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Brownie Heart Cupcakes

Transform chocolate brownies into decadent cupcakes for a Valentine's Day sweet certain to induce a smile. They're perfect for an office party for 20 or a quiet dinner for two.

  • Yield: Makes 24
Brownie Heart Cupcakes

Source: Martha Stewart Living, February 2009


  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 12 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Basic Buttercream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan with cooking spray, line bottom with parchment, then spray parchment.

  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until chocolate melts.

  3. Attach bowl to mixer, add sugar, and whisk on medium-high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture.

  4. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Spread remaining batter in square pan. Bake until set but still soft, about 18 minutes. Let cool in tins and pan on wire racks.

  5. Frost cupcakes with buttercream. Cut out 24 hearts from brownie in pan using a 1 1/2-inch heart-shaped cutter. Top each cupcake with a heart.

Reviews (24)

  • Clara Jordan 14 Feb, 2013

    (Also) They were so oily that the oil soaked through to the actual tin.

  • Clara Jordan 14 Feb, 2013

    I was so excited when I found this recipe. I just took out the first batch and they were terrible. Do not try to make this recipe vegan, friends.

    Guess I'm going to look for a vegan recipe. : /

  • bishoplady 13 Feb, 2013

    I was very excited to try this recipe for a special occasion. I love, love, love chocolate and especially brownies. I followed the instructions to the letter. They baked just great. Problem is, they taste bad...just bad! The chocolate is so overpowering the only way you could stand to eat them was with the entire bowl of frosting. I'm disappointed and making something else. The ones in my family that have taste tested them, did not like them either. I do not recommend this recipe.

  • noctuae 5 Feb, 2012

    Made these last year for valentine's day at school. These were a big hit. Making them again this year. Couldn't find decent heart cut outs last year, but managed to find some wavy large ones. They didn't look as great, but they were still cute. Tip: Look for heart cut outs atleast a week before valentines day. Not the day before.

  • Lexaelise 3 Feb, 2012

    I made this recipe for my husbands family and they loved them!! I did not use coarse salt, I just used regular salt and they came out great!

  • ruralnebr 11 Feb, 2011

    Cute idea! I will just make some cake cupcakes, frost them and make a small browine recipe to cut into the hears. It is a neat idea! (And I have a killer moist choc. cake recipe!)

  • anacaro224 11 Feb, 2010

    Can anyone help adapt this recipie to high altitude? my brownies are tasting great but they keep sinking in the middle so presentation is ruined

  • KKing08 23 Jan, 2010

    These were the most fantastic "brownies" I've ever made! A little time consuming, but well worth the effort. Though the batter was salty (I used the coarse salt as the recipe called for), the baked product was delicious. Icing was easy and decadent, and these were gobbled up by guests. I will make again and again!

  • DeesDiner 17 Feb, 2009

    Oh my gosh... these are so yummy!! I simply ground the salt with a mortar and pestle -- worked great and no salt taste. The brownie recipe is delicious on it's own, unlike other comments, and I would definitely not recommend using a mix -- Why bother to bake, if you aren't doing these from scratch?! Loved these and will bake them again :)

  • gerhartl 16 Feb, 2009

    Left over frosting can be spread on graham craker halves to make sandwiches for instant casual treats. Store in refrigerator. Also good with vanilla wafers.

  • kdechan1 14 Feb, 2009

    (cont.) I think without the Butter cream Frosting, these would have been horrible! The frosting was easy, not too rich, and DELICIOUS! I suggest making half of what the frosting recipe calls for, as it was very hard to throw the rest out, unless you want to frost the second pan of brownies! Good luck!

  • kdechan1 14 Feb, 2009

    Forget yielding 24! I made 30 cupcakes, 2 brownie pans and a little left over dough for eating! I used Ghirardelli chocolate, and it was a little too rich for me, but to each his own. Rather than coarse salt, I used sea salt in a grinder, because of the other comments here, and I cannot taste the salt at all!

  • kdechan1 14 Feb, 2009

    Forget yielding 24! I made 30 cupcakes, 2 brownie pans and a little left over dough for eating! I used Ghirardelli chocolate, and it was a little too rich for me, but to each his own. Rather than coarse salt, I used sea salt in a grinder, because of the other comments here, and I cannot taste the salt at all!

  • emiefox06 13 Feb, 2009

    Continued... Despite all of my troubles the brownies came out tasting great (co-workers liked them) and the buttercream frosting was DIVINE. Next time I might skip this complicated recipe and just by the brownies in a box and make the delicious buttercream frosting.

  • emiefox06 13 Feb, 2009

    Where to start? I made these but did not follow the directions exactly. I didn't use coarse salt, I used normal salt and less than called for. I also had a mini-disaster when trying to melt the chocolate and butter (the entire bowl fell into the simmering water and ruined everything) so I just chucked some baker's chocolate and butter into a normal pot and went from there. I was annoyed that the recipe seemed to assume that everyone has a fancy kitchen-aid esque mixer with attachble bowl.

  • Landslyde 13 Feb, 2009

    I made these to bring to work and everyone loves them! But I also had an issue with the coarse salt. I was more aware of it because of the comment made here, but nobody here at work seems to have noticed. I know if I make them again in the future I will try the recipe with a finer salt. I wonder why they call for coarse?

  • CassKatt 12 Feb, 2009

    Did anyone else have the same issue with salt? Just wondering because I also made her magic blondies and found that you could still taste the coarse salt.

  • shellyrn0307 12 Feb, 2009

    The coarse salt did not dissolve and every bit was extremely salty! Such a disappointment because the buttercream frosting was perfectly fluffy and just the right shade of pink for Valentine's. I made these for a gathering at work and was so embarassed. They were very pretty, just like the picture. Also, I yielded 32 cupcakes and 2-8 x 8 pans of these brownies for the hearts. Doesn't matter, though, threw them all out!

  • AshaLynn 9 Feb, 2009

    I enjoyed the consistency of the brownie on top (which was baked in a traditional brownie pan) to the brownie in the cupcake shape. So for the real go, I am going to just make them in a sheet or sheets and cut them in to hearts.

  • dew-drop 7 Feb, 2009

    Yoj-I think your cupcakes came out right. They're supposed to be like brownies since you're using one batter to make both the cupcake and the brownie.

  • Shamash 4 Feb, 2009

    Cupcakes usually have icing on them and are supposed to be little cakes. Muffins are usually eaten at breakfast, they are often called mini bread.
    In cupcakes you always use butter, but in muffins you use oil....

  • beverley00 3 Feb, 2009

    what is the difference between a muffin and a cupcake ?

  • yoj 1 Feb, 2009

    I made the brownie cupcakes and I decreased the recipe by 1/3. Did this hurt the quality? I am a little disapointed. Taste is great but does not look cupcake "puffy".A little "hard". Did I leave it in oven too long? Please comment.

  • dmartinxoxo 24 Jan, 2009

    Made these today and they were fabulous! The buttercream frosting is the perfect compliment to the rich brownie cake. I tinted my frosting pale pink and topped them with bright pink sanding sugar and a single silver dragee. Tres chic!

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