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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


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.

All images and text ©

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  1. Celeste says:

    I’ve been making these for almost a decade now. Great recipe

    1. Jamie says:

      So glad to hear you enjoy them, Celeste!

  2. Anna says:

    Hi. I’m thinking about making these for a party but you mentioned that the frosting will harden. Was wondering why. Isn’t it buttercream. Can I frost in the morning to serve at night or will it be hrd

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi Anna-
      This buttercream is a “crusting buttercream,” so the outside of it will crust a tad. They will still be beautiful and taste awesome! You can frost the morning of for sure!

  3. Cynthia Pagano Morabito says:

    Can I make these a day ahead?

    1. Jamie says:

      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!

  4. Tara simms says:

    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 

    1. Jamie says:

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