Sometimes you don't want to choose between a chocolate chip cookie and a cupcake, and now you don't have to. Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes, has created the cupcake recipe to end them all: chocolate chip cookie cupcakes, complete with a crunchy cookie crust, a fluffy cupcake center, and a luscious homemade frosting that tastes exactly like cookie dough. Candace recently wrote The Sprinkles Baking Book: 100 Secret Recipes From Candace's Kitchen, which includes everything from Sprinkles' staple menu items to weekend-worthy baking projects like these cupcakes and marshmallow-stuffed chocolate cupcakes, so you can get bakery-quality treats at home, especially if you don't live near a Sprinkles location.
On page 57 of the cookbook, Candace writes, "You know I'm a fan of a great mash-up, and since Sprinkles is famous for its ice cream cupcake mash-ups, why not a cookie cupcake mash-up? Here, I take two of my favorite things in the world — cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies — and make them one. This is a case where the sum truly is greater than its parts: crunchy chocolate chip cookie crumbs become a crisp crust for a chocolate chip cupcake to sit upon, and the brown sugar frosting is reminiscent of chocolate chip cookie dough. Heaven!"
You'll notice the recipe calls for homemade "monster" cookies for the base of the cupcakes, but as the notes suggest, you can skip that part entirely and use store-bought cookies if you wish. Birthday, holiday party, breakup, Tuesday — every occasion calls for these next-level chocolate chip cookie cupcakes.
*If you're short on time, you can replace the homemade cookies with 12 crisp supermarket-style chocolate chip cookies (such as Chips Ahoy!) or 6 gourmet-style chocolate chip cookies (such as Tate's); the rest of the recipe for the crust remains the same.
- For the Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie "Monsters":
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
- For the cookie crust*:
Half recipe of Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie "Monsters"
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Cookie Dough Frosting
- For the cookie dough frosting:
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon whole milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Make the Thin & Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie "Monsters": In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and fine sea salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. With the mixer on low speed, add the vanilla and egg and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated, turning the speed up to medium-high or high for a short time, if necessary, to bring the mixture together.
- Using a silicone spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and the flaky sea salt. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours and ideally overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a measuring cup (or a #16 disher), scoop the dough 1/4 cup at a time and roll into round balls. Arrange four cookies on each prepared baking sheet, spacing them well apart; gently press down into 1-inch-thick discs. Bake until the cookies are very craggy and full of air bubbles and the edges darken, 13 to 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes (the cookies will crisp as they cool), then use a wide metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
- Make the cookie crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.
- Place the cookies in a food processor and process into fine crumbs, then transfer to a bowl. Add the melted butter and 1 teaspoon water and stir well with a fork. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each liner and press down firmly with the back of the spoon to create an even layer. Bake for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Make the cupcakes: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the milk and vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, add the eggs one at a time, and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add half the flour mixture, then the milk mixture, then the remaining flour mixture, beating until just blended after each addition. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
- Divide the batter evenly among the crust-lined cupcake liners and bake until the tops are just dry to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting with cookie dough frosting.
- Make the frosting: In a medium saucepan, heat the brown sugar and milk over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar mixture, and salt until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, gradually add the confectioners' sugar, and beat until just incorporated.
- Desserts, Cupcakes
- North American