Birthday Crownie (It’s a Cake-Brownie!)

Birthday candles on top of Birthday Crownie cake brownie.

What’s better than birthday cake? No doubt a Birthday Crownie. Today is my son’s 10th birthday. Happy Birthday, Rhodes! Rhodes loves to help me cook in the kitchen, and over the weekend he was so excited to help me bake a Birthday Crownie just for him.

A Birthday Crownie is half cake, half brownie; two favorites in one!

This Birthday Crownie is made with Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix and Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow cake mix which is then amped up with a box of Jell-o Vanilla Instant Pudding and two additional egg yolks for extra moisture and flavor. You bake it in a bundt pan, drizzle with chocolate glaze, and embellish it with candy to resemble a crown with jewels.

Now you’ve got yourself a Birthday Crownie fit for a king (or queen)!


Birthday Crownie Cake-Brownie bundt cake with chocolate glaze

Here’s how Rhodes and I baked up this sweet royal dessert.

Buttered and floured Bundt pan.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 10-inch Bundt pan with melted butter and dust with flour.

Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix with chocolate chips.

Prepare your brownie mixture according to the package instructions (water, oil and eggs). Set aside in the bowl.

If you haven’t tried Ghirardelli brownies, these are by far the best boxed brownies I’ve ever had.

Do yourself a favor, and grab the Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix. The large chocolate chips that live inside this package of sweet chocolate glory will come out to party in your Birthday Crownie.

Don’t you want this brownie batter in your mouth right now?

Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow cake mix with Jell-o instant vanilla pudding.

In a separate bowl, add your yellow cake mix ingredients according to the instructions on the box. Then you’ll mix in the magic ingredients that will guarantee a very moist and delicious cake: one small box of Jell-o Instant Vanilla Pudding and two additional egg yolks.

We used Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Yellow cake mix, and the end result was a perfectly moist, buttery-vanilla yellow cake with a thick and delicious outer crust. My kids were even verbalizing their love for the crust of this cake (and they don’t normally do crust).

Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow cake mix with rainbow sprinkles.

Stir in 1/8 to 1/4 cup of sprinkles. How pretty.

Yellow cake mix layered with dark chocolate brownie mix in Bundt pan.

How to layer the Birthday Crownie in the Bundt pan.

Birthday boy and I spooned in 2/3 of the cake mix. Then we took a tablespoon and formed a moat in the cake mix all the way around. We wanted a place to nestle our brownie mix.

Then we spooned in the brownie mix. It’s a very thick brownie batter, so you may not end up with a perfect chocolate river in that moat, but no worries, just try to keep the brownies more toward the center and away from the edges of the pan. Add the entire bowl of brownie mix in this step.

Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow cake mix layered over Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate brownie mix.

Next, spoon on the remaining 1/3 of the super moist yellow cake mix. Smooth it out with a spoon.

Now I’m no scientist, but. . .

The brownie mix must have a higher density than the cake batter because the brownies ended up sinking to the bottom of the Bundt pan during baking. However, a thin layer of cake still surrounded the brownie layer, so you couldn’t really see the brownie layer from the outside of the cake.

It was pretty much half brownie (which is the top layer once you flip the cake) and half cake. I loved the way it turned out, so I didn’t alter the recipe method at all. Perhaps it depends on the brownie mix and cake mix that you end up using. I’d imagine that some brownie mixes would remain in the middle of the two cake layers, depending on the density. Either way, it will work out just great whether your brownie-cake layers are half and half, thirds, or even marbled. I’d love to know how yours turns out if you decide to make a Birthday Crownie.

Bake at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until no longer jiggly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. At 65 minutes, ours was perfectly crusty on the outside and moist on the inside.

Birthday Crownie in Bundt pan.

This Birthday Crownie recipe is super easy, but there is one scary part: praying that your cake will want to let go of its cozy little Bundt pan nest and allow the rest of us to enjoy life at its expense.

There are tons of stuck-Bundt-pan-cake-emergency articles out there, but. . .

This is the method we used to get that baby out of the Bundt pan:

First, we heavily buttered and floured the Bundt pan, ensuring that every crevice was greased. We ended up with a pretty thick layer of flour because of all the butter, but I think it helped create a beautiful, thick, golden crust all the way around the cake.

After baking for 65 minutes, we allowed the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Then we tried to invert it onto a tray. No such luck.

I used a butter knife to loosen the edges very gently. Then I allowed the cake to rest for another 10 minutes, but this time I placed a hot and steamy, damp towel over the top of the cake during the second round of cooling.

Birthday Crownie Bundt cake cake-brownie.

I placed the serving tray on top and flipped it over. Then I tapped on the pan a little for some extra cake-exit momentum. After saying a little prayer to the god of all cakes, I removed the pan gingerly to reveal a beautiful, intact Birthday Crownie! Amen.

