This chocolate chip cookie dough frosting tastes just like the real thing! It’s light and fluffy, but oh so decadent—perfect for the chocolate cupcakes.

plate of cookie dough frosting cupcakes topped with mini chocolate chips and mini chocolate chip cookies

A good cupcake is nothing without an equally delicious frosting. In my latest cupcake endeavor I created a cookie dough frosting to pair with my go-to chocolate cake recipe, resulting in a delectable treat to say the least. I must say, this frosting takes the cake (too punny? No such thing.)

Why this recipe works: I took my buttercream frosting and made a few alterations to give it that cookie dough flavor. Adding light brown sugar created that slightly grainy texture that cookie dough has. You know the one… where the sugar crystals start dissolving on your tongue as the buttery batter melts away. Well, this frosting achieves just that in a light consistency (it is frosting after all). And it pairs perfectly with a moist, chocolate cupcake!

chocolate cupcake ingredients in bowls labeled with text
photo collage demonstrating how to make chocolate cupcakes in a mixing bowl and cupcake tin

Overview: How to make chocolate cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners (this recipe makes 18 cupcakes).
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients: Flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa and espresso (if using).
  3. Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time. In a measuring cup, whisk together milk and vanilla.
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined. Transfer batter to prepared cupcake tin.
  5. Bake cupcakes at 350 F for 16 to 18 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.

You can find a whole post on my moist, fudgy chocolate cupcakes. They are delicious!

cookie dough frosting ingredients in bowls labeled with text
photo collage demonstrating how to make cookie dough frosting in a mixing bowl and frosting chocolate cupcakes
  1. Heat treat the flour to kill any harmful bacteria. Spread flour on a baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool completely before using.
  2. Beat butter until light and fluffy using an electric mixer, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add brown sugar and confectioners’ sugar. Mix until combined, then add the flour and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla then the milk (1 teaspoon at a time) until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Transfer to a frosting bag with desired tip and pipe away!

Is it safe to eat raw flour? No, which is why you heat treat the flour. Raw flour can contain harmful bacteria. By baking the flour, the heat will kill any of that bacteria.

cookie dough frosting cupcakes, mini chocolate chips, mini chocolate chip cookies on rectangular white plate

Helpful tips

I have a few tips for making delicious chocolate cupcakes and cookie dough frosting! Weigh your ingredients. This makes a huge difference in baking (especially cakes). It’s more accurate than using measuring cups and saves a ton of dishes! I own this kitchen scale and love it. Let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting. Otherwise the frosting will melt on top!

For the frosting, use room temperature butter. It should be soft to the touch, about 65 F (so cooler than the temperature in your home/on your thermostat). If it’s warmer than this, then the butter will melt. Heat treat the flour. This will kill any harmful bacteria. Sprinkle flour on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 F. Cool completely before adding to frosting. Use pure vanilla extract. That real vanilla flavor will make the frosting taste more like cookie dough! I personally love Watkins vanilla extract.

three chocolate chip cookie dough frosting cupcakes in front of tall bottle of milk

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store cookie dough frosting cupcakes: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or the refrigerator for 5 days. Frosting may be stored separately in the refrigerator for up to one week. Whip with an electric mixer before frosting cupcakes for extra fluffy frosting.

Can you freeze cookie dough frosting? Yes. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to one month. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature. Then rewhip the frosting and add it to your cupcakes!

Why won’t my frosting hold its shape? The butter was probably warmer than room temperature (this happens in the summer or warm/humid climates). Place the frosting in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then try frosting your cupcakes.

How do you heat treat flour? Preheat oven to 350 F. Sprinkle flour on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes to kill harmful bacteria. Cool completely before using it in the recipe.

If you like cookie dough in your baked goods, try my recipe for edible sugar cookie dough. It tastes like you just made Christmas cookies! Another popular recipe are these cookie dough Oreo brownies. While the cookie dough is baked, it still is gooey and soft like the inside of a chocolate chip cookie. I also love these chocolate chip cookie dough bars from ​​​​​​​Together as a Family blog!​​​​​​​

Chocolate chip cookie dough frosting cupcake on unwrapped cupcake liner and bite taken from the cupcake

This recipe is perfect for birthdays when you’re looking to take your baking skills up a notch. Ordinary chocolate cupcakes topped with a extraordinary frosting will make the birthday person will feel extra special.

Just ask my friend Jenna. She had the pleasure of walking away with a dozen of these babies on her birthday! If you make these cookie dough frosting cupcakes, be sure to tag @ifyougiveablondeakitchen on social media and I will share my favorites!

plate of cookie dough frosting cupcakes topped with mini chocolate chips and mini chocolate chip cookies

Cookie Dough Frosting Cupcakes

This chocolate chip cookie dough frosting tastes just like the real thing! It’s light and fluffy, but oh so decadent—perfect for the chocolate cupcakes.
4.5 (2 ratings)

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 ¼ cups (156 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (80 g) unsweetened cocoa powder,, sifted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 ml) milk,¹, room temperature (whole or 2%)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs,, room temperature

Cookie Dough Frosting

  • ¼ cup (31 g) all purpose flour²
  • ¾ cup (170 g or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter,, room temperature
  • cup (67 g) light brown sugar, , packed
  • 1 ½ cups (187 g) confectioner’s sugar,, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-3 teaspoons milk

Instructions 

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tin and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa and espresso. Set aside.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down sides when necessary.
  • With the mixer on the lowest speed, pour in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the milk mixture. Mix until the ingredients are almost combined (batter may look slightly curdled, it will mix away!) Repeat and end with the last third of the flour mixture. When the batter appears combined, turn off the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and turn on medium speed once more to beat about 15 seconds longer.
  • Pour batter into the cupcake tin with liners, filling each until about three-quarters full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then transfer to a wire baking rack to cool completely. Keep the oven on.

Cookie Dough Frosting

  • Heat treat the flour. Spread flour across a baking sheet and bake in the 350° F oven for 5 to 10 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria. Let the flour cool completely before adding it to the frosting.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter (with a stand mixer or electric hand mixer) until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the brown sugar and confectioner's sugar until completely incorporated. Add the flour and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on medium speed, add the vanilla and salt and beat for 1 minute, until fluffy. Add milk until desired consistency is reached.⁴
  • Transfer to a frosting bag with desired tip and frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Notes

Heat treating flour will kill any harmful bacteria. This takes a few extra minutes, but is well worth it!
Frosting consistency: Milk in the frosting is purely to obtain a piping consistency. I’ve made these cupcakes in the summer and the heat made the frosting a little thinner so I didn’t need any milk. If you make this frosting in the winter, you will need a tablespoon of milk to reach a piping consistency.
Store cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for 5 days. 
Store frosting (by itself) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze cupcakes (unfrosted) individually wrapped and in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and frosting.
Recommended tools: kitchen scale, stand mixer (or hand mixer), 12-cup muffin tin, frosting bag and tips.
Serving: 1cupcake, Calories: 306kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 60mg, Sodium: 113mg, Potassium: 117mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 29g, Vitamin A: 521IU, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 1mg

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