Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Surprise Cupcakes

April 25, 2013


I’ve been trying like heck for the longest time to get this recipe up here. My girlfriend brought these treats into one of our church luncheons and they were a total showstopper. I had to have the recipe. Luckily, she was kind enough to give it to me with her blessing to publish it on my site : ) Let’s all give a great big thank you to my friend Emily- “Thank you, Emily!” haha really, and truly- she hooked us up.


These cupcakes are not only sooooooo delicious, but they can be as simple as you want to make them. Basically you can adapt them to your tastes and ummm, let’s say ‘talents’… If you aren’t so hot in the kitchen but are dying to try these than you can very easily use box cake mix and store bought refrigerated cookie dough. I made a homemade cake and homemade cookie dough- you can use my recipes given or any recipe of your choice. Maybe you have your own favorite cookie dough recipe. If you don’t like the whole chocolate cupcake idea, shoot for a nice yellow, vanilla cupcake than. Personally I love the look of the cookie dough inside the chocolate cupcake. Your free to be creative here. Unfortunately for all you novice bakers out there, there is no substitute for the frosting. You’re just going to have to give it a whirl and cross your fingers that your mixer doesn’t explode or something haha ; ) And you wouldn’t want to substitute the frosting with anything else either. The Cookie Dough frosting makes these cupcakes. It is the absolute star of the show here folks.


I’ve made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes before but that was simply an eggless cookie dough batter, thinned with milk to spreadable consistency and topped on a yellow cupcake. They weren’t bad, but they definitely weren’t praise worthy. Not like these cupcakes here. I’ve also heard of baked cupcakes being hollowed out and then filled with a ball of eggless cookie dough, then frosted. Those didn’t ever appeal to me because after making Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Truffles I realized that cookie dough doesn’t really taste like cookie dough unless it has eggs… yes, the cookie dough center of these cupcakes does have eggs, but it’s cooked into the cupcake batter so it is totally safe!

I ended up having to make these cupcakes twice which has helped me perfect their execution. The first time I made them I was so eager to eat them that I totally forgot to take a photo… I’ve never, ever done that before! I sent all but two cupcakes to work with my Husband and then devoured the cupcakes as soon as he left for the day. As soon as I put my dishes in the sink I gasped. Whooooops! So I had to make them all over again. The people my Husband worked with weren’t too upset about that haha The first time I made them though, they didn’t come out quite as good as the ones my girl friend made. I thought I would do things differently the second run through to see if I could get them closer. The first time I used mini chocolate chips for the cookie dough and baked the cupcakes 22-24 minutes. I didn’t think the mini chocolate chips were reminiscent enough of cookie dough and I also felt they were over-baked and didn’t have a great texture because of that. The next time I used regular chocolate chips and baked them about 18 minutes, just until the cake was springy to touch. These two changes helped a lot. So make sure that you don’t over cook the cupcakes, it will help maintain the best cookie dough texture. And it is okay if they sink in the center, that is normal. It is because the cookie dough expands when it bakes and then shrinks as it cools, just like cookies do when they bake – they puff and sink into cute little crinkles. Once you cover them with frosting it won’t matter anyways. You might be concerned about how high to fill the cupcake liners with batter too. I did slightly more than halfway- the cookie dough ball ended up being taller than the level of the batter. That is the other thing- how big to make the cookie dough ball? The first time I made them about as round as a nickel and then the next time I made them bigger- maybe quarter sized. I liked them better bigger hehe but that is something you can just base off of your own preference. Head’s up for the frosting too- if you don’t use table salt instead of kosher, only use 1/2 tsp!


Seriously though, these are a very special cupcake and are well worth the time it takes to make them. They are so good, they are bound to increase your popularity. It sure did with my Husband’s co-workers : )


4.5 from 4 reviews
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Surprise Cupcakes
Serves: 32 cupcakes
  • For the Cookie Dough Center:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup softened, unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For the Chocolate Cupcakes:
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, Dutch-process or regular unsweetened
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon (17 tablespoons total) butter, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • For the Cookie Dough Frosting:
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  1. For the Cookie Dough Center: Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugars until they are light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and stir until mixed, about 1 minute. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms. Fold in the chocolate chips. Form dough into no larger than tablespoon-sized balls and FREEZE.
  2. For the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with paper liners. In a glass liquid measuring cup, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and whisk until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and sugar. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is completely melted. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer (or to a stand-alone bowl, using a handheld electric mixer) and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated (Add ⅓ of the flour, mix, then add ½ of the sour cream, mix, add another ⅓ of the flour, mix, add the rest of the sour cream, and finish with the last ⅓ of the dry ingredients).
  5. Place one frozen cookie dough ball in each paper liner of one tray. Do not fill all the trays unless they are all going into the oven- you want the cookie dough to be frozen when it goes into the oven. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners, filling no more than ⅔ full. If you live at a high altitude or have had overflowing cupcakes in the past, err on the side of filling the liner of one cupcake ½ full and baking it alone first to judge how the cupcake will rise in the oven. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely. It is normal for the cake to sink in the center where the cookie dough is- it will be okay, the frosting will cover it. Repeat process with remaining cake batter and cookie dough. Cool cupcakes to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.
  6. For the Cookie Dough Frosting: Beat butter, brown sugar, and salt together with mixer until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla until combined. Add flour and mix until just combined. If necessary, add 1 tablespoon milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Chocolate Cupcakes adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosie @ Blueberry Kitchen April 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

These look amazing – pretty much my dream cupcakes!


Yii-Huei Phang April 29, 2013 at 9:56 am

I love this! Especially in the middle. Your cupcakes look lovely, especially with that frosting 🙂


Alejandra April 29, 2013 at 3:27 pm

I love the cookie dough in the middle!!


Dina April 29, 2013 at 4:06 pm

these look delish!


Donna May 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm

These were a huge hit, both at work and with my family. Everybody loved the frosting.


lmachell May 15, 2013 at 6:40 pm

YAY! I am glad they were enjoyed : )


Miss Cupcake June 10, 2013 at 5:24 am

I love the frosting…. my only problem was that the cookie dough ended up being basically a hole hole in the center of the cupcake! What did I do wrong? I froze the cookie dough and I only baked 15 min! Help!


lmachell June 11, 2013 at 7:05 am

Hm, I don’t know. Maybe you didn’t make your cookie dough balls big enough? I made mine pretty darn big, at least the diameter of a quarter. They are going to shrink down no matter what you do because that is the nature of cookie dough when it bakes- it puffs up and then deflates. Some of my cupcakes caved slightly in the center because of this too. But there was always still a noticeable amount of cookie dough and they tasted great. So the only thing I can think of is to make the cookie dough balls bigger. I hope that helps.


irvinafk.wordpress.com July 11, 2013 at 2:24 am

Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
and checking back often!


lmachell July 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm

So happy to hear that!


Moonie chew July 3, 2014 at 10:57 pm

Hi Laura, was the cookie dough inside be like cake texture or crunchy texture?


Lauren mb August 5, 2015 at 12:49 am

I made these and they were a HUGE hit! Everybody loved them and I will definitely be making them again! So glad I found this! The only problem was my cookie dough almost completely dissapeared and kinda absorbed into the cupcake…but no one really noticed because they were so good! Thank you! -Lauren


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