Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes {brown butter chocolate frosting}

These are some serious cupcakes, y’all.

But that’s kind of a lie. They’re not really cupcakes. They’re cookies. Giant chocolate chip cookies. With brown butter chocolate frosting. And a cookie garnish.

Like I said…serious with a capital OMG.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes and the BEST chocolate frosting ever! Plus a tutorial on how to brown butter!

You guys. Before we start talking about these chocolate chip cookie cupcakes that are really the best chocolate chip cookie masquerading as a cupcake, let’s talk about babies.

I love babies. Other peoples’, that is. And you know what? It’s raining babies around blog land! A few weeks ago some friends and I threw Lisa a baby shower. Now, it’s Cathy’s turn!

Cathy is the amazing mom and blogger behind Lemon Tree Dwelling. If you’ve never visited her blog, go. Run. Her food is amazing! She posts things like S’mores Cheesecake Cups and Lemon Bar Muddy Buddies. And she posts real food too, like dinners and salads and stuff which is great because then there’s room for more quick bread.

Anyway, today a bunch of us bloggers are celebrating Cathy because she’s having a baby girl to join the other three sweet girls in her family. {Oh, her poor husband…}

I’m bringing cookie cupcakes to her shower, because I needed an excuse to make these.

Scratch that. I don’t need an excuse to make them, I need an excuse to eat 6.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes and the BEST chocolate frosting ever! Plus a tutorial on how to brown butter!

Now, if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you’ll have seen (and maybe pinned?) my XL Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. I think it’s one of my absolute favorite recipes on this site, and I’ve always gotten amazing reviews on it. One reader actually tweeted me awhile back and said they liked it as much as they liked Alton Brown’s recipe, which made me laugh, blush, and spit coffee across the room.


I wanted to make cupcakes but I wasn’t in the mood for cake. I also wasn’t in the mood for waiting – and that chocolate chip cookie recipe requires overnight chilling. These do not. Oh, they require chilling, but it doesn’t have to be overnight (the flavors will be bolder if you do wait, but you don’t have to).

When I made these cookie cupcakes, I was expecting the cookie to be the star. It’s not.

The frosting is the star of these cookies.

The frosting is the best chocolate frosting I’ve ever had.

Both the cookies and the frosting start with something amazing: brown butter. Now, if you’re not a foodie and don’t read a lot of blogs, you might not know what that is or how to do it.

Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Here is your step-by-step photo tutorial for how to brown butter:

How to brown butter photo tutorial

It’s really way easier than it sounds. Brown (or browned) butter is basically butter that’s been melted and cooked. When you cook butter at a consistent heat for a period of time, it changes from it’s regular color to a deep, dark brown. And the color isn’t the only thing that changes: the flavor is unbelievable.

Brown butter has a nuttier, more rich butter flavor. It’s hard to describe, so you’ll just have to believe me, but adding brown butter in place of regular melted butter adds a depth to your recipe that you wouldn’t believe.

All you have to do is add your butter to a pan (I like to slice it up first, so that it melts faster and more evenly) and cook it over medium-low heat. You don’t have to stir it constantly, just occasionally. You don’t have to stare at it constantly, but don’t leave the kitchen.

The butter will melt, then it will foam. Then the foam will reduce, then it will foam again. Then it will start to brown. Like when you’re making pudding or some thickening sauce, once it starts to brown it browns fast. At that point you want to be watching it. Too brown makes it burned. Burned butter is not good.

Once it’s browned, you use it as directed in whatever recipe you’re making. (Like say…chocolate chip cookies…or frosting.) There will be some sediment on the bottom of your pan; that’s normal.

What makes this brown butter chocolate frosting the best frosting ever? The fact that I browned the butter, then chilled it until it solidified (but was still soft enough to mix). This amps up the flavor of the frosting x1000. Then I added chocolate.

And I died and went to heaven.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes and the BEST chocolate frosting ever! Plus a tutorial on how to brown butter!

The cookies are made with browned butter too, as well as a combination of vanilla and almond extract. You don’t have to use the almond extract, but you’ll be amazed at the flavor it adds.

I use mini chocolate chips in this recipe because I think it spreads the chocolate more evenly throughout the cookie. You can use regular chocolate chips, but I’m in love with the minis. I use them in almost everything these days! Nestle is the most common maker of the mini chocolate chips, but I’ve also seen them by Guittard.

I wanted to make a cookie garnish for the top of these, but you can skip that and make an extra cookie cupcake or two, your choice. Each of these cookies uses 1/4 cup of dough – so I wasn’t exaggerating when I said they’re a serious cupcake. If you’re worried about how big they are, you could make these in a mini muffin pan instead, just watch the baking time.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the frosting. I want to make the frosting again just so I can eat it with a spoon. Seriously – best frosting ever.

