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Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: Cupcakes with a Surprise Inside

Snickerdoodle cupcakes were on my to-bake list as soon as I found out that the snickerdoodle was Bride 2.0’s favorite cookie. I’m by no means the first person to make a snickerdoodle cupcake. Among many others:

  • Culinary Concoctions by Peabody made snickerdoodle cupcakes (well, really muffins) that I’ve been told by Sara at Cupcake Muffin are absolutely amazing. They look really simple to make and seem to be very close to the cookie.
  • I Heart Cuppycakes made snickerdoodle cupcakes twice – once with a cake mix and once without. They are vanilla cinnamon cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

While those snickerdoodle cupcakes sounded great, I opted to do things my own way.

My snickerdoodle cupcakes are burnt sugar cupcakes with a snickerdoodle cookie baked into them, topped with a cinnamon penuche frosting and another snickerdoodle cookie.

Snickerdoodle Cupcake Reviews

The very first taster – The first taster of the snickerdoodle cupcake was a friend of mine with whom I was playing a game of spades. As soon as she started eating the cupcake, she lost all ability to concentrate on the game. I took this as a good sign, but I really didn’t need to guess for long about her opinion of the cupcake. She “oohed and ahhed” for quite a few minutes about not only the flavor, but how amazing it was that there was a cookie baked in the middle. She was this cupcake’s number one fan!

The other spades players – The other spades players also loved the snickerdoodle cupcakes. It was speculated that Bride 2.0 would pick them.

Bride and Groom 2.0 – Bride and Groom 2.0 thought that the snickerdoodle cupcakes were too dry. They both said that the cupcakes tasted exactly like the cookie, but felt that the cookie didn’t really work in cake form. They did, however, both love the cinnamon penuche frosting.

Me – I thought they were delicious. However, I was a bit frustrated that the cookie blended into the cake so much. Despite my first taster’s comments about the cookie being such a nice treat in the cupcake, I could hardly tell where the cookie ended and the cake started. If I looked, I could see where the cookie was – which was neat – but it tasted just like the cake. Like Bride and Groom 2.0, I adored the frosting!

The Snickerdoodle Cupcake 

I made the snickerdoodle cupcake recipe by slightly modifying How Stuff Works’ caramelized sugar cake. I have reprinted it with my modifications below.

 The Snickerdoodle Cookie Baked in the Middle of the Snickerdoodle Cupcake

To bake a snickerdoodle cookie into the cupcake, make a tablespoon-sized ball of a your favorite snickerdoodle cookie dough recipe and roll it in a cinnamon / sugar mixture. Then, press the ball into the half full cupcake liners.

Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back when touched lightly. As you can see above, they look kind of ugly before they are frosted. However, it’s also sort of fun to see the cookie popping out. I almost didn’t want to frost them.

The Cinnamon Penuche Frosting

I fell in love with penuche frosting when I made my quinoa cupcakes. I used the same recipe that I used on those cupcakes, only I added cinnamon to make it more snickerdoodly.

I got the original penuche frosting recipe from Southern Food on

The Snickerdoodle Cookie on the Top

I topped my snickerdoodle cupcakes with a snickerdoodle cookie from Wholly Wholesome bakery. I could have topped them with my own cookies, but I had lots of extra Wholly Wholesome cookies and they did look pretty cute!

(Speaking of snickerdoodle cookies. If you love them and these cupcakes, you may also love my snickerdoodle bars! They are perfect for a crowd!)

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5 from 1 vote

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: Cupcakes with a Surprise Inside

My snickerdoodle cupcakes are burnt sugar cupcakes with a snickerdoodle cookie baked into them, topped with a cinnamon penuche frosting and another snickerdoodle cookie.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cinnamon Penuche Frosting, snickerdoodle cupcake recipe, snickerdoodle cupcakes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 237kcal
Author Stef


Snickerdoodle Cupcake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C granulated sugar divided
  • 1/2 C boiling water
  • 2 large eggs separated
  • 2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 C 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 C milk

Cinnamon Penuche Frosting Ingredients

  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1 C brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 C sifted confectioners' sugar


Snickerdoodle Cupcake Instructions

  • Heat 1/2 C sugar in heavy 8-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is melted and golden brown.
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Gradually add boiling water into sugar mixture; continue cooking until sugar is dissolved, stirring constantly. You need to stir really quickly here to keep the sugar from glomming up.
  • Beat egg whites in medium bowl at medium speed with electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • Gradually add 1/2 C granulated sugar, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.
  • Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  • Beat butter and remaining 1/2 C sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract.
  • Gradually add sugar syrup, mixing until well blended.
  • Add dry ingredients to butter mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.
  • Fold in egg white mixture.
  • Fill cupcake liners halfway full.
  • You could pop these into the oven at 375 F for 20 minutes right now, but if you want the cookie baked into them, read the post.

Cinnamon Penuche Frosting Instructions

  • In a saucepan, melt 1/2 C butter.
  • Add the brown sugar.
  • Bring to a boil and lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the milk and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
  • Cool to lukewarm.
  • Gradually add sifted confectioners' sugar. (I would highly recommend sifting this confectioners' sugar. It's such a pain to sift, but it ensures that the frosting will be extra smooth.)
  • Beat until thick enough to spread. If too thick, add a little hot water.


See this post for more ideas to enhance this cupcake.


Nutrition Facts
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: Cupcakes with a Surprise Inside
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 178mg7%
Potassium 97mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Sugar 29g32%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 275IU6%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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33 comments on “Snickerdoodle Cupcakes: Cupcakes with a Surprise Inside”

  1. Sarasays:

    Yum, these look amazing! I can’t wait to try that frosting!

