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Football Cupcakes

If you’re looking for some fun football cupcake ideas for a big game or the superbowl, you’ve come to the right spot!

These football cupcakes are made with moist chocolate cupcakes, and use homemade buttercream to create these easy and adorable designs.

image of football cupcakes decorated with buttercream for the superbowl

Substitutions and Swaps – Chocolate Cupcakes

Before we dive into the designs of these football cupcakes, let’s talk about the ingredients!!

This recipe use quite a few ingredients and I know you might not have all of them on hand.

Or if you have food allergies or restrictions, I’ve got you covered. Below are some swaps and substitutions that you can make.

image of chocolate cupcake batter being scooped into a cupcake liner
  • Chocolate Chips – You can use milk, dark or semi-sweet chocolate to make these chocolate cupcakes! Just be sure it’s a good quality chocolate so it will melt down smoothly.
  • Instant Espresso or Coffee – You can also use 3/4 cup of strong brewed coffee in place of the hot water and instant espresso to make the cupcake batter, or you can omit the instant espresso if you dislike the taste of coffee.
  • All Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a gluten free flour blend or cake flour if that’s all you have on hand.
  • Granulated Sugar – I do not recommend reducing the amount of sugar or changing the type of sugar as it will change the texture of these cupcakes.
  • Vegetable Oil – You can use any flavorless oil in this recipe. Canola or sunflower oil would work great!
  • Large Eggs – If you have an egg allergy you can use 2 flaxseed eggs instead or a vegan egg replacer like this made by Bob’s Red Mill.
  • Vinegar – This recipe needs a bit of vinegar because it uses baking soda as a leavening agent. The vinegar activates the baking soda and helps the cupcakes rise. You can use white or apple cider vinegar.
  • Vanilla Extract – Vanilla extract helps enhance the chocolate flavor in these cupcakes, but you can use any extract you want like almond or coconut, or omit it all together.

Substitutions and Swaps – Buttercream Frosting

image of chocolate buttercream frosting in a bowl
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter. Just be sure to omit the salt that this frosting recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Heavy Cream – Whipping cream, coconut cream or alternative milk (soy, almond, oat, coconut) will work fine in this frosting recipe if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Melted Chocolate – Any type of chocolate will work in this frosting! You can use milk, semi-sweet, or dark. You can also use chopped up chocolate, or chocolate chips.
  • Cocoa PowderUnsweetened baking cocoa powder works best in this recipe! You can also use dark cocoa powder or if you don’t have any on hand you can omit it.
  • Vanilla Extract – Other extracts can also be used in place of the vanilla extract. Feel free to use coconut extracthazelnut extract or even pistachio extract.

Football Cupcake Design #1: Chocolate Frosting Football

image of a football cupcake decorated with chocolate buttercream

To make this football cupcake design, pipe chocolate buttercream in a squiggle on top of the cupcake using a small french tip.

Pipe grass around the chocolate buttercream with green buttercream using a grass tip. Then pipe white buttercream on top of the football to look like its laces.

Football Cupcake Design #2: The Yard Line Cupcake

image of a football cupcake decorated to look like a yard line with a tootsie roll football

To make this yard line cupcake design, pipe grass on top of the cupcake with green buttercream using a grass tip.

Then use white buttercream to pipe a yard line on the left side of the cupcake.

Place 1 tootsie roll in the microwave and heat it for 8-10 seconds to make it soft. Carefully knead it then shape it to look like a small football.

Let it cool on a piece of parchment paper for 10 minutes, then place it on the cupcake and use white buttercream to pipe the football’s laces.

Football Cupcake Design #3: The Field and Fans Cupcake

To make this field and fans football cupcake, pipe chocolate buttercream on half of the cupcake. Dunk the cupcake into a small bowl of nonpareil sprinkles.

Pipe green buttercream on the unfrosted half of the cupcake, then pipe white lines on top of the green buttercream to look like field lines.

image of a football cupcake decorated to look like a football field with fans

Football Cupcake Design #4: The Winning Pass

To make this cupcake design, pipe grass on top of the cupcake with green buttercream using a grass tip.

Place 1 tootsie roll in the microwave and heat it for 8-10 seconds to make it soft. Carefully knead it then shape it to look like a small football.

Let the tootsie roll football on a piece of parchment paper to cool for 10 minutes, then place it on the cupcake and use white buttercream to pipe the football’s laces and white dashes around the football.

image of a football cupcake decorated to look like a football being thrown

Football Cupcake Design #5: TOUCHDOWN!!!

To make this touchdown cupcake, pipe an even layer of chocolate buttercream on top of the cupcake.