I used an old standard Bundt pan, but next time I’m going to try out one of these cool Bundt pans that look more like a king or queen’s crown:

Too cute.

Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.

Chocolate glaze with semi-sweet chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk.

This glaze has three simple ingredients, tastes delicious, and sets up beautifully on a cake.

Simply melt your semi-sweet chocolate morsels into your sweetened condensed milk while stirring continuously over medium heat. Don’t allow the glaze to simmer–remove from heat when melted and combined. Then add the vanilla.

Chocolate glaze with semi-sweet morsels and sweetened condensed milk spooned over Birthday Crownie.

Allow the glaze to cool for 5 minutes, and then spoon it on to the top of the Birthday Crownie and allow it to run down the sides. You don’t really need to drizzle; just spoon the glaze along the top of the cake, and it will naturally flow into the angles of your Bundt cake.

If you don’t want pools of excess glaze on your serving platter, just move the cake onto a cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet before glazing.

Birthday Crownie decorated with candy.

Before the glaze sets, decorate the Birthday Crownie with sprinkles and candy so that it looks like a jeweled crown.

Present this colorful and delicious Birthday Crownie to your little (or big) King for the day, and have a royal feast!


Birthday Boy and his crown cake Birthday Crownie.

Here’s the complete, printable recipe:

Birthday Crownie (Cake-Brownie)

Birthday Crownie (Cake-Brownie)


  • 1 Box brownie mix: I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate (plus wet ingredients according to box instructions—eggs, water, oil)
  • 1 Box yellow cake mix: I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow (plus wet ingredients according to box instructions—eggs, water, oil)
  • 1 box (3.4 oz) Jell-o Instant Pudding, Vanilla
  • 2 additional egg yolks
  • Rainbow Sprinkles
  • Candy for decoration
  • Glaze:
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Heavily grease a 10-inch nonstick Bundt pan with melted butter and dust with flour.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare brownie mix according to box instructions. Set bowl aside.
  4. Prepare cake mix according to box instructions also adding the packet of instant pudding and two additional egg yolks. The cake mix will be thicker than usual. Add 1/8 cup of sprinkles and fold in.
  5. Spoon 2/3 of the cake mix into Bundt pan.
  6. With a tablespoon, create a slight moat in the cake mix all the way around.
  7. Spoon on the brownie mix. It’s okay if it reaches the edges of the Bundt pan, but try to keep it mostly in the middle.
  8. Drop large spoonfuls of the remaining 1/3 of the cake mix on top of the brownies all the way around and then spread it out gently until even and smooth.
  9. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-65 minutes or until no longer jiggly and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven. Cover with a hot and steamy damp towel and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Top with a serving platter and flip over to remove cake from pan. You may need to tap the sides and top of the inverted pan and/or insert a butter knife around the edges to help the cake release.
  11. For the Glaze:
  12. Allow the cake to cool completely before glazing.
  13. Then heat condensed milk and chocolate chips in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly and remove from heat as soon as it is melted and combined. Add vanilla. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  14. Pour or spoon the glaze onto the top of the cake, and allow it to run down the sides.
  15. Decorate with sprinkles and candy to resemble a crown with jewels.

This recipe is linked up with other saucy bloggers at the following Link Ups: Home MattersWeekend PotluckFuntastic Friday, Snickerdoodle Link PartyFoodie FridayMerry Monday, Two Cup Tuesday, Wine’d Down Wednesday, and Share It Link Party.

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  1. Thank you! I normally bake from scratch, but I bought a box of yellow cake mix and a box of dark chocolate brownie mix, hoping to come up with half cake, half brownie cupcake….you cake looks relish! I’m going try it in cupcake form.


    1. This cake-brownie is super moist and delicious–just be sure to use the extra egg yolks and pudding mix! Let me know how the cupcakes turn out!


  2. Ummm, this looks incredible! I’ve never used Ghirardelli brownie mix but, I really want to now. Thank you for sharing this with us at Funtastic Friday!


    1. Hi Angie! I only use Ghirardelli brownie mix now. You’ll never go back! The best!


  3. This Birthday Crownie is fantastic. What a good idea. It looks really good. Thank you for sharing at Weekend Potluck link party.


    1. Hi Amy, It turned out great. I want to make it again but as a princess cake with pink and purple sprinkles, but I have a house full of boys, so that plan may have to wait. Thanks for your comment!


  4. Happy birthday to that handsome young fella! I need a piece of that cake in my tummy right now! What a great idea to bake it in a bundt pan. Looks so much more festive!


    1. He’s a sweetheart and was so excited to help me bake it. We had fun and were so happy it was a success!


  5. Omg. This looks heavenly!! Can’t wait to try it! Happy bday Rhodes!!!!


    1. Rush already requested it for his birthday! The boys all loved it! Let me know how it turns out, Miss!


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