Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting

These chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese cookie dough frosting are so rich and moist you will feel immediate happiness when you take your first bite! Or at least I do! You will be so glad you took the time to make these super special cupcakes!

For more chocolate and cream cheese combinations try these Chocolate zucchini cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting, Cream Cheese Brownies, Hersheys Cheesecake Brownies, and Chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon pumpkin cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate cupcakes with cookie dough frosting on a plate.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting

So, I pride myself in always being able to find a reason to make cupcakes.  In my opinion, it doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday to make cupcakes.  I say if it’s Friday, cupcakes! It’s a new month, cupcakes! I made it through a Monday, cupcakes! So, when I pull out this recipe not only am I celebrating with cupcakes, but with one of my favorite desserts! This is a super moist and fluffy chocolate cupcake topped with none other than the most amazing cream cheese chocolate chip cookie dough frosting! That’s right. Cookie dough and cream cheese…. as a frosting…Yes, please!

Don’t worry, it’s completely safe to eat, no raw eggs in this recipe! Phew. When I made these, my husband was amazed.  Cream cheese frosting on chocolate cake is always his tried and true favorite.  So, when I mixed it up and made it a cookie dough cream cheese frosting he was amazed!  When he took his first bite, his eyes were huge and with a mouthful he said, “these are delicious!” And they truly are!  The devil’s food cake mix and cocoa powder gives it an extra rich chocolate flavor and the buttermilk and yogurt keep it so soft and sweet.  This is currently my best cupcake and my go to dessert on any day of the week!

Chocolate Cupcake with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting

Cupcakes:

    • Devil’s Food Cake Mix: This cake mix is the key to the strong chocolate flavor.
    • Unsweetened cocoa powder: Mix with the cake mix and baking powder add too the rich flavor.
    • Baking powder: Used to make the cupcakes rise.
    • Vegetable oil: Use canola or vegetable oil to keep the cupcakes moist.
    • Eggs: The eggs add moisture and bind the cupcake together to keep it from crumbling.
    • Buttermilk: Brings a pleasant tang to balance out all the other strong and sweet flavors.
    • Greek yogurt: You may sub sour cream here if you like.  This step also adds to the moist texture.
    • Vanilla:  Adding vanilla finishes off the flavors of this cupcake perfectly!

Frosting:

  • Butter: Softened so it blends easily.
  • Cream cheese: Softened (Microwave unwrapped for 15 seconds. Then additionally at 15 second increments as needed)
  • Brown sugar: Cream together with butter and cream cheese to create the base of your frosting.
  • Flour: Add to creamy base then mix well.
  • Salt: This little bit of salt really balances all the sweetness in this frosting!
  • Vanilla: I love the vanilla flavoring that is so familiar to that cookie dough taste!
  • Powdered sugar: Powered sugar is granulated sugar that has been milled into a powder making it dissolve faster.
  • Milk: As needed to thin out your frosting.
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips: These are right in between milk and dark chocolates in both sweetness and texture and they are the perfect chip crunch to this otherwise soft cupcake.

How to Make Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting

  1. Preheat oven: Set oven to 350 degrees and put cupcakes liners in muffin tins.
  2. Mix dry ingredients: In a medium bowl whisk cake mix, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
  3. Mix wet ingredients: In a second larger bowl, combine vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, greek yogurt, and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Combine: Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until mostly smooth (a few little lumps are okay).
  5. Bake: Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 19-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  6. Prepare Frosting: While cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting. In a medium bowl cream butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes until very fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix well. Add vanilla and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each. Use milk 1 tablespoon at a time if need to thin to desired consistency. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

Steps to make chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese cookie dough frosting.Tips:

  • Fill the cupcake liners only halfway full. Not 2/3, not 3/4, not all the way to the top. Half full.  If you fill the liners too full, the cupcakes will overflow. Or, even worse, you will get crisp mushroom tops or sinking in the center.  Say it with me now… Halfway full! Halfway full!  One more time now: halfway full. 🙂
  • Keep all refrigerated items at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly.
  • Boiling water may cook the eggs.  So, be sure to use hot water not boiling water.  The hot water will not cook the eggs.
  • Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is a brand that is most widely available and works great in this recipe.  I also love using higher quality cocoa powders like Ghiradelli’s or cocoa powders from specialty chocolate shops, but those are pretty pricey. I don’t recommend using cheap store brands for the best results and most vibrant flavors.

Variations:

  • Make ahead instructions: Prepare cupcakes 1 day in advance. Keep cupcakes covered tightly at room temperature and frost the day of serving. Unfrosted cupcakes can be frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
  • Mini Cupcakes: Fill mini liners only halfway and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F (177°C). Yields about 3 dozen.
  • Cake: Here’s a chocolate cake that is just as moist and chocolaty!

