Football Cupcakes

Football cupcakes

 The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 18 servings

Football cupcakes are the perfect sweet treat for your next Sunday night football fest, Super Bowl party, or college football tailgating. They’re easy to make and you can easily use a store-bought cake mix or store-bought frosting to make your life easier.

The sweet and moist chocolate cupcakes are topped with a swirl of homemade chocolate frosting and little football laces are added with vanilla frosting. They’re quick and simple, but look like they took you all day to decorate.


  • For the Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 ounces chocolate (semi-sweet or dark)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces chocolate (semi-sweet or dark)
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons milk

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these cupcakes is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.

    Football cupcake ingredients
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  2. Beat together the sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer. 

    Butter and sugar beaten together
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in thirty-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. 

    Melted chocolate
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  4. Add the chocolate to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until combined. 

    Chocolate, butter, and sugar mixed
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  5. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract to the mixing bowl and beat until combined. 

    Eggs and yolks mixed in
    The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney 
  6. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. 

    Dry ingredients for cupcakes
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. Whisk together the sour cream and milk. 

    Sour cream and milk mixed
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  8. Add half of the dry mixture to the butter mixture followed by half of the milk mixture. Then repeat. Mix until combined and the batter is completely moistened. 

    Chocolate cupcake batter
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  9. Scoop the batter into the liners until they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick will come out clean when you stick it into the middle of one of the cupcakes. 

    Chocolate cupcake batter in liners
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  10. Allow the cupcakes to cool slightly and then remove them from the cupcake tin and place them on a cooling rack. Place in the freezer to speed up the cooling process. 

Make the Frosting and Decorate

  1. While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. 

    Football cupcakes frosting ingredients
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  2. Beat the butter until it is whipped. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Set aside about a 1/2 cup of the frosting to reserve it for the white laces of the “football.”

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  3. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in thirty-second increments until completely melted. Add the melted chocolate to the frosting. Add more powdered sugar if the frosting is too thin or a little milk if it is too thick.

     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  4. Add each frosting to its own piping bag. Fit the chocolate bag with a large star tip. Add the reserved vanilla frosting to a piping bag and fit with a small round tip.

    Chocolate and vanilla frosting in piping bags
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  5. Swirl the chocolate frosting in a zigzag motion over the top of the cooled cupcakes. Start small on one end and make the zigzags larger as you get towards the center, then taper them off on the other side so that it resembles a football. 

    Decorated cupcakes
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  6. Pipe a long horizontal line across the center of the “football” Then add smaller vertical lines across the horizontal line. 

    Decorated football cupcake
     The Spruce Eats / Leah Maroney
  7. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container until ready to serve.