These cupcakes are intense in the best possible way! Your kids need to try these Cheeto Cupcakes!
A subtle vanilla cupcake is topped with a cream cheese frosting and all the Cheetos crumbs!
This is sweet and cheesy in the best way. If you love easy desserts that start with cake mix and you’re a junk food, this is a dessert recipe you need to try!
Some links in this post may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I also participate in affiliate programs for other retailers.
Cheeto Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
I know what you’re thinking. WHAT?!
I’m going to be honest with you, when I was trying to figure out if Cheetos Cupcakes would turn out and actually be good, I wasn’t sure.
I mean, how on earth can something as cheesy as a Cheetos be part of something as delicate as a cupcake?
But since I’ve added Cheetos to a recipe before, to make a Cheetos and Rosemary Goat Cheese Log, I thought they might work just fine.
Although when you eat a bag full of Cheetos they have a really strong flavor (and leave you with the craziest orange fingers), when you eat just one or two, they’re pretty subtle.
I really think there is something on the outside of the Cheetos that makes your tongue take notice. But when you crush them up, they mellow out.
Tips for making Cupcakes with Cheetos
Use a very light vanilla cake mix. You don’t want to use yellow cake or a super sweet cake mix here. Go with something subtle.
Also don’t add any additional vanilla to the cupcake base because it can be a little bit too much with the Cheetos. Trust me on that one.
The best frosting combination is cream cheese frosting.
I tested this recipe with vanilla frosting and with chocolate frosting and both were slightly off.
Cream cheese, on the other hand, gives the cupcakes a cheesy punch that goes so well with the Cheetos.
And finally don’t go all out with the Cheetos. Add some crumbs and that’s it. There’s such a thing as too many Cheetos ( I never thought I would say that).
How to make Cheeto Cupcakes
After you have a Cheeto cupcake for the first time there’s no going back. They are good! And weird.
It’s the type of weird that has you going for seconds but questioning yourself the whole time.
Scroll down to find a printable recipe card with full measurements and detailed instructions.
- boxed cake mix
- sour cream
- Cheetos crumbs + extra to decorate
Ingredients for the Cream Cheese Frosting
- vegetable shortening (optional)
- confectioners sugar (also known as powdered sugar)
- heavy cream
- vanilla extract
- cream cheese
Of course, you can make a plain cupcake batter from scratch but I really love the time-savings of using a boxed cake mix.
It’s super easy to change up flavors, you know, like adding CHEETOS!
This recipe also calls for some sour cream. Sour cream helps to make cupcakes moist without thinning the cake batter.
How to make Cheetos crumbs
To turn your Cheetos into crumbs there are a few different options.
The easiest is to grab a small food processor and blend them up. But if you hate the idea of washing equipment, you can put some in a zipper baggie and beat the heck out of it with a rolling pin.
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
There are probably a million recipes online but I love to keep things simple around here so I use my Very Best Vanilla Frosting as a base.
I just subtract half of the butter the recipe calls for and add the same amount of cream cheese. That’s it, simple and to the point.
And while I usually love to add some lemon zest or lemon juice to cream cheese frosting in this case I prefer to omit it and let all the cheese flavor shine.
That makes the Cheetos on top feel cohesive with the cupcake and not introduce fruit… ew.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Combine the boxed cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, milk, Cheetos crumbs in a bowl.
Mix with a hand mixer for 4 minutes or until everything is well incorporated.
Divide the batter, evenly, between the cupcake liners.
Bake for 5 minutes then turn the temperature down to 350 degrees.
Bake an additional 10 more minutes or until done.
Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting.
Decorate with the cream cheese frosting and top with Cheetos crumbs.
Seriously, it sounds weird, but they’re remarkably good. Even if you don’t love the flavor it’s something you need to make for your kids at least once.
This Cheetos Cupcake Recipe is the type of dessert recipe that gets passed around to friends because it’s that good and totally unique.
It’s also the type of thing that earns you points with your kids! And let’s face it, we’re always trying to make the kids happy.
Sprinkles had a Hot Cheeto Cupcakes awhile ago. And while I didn’t get a chance to try one, I know they were probably amazing!
You can easily substitute Hot Cheetos in this recipe if you want to add a little heat!
Supplies to make this recipe
More cupcake recipes to try
- These Patriotic Cupcakes with JELLO are good any time of year! They’re a fun way to customize simple cupcakes to match any party colors.
- Rosé Cupcakes are pink and pretty! They’re perfect for surprising your girlfriends with!
- Alcohol Infused Cupcakes are perfect for any adult birthday party! They’re just like your favorite cocktails but in dessert form.
To Make the Cheeto Cupcakes
- For the Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, milk and Cheetos crumbs in a large bowl.
- Use a hand mixer and mix for 4 minutes or until everything is well incorporated.
- Divide the batter, evenly, between the cupcake liners.
- Bake for 5 minutes then turn down the temperature to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 10 more minutes or until done.
- Remove from the oven and let them cool completely before frosting.
- For the Frosting
- In a large bowl whip the butter, vegetable shortening, cream cheese and salt until light and fluffy, around 7 minutes.
- Add half the confectioners sugar and whip up until fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and half the heavy cream and mix until fluffy.
- Repeat the process, alternating between sugar and cream and whip up for 3 more minutes until it’s light and airy.
- Decorate the Cheetos Cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting and top with Cheetos crumbs.
Pin to save these unique cupcakes for later
Give these Cheeto Cupcakes a try and let me know what you think!