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Best Cookie Butter Cupcakes (doctored cake mix)

cookie butter cupcakes
Warm, spicy. . .cookie butter cupcakes!

These cookie butter cupcakes are on my top ten list of best cupcakes ever. They’re warm, sweet, and loaded with just enough spice to make you want to grab your cupcake pans and start baking! This recipe starts with a boxed mix but you add all sorts of yummy extras to make it extra-special!

Oh, friends. This is one of those yummy secrets that’s difficult to describe. It’s truly a “You’ve got to try it to believe how good it is” sort of thing. 

cookie butter cupcakes
(Amazon)

My story with cookie butter began when I was caregiving my mom, who had Alzheimer’s. When we first discovered cookie butter, she was still in relatively good shape, though a bit forgetful. We went to a specialty grocery store on an outing and stumbled across cookie butter. We decided to give it a try. 

It might seem like an exaggeration to phrase it that way, but they truly weren’t the same after that. Tasting cookie butter changed how (and what) my mama ate, even as her disease progressed. She would finish off nearly every day with a tablespoon of the yummy stuff. And because she always had to have cookie butter in the pantry, I found it tempting, too. 

It all starts with a little spice cookie known as “speculoos.”

cookie butter cupcakes
Mmm! Biscoff!

Oh, friends. This is one of those yummy secrets that’s difficult to describe. It’s truly a “You’ve got to try it to believe how good it is” sort of thing. 

My introduction to speculoos cookies came on an airplane when I was given a couple to nibble on in flight. I still remember thinking, “Whoa, that’s really good. . .whatever it is.” It left a lasting impression!

Speculoos. All the cool kids are enjoying them.

Cookies. . .Into Butter?

I don’t know who came up with the idea of grinding those cookies up and turning them into a spread, but I’d like to give him (or her) a giant hug. With this Biscoff cookie butter, what you end up with is a warm brown spread the same consistency as peanut butter, but so different in taste that you just can’t believe how the yummy spices linger on the tongue. 

cookie butter cupcakes
There is nothing finer. . .

So, why turn it into cake? 

I was looking for a perfect fall cake, something with warm flavors that would work well with my cream cheese-based buttercream. I can’t remember how or why I decided that cookie butter needed to make an appearance in one of my cakes, but I do remember trying to figure out how to do so without ruining the light and airy texture of the cake. I did a bit of browsing on the Internet and tried a recipe I found there, but (in the end) came up with one of my own. 

When in Doubt, Make up Your Own Recipe. 

I took one of my cookie butter cakes to a church event and one of the attendees (a young woman, recently engaged) fell so in love with it that she insisted I make one for her engagement party. I was happy to oblige. From that point on, all sorts of people asked for my cookie butter cake. 

Then, I decided I’d like to tweak that cake recipe for cupcakes.

Y’all. . .

What I’ve come up with is the perfect combination of ingredients, guaranteed to leave you with a fluffy cupcake and a rich, decadent icing, loaded with aromatic spice. And, best of all, there’s a yummy Biscoff (speculoos) cookie in each cupcake. 

So, Without Further Ado. . .

Spicy, creamy perfection!

CUPCAKE INGREDIENTS

  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup crushed Lotus Biscoff cookies
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup melted cookie butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup/pancake syrup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Additional crushed Lotus Biscoff cookies (to top off before baking)
  • 1.5 cups room temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup cookie butter
  • 1 block softened cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 – 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Combine dry ingredients (cake mix, crushed cookies, and spices) and mix thoroughly.
  • Add softened butter, melted cookie butter and maple syrup, then mix until crumbly. (I use my stand mixer because this batter is a little more dense than most.)
  • Add eggs, one at a time. 
  • Gradually add milk and mix until smooth. 
  • Spoon batter into cupcake liners and sprinkle approximately 1 tablespoon crushed Biscoff cookies on top
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes (or until done).
  • Mix butter, cookie butter, cream cheese, and maple syrup and beat until creamy.
  • Add remaining ingredients and whip until light and fluffy.
  • If it turns out too thick, you can always thin it down with a splash of milk or heavy cream.

IT’S TIME TO DECORATE!

When cupcakes are cooled, top with frosting and finish off with drizzles of melted cookie butter and cookie crumbs. Press half a cookie into each cupcake.

Now, I Know What You’re Thinking. . .

No, really. I do. You’re wondering if this same recipe can be used to make a cake. Whelp, here’s the proof! I would only suggest one tiny tweak to the recipe. There’s no need to add crushed Biscoff cookies to the top of the batter before popping it into the oven. This recipe will make three 6” cakes or two 8” cakes. 

This cake is great for decorating, by the way! follow the recipe (as per above) but use my Creamy Dreamy Buttercream frosting instead of Cookie Butter Frosting. (Don’t worry! You can still add Cookie Butter Frosting between the cake layers, if you like.) Swirl it on with a piping bag for great effects! And. . .bonus! Cookie Butter cake is perfect for tiering. (To learn more about that process visit my How to Tier a Cake post.)

I’m going to make these Cookie Butter Cupcakes for Christmas but I’m going to add a cookie butter mousse filling. Can you even imagine?!

If you like cupcakes with a warm, spicy flavor, try my carrot cake cupcakes

Back to my Southern Roots recently showcased another recipe with rich, warm flavors. Check out their Brown Sugar Pound Cake with Butter Pecan Glaze. (I’m drooling!) 

Cookie Butter Cupcakes

Cookie Butter Cupcakes

Yield: 18
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 41 minutes

Warm, spicy, perfect for the holiday season. These cookie butter cupcakes are loaded with cookie butter and biscoff cookies!

Ingredients

  • CAKE INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1/4 cup crushed Lotus Biscoff cookies
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
  • 1/2 cup melted cookie butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or 1 tablespoon maple syrup/pancake syrup)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Additional crushed Lotus Biscoff cookies (to top off before baking)
  • FROSTING INGREDIENTS:
  • 1.5 cups room temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup cookie butter
  • 1 block room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 - 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

    HOW TO MAKE COOKIE BUTTER CUPCAKES: 

  • Combine cake mix, crushed cookies, and spices and mix thoroughly.
  • Add softened butter, melted cookie butter and maple syrup, then mix until crumbly.
  • Add eggs, one at a time. 
  • Gradually add milk and mix until smooth. 
  • Spoon batter into cupcake liners and sprinkle approximately 1 tablespoon crushed Biscoff cookies on top
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes (or until done).

HOW TO MAKE COOKIE BUTTER FROSTING: 

  • Mix butter, cookie butter, cream cheese, and maple syrup and beat until creamy.
  • Add remaining ingredients and whip until light and fluffy.

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