It’s Improv Challenge Day, and this month the theme is Cake & Frosting, boy do I have a treat for you. No other words are needed besides the title. Listen to this – Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes with Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Frosting. It’s a mouthful, but it’s a mouthful of YUMMMMMMM!
So I took some liberties with the theme this month. I mean, it’s not a cake. They aren’t even really cupcakes. But they look like cupcakes, right? Cookie cups ≈ cupcakes ≈ cake. But I have a 7-month old who doesn’t even meet the minimum requirement of 5 consecutive hours to be considered “sleeping through the night”. When you’ve spent months running on night after night of broken sleep, that kind of cake math makes perfect sense.
What kind of math doesn’t make any sense at all? Little kid sleep math. For those of you who have had kids or currently have little ones, you know exactly what I am talking about. For those of you who haven’t, let me explain.
2 hour morning nap = 2 hour afternoon nap
2 hour morning nap + 2 hour morning nap = 10-12 solid hours of sleep at night
1 hour morning nap + 30 minute afternoon nap = 3 hours + 2 hours + 3 hours of sleep at night
30 minute morning nap = 10 minute afternoon nap
10 solid hours of sleep at night = older kid who always sleeps though the night wakes up screaming at 2am
older kid takes 1 hour afternoon nap = 12 hours of sleep at night
older kid takes 2 hour afternoon nap = 7 hours of sleep at night
Do you see where I am going? Yeah, neither do I, since I can barely see two feet in front of me at this point.
Well I don’t know about you, but when I am sleep-deprived (not to mention burning millions of calories nursing my growing baby eleventy billion times a night day), I want to eat ALL.THE.THINGS. Especially sweet, chocolaty, pumpkinninny things like these little guys.
I may or may not have had a nice healthy cocoa pumpkin spice smoothie for a snack the other night… then snuck into my freezer to grab two one of these Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes with Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Frosting. I may or may not be eating another one two now.
The folks at Pillsbury were awesome enough to send me some of their Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, so I used that for these little cups. Let me tell you, whether you are gluten free or not, these gluten free cookie cupcakes were buttery and crisp and delicious. There was no funny taste or weird texture. I want to find a go-to gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe, but until that time and in a pinch, I would definitely use this dough again.
Of course, you could certainly use any pre-made or homemade chocolate chip cookie dough.
And the Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Frosting. Oh, the frosting! There are no words, but I’ll find some. Creamy and sweet, but with plenty of spice and nuttiness from the browned butter to keep the sweetness from being overpowering, and then the pumping really shines through. Pairing this with the chocolate chip cookie cup base was, I must say, a stroke of genius on my part. Perfection!
My brain goes some crazy places at 3 am. But if Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes with Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Frosting is crazy, then call me insane. Insane over these yummy little bites.
As I mentioned, this recipe is part of the Improv Challenge, which is a blog hop hosted by Kristen of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. A theme is given, which is two assigned ingredients. Then it is up to the participating bloggers to let the creative juices flow, and see what they can come up with. Then on the third Thursday of the month, we will all publish our new recipes based on the theme. This month’s theme – pasta & cheese. If you are have a blog and would like to join us, click on the picture to the below to learn more. If you are new to my blog, finding me because you have been following the Improv Challenge, then WELCOME!
Check out the links at the bottom of this post to more great Cake & Frosting Recipes! I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with!
What is your favorite Cake & Frosting combo?
- One container of Pillsbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, or another pre-made or homemade chocolate chip cookie dough (see Note*)
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, divided, ½ stick at room temperature
- 2 T dark brown sugar
- ¼ c pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ½ t pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pound box powdered sugar
- Additional powdered sugar or milk, if necessary to adjust consistency
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a mini muffin tin (with 24 cups) with nonstick cooking spray.
- Divide cookie dough between the 24 cups, about 1 T in each.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
- Cool in pan for several minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, slowly melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat, then cook slowly until butter is dark golden brown and smells nutty. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Place remaining softened ½ stick of butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until creamy.
- Slowly beat in the browned butter, then add the pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice, beating until combined.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until thick and fluffy, adding additional milk or powdered sugar to achieve the desired consistency.
- When the cookie cupcakes are cooled, pipe on or frost with the Browned Butter Pumpkin Spice Frosting.
Frosting barely adapted from Picky Palate.
Disclaimer: Pillsbury provided me with a sample of the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. As always, all opinions are my own.
Want some more Cake & Frosting?
And here are all of this month’s Improv entries:
Plus some more Cake & Frosting from my friends…
- Apple & Caramel Spice Cake from Dieter’s Downfall
- Dark Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting from Shugary Sweets
- Rainbow & Sprinkles Cake from Chocolate & Carrots