These cookies are perfect for any party. Or because you’re so craving chocolate chip cookies!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes (1 of 6)


Did you make this recipe?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes {brown butter chocolate frosting}


Cookie Cupcakes

  • 2 sticks butter (we’re going to brown it!)

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup light brown sugar

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or special dark cocoa powder)

  • 2 1/3 cups powdered sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 6-7 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, depending on desired consistency


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, about 6 minutes, until it becomes brown in color. It will foam, reduce, then foam again.

  2. Once it’s done cooking the foam is a light brown and it will dissipate after you remove it from the heat. Once it starts to brown, keep stirring so it doesn’t burn. Let sit for about 5 minutes to cool.

  3. Pour into an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While still hot, add both sugars and mix on low until combined. Let sit to cool for a few minutes.

  4. While butter mixture is cooling, combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir and set aside.

  5. Turn mixer (with butter mixture bowl attached) on low. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing completely. Mix in vanilla extract and almond extract (optional, but it adds great flavor). Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

  6. Line cupcake pans with 15 liners and one baking sheet with parchment or a silpat baking mat.

  7. Scoop out 15 balls of cookie dough that are about 1/4 cup each (I use an ice cream scoop for this). Place one ball in each cupcake liner.

  8. Divide the remaining dough into 1/2 tablespoon sized balls.

  9. Chill both the cookie dough cupcakes and little cookie balls for at least 2 hours (or more).

  10. Before baking cookies, start the frosting (see below).

  11. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake mini cookies for about 7-8 minutes. Bake the cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes. In both cases, the outside will start to turn a rich golden color. You don't want to over bake these, they taste best when they're a little under done in the middle. Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes in the pan before removing to a rack to cool completely. Frost once cool.

To make the frosting:

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, just a few minutes until it becomes brown in color. Place in a large mixing bowl and sit until set. (You want it set, as in not melted, but you want it soft enough to be able to mix. So make sure it's the consistency of room temperature butter when you start mixing in the powdered sugar.)

  2. Once butter has set, mix in the powdered sugar and cocoa with a hand mixer until crumbly. Add vanilla and 2 tablespoons cream. Mix. Add more cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you’ve reached your desired spreading consistency.


These are serious cupcakes. If you're worried about how big they are, make them in mini muffin tins. To make enough cookies for garnish you'll want to make the balls even smaller. Baking time of both will be affected.

All images and text ©. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

Check out all the other baby shower food – don’t you wish you were really at her shower??!!

Lemon Raspberry Cookie Sandwiches by Life Love and Sugar
Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake by Your Homebased Mom
Lemon Yogurt Cake by Yummy Healthy Easy
Orange-Raspberry Mini Toaster Strudels by Chelsea’s Messy Apron
Orange Dream Monkey Bread by Wine and Glue
Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs by Or So She Says
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake by Beyond Frosting
Strawberries and Cream Cheese Ball Bites by Five Heart Home
Pig Pickin’ Cake by Sugar Dish Me
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie by Lemons for Lulu
Creamy Shrimp Dip by Mostly Homemade Mom
Salted Butterscotch Coffee Cake by Julie’s Eats and Treats
Strawberry Cake by The NY Melrose Family
Frozen Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream Pie by Pink When
Carrot Cream Cheese Swirl Loaf by Spoonful of Flavor
Fiesta Rice Skillet by The Grant Life
Raspberry Ripple Lemon Bundt Cake by Love Bakes Good Cakes
Ooey Gooey Orange Creamsicle Bars by The Gunny Sack
Mixed Berries with Honey Maple Mascarpone by Joyful Healthy Eats
Rosewater Almond Macaroons by Little Miss Celebration
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes by Crazy for Crust
Momosas Mocktail Recipe by The Weary Chef

Other recipes you might like:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Harvest Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (3 of 10)w

XL Bakery Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

bakery-style-chocolate-chip-cookies (2 of 6)w


The Best Chocolate Cupcakes

best-chocolate-cupcakes (2 of 9)w


Thanks for reading!


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  1. Pingback: Lemon Yogurt Cake - Yummy Healthy Easy

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  3. You seriously should start a business for baby shower food. Every time you’ve done these, your recipes are just incredible! That frosting? I die. And I love that there is cookie dough everywhere! Pinned!

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  5. These are some heavenly cupcakes! Perfect for a spring baby shower!!

  6. OMG Dorothy I am so in love with these cupcakes!!! I think I DEFINITELY have an excuse to eat 6…..labor is hard work!! Thank you so much for being part of my baby shower – what a HUGE surprise and fun way to wake up this morning! (Now you’re going to have me craving these all day…..NOT nice to do to a pregnant person! 🙂

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  12. I am absolutely DYING over these cupcakes. Best of both worlds, between the cookie and the cupcake. And that frosting!

