunks

How to Store Homemade Cupcakes

These cupcakes should be stored in an airtight container on the counter. They will last for up to a week, but they taste the freshest within 4 days of when they’re made. At my house, they disappear in 2 days or fewer!

Can I Freeze These?

You can freeze your cupcakes with the frosting on top if you’d like, but I don’t recommend freezing them with the toppings. First, flash-freeze your frosted cupcakes on baking sheets for 1-2 hours, or until firm. Then, wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container.

When you’re ready to enjoy your brownie cupcakes, unwrap them and thaw them out in the fridge or on the counter. Once thawed, top them with the brownie chunks and hot fudge.

Print
a close up of a chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate frosting, brownie chunks and hot fudge

Triple Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 24

Description

These award-winning Triple Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes re-imagine fudgy brownies in the form of an over-the-top cupcake! A rich and moist chocolate cake base is topped with creamy brownie mix frosting, then finished off with brownie chunks and hot fudge.

Ingredients

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Cake mix (14oz)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hersey’s Special Dark)
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered brownie mix (from a box)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • Hot fudge sauce for garnish
  • Brownie chunks for garnish

Instructions

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed until all ingredients are well blended.
  3. Divide the batter evenly, filling each liner about 2/3 full and bake for 14 to 16 minutes until the cupcakes are set.
  4. Test the cupcakes for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cupcakes are done. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely after removing from the oven.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at a medium-high speed for approximately 5 minutes until the butter is almost white. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift the cocoa powder and brownie mix together. Slowly add to the butter and beat until combined.
  3. Continue to slowly add the powdered sugar while beating on a medium speed. The frosting will become very thick. Alternate adding the milk and vanilla extract with the powdered sugar to maintain a smooth consistency. Continue to beat the frosting on high speed for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Once you have added all of your powdered sugar, add your corn syrup and continue to beat until well combined.
  5. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes using a large open star tip. Top with 3 small pieces of brownie and drizzle with hot fudge sauce.

Notes

  • Frosting recipe slightly adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
  • If you don’t want to use a cake mix, try these with homemade chocolate cupcakes instead
  • If you are worried about consuming raw flour in the brownie mix, Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the flour on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for approximately 10 minutes, or until the temperature of the flour reaches 160°F. 
Nutrition Information:
1 Cupcake
378
38 g
57.3 mg
22.9 g
43.2 g
0.7 g
2.6 g
66.8 mg
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: brownie frosting, brownie cupcakes, chocolate frosting

More Fun CupCakes to Try

Nothing brings a smile to peoples’ faces like a homemade cupcake. The treats below are sure to wow your friends and family!

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10 Responses
  1. Cheri Mizaur

    What does adding corn syrup to the frosting do to it? Will this stay in a pretty piped position? Does it pipe well? I wanted to make these for a wedding but I’ve never used corn syrup in my frosting before and I am a little worried. Thanks!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cheri, I’ve made it both way. The corn syrup is a stabilizer, but I think it adds to the overall brownie batter effect! Also yes, this pipes very well

  2. themondaybox

    These photos make you want to sink your teeth into that rich chocolaty goodness. Yummy recipe! Thanks.

  3. Meghan (@MissTasty_)

    Triple chocolate & brownies!!??!! Oh boy, I’m glad I came across this post on Recipenewz. This is just amazing!! ~~ Meghan from thetastyfork.com

    1. beyondfrosting

      Hi Meghan! Thank you so much! I am brand new to Recipenewz and glad to see that you stopped by. I am looking forward to checking out your blog as well!

  4. sally @ sallys baking addiction

    oh girl these are GORGEOUS!!! You had be at “triple” chocolate. 😉 I love making cupcakes. you are a cupcake MACHINE to make that many! Wow, I’m seriously impressed!

    1. beyondfrosting

      Hahah! Thank you Sally! It was around the time when all my cupcakes were baked an my 16lbs of frosting were done that I realized the task ahead of me! Haha.

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