Cake of the Day: Cheeseburger Cupcakes from ‘Nerdy Nummies’

Every day, Yahoo Food features delectable cakes. They taste good, they look good, and they’re made by good people — talented bakers from around the world. This week we’ll be sharing adorable creations from Rosanna Pansino of the popular YouTube baking channel, Nerdy Nummies and her new cookbook The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us. Check back to Cake of the Day for more geeky desserts!

Cheeseburger cupcakes. (Photograph by Michael Schmidt)


A good joke can spread throughout the internet between the time you go to bed and the time you wake up, leading to an inbox filled with funny pictures. These viral images are often referred to as “memes” and have been a mainstay of the internet for many years. Some of the earliest memes were jokes about cheeseburgers and have been transformed into these tasty cupcakes. You can haz as many as you’d like.

Brownie batter (see recipe below)
Butter Cake batter (see recipe below)
1 tub (16 ounces) buttercream frosting
Food coloring gels: yellow and red
Sweetened flaked coconut
Green liquid food coloring
White sprinkles
9 x 13-inch metal baking pan Muffin tin(s)
Cupcake liners
21/3-inch round cookie cutter 2 decorating bags
#48 decorating tip
#10 decorating tip
Baking tweezers (optional)

Bake the Brownie batter in a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan as directed. Let cool completely in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 cups of 2 muffin tins with paper liners. (Or use 1 muffin tin and bake in two batches.)

Prepare the Butter Cake batter and divide it among the muffin cups, filling each one two-thirds full.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.

Use the round cookie cutter to cut out “hamburger patties” from the brownies [Image A].

Halve the cupcakes horizontally with a straight edge (not serrated) knife [Image B].

Place the brownie burgers on the bottom halves of the cupcakes [Image C].

Time to decorate!:
Mix half of the buttercream frosting with yellow food coloring until it is the color of cheese. Scoop the frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a #48 tip and pipe it to look like cheese slices on your patties.

Tint the other half of the buttercream frosting with red food coloring until you reach the desired shade of bright red. Scoop the frosting into a decorating bag fitted with a #10 tip and pipe it to look like a tomato on top of the cheese [Image D].

Mix the flaked coconut with liquid green food coloring until it is light green, resembling lettuce [Image E]. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top of the red frosting.

Place the top half of each cupcake on top.

Scatter white sprinkles on top of the cupcakes to look like sesame seeds. I use baking tweezers for more control [Image F].

Makes 9 to 16 brownies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch metal baking pan. Line the bottom and two sides of the pan with parchment paper (leave an overhang to make it easier to take out of the pan).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add the oil, milk, vanilla, and egg. Whisk until well combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Let the brownies cool in the pan, then cut into squares before serving.

Makes one 9 x 13-inch sheet cake or 24 cupcakes

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups superfine sugar (aka baker’s sugar)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, grease the paper, and flour the pan. (Or see the cupcake variation below.)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a second large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened. Add the superfine sugar and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Beat in the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Tap the bottom of the pan on the work surface to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. If necessary, loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a small knife. Carefully flip the cake upside down onto the rack, peel off the parchment paper, and then turn the cake right side up onto the rack to cool completely.

Butter Cupcakes: Line 24 cups of 2 muffin tins with paper liners and fill two-thirds full with batter. (Or use 1 muffin tin and bake in two batches.) Bake at 350°F until a wooden pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Reprinted with permission from Nerdy Nummies by Rosanna Pansino (Atria Books).

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