Substitutions:

  • Eggs: There are numerous options for substituting eggs in baking recipes. You can always try using one of those. A basic egg substitute for cupcakes is 1 tablespoon white vinegar + 1 teaspoon baking per egg.
  • Frosting: You certainly can switch up the frosting on these delicious cupcakes! Use any other frosting recipe that you like. A plain chocolate buttercream, a whipped chocolate ganache, or a cream cheese buttercream would be fantastic too!
  • Flour: Use gluten free flours at your own risk. Not all gluten free flours are equal and most don’t work as a straight forward substitute for all-purpose flour. We have not tested any gluten free flours in this recipe.
  • Buttermilk: If needed, you can use whole milk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice instead of buttermilk. Fill a measuring cup with the lemon juice/vinegar then the rest with whole milk to reach 1/2 cup.

Frosting the chocolate cupcake with cookie dough frosting.

How do I stop my cupcakes from drying out?

This recipe is definitely one of my favorites because of how moist and chocolatey these cupcakes turn out! The ingredients this dessert calls for really help keep the cupcake fluffy and moist but there are also a couple of other well known substitutions that can be made to help them from drying out so fast. One of the popular variations is using a box of instant pudding mix. As odd as it may sound, mixing in that pudding into the recipe can really help make the cupcakes extra soft. Another common substitution is using applesauce in place of oil or butter. Not only is it a healthy alternative to the fat content in the cupcake but it will also play a big role in keeping them moist. 

What makes cupcakes light and fluffy?

One of the biggest contributing factors to this are the ingredients baking powder and baking soda. Using too little of either of those can cause your cupcakes to not rise enough and using too much of those can cause them to rise quickly and then collapse. Each recipe is different so it never hurts to kind of compare the amount that is asked for amongst multiple recipes. 

How do you store chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese cookie dough frosting?

If you by any chance happen to have any of these left over the best way to store them would be to keep them refrigerated. Place them in an airtight container and then I would recommend keeping them in the fridge no longer than 2-3 days. This will help the frosting hold better as well as stop the cupcakes from drying out as fast. 

How do you know when the cupcakes are done?

There are a couple of different ways you can tell if your cupcakes are done baking. The most well known test is to take a toothpick and stick it in the very center of the cupcake and if it comes out dry then they are done. If batter sticks to the toothpick then they should be placed back in the oven for about another 5 minutes and then tested again. Another simple test is to just touch the top of the cupcake and if it springs back they are done.

Chocolate cookie dough cupcakes on a platter.

More Delicious Cupcake Recipes to Try:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 24 Cupcakes

So not only are we celebrating with cupcakes, but we are celebrating with super moist and fluffy chocolate cupcakes topped with none other than the most amazing cream cheese chocolate chip cookie dough frosting! That’s right. Cookie dough…. as a frosting

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cupcakes, Cupcake Recipe, cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes:

  • 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt may sub sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Frosting:

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • milk as needed
  • 1/3 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and put cupcakes liners in muffin tins.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk cake mix, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a second larger bowl, combine vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk, greek yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until mostly smooth (a few little lumps are okay). Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 19-22 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
  3. While cupcakes are cooling prepare the frosting. In a medium bowl cream butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes until very fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix well. Add vanilla and powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each. Use milk 1 tablespoon at a time if need to thin to desired consistency. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Updated on 

Originally Posted on February 27, 2015

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cookie Dough Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 302 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 42mg14%
Sodium 284mg12%
Potassium 154mg4%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 283IU6%
Calcium 70mg7%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. Is there a good alternative for cream cheese? I am probably the only person who thinks this but I hate the taste of cream cheese because it has a sour after taste to me. I love red velvet desserts too but I always go for buttercream frosting instead. These cupcakes look so good though so I am wondering what you might recommend?

    Thanks!

  2. I just made these so very yummy do you think these Would freeze well with icing? Also do they need to be put in the fridge?

  3. These were an undeniable win in my home last night. I love cheesecake, and my husband loves cookie dough. So naturally I was excited to try this recipe. THEY WERE AMAZING. Definitely adding to my recipe aresenal for parties or anything remotely called a gathering. Haha. These will definitely impress. Thanks for recipe. Can’t rave enough about it.

  4. I made only the buttercream, with another cake recipe (which was red velvet). I think it was quite good, everyone was happy with it. There was enough frosting for a 2 layer cake. It has a texture of cookie dough and tastes like a tangy cookie dough, wich is good to cut the sweetness.

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