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Brown Butter Cupcake Brownies
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1 ¼ c
unsalted butter
2 ¼ c
granulated sugar
1 ½ c
unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)
1 tbsp
2 tsp
vanilla extract
¾ tsp
cold eggs
all-purpose flour
1 ¾ c
walnuts, finely chopped
1 c
bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips, or as desired
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting (optional)

In Food52 Baking, the editors of Food52 put together a compilation of recipes made for quick and easy weeknight baking.

It takes a real stroke of genius to improve on something that’s already so gosh-darn perfect, but such is the case with these gooey-centered cupcake brownies: Food52 contributor Phyllis Grant adapted them from the brilliant Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies with Brown Butter and Walnuts, published in Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. These have all of the benefits of molten lava cake’s (chocolate goo! theatrical awe!) with none of the stress—their liquid center comes from stuffing chocolate chips into the middle of each cupcake before baking. Once baked, they freeze wonderfully: to reheat just put the frozen cupcakes in a 325°F oven for 15 minutes to awaken the gooey center. For an extra flourish, serve topped with ice cream.


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Generously butter and flour a nonstick muffin tin, or line the cups with large cupcake papers.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling it until it starts to brown and smell nutty, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the granulated sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and salt. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and mix vigorously for about 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, distributing it evenly; it’s okay to fill the muffin cups almost to the top edge because these cupcakes barely rise. (You may have one or two extra cupcakes. Either bake them after the first batch has come out of the pan and the pan is again cool, or prepare a couple of cups of a new muffin tin, filling the empty spots with a couple of tablespoons of water each.) Press some of the chocolate chips into the center of each cupcake to create a chocolate center.
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still a bit gooey. If need be, cut into one cupcake with a paring knife to determine whether the batter is set.
  6. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove each carefully. Serve right away, dusted with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Store leftovers in a resealable bag at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for a few months.

Reprinted with permission from Food52 Baking, copyright © 2015 by The Editors of Food52. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2015 by James Ransom

Food52 Baking

The Editors of Food52

Book Cover