  13. As a cookie queen myself, these look absolutely amazing. Amazing. Right up my alley! I used to make cookie cupcakes very similar to these all of the time but you have me at the brown butter part and the frosting looks delish…Totally agree with baking them with mini chips – I love how they evenly distribute giving chocolate in each bite. Can’t wait to make these!

  14. A big, giant chocolate chip cookie? You rock!

  15. LOVE this idea! My own little personal cookie – so cute! And I bet the browned butter tastes amazing in that icing – yum!

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  17. These look completely irresistible. My daughter”s birthday party is this weekend and I want to make them for the guests! Can’t wait. Best cookie cupcakes ever!

  18. First, these cookie-cupcakes look absolutely delicious! Brown butter is like a magic elixir. I’ve never tried it in chocolate frosting but plan to correct that immediately! 🙂 Second, this whole concept, a cookie dough baked in a cupcake pan not as a shell but as a whole cupcake, is fantastic! My mind is racing with ideas! Can this be done with any chewy cookie dough, I wonder?! I bet a thick cookie-cupcake would stay chewy longer than a thin cookie. Why, if I make brownies/blondies in cupcake pans all the time, did I never think to put cookie dough in there?!!! Dorothy, you are a creative baking genius!

    • I think you could make cookie cupcakes with really any cookie dough. That’s what I love about them! Depending on the recipe, you may not even need to chill the dough, because it’s all contained in one cup. And it keeps them soft!!

  19. My boys would devour these in no time. Hoping I can give this a try one of these days, thanks!

  20. Hi Dorothy! These cupcakes look incredible! So much fun to see all of the fabulous foods everyone has made for Cathy’s shower – darn it, I wish we were really eating all of this right now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing and pinning – have a happy Friday and fabulous weekend!

  21. I love these Dorothy! The cookies on top just make them perfect. Pinning!

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  23. You had me at Chocolate Chip and Brown Butter! 🙂 Love these! Congrats to Cathy!!

  24. Browned butter + chocolate frosting = YES! I’ve never had that! Yes in white/glazes/buttercreams but never a choc frosting with browned butter. Whoa. Need! and the cookie cups are the way to go. Love them!

  25. And now I’m craving chocolate chip cookies!

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  28. Yay for Cathy’s baby shower and for these amazing cupcakes! I love your tutorial pictures for browning butter – so great. And now I want to eat a whole batch of these cupcakes! Have a great weekend Dorothy! 🙂 Pinned!

  29. OMG.. this just looks like trouble waiting to happen… must… make… recipe….

    Hi, I’m Krista.. and I have a mild chocolate addiction and will be making this recipe. ASAP! Pinned.. thanks Dorothy!

  30. Ummmm, these are AMAZING Dorothy! And I love that you show how you brown butter! I haven’t made anything with browned butter, and now I HAVE to!

  31. holy crap Dorothy – best cupcake ever!

  32. Browned butter in chocolate frosting? That sounds ah-mazing!!! These cookie cupcakes are such a great idea and look incredible! These look awesome for a baby shower – yay and congrats to Cathy – so excited for her and her family 🙂

  33. That really does sound like the best frosting ever! Brown butter totally makes everything better 🙂

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  35. Cookies, cookies and more cookies!!!

  36. Wow, these sound wonderful. Wish I was closer and could have tasted them! xoxo

  37. Almond extract in chocolate chip cookies???? OHMYGOODNESS Dorothy, you are seriously a genius!! I am doing that with the very next batch of chocolate chip cookies I bake. And then I’ll probably hoard the entire tray and need to exercise for 5 straight hours the next day, but I’m sure it’d be totally worth it. 😉 I haven’t browned butter before; does it still work with small amounts? Say, umm, 2-4 tablespoons like I typically use in my recipes? Or should I do a big batch and chill it like you did, and just use it in the smaller amounts that I need later? (Does chilling then re-melting brown butter affect its flavor?) Sorry for all of the questions! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve been hesitant because of my healthy baking stance…

  38. I SORT of want to marry these.

  39. These look amazing! I’ve never made anything with browned butter, but with all the wonderful recipes out there, I think I’ll have to soon. Not only delicious looking, but so pretty too! Thanks!

  40. Seriously drooling over here. If I have a baby shower will you mail me some? (I’m not pregnant I just want these cupcakes.)

  41. I bet these are simply amazing!!

  42. Yes, I believe I could endorse these–they look like little deep dish chocolate chip cookies, and thicker is definitely better. Pinned!

  43. These cupcakes look and sound like really amazing thing!

  44. Oh wow. Giant cookies! Love the frosting too 😀

  45. the cookie cupcakes look amazing, but all i am thinking about is that frosting!!! hubba hubba! pinned!

