Molten Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Talk about indulgence! These molten cookie dough cupcakes are homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with cookie dough and topped with chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream. Here I’ll teach you how to make safe-to-eat cookie dough with success tips from the talented Kristen Tomlan, founder of NYC.

molten chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Today’s new cupcake recipe comes straight from the brilliant and sweet-as-ever owner of DŌ Cookie Dough Confections, Kristen Tomlan. Kristen has become one of my dearest friends over the years– the power of cookies literally connected us! She’s a gracious, hardworking, and business-owning woman from whom I gather so much inspiration. Kristen just released her cookbook debut, surely to hit the best-selling list, and I couldn’t be more excited for her. (Let’s all give a WOOHOO for Kristen!) She is generously allowing me to share her cookbook with all of you and publish one of the best recipes found inside.

Ok, every recipe of hers is the best, but I had to play favorites with this one because she based her molten cookie dough cupcakes off of my vanilla cupcakes recipe. ♥

Hello, Cookie Dough by Kristen Tomlan

Hello, Cookie Dough by Kristen Tomlan is a dessert lovers dream come true. This book is a visual masterpiece with pictures on every single page. It offers a must-have collection of 110 delicious dessert recipes that bakers of any skill level want need. Filled with dozens of safe-to-eat cookie dough recipes and flavors, plus endless chapters of sweet treats including brownies, cakes, cookies, fudge, and breakfast sweets all centered around our favorite flavor: cookie dough! Kristen shares her incredible story of how she launched her brand, literally fought to save her life, plus hundreds of kitchen tips and recipe success secrets.

This is so much more than a cookbook; it’s a huge resource of recipes, a fun gift, and a gorgeous coffee table book (that you’ll READ and USE).

Order: Amazon

Hello Cookie Dough cookbook by Kristen Tomlan

chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake

3 Parts to Molten Cookie Dough Cupcakes

  1. Vanilla Cupcakes
  2. Molten Cookie Dough Center
  3. Cookie Dough Buttercream

Heat-Treated Flour + Pasteurized Egg Whites

Kristen’s molten cookie dough cupcakes (and all of her cookie dough and dessert recipes) are completely safe to eat because we’re using heat-treated flour and pasteurized egg whites. The unique aspect about her cookie dough is that you can eat it raw and it tastes just like cookie dough because IT IS cookie dough– and without any substituted ingredients. Another unique aspect about Kristen’s dough recipes is that you can bake them, too. Yes, her cookie dough recipes are bake-able for actual baked cookies.

  1. Flour: Raw flour can be a carrier of E. coli unless it goes through a heating process to kill the bacteria. (Think about it– flour is usually baked in a recipe.) You can purchase heat-treated flour from her shop! Or scroll below to find her homemade instructions. It’s easy!
  2. Eggs: Kristen uses and recommends using only egg whites in most of her cookie dough recipes. (As the creator of the original edible cookie dough bakery, I would trust her word!!) You can purchase pasteurized egg whites in a carton at most major grocery stores. A great brand to look for is AllWhites. Do not purchase products with egg whites and yolks combined, as those are not recommended for Kristen’s dough recipes. Or you can pasteurize the egg whites yourself– lots of easy tutorials available if you give it a quick search online! If you’d rather not use egg whites, substitute 2 Tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 1/3 cup room temperature milk. Whole milk is best, but 2% or even nondairy milks work too.

2 images of heat treated flour in a bag and cookie dough made with heat treated flour

How to Make Cookie Dough Cupcakes

  1. Make edible cookie dough: We’ll use this cookie dough as the filling of the cupcakes as well as in the buttercream frosting. This is Kristen’s signature chocolate chip cookie dough that you get from her famous bakery! Chill it for about 15 minutes before rolling into balls so it’s not as sticky.
  2. Roll into balls: Take 3/4 cup of cookie dough and roll into 12 1-Tablespoon balls. Set them aside in the refrigerator as you bake the cupcakes. These cookie dough balls will go inside our cupcakes. Set the remaining cookie dough aside for the frosting.
  3. Make the cupcakes: We’re using similar ingredients to my vanilla cupcakes. Kristen whisks the sour cream and milk together, then adds the mixture with the flour.
  4. Press cookie dough into cupcakes: Let the baked cupcakes cool for just 5 minutes. This is actually where I messed up my first time! I let the cupcakes cool completely, then had trouble pressing the  cookie dough ball inside. Pressing the cookie dough ball into a warm cupcake totally helps! Plus, the cookie dough slightly melts. Glorious.
  5. Make the frosting: I cover that next!

