Chocolate Cupcake Tops (aka Frosted Chocolate Cookies)

Chocolate Cupcake Tops_posta

Like parents with more than one child, my affection for frosted cookies multiplies with each new recipe added to my collection.

It all started with the ugly, irregularly shaped, frosted cinnamon cookies my Grandma baked for us and stored in her metal-lined bread drawer. I loved them. I loved her. She loved me, though she didn’t speak it, even when I was ugly and rather irregular myself.

Now that I have a food blog and a grandson of my own, I’m on a quest to build the world’s largest frosted cookie recipe collection. It’s on my bucket list–if I had one–to try all varieties of frosted cookies before I die. It may not be the most noble calling but it’s easier and more fun (and way more likely) than climbing Mount Everest or feeding all the hungry children of the world. Perhaps I’m just hoping my grandson will someday have fond memories of his grandma like I do. That’s a worthy goal, isn’t it?

Chocolate Cupcake Tops_with knife

One early morning on my way to work recently, I dropped off some reject cookies at my friend’s house. Joan later reported they tasted like the top of a frosted cupcake. Yes! She’s absolutely right. These cookies are just like little chocolate cakes with a rich chocolate frosting. Throwing instant espresso and Dutch process cocoa into the dough makes these babies dark and flavorful.

Then there’s the magic ingredient in the frosting. I hesitate to say it but here goes. Sour cream. (Lite sour cream works just fine.) I promise you won’t taste anything that reminds you of sour cream.ย  Be prepared for a glossy, fudgy, ganache-like frosting so delicious you will want to make a double batch so you’ll have leftovers for graham cracker sandwich cookies. If you aren’t into frosting as much as I am, just swipe a little across the top. It’s not necessary to get fancy. Speaking of fancy, thanks to Annie of Annie’s Eats for putting me on to the mechanical pastry bag available from Williams-Sonoma.ย  The large tip is what I used to decorate the cookies in the first picture.

Chocolate Cupcake Tops (aka Frosted Chocolate Cookies)
Recipe type: Cookies
These will remind you of the top of a chocolate cupcake. A soft, tender cookie with ganache-like, fudgy frosting.
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa (I like Hershey's brand Special Dark-a blend of natural and Dutched cocoa)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • ¾ cup buttermilk or unflavored yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon instant espresso
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Icing
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli bittersweet chips but semi-sweet chips would also work if you like your chocolate sweeter)
  • ⅓ cup sour cream (I used lite sour cream) + another tablespoon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Whisk or sift together flour, cocoa, soda, and salt.
  2. Use stand mixer to beat butter until smooth. Add in sugar and mix for two minutes. Add cooled chocolate and mix. Add egg and mix for another minute. Combine buttermilk, espresso and vanilla. Add alternately with dry ingredients and blend just until mixed. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Although they look fairly big in the pictures here, I like to make mine small so I can have seconds. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bake 8-10 minutes until no imprint remains when cookie is lightly touched. Frost cookies when cooled.
Chocolate Icing
  1. Melt chocolate in microwave on MEDIUM for 2 minutes. Stir and let stand for 3-4 minutes till it all melts. Stir in sour cream. Add powdered sugar and beat with a spoon until smooth and shiny.
  2. Frosting will be thick and gloppy at first but as you beat, it will become smooth and shiny. Add another tablespoon or more of sour cream to thin to spreadable consistency. Spread on cooled cookies immediately. Let cookies sit until frosting dries slightly.
Freeze baked cookies unfrosted. Frosting will hold in the refrigerator for a few days. Microwave for 15 seconds and stir until glossy again.


More cookies from my Frosted Cookie Collection…

Pink Shortbread Cookies

Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Coffee Icing

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary August 17, 2011 at 9:39 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe.

I grew up in the Wilkes-Barre area, and a department store called, “Lazarus” used to sell “Black Bottom Cookies”. These were chocolate cupcake tops, with vanilla frosting, which was topped with fresh coconut. Delicious!!

The store’s been closed for decades; the bakery there’s out of business, and every now and then I have a yen to bake up a batch, but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere!

Your recipe comes closest, and I will add the frosting and coconut topping.

Thanks again!!!



Paula August 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Mary, those cookies sound wonderful. I may have to try it myself. Let me know if you come up with a winner.


Jeannette August 30, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Wow, these look phenomenal!! These are getting bookmarked for when my sister (the frosting fiend) comes over ๐Ÿ˜€


Lynne August 29, 2010 at 8:01 pm

From one grandma to another-your frosted cookies are fab! I have my grandchildren visiting over Labor Day. These look perfect to make for them.


Susie August 27, 2010 at 9:53 am

I like your frosted cookie idea. We need to add my cutout sugar cookies & frosting to the website, maybe around the holidays. ๐Ÿ™‚


MaryMoh August 27, 2010 at 2:33 am

I need to be in chocolate heaven now! These look so pretty and tempting. Thanks very much for sharing.


UrMomCooks August 26, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Luv frosted cookies! It makes them so special! Even my GROWN children think so! I made oatmeal this week, which I usually frost, and I forgot… (Old age is setting in!)
Ur chocolate cookies look delicious! Great pics!


HappyTummy August 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

ok, when a single post has the words “chocolate,” “cupcake,” “frosted” and “cookies,” you know the recipe has to be good. and your pictures are stunning. LOVE!


Beth August 26, 2010 at 4:42 am

What lovely photos! Like you, my earliest cookie memories are from my grandmother. Hers were ginger snaps, and I’ll never top them!


Michelle August 25, 2010 at 9:59 am

Excellent idea – if we can have muffin tops, then there’s no reason to not enjoy a cupcake top too. And with that pile of frosting, what’s not to love?


Annie August 25, 2010 at 5:24 am

Big giant YUM! I will be making these very, very soon. And I think your goal is a great one! Glad you are enjoying the mechanical pastry bag – don’t you just love it?


Paula August 25, 2010 at 3:43 am

looks so chocolately! yum!


Suzanne August 24, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Right when I saw the first picture I smiled ๐Ÿ™‚ I have the largest sweet tooth ever and chocolate is high on the list of got to have daily kinda like milk for me. Frosting with sour-cream is so good, I bet these are yummy.


Katrina August 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I think you have great, worthy ideas and goals–to have the biggest frosted cookie collection and what more, for your grandson. ๐Ÿ˜‰
These cupcake tops look awesome. I’m totally going to check out that WS piping thing and the frosting recipe!


Christie @ Fresh Local and Best August 24, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I think this is a noble goal to recreate the wonderful memories and delicious sweets you shared with your grandma for your grandson. This looks like wonderful indulgent chocolate cupcake top, which is the best part of a cupcake.


Linda August 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

How cute! And they do look delicious. I agree with Betty–the best part of a cupcake, and that is what they look like! I’m anxious to try the sour cream frosting–yum!


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit August 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

It’s a grandma’s duty to provide grandchildren with frosted cookies. ๐Ÿ™‚ These look wonderful. I can just imagine how frosting-covered my grandson could get with these. They look like the best part of a cupcake- I always go for a high frosting to cake ratio. Thanks for sharing these delights!


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