Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Semi-homemade meets a good cause-I’m so rocking Sandra Lee style today with a tub of school fund-raising cookie dough.

Some of you may be ready to click away, but do me a favor…keep reading because the end result it worth your time. I’m typically not a big fan of using premade cookie dough, but I am a fan of taking action when it comes to raising money for schools. Whether it’s stale popcorn, hideous wrapping paper or double chocolate chunk cookie dough, if it’s for a school, I’m writing a check!

So with a giant tub of cookie dough in one hand and my mixer primed for some action, the pre-made dough ends up being the surprise star in these adorable Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes.

These glorious gems of chocolate goodness are topped with my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe, mini chocolate chips, and a cute little cookie. Not only did I top these Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes with a miniature cookie, I also baked a little ball of dough into their centers! As you can see from the photo, the cookie bakes up beautifully inside the cupcake and it almost takes on the fluffy texture of the cake that surrounds it. Genius, right? Well I certainly thought so, although I’m betting I’m not the first to have this cookie dough cupcake epiphany!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
1/2 cup warm water

For the Frosting

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4-6 tablespoons heavy cream or milk


For the Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine instant espresso granules and warm water, stirring until dissolved. Add espresso mixture to the cake batter and stir until fully incorporated.

3. Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.

4. Measure .4 ounce balls of cookie dough (about 1 teaspoon) and drop a ball of dough into each cupcake. Be sure to use a spoon to completely cover the dough ball with batter.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

6. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

For the Frosting

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Slowly add in confectioner’s sugar, and continue creaming until well blended.

2. Add salt, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 1 to 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy.

For the Garnish

1. Garnish your cupcakes with mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and a mini chocolate chip cookie.

2. To make the mini cookies, I simply measured out 24 .4 ounce (about 1 teaspoon) balls of dough and baked them according to package directions (about 8-10 minutes). Allow mini cookies to cool completely before adding them to the cupcakes.


- If you are choosing to garnish your cupcakes, make sure you do this immediately after you frost your cupcakes. Once the top layer of the buttercream hardens, nothing will stick to the frosting.
- If you do not have instant espresso powder, you can simply omit it from the recipe. You can typically find this product in the coffee aisle of most supermarkets.

110 Responses to “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes”

  1. Jill — June 29, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    I made these for my daughter’s party! Everyone thought they were totally delish and gourmet! I love your recipes!!


  2. Aj Pregony — August 31, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    This looks really good….Cant wait to make them:)


  3. Jennifer @ PigskinsandPigtails — October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    We just hosted a Milk & Cookies party for our 4 year old. I used your cupcake decoration as inspiration (via Pinterest). Thanks!

    Milk & Cookie Theme Birthday Party


  4. Shemylah — October 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    I made these yesterday, but the center of my cupcakes sunk in. Is there a reason for this and how can I prevent this from happening?


    • Brandy — December 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

      I think because the cake is so dense, with the sour cream & pudding, it does tend to sink a little. However, once you put the frosting on the top, you will never know! Just fill in the sunken area before going around with the frosting.

  5. Jessica — January 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I was wondering, would this recipe would work just as well as a sheet or round cake?


    • Jamie — February 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      I have not tried this recipe as a sheet cake, but I am thinking it would work just fine. I would follow the baking time recommendation on the back of the cake mix box for an approximate cook time. Hope this helps.

  6. Jeannine — March 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I saw these, saw a ton of people said they looked good but hardly anyone commented on how this exact recipe was. I took a leap and made them for my twins birthday party and guess what? they were insannnnnne! these made me a rock star to quite alot of kids, and adults as well! thank u!!


    • Jamie — March 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks so much for reporting back on your experience with the cupcakes. I am thrilled to hear that they worked out so well for you.

  7. Lauren & Olivia — May 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    We made these, but our frosting turned out really runny and the tops caved in when we took them out of the oven… other than that they were awesome!


    • Jamie — May 6, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Sometimes when you stuff anything into a cupcake you’ll get a little divot. This doesn’t bother me too much because it gets covered with all that yummy frosting. No idea why the frosting would be runny though, unless you added a bit too much liquid. Hopefully they tasted good!

  8. Mary Kay — June 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I just found these (and your site thanks to Amber @Bluebonnets) and made these for my son’s class yesterday and this is what his teacher emailed me:
    Those cupcakes were insane!!!! Wow! Best cupcake I’ve ever had!

    So, they were pretty good!


    • Jamie — June 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Mary Kay-
      Woo-Hoo – so happy to hear that were a raging success! Thanks for coming by and sharing your thoughts on the recipe. Have a great day.

  9. Bobby — June 17, 2012 at 7:33 am

    hi, i made this recipe yesterday and it tasted great! but the only thing was that the cupcakes caved in completely after the baking was done, i was so mad. i used a devil’s food cake mix that i realized had allready pudding in the mix could have that been the problem? please reply because i want to make these again but need an answer to


    • Jamie — August 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

      I find that stuffing cupcakes can create a small divot about the size of a quarter. I typically don’t worry about it though, because it gets covered with frosting. If the divot is bigger than that, your cupcakes may have been underbaked. Sorry I am not much of a help.

  10. Christine — June 21, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Do you only mix the devils food cake mix and pudding mix dry ingredients? Or do you follow the directions on the box(es) and add the additional ingredients?
    Thank you.


