If I could only eat one dessert for the rest of my life, I would choose a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie. And if that chocolate chip cookie was in cupcake form? Yeah, I’d eat that, too! These chocolate chip cookie cupcakes are topped with a rich brown sugar frosting.
Take one bite of these chocolate chip cupcakes with brown sugar frosting, and you’ll almost think you’re eating a chocolate chip cookie! But just to warn you, the frosting is very sweet, so don’t eat too much. 🙂 The cupcakes are dense, but in a good way. The more cookie-like the better, in my opinion.
The cupcake recipe is very straightforward. The only “unusual” ingredient it calls for is instant vanilla pudding mix. If you’re gluten intolerant, be sure and check the pudding mix label. I know that Jello brand doesn’t contain any gluten-full ingredients. If you’re not sure which gluten free flour to use, this is my favorite!
You can make these cupcakes with or without cupcake liners. If you don’t use liners, lightly grease the pan with cooking spray. I like to spray the pan and then swirl a paper towel inside each cup to make sure it’s evenly greased.
Make the frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. If you’ve seen my oatmeal chocolate chip cake, then you’re familiar with the brown sugar frosting recipe. It’s the exact same. You might have more frosting than you’ll need, so maybe make some extra cupcakes!
The first step in making the frosting is melting the brown sugar, butter, Crisco and heavy cream on medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture just begins to boil. It takes the brown sugar mixture about one hour to cool to room temperature, which is what you want before you add in the sifted powdered sugar. One trick to cool the mixture more quickly is pouring it into a different heatproof bowl after it’s been cooling for about 30 minutes.
A quick note about sifting: you don’t actually need a sifter! You can also use a mesh colander. But I happen to love using a sifter. Turning the hand crank is oddly satisfying.
Once the frosting is ready it’s time to decorate! Color the frosting using gel food coloring, or leave it plain. Add sprinkles and fun toppers, or don’t! It’s entirely up to you.
I topped some of my cupcakes with gluten free caramel chocolate chip Girl Scout cookies that I bought from my nieces. There are a few bags of them in my pantry that I forgot about! I’ve also used chocolate chip cookies from Goodie Girl.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes
- 2 cups gluten free 1 to 1 baking flour substitute all-purpose flour for gluten-full cupcakes
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sour cream room temperature
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 3/4 cup whole milk room temperature
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Brown Sugar Frosting
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp whole milk
- gel food coloring optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C) and line muffin pans with cupcake liners or lightly grease with cooking spray. This recipe yields 14-16 cupcakes, so you'll need two pans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter, sour cream, sugars and pudding mix on high speed until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure that ingredients are evenly incorporated.
- Mix in half of the flour on low speed, until just combined. Slowly mix in the milk, followed by the remaining flour. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Fill each prepared muffin cup 2/3 full. For a more even baking, fill any empty cups 2/3 full of water. Bake the cupcakes one pan at a time for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are lightly browned. (Be wary of the chocolate chips, which might make it a little more difficult to assess doneness.)
- Let the cupcakes rest in the pan for 5 minutes before removing them to a wire cooling rack.
Decorating the Cupcakes
- Make the brown sugar frosting while the cupcakes are cooling. Mix the butter, Crisco, brown sugar and heavy cream over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the butter and Crisco melt. Let the mixture come to a boil and then immediately remove it from the heat and pour into a heatproof bowl. Let it cool to room temperature, about an hour.
- Pour the cooled brown sugar into a different heatproof bowl and then stir in the sifted powdered sugar on low speed until incorporated. Add 2 tbsp of milk and the vanilla, and beat on high speed until creamy and fluffy. Add up to 1 more tbsp of milk if needed, adding 1 tsp at a time. Optional: mix in gel food coloring.
- Decorate as desired, and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!