Hamburger Cupcakes Recipe

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If you want to take your cupcake game up a notch, try these Hamburger Cupcakes! Yellow cupcakes are turned into hamburger look-alikes by filling them with fudgy brownies, plenty of frosting, and fresh strawberry slices.

Yellow cupcake decorated to look like a hamburger, with sugar cookie french fries in the background

🍔 Cute & Easy Hamburger Cupcakes

Are Hamburger Cupcakes dinner, or dessert? If you have a mega sweet tooth like me, you won’t mind eating these sky-high cupcakes for every meal! Homemade Hamburger Cupcakes are perfect for parties, summer gatherings, picnics, and more. Serve them with Sugar Cookie French Fries and lots of frosting “ketchup” for the ultimate dessert meal!

Hamburger cupcake with sesame seeds on top, and sugar cookie french fries in the background

🧾 Ingredients

Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to these cupcakes! They’re meant to be fun and easy, so you can whip them up for a party, picnic, or make them with your kids as an edible project. I recently made them with my 8-year old son and he was so thrilled with himself when his cupcake looked just like a hamburger at the end!

In my opinion, this is not the time for making everything by hand–we’re going for maximum results and minimum time! So I typically make these with boxed cake mix and brownie mix, and I’ve linked to my recommendations below. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, I’ve also linked some homemade recipes for the cupcakes, brownies, and frosting. Do whatever is easiest for you, and remember that they’ll taste great whether you go store-bought or homemade!

(The following are affiliate links)

If You Like Store-Bought:

If You Like Homemade:

You’ll Also Need:

A hamburger cupcake with a bite taken out of it.

🥄 Equipment

At the risk of stating the obvious, the #1 piece of equipment you need are cupcake pans. I recommend using silicone pans, because these cupcakes are made without paper cupcake liners, and silicone pans release baked goods cleanly and easily. I like to make jumbo cupcakes, so the “hamburgers” are more true to size, but you can also use a regular cupcake pan to make them “slider” size. These options work great:

You will also want a round cutter like this one for making the brownie “burgers.” To really complete the fast food vibe, consider getting red and white checked deli wrappers, and toothpicks with frills as a finishing touch.

📋 Instructions

Before you can assemble the hamburgers, you first need to get all the individual components ready! Bake the cupcakes following the box directions, then get all of your burger fixin’s together.

Make the Hamburger Cupcake components

A 6-panel collage showing how to make the components of hamburger cupcakes

  1. Add red food coloring to vanilla frosting, and stir until you have a vibrant “ketchup” color. Depending on your food coloring, you might want to mix a little black or brown coloring in to deepen the red shade.
  2. Add yellow food coloring to vanilla frosting to make a “mustard” color. You can add a touch of orange or red to make it more mustard-y if you’d like.
  3. Place shredded sweetened coconut in a plastic bag, and add a few drop of green food coloring.
  4. Knead the bag between your hands to distribute the color, until you have bright green coconut “lettuce.”
  5. Hull the strawberries, then slice them widthwise to create 1/4-inch thick strawberry rounds.
  6. Use a round cutter to cut circles out of the brownies to make the “patties.”

Assembling the Hamburger Cupcakes

Once everything is prepped and ready, it’s time for the REALLY fun part: assembling the burgers!

A 6-panel collage showing how to assemble the hamburger cupcakes step-by-step

  1. Slice a yellow cupcake in half. Pipe a squiggle of yellow frosting all around the edge, peeking out from the side, to look like mustard.
  2. Lay strawberry slices on top of the yellow frosting. Top the strawberries with a thin layer of frosting so the brownie has something to stick to.
  3. Set a brownie patty on top of the strawberries.
  4. Add a squiggle of red frosting around the edge to look like ketchup.
  5. Press a generous layer of green coconut on top of the red frosting.
  6. Add the top half of the cupcake. Brush the cupcake with corn syrup mixed with a little water, and sprinkle sesame seeds all over the top. Stick a frilled toothpick into it, and the transformation is complete!

💭 Variations

  • Not into brownies? You can use a thick swirl of chocolate frosting or ganache in place of the brownie patty.
  • Use a green fruit leather or fruit roll-up instead of green coconut.
  • Similarly, you can use red fruit leather to replace the ketchup or the strawberries.