2 images of cookie dough cupcakes batter in a mixing bowl and in a cupcake pan

I love that we don’t need to carve out a hole in the cupcake. Instead, literally press the cold cookie dough ball into the warm cupcake. The dough ball won’t sit completely flat, so expect a little lump on top. Don’t worry, you’ll cover it with frosting!

2 images of stuffing chocolate chip cookie dough inside cupcakes

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Buttercream

If cookie dough and buttercream joined forces, you’d literally have… heaven? Yes, that sounds right. Here we’re making a creamy vanilla buttercream and mixing in the cookie dough reserved from the cupcake’s filling.

I love that this buttercream is slightly salted, so it’s not overly sweet. By itself, it’s reminiscent of actual cookie dough. Use a spoon to break little chunks of the leftover cookie dough, then beat it into the frosting on low speed. It’s ok if the cookie dough chunks are not fully combined into the buttercream. (Because why wouldn’t you want surprise cookie dough bites in frosting?!)

You can spread the frosting onto the cupcakes with a knife or icing spatula or apply with a large round piping tip. The cookie dough chunks will get stuck in a smaller tip.

cookie dough buttercream frosting

2 images of cookie dough frosting in a bowl and piping it onto a cupcake

These Cookie Dough Cupcakes:

  • Are super soft, rich, & buttery
  • Surprise you with cookie dough inside
  • Are impressive, yet totally foolproof
  • Require a few steps, but are so very worth it 🙂

molten chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

cookie dough cupcakes

How to Heat Treat Flour

Option 1 – Microwave

  1. You can heat treat your entire bag of flour or just treat the amount you need in a single recipe. If you’re heating just enough for the recipe, add an extra 1/2 – 1 cup to be sure you have enough.
  2. Place the flour in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds at a time, stopping and stirring after each. Stir well to make sure none of the flour burns. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the flour in several places to make sure it has reached 165°F (74°C). If you get a lower reading in one area, stir and heat for an additional 30 seconds until it’s all ready.
  3. Measure the amount of flour you need and use in the recipe, then let it cool completely.

Option 2 – Oven

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (149°C). Spread more flour than the recipe calls for on an un-greased rimmed baking pan, such as a 9×13 inch baking pan or 9×9 inch baking pan. Then follow a process similar to the microwave method by stirring and checking the temperature at 2 minute intervals. Be sure to check multiple spots of the flour to make sure it has all reached 165°F (74°C).
  2. If some flour sticks to the bottom or sides of the pan, don’t worry, just leave it there. You used more flour than needed in the recipe anyway. Don’t scrape it off because it will add small clumps to your batter/dough.
  3. If your flour is really clumpy, your oven might be too hot. Break it up with your fingers or pour all the flour into a bowl and whisk it. Discard any chunks if necessary.
  4. Measure the amount of flour you need and use in the recipe, then let it cool completely.
Print
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chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake

Molten Cookie Dough Cupcakes

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These molten cookie dough cupcakes are homemade vanilla cupcakes filled with cookie dough and topped with chocolate chip cookie dough buttercream. Review the recipe notes and information about safe-to-eat flour before beginning.


Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) heat-treated all-purpose flour* (spoon & leveled)
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (12 Tbsp; 170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cupcakes

  • 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cookie Dough Buttercream

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream or milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • remaining cookie dough

