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Why have I waited so long to add sprinkles to brownies? It’s a mistake I intend to remedy by baking batches of birthday cake brownies weekly for at least the next year.
One bite and you’ll feel the same way, I’m sure. Because not only are these babies cute—they’re also DELISH!
The sprinkle layer really just cheesecake that’s flavored with powdered cake mix and lots of vanilla so it actually does taste like birthday cake. Combine that with a fudgy brownie and you have yourself a celebration-worthy treat!
Why you’ll love these birthday cake brownies:
- They freeze beautifully so you can always have dessert on hand
- The ingredients are all kitchen staples you probably have right now
- They’re easy to make!
How to make birthday cake brownies
Start by making the filling layer. You’ll see that the recipe calls for cake mix; either white or yellow mix is fine but using white allows the sprinkles to pop more.
- Combine room temperature cream cheese with a few other ingredients and beat until very smooth.
- Fold in rainbow jimmies, then set aside.
Be sure your cream cheese is at room temp; if it’s too cold the filling won’t get smooth and you’ll have lumps of cream cheese that aren’t fully blended.
- Combine sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
- Stir vigorously to combine.
- Stir in butter and chocolate that have been melted and cooled.
- Fold in flour, cake mix, and salt and stir until smooth (or mostly smooth–like in the second picture above).
Then you’re ready to assemble.
- Pour about half of your brownie batter into an 8-inch square baking pan.
- Spread the filling into an even layer over the batter.
- Spread the remaining batter over that.
- Use a butter knife or the handle of a wooden spoon to swirl the two together. Then bake! (Don’t over-swirl the brownies–just drag the knife around the pan a couple of times.)
Note: the brownies are thick and will puff up while baking so be sure your pan is at least 2 inches tall—otherwise your brownies will spill over.
Your birthday cake brownies are easier to slice neatly if you refrigerate them overnight but that’s not absolutely necessary.
What is the difference between sprinkles and jimmies?
All jimmies are sprinkles but not all sprinkles are jimmies—kind of like how all squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares.
“Sprinkle” can refer to all kinds of differently shaped confections used to decorate cakes, candies, and the like.
Jimmies is the name sometimes given to the more oblong-shaped sprinkles. I specified jimmies for this recipe because I find they work best in baking. Nonpareils (little round balls) and confetti (flat discs) often bleed into your batter more.
That said, you’re welcome to use whatever type of sprinkles you like; even if your sprinkles bleed into the birthday cake layer, your brownies will still be delicious!
I was just thinking: you don’t have to use rainbow jimmies for the filling. You could use red, white and blue and you have a fabulous dessert for America’s birthday.
But really, birthday cake brownies shouldn’t be reserved just for bdays. Any old day will do!
Did you make these birthday cake brownies? That’s great! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below. And post a pic on Insta–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your creations!
Birthday cake brownies are a delicious treat for anyone who loves chocolate and sprinkles!
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup white or yellow cake mix powder
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons rainbow jimmies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white or yellow cake mix powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place the cream cheese, egg, egg yolk, cake mix, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the jimmies. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray and set pan aside.
- Combine the butter and unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted and smooth. (Or you can do this in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water.) Set the mixture aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, in a large mixing bowl. Stir vigorously with a rubber spatula until well combined. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
- Add the flour, cake mix, and salt and mix until just combined.
- Pour half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to spread the filling into an even layer over the brownie batter.
- Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the filling, then carefully spread it out. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter and the filling together (don’t over-swirl).
- Bake 45 to 50 minutes, until the brownies have just begun to pull away from the pan at the edges and the center is still a little jiggly.
- Cool completely, then slice and serve. (The brownies are easier to slice neatly if you chill the overnight first.)
- Uneaten brownies can be stored in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
You can use either white or yellow cake mix in these brownies but using white cake mix allows the sprinkles to pop a little more.
There’s a lot of batter so be sure your baking pan is at least 2 inches tall. If it isn’t, the batter might puff up and fall over the edges in the oven.