These kitchen sink cupcakes are the ultimate in sweet vs savory, with classic chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla frosting and salty and crunchy toppings.

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Kitchen sink cupcakes topped with pretzels, potato chips, and chocolate chips.

About Kitchen Sink Cupcakes

If you’ve ever heard the phrase “everything and the kitchen sink,” that’s where the inspiration for these cupcakes comes from. The idea is to scour your kitchen and add lots of unique toppings that you wouldn’t normally see on a cupcake – all the best salty and crunchy snacks – but that are still delicious.

Plus, cupcakes like these are not only fun to serve, but fun to make. Part of the challenge is coming up with new combinations and creations.

Top down view of prepared kitchen sink cupcakes with toppings.

What are kitchen sink cupcakes?

These cupcakes are inspired by the idiom, “everything but the kitchen sink.” It means that everything has been added to these cupcakes, where everything is code for all the delicious snacks and mix-ins you can possibly think of in a baked good.

Do you want chocolate chips? Sure, toss those in the batter. How about pretzels? Potato chips? Okay, go ahead and stick them in the frosting.

The possibilities are endless for the different flavor combinations when you’re adding everything in your pantry but the kitchen sink.

What’s in kitchen sink cupcakes?

To have your own fun and crazy kitchen sink cupcakes, you’ll need to track down the following ingredients:

Close up of pretzels, potato chips, chocolate chips, and toffee bits topping a cupcake.

What other toppings can you use?

Because these cupcakes are supposed to have “everything and the kitchen sink,” the whole idea is to add lots of toppings that you might not normally see on a cupcake, particularly to create a sweet-and-salty combination. Other than those already listed in the recipe, some of my favorite additions include:

Can these cupcakes be made in advance?

Yes, they totally can – but with one small catch.

Hold off on adding the extra toppings (such as the pretzels, chips, toffee bits, and caramel sauce) until just before serving. This will ensure that the crunchy toppings don’t become soggy by sitting in the frosting for too long.

Holding a kitchen sink cupcake.

How should these cupcakes be stored?

Due to these cupcakes having a whipped cream-based frosting, these cupcakes should be stored in the refrigerator. They should also not sit for more than two hours at room temperature.

How long do cupcakes last?

When stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, cupcakes can last anywhere from two to three days.

Can you freeze these Kitchen Sink cupcakes?

Yes, you totally can!

To freeze these cupcakes:

  • Bake cupcakes per recipe instructions, then allow to cool completely. Note: for best and consistent results, do not decorate cupcakes before freezing. Frosting types and consistency may vary and could impact how long or well the cupcakes will last while frozen.
  • Wrap cupcakes in plastic wrap. You can either wrap them individually or arrange the cupcakes in a group (single layer) and wrap them together.
  • Place wrapped cupcakes in a freezer bag or a storage container with a sealable lid.
  • Cupcakes can be frozen for up to three months.

Notes & tips for kitchen sink cupcakes

  • This recipe has only been tested with whole milk, so I can’t recommend any substitutions (almond, oat, etc).
  • If you’re having a hard time finding espresso powder, you can also use instant espresso. Instant coffee is not recommended, though.
  • Make sure you have enough muffin tins to make 24 cupcakes (total yield of this recipe, unless the serving size is adjusted in the recipe card below).
Kitchen sink cupcake cut in half, showing soft inside of baked cupcake.

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How to make kitchen sink cupcakes

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the following ingredients: chocolate cake mix, vegetable oil, greek yogurt, milk, eggs, instant chocolate pudding mix, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder.

Step 2 – Turn off the mixer and use a spatula to gently fold the mini chocolate chips into the batter.

Step 3 – Using 2 cupcake pans, spray them with baking spray, add cupcake liners, and fill each cavity about 3/4 full of cupcake batter.

Step 4 – Bake!

Step 5 – While the cupcakes bake and cool, prepare the frosting by whipping together the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and instant vanilla pudding mix.

Step 6 – Decorate the cupcakes with frosting, then top with crumbled pretzels, potato chips, toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, and caramel sauce.

Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Kitchen sink cupcakes topped with pretzels, potato chips, and chocolate chips.
5 from 3 votes

Kitchen Sink Cupcakes

20 mins prep + 22 mins cook
308 kcal
Yields: 24 cupcakes
These kitchen sink cupcakes are the ultimate in sweet vs savory, with classic chocolate cupcakes topped with vanilla frosting and salty and crunchy toppings.

Ingredients 

Chocolate Cupcakes
Vanilla Frosting & Toppings

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners, then set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), mix together the chocolate cake mix, vegetable oil, greek yogurt, whole milk, eggs, instant chocolate pudding mix, vanilla, salt, and espresso powder until combined.
    15 ounces chocolate cake mix, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup whole milk, 3 large eggs, 3.4 ounces instant chocolate pudding mix, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Remove bowl from mixer. Add chocolate chips to bowl and use a spatula to gently fold them into the batter.
    3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Pour batter into prepared cupcake pan, filling each cavity about 3/4 full (about 3-4 tablespoons per.)
  • Bake cupcakes for 18-21 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let rest for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
For the Vanilla Frosting
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and instant vanilla pudding mix until light and fluffy.
    2 cups heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
Putting it all Together
  • When ready to decorate, fill a pastry bag with prepared vanilla frosting and a piping tip of your choice.
  • Frost each cupcake in a decorative pattern.
  • Just before serving, decorate tops of frosted cupcakes with pretzels, potato chips, toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, and caramel sauce.
    mini pretzels, potato chips, toffee bits, mini chocolate chips, caramel sauce
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcake | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 123mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 377IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy