Vanilla Cupcakes with Ooey Gooey Brownie Centers

Holy awesome cupcakes batman! Or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what Robin would say to Batman if they were eating these. Should I have a cupcake or a brownie? Why not both?!?!? These cupcakes are the best of both worlds, if a cupcake and a brownie fell in love, this would be their offspring. Ok, some of you are saying, “what’s the big deal?” because you know I have made these for years. Nothing new right? Wrong! I have made these cupcakes for a long time but I have always used a boxed cake mix, which always worked perfectly! But as I have discovered how delicious so many others cupcakes are from scratch as compared to a mix, I wanted to find something to replace my dependence on Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe classic white cake mix. And oh did I find it!

Ok, before I go further, I should clarify. This recipe is NOT white cake, the texture is a little different and obviously the color is too. But one taste tester of mine did compare the taste to wedding cake. Personally I find that the flavor reminds of a sugar cookie. Either way, delish! So remember, this is a vanilla cupcake, not white, not sure why that would matter but if it does, there, I told you.

How does the brownie get in the middle you ask? Easy, I dropped a dollop of brownie batter on top of each cupcake right before I put them in the oven. I have also done this injecting the batter into the cake batter right before baking and found that when the brownie batter is on top, it bakes a little better and doesn’t sink to the bottom of the cupcake, but both  methods work. I have done this lots of times before with a pastry bag and a plain tip but have recently found that it is much easier and WAY less messy to use make n’ mold bottles.

You’ll notice in the recipe below that I’m telling you to use a brownie mix, that’s right, I’m not ashamed. It’s fast, it’s easy, and why complicate the recipe if this works so well?

I often top these with chocolate buttercream icing but today I was making them for someone who prefers vanilla buttercream and that combination is just as delicious. While I normally don’t refrigerate these, I’m tempted to this week because of the heat and humidity here in Central Illinois. I think our heat index is 106 or so which makes for some liquid buttercream if you’re not careful. Enjoy!!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Brownie Centers

Cupcake recipe adapted from Very Vanilla Cupcakes by  


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 packaged brownie mix, prepared as directed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine milk and vinegar and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes. Mixture will curdle.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Whisk sugar, oil, and vanilla into curdled milk mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until relatively smooth. Fill cupcake liners with a scant 3 Tablespoons of batter (cups should be just under 2/3 of the way full).

Drop a dollop of brownie batter on top of each cupcake and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden and toothpick inserted in the inner edge of cupcake comes out clean.  A toothpick inserted in the middle will always come out with brownie batter on it because the brownie stay somewhat gooey in the middle. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


  1. Kayli says

    Hey Jules! I did love this recipe at your house. I actually dreamed about it the next night. Does this recipe make for a dozen?

  2. Fudge says


    I was going through this reciepe and I realised you didn’t have no eggs or sugar incorporated into the mix????

    It completely threw me off guard with the entire reciepe and wasn’t pleased as I had weighed out all of the ingredients.