  2. Rachelsays:

    I think they are a great idea! I am not sure how one would keep the “floating” cookie from melting into the cupcake but I think it was clever!

  3. CBsays:

    I heart snickerdoodle. Yum! You definitely succeeded doing it your way! ;)

  4. Stefsays:

    Sara – The frosting rocks with or without the cinnamon. It is some of my favorite frosting.

    Rachel – Thanks! One of my friends suggested using frozen cookie dough. I thought that might help.

    CB – Thanks! I love seeing all the different ways that people tackle the same idea.

  5. Peabodysays:

    Yum! What a great idea.

  6. Gracesays:

    you. are. a. genius.

    all hail the cupcake queen!

  7. Marasays:

    oooh that is such a cute idea!! i did snickerdoodle cupcakes too and they were a favorite of a lot of recipe is posted somewhere on my blog! i like A LOT of cinnamon so they were really snickerdoodly.

    i am furiously working on my ice cream project today…nothing says cupcake lovin’ like procrastination in the oven hehe.

  8. This frosting sounds very interesting- I tried Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream recently and became a convert so this sounds right up my alley! I love the idea of cooking the cookie in the cupcake~ very clever. Maybe a Choc Chip Cookie Dough cupcake next?? OR did you already do that? I’m losing track of all your clever ideas, too many to keep up with~ HA!

  9. Stefsays:

    Peabody – Thanks! Yours looks so tasty too!

    Grace – *Blush* Thanks so much!

    Mara – I’ll have to go check it out! Happy cupcaking today!

    TW – I haven’t done chocolate chip cookie dough yet! It’s on my list! I also have never tried brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream. I should try that sometime too!

  10. That frosting sounds dreamy!

  11. That frosting sounds dreamy!

  12. That frosting sounds dreamy!

  13. That frosting sounds dreamy!

  14. That frosting sounds dreamy!

  15. C.L.says:

    OK, YUM! LURV your site :) Glad I found ya!

  16. Anonymoussays:

    Stef, I made the snickerdoodle cupcakes and they are delicious! – thank you for the receipe. I have one question, how do you measure a cup of butter?


  17. Stefsays:

    Liz – I’m so glad you liked them! This might help you:

    1 stick of butter = 1/4 pound
    1 stick of butter = 1/2 cup
    1 stick of butter = 8 tablespoons
    1 stick of butter = 4 ounces
    1 stick of butter = 113 grams

    Just double those numbers for the weight of a cup.

  18. Anonymoussays:

    Yes, that does help. Thank you


  19. this is brilliant! maybe try freezing the cookie dough balls before putting them into the batter? they would probably incorporate less. i really want to try these…snickerdoodles are my boyfriend’s favorite!

  20. Stefsays:

    Mysweet – Great idea! Let me know if you try it!

  21. Anonymoussays:

    Wow! They look so adorable! Do you use a crunchy or soft-baked cookie for the center? -Meg

  22. Stefsays:

    Meg – The cookie dough I used was for a soft-baked cookie.

  23. Omg merry xmas and I LOVE Snickerdoodles.can’t wait to try this recipe

  24. Joshsays:

    This looked so cute and yummy. I tried these out, and i thought the cookie did make the cupcake a little dry. too cookie-y not enough light fluffy cakeness for my taste. My two little boys didn’t like them. That was enough for me. If they won’t eat them they definitely aren’t worth all the effort. But, I had just returned from san francisco where i had the lightest, dreamiest strawberry cupcake at Kara’s Cupcakes! YUM! Why don’t my homemade cakes turn out so light?

  25. The cupcakes are amazing. I made these for a work potluck and everyone loved the cupcake. My husband thinks the cupcake is one of the best he’s ever had.

    Opinions were more divided on the frosting and cookie on top. Some people (me being one of them) found the frosting too sweet and the cookie on top just being too much. Others (including my husband, who hates almost all frosting) liked it with everything.

    I definitely didn’t find the cupcake alone to be dry. I did freeze the cookie dough in the cupcake before baking. With the cookie on top though, the overall effect was a dry dessert.

  26. mkrsays:

    these look so tasty!!!!snickerdoodle cookies are divine and a cupcake/cookie…i cant wait to make these!
    And i love your blog, it is my most favorite cupcake blog and the ideas you have are wonderous!

  27. Yumm-e!!! I love snickerdoodle cookies and I can’t wait to try this recipe out. Thanks so much!

  28. Stacysays:

    I made these cupcakes yesterday, and my husband has almost eaten them all! However, the cookies in the cupcake sunk to the bottom and just kind of melted into the bottom crust. They were still delicious, you just couldn’t really tell that there was a cookie in there. Is there anything I can do to prevent this?

    Thanks! Stacy

  29. Stefsays:

    Stacy – As I mentioned in the post, I had the same problem. One idea that I had (although I haven’t had a chance to try it yet), would be to freeze the cookie dough before putting it into the cupcake batter. If you try that, let me know how it works.

  30. Mynxsays:

    I made these tonight. I love the cake, but the frosting turned hard. I ended up keeping it on the heat while I frosted the cupcakes, but it still tasted great. I’m just wondering how to keep the frosting from turning hard, like caramel.

  31. Stefsays:

    Mynx – The frosting should get a bit crunchy, but not teeth-breaking hard. If it’s too hard for you, you can always add more milk.

  32. I must be a fool. I tried making these and had such an issue with the sugar syrup. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never worked with it before or what, but as soon as I tried to add it to the butter mixture (twice) it hardened right up and was just a clump surrounded by partially melted butter. What am I doing wrong?

    • Stefsays:

      It shouldn’t be boiling hot when you mix it in and you should be able to just mix the whole thing up (not a hard clump). I don’t even know you, but I’m sure you’re not a fool. Sorry that you had such problems!

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