Cupcake liners make cupcakes easy to serve and reduce mess, but if you don't have liners for making cupcake brownies, there's no need to run out to the store. With proper preparation to prevent sticking, you can cook the brownies directly in a cupcake pan, much the same as you might cook muffins. A cake-like brownie works best for brownie cupcakes instead of fudgy brownie batter because you get the light and fluffy texture of a cupcake.
Prepare the brownie batter, making adjustments as needed to give the brownies a cake-like texture. Brownies generally require some combination of chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar and flour in different proportions to achieve different textures. Reduce the amount of butter to make cake brownies, and cream the sugar and butter together before mixing in the chocolate and flour. A pinch of baking powder leavens the brownies to make them airy. If you use a boxed brownie mix, refer to the label for adjustments to make cake brownies.
Preheat the oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit to 375 F.
Spray the insides of the cups in a cupcake or muffin baking pan with an even coat of non-stick baking spray. The sides should be well-coated without dripping down and creating a puddle in the bottom of the cups.
Fill the cups about 1/2 to 3/4 full with brownie batter. Fill the cups halfway if you want brownie cupcakes with flat tops and 3/4 full if you want dome-topped cupcakes.
Place the pan on the center rack in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until the cupcakes are set. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cupcake and remove the pan when the toothpick comes out clean.
Place the cupcake pan on a wire rack to cool. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool -- about 2 hours -- before attempting to remove from the pan.
Insert a butter knife between the outside of the cupcake and the pan. Run it around the cupcake to help separate it from the pan. Twist the cupcakes by hand to loosen them in the pan. Lift the cupcakes from the pan and decorate.