Dunk the cupcake into a small bowl of nonpareil sprinkles to completely cover the frosting, then use white buttercream to write touchdown on top of the sprinkles.

image of a football cupcake decorated with white buttercream and sprinkles to say touchdown

Tips for Making The Best Football Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better. Be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Be sure to properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Mix your cupcake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated. This will ensure your cupcakes are tender and fluffy.
  • Use a large cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners. It also makes sure your cupcakes end up being the same height.
  • Seal off the top of each of your piping bags with a rubber band to prevent any frosting from seeping out the top of the bag and make the piping bags easier to use.
  • Use gel food coloring to color your green buttercream! It allows you to get a vibrant color without throwing off the consistency of the frosting.

Making These Football Chocolate Cupcakes in Advance & How to Store Them

You can make these cupcakes in advance! If stored unfrosted in an airtight container, they can sit out overnight at room temperature or be stored for up to a week in the fridge.

These cupcakes can also last up to 3 months in the freezer. If you plan to freeze them, wait to fill and frost them until they’re thawed.

You can also make your buttercream ahead of time or save any leftovers. The buttercream frosting will last in the fridge for up to a month.

Be sure to give the frosting a good stir once it thaws to get the consistency nice and smooth again. You can also store buttercream in piping bags in the fridge. I find they keep their consistency well in piping bags and don’t require any mixing after they’ve thawed.

Frosted cupcakes can sit at room temperature for a couple days or can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days. However, like all baked goods these cupcakes taste best when they’re freshly baked!

image of football cupcakes decorated with buttercream for the superbowl

Let Me Know What You Think

If you make these football cupcakes, I’d love to hear what think of them! Please leave a rating below.

Also please tag me @chelsweets! Use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Football Cupcakes

image of football cupcakes decorated with buttercream for the superbowl

Want to make some adorable football cupcakes? These moist chocolate cupcakes are decorated with fun and easy designs that are perfect for any big game!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup hot water (177 grams)
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso or coffee (3 grams)
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips - milk or dark (57 grams)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (32 grams)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (98 grams)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (3 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt (2 grams)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature (114 grams)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (73 grams)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (4 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)

Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup (or 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (217 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (4 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (2 grams)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (375 grams)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream (45 grams)
  • Green gel food coloring
  • 2 Tbsp of melted milk or dark chocolate, cooled (30 grams)
  • 2 Tbsp cup unsweetened baking cocoa, sifted (12 grams)

Additional Tools / Equipment

Instructions

Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

  1. Begin by preheating the oven to 350°F. Place cupcake liners in baking pans.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of (VERY) hot water into a large bowl. Mix in 1 1/2 tsp of coffee or espresso powder and stir lightly until dissolved.
  3. Carefully pour in 1/3 cup chocolate chips and 1/3 cup cocoa powder. Let this sit for 2 minutes to melt the chocolate, then whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour the dry ingredients (3/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt) into chocolate espresso mixture, and stir until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
  5. Mix in 2 eggs, one at a time.
  6. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp vinegar, and 1 tsp vanilla. Mix until the batter is smooth - it will be thin!
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Allow cupcakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling. If you're in a rush (or impatient like me), you can place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to accelerate the cooling process.

Vanilla and Chocolate Buttercream

  1. Beat 1 cup of room temperature butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a hand mixer or stand mixer until smooth.
  2. Add in 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix on a medium-low speed until combined.
  3. Slowly mix in 3 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Half way through add in 3 Tbsp of heavy cream to make the frosting easier to mix.
  4. Beat on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the desired consistency is reached.
  5. If the frosting is too thick, add an extra Tbsp of heavy cream. If it's too thin, add in another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
  6. Stir by hand with a rubber spatula to get the frosting SUPER smooth.
  7. Place 1/4 cup of vanilla buttercream into a small piping bag fit with a small round piping tip (like a Wilton 3) and set aside.
  8. Place 1 cup of vanilla frosting in a separate bowl and color green with food coloring. Place into a small piping bag fit with a small grass piping tip and set aside.
  9. Mix 2 Tbsp sifted cocoa and 2 Tbsp cooled, melted chocolate into the remaining vanilla frosting. Mix on low until the frosting is smooth and no clumps remain. Place in a small piping bag fit with a small french piping tip.
  10. Decorate the cooled cupcake with different football designs based on the instructions in the post above and enjoy!

Notes

Making Mini Football Cupcakes

If you want to make mini football cupcakes, this recipe can be baked in mini muffin tins! It makes about 40 mini cupcakes, and they only need to bake for 9-10 minutes at 350 F / 175 C.

Tips for Making The Best Football Cupcakes

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better. Be sure you set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Properly measure your flour (spoon into the cup measure then level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Mix your cupcake batter just until the ingredients are incorporated. This will ensure your cupcakes are tender and fluffy.
  • Use a large cookie scoop to easily fill your cupcake liners. It also makes sure your cupcakes end up being the same height.
  • Seal off the top of each of your piping bags with a rubber band to prevent any frosting from seeping out the top of the bag and make the piping bags easier to use.
  • Use gel food coloring to color your green buttercream! It allows you to get a vibrant color without throwing off the consistency of the frosting.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 344Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 40mgSodium 235mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 1gSugar 45gProtein 4g

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