    • Jamie — June 22, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      Don’t follow the directions on the boxes, just the directions in the recipe. You will be using the dry mixes. Hope this helps!

  11. Dulce DeLeon — July 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This sure looks yummy. Thanks for sharing.


  12. zaynub — July 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    do you know how many cups 2 pounds of powdered sugar is? thanks and this recipe looks amazing! im going to make them tonight :)


    • Jamie — August 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      It’s about 7 1/2 cups. I’d start with about 5 1/2 cups and gradually work your way to the desired taste and texture.

  13. Lindsey — August 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Just made the cupcakes today…turned out great. I was a little worried at the thickness of the batter but have no fear…they turn out delicious. I used instant coffee because I couldn’t find espresso and still worked and tasted great. Super easy. I am making them for my husband to take to work… Huge it for sure!!


  14. Katherine — November 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    These look really good and you do a really good job explaining how to make them!!


  15. Melissa — February 16, 2013 at 8:54 am

    I have made this recipe twice and it turned out great both times! It is so simple and everyone is always so amazed, thank you for sharing!


  16. Laura — April 3, 2013 at 8:57 am

    They look amaaaaazing! Just perfect. Im sure they taste as good as they look! Big compliment :)


  17. Maite's Sweet Food — May 12, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Hi!!! First of all, my name is Maite and I am from Spain. Congratulations for your web and for the cupcakes they look awesome!!I also love baking but the fact is that here in Spain we don’t measure things using cups, teaspoons or ounces and I don’t know their equalization to grams, could you please tell it to me??Thank you very much!!!


  18. Margaret — May 31, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe. I made it a few weeks ago and many people told me they were the best cupcakes they had ever had!!! I will definitely make these again and again.


    • Jamie — June 1, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Woo-Hoo! Thanks so much for reporting back, I am so happy to hear they were such a hit! Have a great weekend!

  19. Jesuit Paul Nugas — June 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    what brand of cupcake pan do you use?


    • Jamie — September 13, 2013 at 8:12 pm

      Hi there,
      I have a bunch of different pans, so couldn’t say specifically which was used for this recipe. Some of the ones I own are Chicago Metallics, Anolon, Baker’s Secret and Wilton.
      – Jamie

  20. hannah — July 23, 2013 at 3:08 am

    made these today and they were wonderful! my favourite semihomemade cupcake recipe by far!


    • Jamie — August 19, 2013 at 10:15 am


      That’s wonderful to hear! Thank you so much for stopping back to let us know that you enjoy the recipe! Have a great day and thank you for following MBA!


  21. Sarah Rundle — October 21, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Oh gosh, its my kinda heaven! I love cookies…. and I love cupcakes , so this little delight is the one for me! They look absolutely amazing and you have done a fantastic job at making my mouth water!! I can’t wait to try theses ones myself!!!


    • Jamie — October 21, 2013 at 7:34 pm


      You must try them…then come back and let us know what you think :). Have a fantastic day and thank you so much for following MBA!


  22. SmileyCulture — November 15, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Hi there, I must try these, they look delicious. I hope you don’t mind but I have put a link to this recipe on our blog –

    Thanks again – these look amazing!!


  23. joie — November 23, 2013 at 2:40 am

    so the dough doesnt need to be frozen into balls prior to baking ?


    • Jamie — January 10, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      Nope! They’re just fine as fresh dough. If your kitchen is exceptionally warm, you might want to chill them first.
      – Jamie

  24. Helen Mullins — January 19, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I would love to make these but the recipe is gone from your site. Can you re-post or send it to me please? Thanks


    • Helen Mullins — January 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      never mind I found it. It’s been a LONG day! :)

  25. rebecca — February 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I was thinking of making this in my food tech lesson, but i don’t know how long this will take and i only have 1h to make and prep them.


  26. Sue — March 9, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I used a small spoon to pull batter over the cookie dough before putting them into oven. It seemed to slove the dent in the cupcake problem! Good luck all! Yum!!


  27. Megan — March 25, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I just made these and they’ve been cooking for 30- minutes and the cookie dough inside is still not cooked. Did anyone else have that problem?


  28. madeline — March 27, 2014 at 2:17 am

    does the expresso beans give the cupcake flavor? because i do not like the taste of coffee and was wondering if you could tell if it was present in the cupcakes and if so, is there a substitute?


    • Jamie Lothridge — May 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Madeline,
      You can’t taste the espresso. It simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
      – Jamie

  29. Kimi Escander — October 21, 2014 at 2:20 am

    wooo, I wanna eat those. hahahaha, the cookie looks so good. Im gonna ask my mon to bake this. :D


    • Jamie — October 22, 2014 at 8:02 am

      Thanks for visiting!


  30. Tara simms — March 16, 2017 at 1:51 am

    I hate butter cream frosting I. Only like whippy icing like they use in Walmart bakery is it gonna okay. For this recipe? Thank you for awesome recipe 


    • Jamie — March 16, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Hi, Tara! I think your favorite icing would be great. Let me know how you like it!

  31. Cynthia Pagano Morabito — October 1, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Can I make these a day ahead?


    • Jamie — October 3, 2017 at 11:05 am

      I think they would be perfectly fine. I typically bake cupcakes the night before and then frost them in the morning. I hope this helps!


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