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Churro Cupcakes

Moist cinnamon sugar churro cupcakes topped with a rich cinnamon cream cheese frosting. All of the delicious flavors of a Mexican churro in cupcake form!

Churro cupcakes on mini platters.
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Easy Frosted Churro Cupcakes

With Cinco de Mayo coming up, I thought it would be fun to make a CHURRO cupcake recipe. I mean, what’s not to love about churros?! I don’t even want to count the number of churros I ate on my last trip to Disneyland! ;) They are one of my absolute favorites.

What’s so great about this recipe is that it’s super easy to make. You use a box of cake mix and doctor it up with a few secret ingredients that make it taste extra delicious. Then add a rich and tangy cinnamon cream cheese frosting on top. It’s the perfect compliment. Seriously, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful!

These Mexican cupcakes look so festive and are the perfect dessert for celebrating Cinco de Mayo along with tres leches cake and Mexican rice pudding. Add them to your menu to finish up your lineup of Mexican favorites like homemade tortilla chips and salsa, beef tacos or chicken fajitas and cilantro lime rice. Sounds like a dream meal to me!

The Secret Ingredients

These ingredients come together and make the best churro cupcakes ever! Learn the secret ingredinets that create moist, fluffy, and full-of-flavor cupcakes. Take your cake mix to the next level and enjoy the perfect baked cupcakes!

Churro cupcake ingredients on table.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Cake mix: Pick either a white or yellow cake mix. You will be using dry ingredients for this recipe. The cake flour will be the powder used not the other ingredients on the back of the box.
  • Instant vanilla pudding: The instant pudding mix gets stirred in with the cake mix and helps make the texture of the cupcakes irresistibly soft. Make sure to use the dry mix. You don’t make the actual pudding itself.
  • Ground cinnamon: Churros are all about ground cinnamon. Add this for the flavoring and give it that authentic taste!
  • Eggs: This is a binder that holds together the cupcake batter.
  • Canola oil: Helps boost the moisture in the cupcakes giving them a moist and rich flavoring and texture.
  • Sour cream: Because sour cream is acidic and has a higher fat content than milk, it makes the cupcakes super moist and tender.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

Blend the frosting ingredients together in a medium bowl to make the best cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It is so easy to make and comes together perfectly. Top the cupcakes with this frosting for an irresistible combination!

  • Cream cheese: Soften the cream cheese ahead of time. It makes it easier to blend in a bowl of a stand mixer or electric mixer.
  • Butter: Leave the unsalted butter on the countertop until it is at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar: This is the base of the homemade frosting. Thicken it using this sweet confectioners sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract gives this the best flavoring!
  • Ground cinnamon: Always goes well with churros. It has a strong and delicious flavor.

How to Make Churro Cupcakes

Grab your muffin tins and get ready to impress all your friends and family with this easy-to-make churro cupcakes recipe.

Churro cupcake batter tins in pan.
  1. Prepare. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake liners in 2 muffin pans. 
  2. Stir. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding, and cinnamon. Stir until combined. 
  3. Combine. Mix in the large eggs, canola oil, and water. Then stir in the sour cream. Do not over-mix the batter or they will sink.
  4. Fill the muffin tins. Pour the batter into the liners (about 3/4 the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Be careful to not overcook. 
  5. Let cool. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire racks. Wait to frost until cooled completely. 
  6. Frosting. Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix with an electric beater until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix until creamy. Taste and add more cinnamon or vanilla, if desired. If it’s too thick, add a Tablespoon of milk. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar. Place in a frosting bag and frost cupcakes as desired.
  7. Storing. Store in a covered container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Churro cupcake ingredients on table.

Decorations

There are a few different ways to decorate these churro cupcakes. I like to keep it simple for most desserts, but this is one of those recipes that looks SUPER fun and festive once decorated. The finishing touches make a huge difference and are perfect for celebrating Cinco de Mayo!

  • Cinnamon sugar tops: After the cupcakes have cooled, dip the tops in melted butter and then into a mixture of cinnamon sugar. You can stop here, or add frosting and more decorations on top if preferred.
  • Frosting: A rich and tangy cinnamon cream cheese frosting takes this dessert to the next level. Feel free to use a cinnamon buttercream too, although the cream cheese version is definitely my favorite for this recipe.
  • Caramel: Before serving, I like to drizzle some caramel sauce (or dulce de leche) over the tops.
  • Mini churros: This is the perfect decoration to finish off the dessert. I like to find churros in the freezer section and then cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces.

5 star review

“Best cupcakes I’ve ever made. The optional step to roll the tops in melted butter & cinnamon sugar is a MUST! Dialed up the churro flavor and added a little sugary crunch. SO good!”

-Maria
Churro cupcakes on white platter.

