Hamburger Cupcakes with Pound Cake Fries

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IMG_3521Happy Independence Day everyone! Instead of a red, white, and blue dessert today, I decided to make burger cupcakes and cake fries because they are perfect for a summer BBQ.

I was inspired by several sources including Bakerella’s adorable Hamburger cupcakes and the pound cake french fries from the book What’s New Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. I also used some of the book’s ideas from its submarine sandwich cupcakes. There are so many great ways to decorate hamburger cupcakes that the possibilities are almost endless.



To get started here’s what you’re going to need for the cupcakes:



  • Brownie mix or brownies from scratch (baked in a 13″ x 9″ pan)
  • Yellow cake mix or cake from scratch
  • Ingredients for mixes (oil, water, eggs, etc)*
  • Corn Flakes
  • Can of frosting or frosting from scratch
  • Red and yellow icing dye (gel coloring works best)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green candy melts (maybe some yellow candy melts if you don’t like the shade of green)
  • Starbursts (we’ll need the orange ones)

*Note: I used Bakerella’s suggestion of substituting 1 cup buttermilk for the water in the cake mix. It made the cake very moist and almost sponge like. I’d recommend this substitution.

Bake the brownies first and let them cool. Once cool, use a 2″ circle cutter and cut out the patties.

While the brownies cool, make and bake the cupcakes in liners. If you cook them without liners the sides of the cupcakes will look too dark for the “buns.”

As the cupcakes are cooking as per the recipe or box mix’s instructions, start to make the ingredients for the burgers. Warm the orange Starbursts in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds and then, on a piece of wax paper,  smash two together and roll it out.



Then cut it into a square:

IMG_3483Now you have your cheese slices!

For the lettuce, melt some green candy melts (adding some yellow candy melts if you want to soften the shade of green) and pour some corn flakes into the melted candy. If the candy isn’t thin enough, try thinning it with some oil. Stir the cereal around lightly, coating the them, and then pull out the individual pieces to set up. It’s good to put these on a piece of wax paper and then stick them in the fridge.

IMG_3484Once the cupcakes are done baking and cooling, cut the top and the bottoms off and set aside. The middle part will not be used for these. Save them for another dessert (mix any left over frosting into them for cake pops!) or throw them away.

IMG_3479Mix up your yellow (mustard) and red (ketchup) frostings and put them in piping bags or ziplock bags with the corner cut off.

IMG_3486Layer the hamburgers however you want. I layered in this order (from bottom-up): bun bottom, frosting, lettuce, frosting, brownie patty, frosting, cheese, frosting, bun top.

On the top of the bun brush a little water on top and then sprinkle some sesame seeds.

For the poundcake fries, I used a frozen Sara Lee poundcake. Not sure if this would work as well with a homemade loaf but you could try. Pull the cake out of the freezer and let defrost for a little bit. It’s best if it’s still a little cold or frozen when you cut it because the ridges from the crinkle cutter will be more pronounced.



Using a crinkle cutter or knife (used to cut vegetables and potatoes), cut the cake into 1/2″ slices and cut off the brown edges. Then cut those slices into the fry sticks. Place them on a baking sheet and heat them in a preheated broiler on high for no longer than 30 seconds or until they are golden brown. Keep an eye on these as they will brown quickly and burn easily.

Put some left over frosting ketchup in a dish or condiment container and serve with the cake fries for dipping!


That’s it! These are fairly labor intensive but so easy to put together. Have a fun and safe 4th of July!





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Fourth of July Watermelon Cupcakes

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This Fourth of July dessert is not red, white, and blue. Gasp! It’s not that I’m not patriotic, but there are so many red, white, and blue desserts going around at this time of year, I wanted to make something a little different and more summer themed for the party I’m going to. I got a little inspiration from here and there, but the recipe and design is from Bird on a Cake. I adapted her watermelon cake into a cupcake sized treat and decorated the tops a little different. I also chose to modify the frosting by nixing the cream cheese and opting to go for a buttercream instead. I used this recipe for the frosting but left out the vanilla and added the watermelon puree and watermelon jello from the original frosting recipe from Bird on a Cake. Start with the recipes I linked above. For decorating instructions, look below:

You’ll want to have a lot of red food dye. Gels are the best for getting that strong deep color. I picked up one of those red icing dye pots from Michaels and used a good 2/3rds of it between the batter and the frosting. Just keep adding dye until it’s the color of watermelon. I had my real watermelon cut open when I was dying the batter so I could color match it. I think the batter ended up being a better color than the frosting I put on top.

Bake the cupcakes for only 20 minutes as opposed to what it says in the cake recipe. Let them cool completely before you frost the cupcakes. The amount of frosting in the Quick Buttercream frosting recipe linked above is plenty of frosting for all of the cupcakes even though it may not look like it. I didn’t think so and ended up opening a small can of white frosting instead of making more.

Since you have to pre-color your frosting break it up like this: about half should go to the dark green color, a quarter of the frosting goes to the watermelon red color, and the last quarter can be separated into the light green and the white. Since you put butter and the pink watermelon jello in the frosting the white won’t be super white but I think that will look ok. If you prefer it to be extra white, you can open a can of white frosting.

I didn’t trust that I had originally made enough frosting and ended up with a ton of red frosting left and used the white can of frosting for the light green and the white frosting. If you have a better idea for separating the frosting for the right amount for each color, please leave me any suggestions in the comments.

For the “cut open” watermelon cupcakes, frost the center of the cupcakes with the red frosting, then pipe some of the dark green frosting around the edge with a #12 frosting tip, pushing downwards as you go to flatten the frosting out. With a #4 tip, pipe the white frosting in between the green and red frosting for the rind part of the watermelon. You may want to switch the frosting tips for this part if you’d rather have more white than green showing. Lastly, push a couple of mini chocolate chips into the top for seeds. You could also use black candy coated sunflower seeds.

The “whole watermelon” cupcakes are even easier to make. Frost the entire top of the cupcakes with the dark green and then pipe the light green in squiggly curved lines with the #4 tip. When these ones are cut open they look pretty cool. Unfortunately my mini chocolate chips fell to the bottom even though I followed Bird on a Cake’s suggestion to coat them in flour before putting them in the batter.

These cupcakes ended up being very strongly flavored of watermelon. If you try Bird on a Cake’s cream cheese frosting recipe, let me know how it tastes with the cake. I decided to use buttercream mainly because I am making some bacon-wrapped cream cheese jalapeño poppers for the same party and don’t want everything tasting like cream cheese, but I imagine the watermelon flavored cream cheese frosting is great with this cake too.


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