Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting & Salted Caramel and Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberries & Cream


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

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OK, kiddies, it was my friend Alyse’s birthday this week & I hosted a little dinner for her.  And I made CUPCAKES!  I seldom eat dessert foods myself – mainly because I prefer to get my sugar from a wine glass – so I have posted precious few dessert recipes.   But a birthday certainly called for a dessert item so I seized the opportunity.  Please know, I am not part of this whole cupcake craze but cupcakes really are a superior choice for birthdays (in my opinion) as they are a reasonable serving size & you can kinda mix up the flavors a bit more than one can with a cake.  And they travel easily.

For these guys, I had a huge, industrial-sized box of brownie mix:


Then I went to store & bought everything I could think of that I might want to use for brownies including eggs & powdered sugar & cream cheese & pudding & jimmies & sprinkles & raspberries & marshmallows & marshmallow fluff & Reese’s Cups & two kinds of frosting etc etc.   Then I realized I was only feeding four people so there was no need to make 4372 cupcakes.  After some consideration, I elected to make the cupcakes from the brownie mix – and chose to top some with peanut butter frosting & drizzle caramel sauce on them & salt them.  Others – I filled with a marshmallow fluff center & a raspberry inside & atop the chocolate ganache frosting.   Unfortunately – the one cupcake I cut into for the photos had an anemic amount of cream – or maybe the cream was inserted off-center so it is hiding in the photo.


But know – I sent the bulk of these cupcakes home with my friend Rose for her teenage sons & I saw a photo she took of one & the center was creamy, indeed.   Here is that photo:


All I know is, I injected a bunch of cream in them & then they settled – leaving a gap in their volcano openings – so I rammed a raspberry inside each of them.  Indelicate but delicious!


Reese’s Brownie Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting & Salted Caramel


Brownie mix (be sure to have the eggs & oil you need as per the box)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (I used full-sized)

Caramel sauce (from the ice cream aisle)

Course salt

Peanuts – for garnish

For the peanut butter frosting

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)

1/2 cup butter (or lard or shortening)

2 TBS milk

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 cups powdered sugar


Make the brownie mix as per box.

For the frosting – blend all but the powdered sugar ( I did this in my food processor).  Then I added the sugar.  Start with 2 cups & test for sweetness.  Add more – if you think it should be sweeter.


To assemble, I lined a cupcake pan with liners, put a tiny dollop of brownie batter to just cover the bottoms, put a Reese’s Cup in each & then topped with more brownie batter.  Bake them according to box instructions.  Then, frost them with the peanut butter frosting.  Drizzle the caramel on them, lightly salt them & top with a peanut.  Put them on the ground and roll around on them naked.

Or serve them to your friends.  Your call.




Brownie Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache, Raspberries & Cream


Brownie mix (be sure to have the eggs & oil you need as per the box)


7 ounce jar of marshmallow fluff

4 TBS butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp water

1/4 tsp salt

For the ganache

1 cup chocolate chips (dark chocolate is nicer but I used semi-sweet milk chocolate)

3/4 cup heavy cream


Make the brownie mix as per box.  Bake them as directed.

To make the cream filling, dissolve the salt in 1 tsp hot water.  Blend the fluff, butter, powdered sugar, salted water, and vanilla.  I did this in my food processor.  I then put this in a Ziplock bag & cut a corner out.  I used this as a make-shift pastry bag.  A real pastry bag would be great, too.

When the brownies are done & cooled a bit, use a paring knife & create little cavities in their centers.


Squeeze some cream filling into each.  Fill to the top & let rest a bit.  If the cream settles – either add more cream or shove a raspberry in there like the killer on Twin Peaks used to shove a tiny letter under the fingernail of his/her victims (remember that?).


Over low heat, melt the chocolate chips.  A double boiler is best for this but I was lazy.  I melted them a bit & then just added the heavy cream & whisked it all together.

Dip the cupcakes into the ganache & then top with another raspberry.  Voila!

These are also good to roll around on nude but that can get awkward at a birthday party.  Maybe just stick them all on a tray & serve them the traditional way.