I love making fun new holiday desserts for the 4th of July. Last year I made cupcakes decorated with flags, but this year, I’m making these super cute cherry bomb brownies.
They’re so quick and easy to do, but they look like a million bucks. And since they’re bite-sized, they also produce a lot more for less time. All you really need is a few store-bought ingredients, a mini-cupcake pan and liners, and a little skill with mixing (aka beginner-level). And of course, an oven.
The 4th of July has always been a really special holiday for my family, with multiple days of cookouts, parades, and fireworks. The kids all get sparklers to play with after dark, the grown-ups have coolers with secret stashes of beer, and we all settle down on blankets of the high-school football field to enjoy the fireworks shows.
No matter where we are, we enjoy snacks and treats — and I just know the kiddies will love these cherry bomb brownies this year.
How to Make Bite-Sized Cherry Bomb Brownies
First, you make the brownie batter the way it says to on the box. There’s really no way to mess that up, which is golden in my book. Dump in the ingredients, stir until there’s no lumps, and off we go!
Next, get your pan prepped: place a mini-cupcake liner in each well of your mini-cupcake pan. Super simple.
When I bake cupcakes for at home, I prefer to use the silicone liners that are reusable. They slip off the cake with barely any effort, and you can wash + use them again next time you bake. No waste. No adding to landfills. However, when I’m baking treats for a party where I can’t warn people not to throw my liners out, I use the old-school paper ones.
Add 2–3 teaspoons of brownie mix to each liner. Make sure you don’t fill them more than 2/3 full, because they need room to expand and fill the cups.
Bake your brownies for 8–10 minutes. When they’re this small, it doesn’t take long for them to go from done to over-baked, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on them. If you’re uncertain about whether they’re done, you can stick a toothpick into the center of one in the middle of the pan. If the toothpick comes out clean (with only a crumb or two on it and no raw batter), they’re ready to come out!
Now you’ll shift focus to your cherries while the brownie bites cool. Drain the jar of cherries, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Stick them in the fridge to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Once the cherries are ready to come out of the fridge and your brownie bites are cooled, microwave the chocolate melts in a bowl at 30-second intervals, mixing well between until smooth. Dab a small amount of white chocolate onto the top of each brownie. This is where your cherry will eventually be placed, so it’s important to be efficient and quick through the next few steps, otherwise the chocolate will harden and your cherry won’t stick on the top.
Add a teaspoon of coconut or vegetable oil and few drops of the blue food coloring to the leftover chocolate, and stir well. Be careful not to add too much food color at a time, as it goes from pale to very dark quickly. I recommend starting with 3 drops, and then adding one at a time after that until you achieve the blue you want.
Now you’re going to dip each cherry into the blue chocolate before rolling it in the sprinkles. Then you can set them aside on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper so they can harden for a few moments. They should harden pretty quickly since the cherries are cold from sitting in the fridge.
Now it’s time to place your cherries on top of the brownies. Stick it right in the center, and press it down slightly so it’ll stay on later.
- 1 box brownie mix
- 24 Mini cupcake liners
- Mini cupcake pan
- 1 jar Maraschino cherries with stems
- White wilton chocolate melts
- Red white + blue sprinkles
- Blue food coloring
- Oil (coconut or vegetable)
Prepare brownie mix as directed on the package.
Spoon 2 teaspoons of brownie mix in each lined muffin cup. Do not fill beyond 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes at the temperature specified on the package. Let cool.
Line a small cookie sheet with wax paper and set aside.
Drain cherries and gently pat them dry with paper towels then place in fridge for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, microwave the chocolate melts in 30 second intervals, stirring in between until fully melted. Using a small spoon dip a small amount of white chocolate in to the center of each brownie bite.
Once you've put the white chocolate on each brownie, add several drops of blue food coloring to the leftover white chocolate and a teaspoon of vegetable or coconut oil. Mix well. (The oil will help keep it from becoming stiff.) Once the blue is the desired shade, dip each cherry in the blue chocolate, roll in your sprinkles and set on parchment lined cookie sheet to harden.
Place decorated cherry on top of your white chocolate on the brownie.
Serve + have a Happy 4th of July!