  46. Wow! I am making these for our next church bake sale – they will be such a hit! You are so imaginative! Congrats to Cathy!

  47. Well I wasn’t before but now I am craving a chocolate chip cookie with the most amazing brown butter chocolate frosting! So thanks for that… 😉
    Seriously?! Brown butter chocolate frosting?!!? Pinned.

  48. Love the cupcakes!! They look amazing. I can’t wait to try brown butter frosting. Super delicious!! Thanks so much for the recipe!!

  49. I hate you.

    and by that I mean I LOVE YOU SO MUCH BECAUSE OMG OMG OMG THIS FROSTING IS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER SEEEEEEEN! (and I totally like cookies better than cupcakes so those are also a total win!)

  50. These look seriously good Dorothy. I still haven’t used browned butter in any of my recipes and need to get on that train soon! 🙂

  51. This is so cute! I love how it really looks like a cookie that was mushed into a cake shape, and the little cookie on top is the perfect addition!

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  53. You know what better than a cupcake? A cupcake size cookie cup!

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  61. Oh man these look amazing! Pinning ASAP!!

  62. I have 2 questions….I don’t have a “stand” mixer….a lot of your recipes call for one. Will a hand mixer work ..or will I burn out the motor trying to make some of your recipes? (I’ve already burned out the motor on one.) Other question…. I don’t have a food processor, will a very old blender work? Thanks for your advice.

    • You can use a hand mixer 90% of the time. For these cookies, yes you can. (For things like yeasted dough and some other things like that, you might only be able to use the hand mixer for some of it.) Obviously a stand mixer is more powerful (and faster) than a hand mixer so it’s going to last longer and be able to work harder. I can’t guarantee that your hand mixer motor won’t die – but it shouldn’t after making these cookies. If you use it a lot, then it will burn out, I’m sure. I do know that I had a Cuisinart Hand Mixer that I got 14 years ago, and it still works fine, but I got a new one (we food bloggers need doubles of pretty much everything) and the new one was 10x faster even though it’s the same exact one. Newer was better, and would do a better job. So in essence, yes you can use a hand mixer but just know it might take longer. These cookies are smooth when making the dough, so it wouldn’t be a problem, but if you’re making gooey bars or something, it’ll take quite a bit more time than a stand mixer.

      As for food processor vs. blender, that’s a tough one. All blenders are not created equal. You said it’s an old blender – is it a basic one or a Blendtex/Vitamix? If it’s a basic one…I’d say no unless you’re grinding oats or something. But if it’s a Blendtec or similar, it’ll do all of what a food processor can do. If you’re making pie crust, for example, no you can’t use a blender (either kind). Peanut butter could be made in a blendtec, but not a hamilton beach. It’s really about what you’re making.

      If you bake a lot, I highly suggest saving up (or begging for your birthday) for a stand mixer first, then a food processor. Most of my recipes that use a food processor can be done by hand (like, say, crushing cookies). The stand mixer will change your life if you do a lot of baking! 🙂

  63. Dorothy, thank you so very much for your helpful and thoughtful reply to my questions. You have given me a lot of “food for thought”…(sorry just couldn’t resist saying that). But you really did!
    My hand mixer is a Kitchen Aid; I think I purchased it about 3 or 4 years ago. Oddly, though, it looks almost identical to the Cuisinart. Don’t know the speed though. I’ll have to look that up in the instruction booklet. I agree that newer is better; although, I think the beaters on my old mixer were better because they were thicker, heavier…the new ones are so thin. They feel like they might break easily. I would truly love to have a stand mixer, but then I have figure out where to put it, after I’ve “justified” buying it (on sale, of course!!)

    My blender is borderline “antique.” It’s a Waring blender with like 14 different pulsing levels. I’m sure it doesn’t compare in any way to a food processor. I usually crush cookies or graham crackers, etc. in a plastic bag using a rolling pin (or if I’m in a hurry, I use a heavy glass). Not sure right now which recipes I’ve saved from your blog that mentioned the food processor, but I’m sure there would be more uses for it than I think. I can’t say that I would consider myself a “baker” by any means. So, justifying buying either item might be difficult, but if I say I really “need” it, I usually don’t get in too much trouble…but then I have to use it constantly at first, so I can “justify” my purchase. You said “food bloggers” have two of almost everything. Well, Dorothy, I’m not a food blogger, but I have two or more of many, many, many kitchen utensils….one is never enough!!! I have to thank you again for time you took for your personal answer to me. You are very thoughtful! Love the “insight” into your life on your blog. At times, I feel like your blogs are like a letter or phone call from a friend. You have such a cheerful and “fun” way of writing. Again, thank you. 🙂

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  66. These look beautiful! How should they be stored how long will they keep? Thank you!

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