"Half-Baked" Cupcakes

Sometimes you just have a stroke of brilliance you can’t let go of. It keeps nagging you in the back of your mind.  You’ll never forget about it and even if it doesn’t work out you know you will forever regret not making it.

Luckily, I made these and they were wonderful and I do not regret them.


When we were living in Germany, the ice cream section was dominated by Ben and Jerry’s. Sure, there were other brands, but they’ll just made the same basic flavors. And Ben and Jerry’s only had a fraction of their flavors, but they were the most interesting. So, naturally, we tried almost all their flavors there. But my favorite? Half Baked. It combines chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and cookie dough and brownie batter. It get rid of all the hard “cookie dough or brownie?” “Chocolate or vanilla?” decisions that confront you whilst choosing ice creams. Also, how often do you get brownie batter in an ice cream? Not often.

And how often do you get brownie batter in a cupcake? Not often. That’s partially why I was so excited for these. I loved the ide of brownie batter in a cupcake. Not just brownie chunks or anything. Brownie batter. It still retains it’s batter-ness. And it totally worked out.  I wish I had put more in them.


And the vanilla cupcake itself? I was astounded. I normally overlook vanilla cupcakes because they are like the boring, drab sister to the glamorous movie star that is chocolate. But these make you stop and look at drab-sister-vanilla and do a double take. Like the drab sister who got her braces off and got contacts all in one day and comes to school all dressed up one day. You can’t help but notice her. Just like the vanilla in these cupcakes.

They are buttery and moist and the perfect vehicle for the brownie chunks and frosting, while not just only being a vehicle. The bites with no brownie batter chunks were certainly not lacking. 


And the cookie dough frosting is literally just slightly more spreadable cookie dough. There wasn’t even powdered sugar in the recipe to make it frosting. It was just a cookie dough recipe with less flour and no egg. Perfect.


And altogether, they combine wonderfully. They aren’t exactly like half-baked ice cream, because the cupcakes don’t have chocolate (you could easily do a chocolate-vanilla swirl cupcake though) and the cookie dough dominates. But that doesn’t mean the flavors weren’t perfect together. If you don’t hold back on the brownie batter, the ratios will probably be much better. 


I imagine these would serve really well with Half-Baked ice cream. 


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Half Baked Cupcakes

1 batch vanilla bean cupcake batter (recipe below)
1 batch brownie batter filling (recipe below)
1 batch cookie dough frosting (recipe below)

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners and set aside.
Pour cupcake batter into cupcake tins, filling halfway. Then place as many brownie chunks as you would like throughout the tin before filling it up the rest of the way. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely before frosting with the cookie dough frosting.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes
From: Joy the Baker
1 sticks (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup + a little over ¼ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup whole milk
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
1 + a little over ¼ cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together milk, vanilla extract and vanilla bean seeds.  Set aside.
In a stand mixer, fit with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  This may take 3 to 5 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is well incorporated.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition.  If the batter begins to looks a bit curdled, that’s alright.
With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the vanilla milk mixture in three batches, starting and ending with the flour.  When the batter is almost combined, stop the mixer and finish mixing the batter with a spatula, making sure that any flour bits at the bottom of the bowl are well incorporated.
Divide into the lined cupcake pan and 


Brownie Batter Filling
From: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

1 box of brownie mix
Water called for on box
Melted butter equivalent to the oil needed

In a large bowl, mix brownie mix with water and melted butter (batter will be thick). Roll batter/dough into 1 inch balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze for about an hour.


Cookie Dough Frosting
From: Sally's Baking Addiction
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temp
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk (I used vanilla almond milk, but soy or regular would be fine)
1 cup mini chocolate chips

While the cupcakes are cooling in the pan, make the frosting. With an electric or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar at medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat well. Stir in the flour and salt until doughy. Stir in the milk and beat until fluffy. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Frost cooled cupcakes.