When I made these trompe l’oeil hamburger and fries cupcakes and cookies last year for Father’s Day, they were such a hit with my family that I knew my June 2014 Father’s Day column would be a piece of cake (pun intended!).  These delightful and tasty treats are so much fun to assemble and decorate and even more fun to eat.  You can get both young and old on board to help make these for your Father’s Day festivities.  All the meat and potatoes dads out there with a sweet tooth will be delighted with the touch of frolic and whimsy these bring to their special day.  Happy Father’s Day!


  • 16.5 ounces of Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix
  • 19.9 ounces Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
  • 21 ounces Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
  • 4.5 ounce tube of Betty Crocker Red Decorating Icing
  • 4.5 ounce tube of Betty Crocker Yellow Decorating Icing
  • 4.5 ounce tube of Betty Crocker Green Decorating Icing
  • Betty Crocker Icing Decorating Tips*
  • ¾ cup sweetened coconut flakes, optional
  • green food coloring, optional
  • 8 ounces Cake Boss Yellow Fondant, optional**
  • ½ cup sesame seeds

Before you can assemble these great treats you will need to have ready 24 yellow cake cupcakes, a 13” x 9” pan of baked brownies and strips of baked sugar cookies.

Follow the directions on the back of the Yellow Cake mix box and bake 24 cupcakes.  You can use cupcake liners if desired.  If not, make sure to grease the muffin tins well.

Follow the directions on the back of the dark chocolate brownie mix to make a 13” x 9” pan of baked brownies.

Follow the directions on the back of the sugar cookie mix to make cutout cookies.  Once the dough is rolled out, use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the dough into strips that are approximately ¼” to ½” wide and 3” to 5” long.  Place the cookie strips on a baking sheet, making sure to space them at least an inch apart. Bake according to package directions.

You may also want to have the following on hand to assemble the hamburger cupcakes:

Green coconut flakes for the lettuce

Yellow fondant for the cheese

To make the lettuce—place about 1 cup of coconut in a Ziploc bag, then add about 2 to 3 drops of green food coloring.  Close the bag, then shake the coconut and knead together with your hands the coconut and the green food coloring until you get the desired color for your “lettuce”.

To make slices of “cheese” from the yellow fondant, roll the fondant with a rolling pin to about 1/16”, then cut out 2 ½ ” squares to resemble slices of American cheese.

To assemble the hamburger cupcakes:

Remove the cupcakes from their liners and slice off the top 1/3 of the cupcake to use as the top of the “bun”.  Slice the remaining part of the cupcake in ½ crosswise and use the bottom as the base of the “hamburger” (save the middle part a to snack on).

With a 2” cookie cutter, cut out 12 rounds of the brownies.  They will be pretty thick, so cut them in half crosswise to make 24 “hamburger” rounds.

Place the 2 ” brownie round on the yellow cupcake base.  Place the 2 ½ ” yellow fondant square on top of the brownie.  Sprinkle the yellow fondant “cheese” with the green coconut “lettuce”.  Place a Betty Crocker Icing tip on the red decorating icing tube and drizzle some red icing on the green coconut “lettuce”.

If desired, you can substitute Betty Crocker green and yellow icing for the “lettuce” and “cheese”. Simply place a decorating tip (with the small round hole) on each of the tubes and pipe them decoratively along with the red icing “ketchup” around the outer edges of the “hamburger” brownie.

Place the top 1/3 of the yellow cupcake “bun” on top of the red icing “ketchup”.  Dip a pastry brush in some water and brush lightly the top of the yellow cupcake “hamburger bun”, then sprinkle the top of the bun with sesame seeds.

Repeat with the remaining cupcakes and brownies.  Serve in hamburger baskets along with a handful of the cookies “fries”.

Makes 24 cakes.


* Betty Crocker Icing tips are usually found in the baking section of your supermarket near the Betty Crocker decorating icings.

** You can get Cake Boss Yellow Fondant at Michael’s Krafts on Route 10 in East Hanover.