Instructions

  1. Make the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, whisk the heat-treated flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Set aside.
  2. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed in a large bowl until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 full minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low just until the powdery texture of the flour disappears, about 15 seconds. Immediately add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Freeze or refrigerate the cookie dough for 15 minutes or until the dough is easy to handle. Roll the dough into 12 one-Tablespoon-size balls, place on a plate lined with parchment paper, then refrigerate until step 9. Cover the remaining cookie dough and set aside at room temperature until step 11.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 12-cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  6. Make the cupcakes: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the milk and sour cream together until smooth. Set aside.
  7. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes, or until the mixture is totally incorporated. With the mixer on low, alternate additions of the flour mixture and the sour cream mixture, starting and ending with flour. Beat for an additional 30 seconds or until the batter appears smooth and creamy.
  8. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-19 minutes or until the cupcake edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove cupcakes from the pan and carefully press 1 chilled cookie dough ball into the center of each cupcake. The dough ball might not sit completely flat, so expect a little lump on top. Don’t worry, you’ll cover it with frosting. Cool cupcakes completely.
  10. While the cupcakes cool, make the cookie dough buttercream: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter in a large bowl on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light, fluffy, and completely smooth. Add the vanilla extract, milk, and salt and beat until combined. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the confectioners’ sugar, then beat on low speed for 15 seconds. Switch to medium-high speed and beat the frosting until super light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. The frosting will become lighter in color as air is whipped into it.
  11. Break the remaining cookie dough into quarter-size chunks. (If desired, save enough dough to make 12 little cookie dough balls as garnish on top!) With the mixer running on medium speed, add the cookie dough chunks. Mix just until incorporated– some chunks can remain.
  12. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, top with frosting. You can spread the frosting with a knife or icing spatula or apply with a large round piping tip. (The cookie dough chunks will get stuck in a smaller tip.) Decorate with chocolate chips, sprinkles, or any leftover cookie dough, if desired.
  13. Leftover cupcakes keep well covered tightly in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Plain cupcakes can be made ahead 1 day in advance, covered, filled with cookie dough balls, and stored in the refrigerator overnight. Buttercream can also be made 1 day in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Bring cupcakes and buttercream to room temperature before frosting. Freeze frosted, unfrosted, filled, or unfilled cupcakes for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat Treated Flour: See note/instructions above recipe or purchase it online.
  3. Pasteurized Egg Whites: You can purchase pasteurized egg whites in a carton at most major grocery stores. Check the dairy section or near where the eggs are sold. A great brand to look for is AllWhites. Do not purchase products with egg whites and yolks combined, as those are not recommended for Kristen’s dough recipes. Or you can pasteurize the egg whites yourself– lots of easy tutorials if you give it a quick search online! If you’d rather not use egg whites, substitute 2 Tablespoons cornstarch whisked with 1/3 cup room temperature milk. Whole milk is best, but 2% or even nondairy milks work too.
  4. Whole Milk & Sour Cream: Whole milk and sour cream are strongly recommended for the best taste and texture. A full fat plain yogurt would work instead, though the cupcakes may not be as light. Same goes with a lower fat milk.
  5. Why Room Temperature? All refrigerated items should be at room temperature so the batter mixes together easily and evenly. Read here for more information.
  6. Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand MixerCupcake PanCupcake LinersAteco 808 Piping Tip, Reusable Piping Bags or Disposable Piping Bags
  7. Be sure to check out my 10 tips for baking the BEST cupcakes before you begin!

Keywords: cookie dough, cookies, cupcakes

62 Comments

  1. These cupcakes are absolutely delicious. One of my top 3 favorites! 2 questions-
    1. Have you tried used the cornstarch and milk combo instead of the egg whites in the cookie dough? If so, did it still turn out fine?
    2. Can I use regular egg whites instead of pasteurized in the cupcake batter (since it is being cooked)?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Caitlin, the milk + cornstarch recommendation works great in place of the egg whites in the cookie dough, and correct, you can use regular egg whites in the cupcake batter since it is being cooked through. So glad you enjoy Kristen’s cupcakes!

      1. What measurements would you use for the cornstarch/milk in the cookie dough?

  2. For the buttercream frosting, do I sift the confectioner’s sugar before measuring?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cheryl, you’ll want to measure the confectioners’ sugar and then sift it. (It can be tricky to remember the rules of sifting, as it depends on where the word “sifted” is in the directions — but this post on how to measure ingredients should be helpful to keep on hand!)

  3. Hi! I typically like to leave my cupcakes out on the counter for a few days instead of refrigerating, which tends to dry them out. Is that still safe to do with this recipe, given there are pasteurized egg whites in the frosting?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Maureen, for best results, we recommend keeping these cupcakes in the refrigerator of up to 3 days. If they’re tightly covered or in an airtight container, they should stay fresh!

  4. I plan to make this recipe for a friend’s birthday. Can I make the cookie dough in advance and put it in the freezer? I would like to cupcake batter closer to the day of the party and assemble the cookie dough then.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mochi, we haven’t personally tried it, but we can’t see why that wouldn’t work. Just make sure it is tightly sealed so that moisture doesn’t get in. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before adding to the cupcakes.

  5. Monica Gaddis says:

    Hi! Have you ever tried converting this to a 6 inch cake? I love doing that with your cupcake recipes but have not tried it for this one!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Monica, We haven’t tested this specific recipe, but I don’t see why not. Let us know how it turns out!

  6. Jennifer Allen says:

    Has anyone tried to use store bought edible cookie dough?

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