These cookie dough cupcakes are TO DIE FOR. Easy vanilla cupcake recipe made with chocolate chips, stuffed with edible cookie dough, topped with a brown sugar buttercream and even more edible cookie dough!
So many moons ago, when I was just a kid my aunt took my brother and I to this “new” ice-cream place that opened. And this ice-cream place had this crazy amazing flavor that I wondered why had this not happened before and entered my life. Cookie dough ice-cream. I mean, could life as kid get better? Ice-cream and chunks of real cookie dough swirled in? You mean I CAN eat the cookie dough?! Dream come true.
Ok, yes I’m talking about Ben and Jerry’s. It was brand new to me and our town at the time. And I was in love.
So I thought why not take that childhood memory and turn it into a cupcake? This cookie dough cupcake. Drooling yet? Yup, me too.
I started with my Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe as the base for this cupcake recipe. I just love this recipe because it’s so simple to make. It uses melted butter so you don’t need an electric mixer to make them. I stirred in some miniature chocolate chips. Once they are baked I went ahead and cored the cupcake and filled it with edible cookie dough. Then swirled on my Brown Sugar Buttercream. Oh, and why not more cookie dough on top? Because we can. That’s why.
Ingredients For These Cookie Dough Cupcakes
For the edible cookie dough:
- Heat-treated flour: You want to heat the flour in your oven before using it to make it safe for consumption. Just make sure it’s cool before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
- Unsalted butter: You want to use unsalted butter that’s softened so it can be creamed properly with the sugars. Here are How To Soften Butter Fast (3 ways!)
- Sugars: : You need some granulated sugar and brown sugar as well. Having a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar as I think creates the best texture but also with cookies not spreading as much. The light brown sugar, which will add moisture and wonderful caramel notes. If you have run out of brown sugar, you can always learn How To Make Brown Sugar at home!
- Vanilla – Pure vanilla is always best! 2 teaspoons for wonderful flavor.
- Milk: Because there’s no eggs in the dough to make it safe to eat raw, the milk helps to keep the dough soft.
- Salt: I always use kosher salt because it has no additives and the best taste. You can read more here about the The Role Of Salt In Baking.
- Mini chocolate chips: You could use regular, but I you the smaller ones gives more chocolate in every bite.
For the cupcakes:
- Dry Ingredients – You will need all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Just measure and whisk them together in a bowl.
- Wet Ingredients – You will need unsalted butter, granulated sugar, eggs (2 whole eggs + 1 egg white), milk, and vanilla.
- Mini chocolate chips – You could use regular, but I you the smaller ones are perfect for being evenly distributed in the cupcake.
For the frosting:
- Brown sugar: Adding brown sugar to the frosting plays up the “chocolate chip cookie” flavors going on in this cupcake.
- Unsalted butter: I always recommend using unsalted butter vs. salted butter so you can control the amount of salt.
- Powdered sugar: Or confectioners sugar (or icing sugar). I don’t sift mine in as I find that as long as I mix it long enough I don’t have lumps.
- Heavy cream: This helps thin out the frosting, and add some richness, but milk would also work.
- Vanilla: Pure vanilla is best since the frosting isn’t a baked item and this will give your frosting the best flavor.
Let’s start with the edible cookie dough
Ok first let’s talk about the best part of these cupcakes: the edible cookie dough. Yup, we’re going to stuff these cupcakes with them and crumble more on top. I got the recipe from this book, Jenna Rae’s cakes and sweet treats, it was the chosen book for this Bakebook club from How To Cake It I have recently joined. The recipe starts with heat-treating the flour. You can buy heat-treated flour, or make your own. And it’s fairly easy.
You need to heat-treat the flour because there is a risk of E.coli with eating raw flour. So the flour is cooked in the oven for about 10 minutes to kill any bacteria. I just simply spread the flour out onto a parchment-lined baking paper.
Once it’s heat-treated, making the cookie dough is no different than making regular Chocolate Chip Cookies. You just need to cream your butter and sugar together, and then add in your vanilla and a little bit of milk (which helps to keep the dough soft). Then add in the flour and salt.
I like to chill the dough to firm it up (15-30 minutes) but you can make this ahead of time.
Time To Make The Cupcakes!
Ok now for the chocolate chip vanilla cupcakes. So easy, friend. These cupcakes start by mixing your dry ingredients together in one bowl. I like to stir the miniature chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients. This will coat the chips in flour, which will help the keep the chocolate chips from sinking.
And then mix your wet ingredients together in another bowl. Then just stir them together, but make sure to not overmix. Once the last of the flour has been mixed in I stop mixing.
You want to scoop and fill your cupcake liners about 3/4 full and then bake. These make 12 perfect cupcakes so make sure to divide the batter evenly and bake on a center rack in your preheated oven.
Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
Now for the frosting…ooh yes the frosting. I suppose I could have used my Vanilla Buttercream Frosting, but since we are talking cookie dough cupcakes, the flavor of the brown sugar in the frosting just amps up the whole “cookie dough” vibe going on with these cupcakes.
Start by creaming the butter and brown sugar together. Then add in your powdered sugar. Make sure to start your mixer on low to start so you don’t end up with a blizzard of icing sugar in your kitchen!
Then add in your heavy cream and vanilla. I then mix the frosting for about 7-8 minutes on a medium-high speed to make it extra fluffy.
Assembling The Cupcakes
Once the cupcakes have cooled, go ahead and remove the center of the cupcake. And fill with a scoop of edible cookie dough. And feel free to snack on those cupcake centers. You know for quality control. 🙄
I then use this large piping tip to frost my cupcakes. For more help, check out my post on Ultimate Guide To Decorating Cupcakes For Beginners. I swirl on a big dollop of frosting, but you could definitely use a spatula and ice them by hand.