A hamburger cupcake with sugar cookie french fries and a bottle of Coke

💡 Tips and FAQs

How far in advance can these be assembled?

If you are using fresh strawberries, enjoy them within 2 hours of assembly. The fresh berries will weep into the cupcakes and make them soft and soggy over time. If you omit the strawberries, they can be kept at room temperature for 6-8 hours. I recommend keeping them in an airtight container or covered cake stand, so they don’t dry out.

How should hamburger cupcakes be stored?

If you use canned frosting, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you use homemade frosting with butter, I recommend refrigerating them in an airtight container, and letting them come to room temperature before serving.

Two hamburger cupcakes, with a bite taken out of the front cupcake

Happy hamburger-ing, SugarHeroes! Please leave a review if you give them a try–I love to hear how your baking turns out.

❤️ More FUN Desserts:

Print Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Hamburger Cupcakes

Homemade Hamburger Cupcakes are so cute and easy! Yellow cupcakes are filled with brownies, shredded coconut, and frosting to make them look just like hamburgers. Serve them with Sugar Cookie French Fries for the ultimate dessert meal!
If you prefer to make your own components rather than used boxed mixes, see the Notes section for links to suggested recipes.
Servings: 12 jumbo cupcakes

Ingredients

Instructions

To Make the Components:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Spray your cupcake pans well with nonstick cooking spray—silicone pans recommended if possible. Do not add paper liners. Prepare the yellow cake mix according to package directions, and divide the batter into 12 jumbo cupcakes or 24 regular cupcakes.
  • Bake the cupcakes according to the package directions, and let them cool once out of the oven. Remove them carefully from the pans.
  • Line a 9x13 pan with foil or parchment, and spray well with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare the brownie mix according to package directions and bake as instructed. Let the brownies cool completely.
  • Divide the frosting equally between two bowls. Color one bowl with red food coloring so that it resembles ketchup. Depending on your food coloring, you might want to mix a little black or brown coloring in to deepen the red shade.
  • Color the second bowl with yellow food coloring to make it look like mustard. You can add a touch of orange or red to make it more mustard-y if you'd like.
  • Place the shredded sweetened coconut in a zip-top plastic bag, and add a few drop of green food coloring.
  • Knead the bag between your hands to distribute the color, until you have bright green coconut "lettuce."
  • Slice the hulled strawberries widthwise to create 1/4-inch thick strawberry rounds.
  • Use a round circular cutter to cut circles out of the brownies to make the "patties.” You can press together the brownie scraps and cut out more circles to make as many as you need—it doesn’t matter if the rounds look perfect since they’ll be covered by all the other burger ingredients.
  • Slice each cupcake in half. If they seem a little too tall to be buns, trim them from the middle to make them bun-sized.

To Assemble the Hamburgers:

  • Pipe a squiggle of yellow frosting all around the edge, peeking out from the side, to look like mustard.
  • Lay strawberry slices on top of the yellow frosting. Top the strawberries with a thin layer of frosting so the brownie has something to stick to.
  • Set a brownie patty on top of the strawberries.
  • Add a squiggle of red frosting around the edge to look like ketchup.
  • Press a generous layer of green coconut on top of the red frosting.
  • Add the top half of the cupcake. Brush the top of each cupcake with corn syrup (you can thin it out with water if it’s too thick to easily work with) and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sesame seeds.
  • Stick a frilled toothpick through the cupcake, and the transformation into hamburgers is complete!
  • Serve these within 2 hours of assembly, since the fresh berries will gradually soften the cupcakes. If you use canned frosting, these can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you use homemade frosting with butter, I recommend refrigerating them in an airtight container, and letting them come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

If you don't want to use boxed mixes, make 12 jumbo (or 24 regular) yellow cupcakes using this recipe. You can make a 9x13 pan of brownies using this brownie recipe. And a quarter batch of this buttercream recipe works great for these hamburger cupcakes!

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 1mg

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Hamburger Cupcake with overlay text for Pinterest

What You'll Need
Editor's Note

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