The Best Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes

The Best Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes

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Yup. You read it correctly. Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes! I recently tried chicken and waffles and now “get” the allure of this Southern treat and wanted to play around with it a bit. Who wouldn’t love that salty bite of breaded and fried chicken, paired with fluffy buttermilk waffles, and that sweet drip of maple syrup? Salty, savory and sweet all come together for a party in your mouth.

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I have family that comes from the South – we love everything from Our Easy 4 Ingredient Chili Dog Casserole to Ozark Pie but chicken and waffles were something that I missed out on.

Chicken and Waffles Cupcakes History

Food scholars have plenty of origin theories about chicken and waffles. Many of them declare that a 1930s Harlem restaurant named Wells Supper Club came up with the notion of serving crispy thighs alongside deep-pocketed batter, or that the practice started with Pennsylvania Dutch home cooks of the 1600s.

Out in Los Angeles, Roscoe’s chain of soul food restaurants brought chicken and waffles to the Hollywood crowd starting in the 1970s.

Regardless, it is considered “soul food” that is probably one of the only good things to come out of our nation’s slavery era, besides jazz. My kiddo took a history of jazz college course this past semester and it was interesting to learn the evolution of that amazing music – how it dates back to the African Circle Dances that were native to the poor souls who were captured and sold.

I could go on and on, but you really should research it for yourself – it is not only fascinating but eye-opening and heart-wrenching.

Chicken and Waffles Syrup

That being said, let’s talk syrup. Chicken and waffles are often served with syrup, honey, or both. Drizzle the topping of your choice over the chicken and waffles, or keep them on the side for dipping if you wish.

For extra decadence, people put a little butter on the waffles as well. I don’t use butter in this recipe, but buttercream frosting. I do use syrup instead of honey.

Chicken and Waffles Cupcake Appetizer

Yes, this could be an appetizer instead of just a dessert. After all, if Chicken and Waffles can be either breakfast or a dinner, why shouldn’t chicken and waffle cupcakes get more play time?

Miss Sarah and I used to LOVE the chicken and waffles appetizer that was at Marcus Theaters – you had to be in the “dining theaters” to order off the menu and it was ah-ma-zing. Then they dropped it (sniff).

They DID bring it back – or a poor imitation of what it had been until COVID shut theaters down.

How to Make Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes

These cupcakes are a little different than our normal yellow cupcake bases – it is a denser batter, designed to stand up to the toppings you will be adding.

For the Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes You will need:

  • 3/4 cup room temperature unsalted sweet cream butter
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 box of mini waffles
  • 1 package of popcorn chicken

Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes Frosting:

  • 1 cup room temperature Butter
  • 3 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 3-5 TBSP heavy whipping cream

Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes Batter Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 350 and line your muffin tin with cupcake liners. Stir together flour, salt, and baking powder with a wire whisk. Set your dry mix to the side.

In another large bowl add your butter and sugar and mix until creamy and fluffy. Add your eggs in, one at a time. Then add in the maple and vanilla and mix until well incorporated. Add in flour mixture slowly and mix until just combined. Then set this batter to the side.

Take your muffin pan and fill each cup about 2/3 full with your batter.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit till cool.


In a large bowl or your stand mixer add your butter, powdered sugar, maple extract, vanilla extract, and heavy whipping cream. Mix until it looks light and fluffy. Frost each cupcake and set them aside.

Toast your waffles until they are lightly crisp.

Chicken and Waffle Cupcakes Easy Recipe:

Make a waffle and chicken sandwich by taking two waffle pieces and putting a piece of the popcorn chicken in between and holding them together using a toothpick. Place your waffle bundle on top of the cupcake and drizzle maple syrup over the top of it.

chicken and waffle cupcakes ready to serve

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Potential Pitfalls and Solutions

When making Badger-themed cupcakes, there are a few potential pitfalls that you should be aware of. Here are some common issues and solutions to consider:

Issue: Color bleeding

One of the most common issues when making Badger cupcakes is color bleeding. This occurs when the red and white colors of the Badger logo start to blend together, creating a pinkish hue. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to make cupcakes that look just like the Badger logo.

Solution: Use gel food coloring

To avoid color bleeding, it’s important to use gel food coloring instead of liquid food coloring. Gel food coloring is more concentrated, so you don’t need to use as much to achieve the desired color. It’s also thicker, so it won’t bleed as easily. When using gel food coloring, be sure to mix it thoroughly into the batter to ensure even coloring.

Issue: Flat cupcakes

Another common issue when making cupcakes is getting flat cupcakes. This can happen when the batter is overmixed or when the oven temperature is too low.

Solution: Don’t overmix the batter and check oven temperature

To avoid flat cupcakes, be sure to mix the batter just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can cause the cupcakes to be dense and flat. Also, make sure your oven is preheated to the correct temperature before baking. Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature and adjust as needed.

Issue: Dry cupcakes

Dry cupcakes are another common issue when making cupcakes. This can happen when the cupcakes are overbaked or when there isn’t enough moisture in the batter.

Solution: Don’t overbake and add moisture

To avoid dry cupcakes, be sure to bake the cupcakes for the recommended amount of time. Overbaking can cause the cupcakes to be dry and crumbly. You can also add moisture to the batter by adding a tablespoon or two of sour cream or yogurt. This will help keep the cupcakes moist and tender.

By being aware of these potential pitfalls and using these solutions, you can make Badger-themed cupcakes that are sure to impress any fan.

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