To finish the cupcakes you could crumble on more cookie dough, decorate with a few mini chocolate chips, or do what I did and put a scoop of cookie dough right on top. I mean the more the merrier, right?
Basically, there is no question as to what these cupcakes are ALL about. Cookie. Dough.
Tips For Making These Cupcakes
- Make sure your large eggs are room temperature. Place your eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes before using them in your recipe. Room temperature eggs will be more easily incorporated and not seize up the melted butter.
- Do not overfill your cupcake liners when scooping the batter. You want your liners about 3/4 full. Overfilled cupcakes can result in the cupcakes sinking after you baking them. Read this post for 6 reasons why your cupcakes sink in the middle.
- Double check that your baking powder is still fresh. Because this recipe uses melted butter there is no creaming step to incorporate air, so you need to make sure the baking powder is fresh so your cupcakes rise properly. To check the freshness, add a teaspoon of baking powder to some hot water. If it bubbles, it’s still fresh. If it doesn’t throw it out. And don’t mix it up with baking soda, they don’t react the same. You can read more here about Baking Powder vs. Baking Soda
- Use an oven thermometer. Make sure that your oven is heated correctly so these bake properly. For more oven 101, read this post.
- Measure your flour correctly. If measuring by volume, then make sure to spoon and level the flour in. You can read my post here on how to measure your flour correctly. Or for best accuracy I recommend weighing your ingredients. You can read my post on how to measure ingredients here <– there’s a video too!
Can I Make These Cupcakes Ahead Of Time?
Absolutely you can! These cupcakes can be made and filled, without buttercream, one day in advance, and kept covered at room temperature. Buttercream can be made 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Cookie dough can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Bring cupcakes, cookie dough and frosting to room temperature before frosting.
Or store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can also freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying. Before serving I let them sit at room temperature to let the buttercream soften again before enjoying. Click here for a full tutorial on how to freeze cupcakes.
Can I Use Low Fat Milk To These Cupcakes?
I do recommend using whole milk for the best taste and texture, but you can use a low fat milk if that’s all you have. It may just slightly affect the overall texture.
Why did my cupcakes sink in the middle?
This might be because you underbaked them, or overfilled them. You can read more here about Why Do Cupcakes Sink?
More Cupcake Recipes
- Easy Chocolate Cupcakes
- Apple Cider Cupcakes
- Caramel Apple Cupcakes
- Funfetti Cupcakes Recipe
- Reese’s Pieces Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Cupcake Recipe
- Banana Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream
- Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes
Tools To Make These Cupcakes
- Stand Mixer (or a hand mixer also works)
- Sheet Pan
- Piping bag
- Piping Tip
- Melon baller <– This is what I use to core the cupcake!
- Cupcake pan
- Cupcake Liners
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If you want to become a better baker then be sure to check out my Ultimate Baking Bootcamp online class!
Cookie dough cupcakes
For the edible cookie dough;
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (107 g) packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour heat-treated
- ½ cup (85 g) mini chocolate chips
For the cupcakes:
- 1 ½ cups (180 g) all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup (85 g) miniature chocolate chips
- ½ cup (1 stick, 113 g) unsalted butter melted, slightly cooled
- 1 cup (198 g) granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 large egg white room temperature
- ½ cup (120 mL) milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (85 g) miniature chocolate chips
For the buttercream:
- ½ cup (107 g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 ¼ cups (283 g, 2 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups (313 g) confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
To make the edible cookie dough:
- Heat-treat the flour. Preheat the oven On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the flour. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before using.
- Cream butter and sugar. In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed for 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and milk and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Add dry ingredients. Sift together the heat-treated flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture. Mix on medium until fluffy and combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chips, and mix for an additional 30 seconds. Refrigerate for about 15-30 minutes until it has firmed up a bit.
To make the cupcakes:
- Preheat and prepare pan. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a cupcake pans with paper liners. Set aside.
- Combine dry ingredients. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the chocolate chips. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. In a second mixing bowl, whisk together butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and egg white until incorporated. Stir in the milk and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing just until combined.
- Bake. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
To make the buttercream:
- Combine butter and brown sugar. In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy about 2 minutes
- Add powdered sugar. Add the confectioners sugar (1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time) and mix on low speed at first, then increase the speed until combined.
- Add remaining ingredients. Add in your heavy cream, salt, and vanilla extract, and mix on medium to high speed for 8 minutes until light and creamy.
To assemble the cupcakes:
- Core the cupcakes. Once cupcakes are cooled, core and remove the center of the cupcake. Save the center to top the cupcake with again. I like to shave it down so it’s a “lid” to place on top when filled.
- Fill with cookie dough. Fill with about a tablespoon of cookie dough into the center. Place the cupcake top back on.
- Frost cupcakes. Using a piping bag fitted with piping tip, swirl on the buttercream frosting. Garnish with additional cookie dough or a “scoop” if you want!
- Tools: Stand Mixer | Sheet Pan | Piping bag | Piping Tip | Melon baller | Cupcake pan | Cupcake Liners
- Make ahead: Cupcakes can be made and filled, without buttercream, one day in advance, and kept covered at room temperature. Buttercream can be made 3 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator. Cookie dough can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Bring cupcakes, cookie dough and frosting to room temperature before frosting.
- Storage: Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator for 3 days. You can also freeze frosted or unfrosted cupcakes up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying. Before serving I let them sit at room temperature to let the buttercream soften again before enjoying.
- Heat-treated flour: You can make it yourself or purchase online. Make sure it's cool before adding to your cookie dough mixture.
- Chocolate chips: I think the mini are perfect to be evenly distributed throughout the cupcakes, but regular would work as well.
- Milk: You can swap out the whole milk for low-fat milk or plant-based milk if need be.