Tips + Modifications

These delicious churro cupcakes are so easy to make and have all the flavor your tastebuds can imagine! Prepare the cupcake batter with these helpful ideas. Here are some tips and modifications to help you make the best churro cupcakes.

  • Don’t overfill. You want to fill the muffin cups about 3/4 of the way full. If you have a standard ice cream scoop, I find that to be the perfect size to scoop the batter.
  • Butter. I prefer salted butter to counterbalance the sweetness of the frosting. If you only have unsalted, you can mix in about 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt. Or you can leave the salt out altogether if preferred.
  • Piping the frosting. I used an extra large round tip to frost my cupcakes. You can adjust the consistency by adding in powdered sugar to make it thicker or a little dash of milk to thin it out. In order to frost the perfect cupcakes, you want the frosting to be able to hold a point.
  • Chocolate. Instead of caramel, add a drizzle of chocolate ganache for a boost of chocolate flavor.
  • To make a cake: This would make a great cake. If doing two 8 or 9-inch cake rounds, bake at 350°F for about 25 to 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick before removing it from the oven.
  • Mini cupcakes: Add batter to a mini cupcake pan and bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Churro cupcakes on white platter.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to moist cupcakes?

It may sound strange, but the key to making super moist and fluffy cupcakes is by using a dry pudding mix and sour cream. I use both of these ingredients when making my famous chocolate cupcakes and they always get rave reviews. Sour cream is used in many of my favorite baking recipes, like my homemade banana bread or my strawberry sour cream cake. It gives them the absolute best texture!

What is the secret to fluffy cupcakes?

If making the cupcakes from scratch the way to any cupcake’s heart is to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. This will continue to build in the dough and when baked make the cupcakes light and fluffy themselves. Whipping the butter and sugar together incorporates air into the cupcake batter and gives it a soft and even structure.

What makes cupcakes rise higher?

When filling your cupcake liners make sure to fill it 3/4 full. First, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the remainder of the baking time. Baking at a high heat will force the tops of the cupcakes to puff up.

What not to do when baking cupcakes?

The number one key to success with cupcakes is not to over-mix but also not to under-mix. Make sure to mix the cupcake batter just until the wet and dry ingredients are combined.

Churro cupcakes on mini platters.

Making in Advance

If you would like to prepare the cupcakes ahead of time for a party or gathering, I’d recommend leaving off the frosting until the day of serving. Everyone has a different opinion about whether or not cream cheese frosting can be left at room temperature, but I’d rather play it on the safe side since cream cheese is a dairy product.

Bake the cupcakes according to directions, then let them cool and store them at room temperature overnight in an airtight container. You can also prepare the frosting in advance and store it in a bag in the fridge. The next day, let the frosting come to room temperature and then pipe it on top of the cupcakes. I feel comfortable leaving the frosted cupcakes out for a few hours for a party and then I will refrigerate any leftovers.

Make a complete Mexican-inspired meal with all your favorite dishes! Try this one-pot burrito bowl dinner, Mexican rice, and refried beans, with homemade flour tortillas for a delicious meal.

More Desserts You’ll Love

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churro cupcakes on mini platters

Churro Cupcakes

5 from 69 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Moist cinnamon sugar churro cupcakes topped with a rich cinnamon cream cheese frosting. All of the delicious flavors of a Mexican churro in cupcake form!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24

Ingredients 

  • 15 ounce box white or yellow cake mix
  • 3.9 ounce box instant vanilla pudding , dry
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup canola oil
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 8 ounces sour cream

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 5 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • ¼ cup salted butter , softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoon vanilla extract , more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional toppings: Cinnamon sugar, Churros (cut into 2" pieces), Caramel sauce

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line cupcake liners in 2 muffin pans. 
    • In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, vanilla pudding and cinnamon. Stir until combined. 
    • Next mix in the eggs, canola oil and water. Then stir in the sour cream. Do not over mix the batter or they will sink.
    • Pour the batter into the liners (about 3/4 the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes clean. Be careful to not overcook. 
    • Remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Wait to frost until cooled completely. 
    • Combine the cream cheese and butter in a bowl and mix with an electric beater until smooth. Then add the powdered sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix until creamy. Taste and add more cinnamon or vanilla, if desired. If it's too thick, add a Tablespoon of milk. If it's too thin, add more powdered sugar.
    • Place in a frosting bag and frost cupcakes as desired. Store in a covered container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

    Notes

    Variation: Melt 1/4 cup butter in a small bowl. Once cupcakes are cooled, dip the tops of the cakes into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar. 
    Cinnamon sugar: I like to use a 1:4 ratio. 1/2 cup sugar to 2 Tablespoons of cinnamon.
    Churros: You can definitely make your own churros, however I like to find them in the freezer section and cut them into smaller bite sized pieces for these cupcakes. 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 261kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 230mg | Potassium: 94mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 239IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

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