Chicken & Waffles Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting

The southern litmus test: If you’re drooling right now, you must have spent some time in your life below the Mason-Dixon line.

Chicken and waffles (yes, served together) is a southern tradition. And let me tell you, if you want to get your hands on some of the world’s best chicken and waffles, here in Atlanta is the place.

I wanted to pay an homage to this salty-meets-sweet southern dish the best way I know how—with cupcakes.

So here you have it. A waffle-inspired yellow buttermilk cupcake topped with maple syrup buttercream frosting and a mini helping of chicken and waffles.

And just in case that whole deal doesn’t sound amazing enough, let me tell you what else is special about these guys: Each cupcake is infused with a shot of straight-up maple syrup right in the center.

Why? Because I’m just like Buddy the Elf. I try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

I completed my cupcakes with a little help from another Atlanta institution, Chick-fil-A. If you want to fry up your own bite-size bits of chicken for these ‘cakes, more power to you. But I know that I could never top Chick-fil-A’s nuggets. Plus they’re literally the perfect size.

And if you’re wondering how you eat these, I’ll let you in on a little lesser-known culinary secret: Just bite down. Make sure you wrap your teeth around each layer from top to bottom and take a huge bite of everything at once. It’s not called chicken then waffles, it’s chicken and waffles.

Want to get started on your own chicken and waffles cupcakes? Check out the recipe right here:

Chicken & Waffles Cupcakes
Yields 24
For the buttermilk cakes
  1. 3 cups cake flour
  2. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  3. ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  4. 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
  6. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  7. 2 ¼ cups sugar
  8. 5 large whole eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  9. 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  10. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  11. ½ cup maple syrup
For the maple syrup frosting & topping
  1. 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  2. ½ cup maple syrup
  3. 6 cups powdered sugar
  4. 24 waffle pieces
  5. 24 chicken nuggets
  6. maple syrup to drizzle
Make the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
  2. Sift or whisk together both flours, baking soda, baking power and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream together the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium and add the whole eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the egg yolks and beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with two additions of buttermilk. Be sure to mix well after each addition.
  5. Beat in the vanilla extract last.
  6. Pour the batter into liners, filling each cup about three-quarters of the way up. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test. Lift them out onto wire racks to cool.
  7. With a food injector, inject roughly one teaspoon of maple syrup into the center of each cooled cupcake.
Make the frosting
  1. In a small bowl, beat together the butter and syrup until blended. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add just enough maple syrup or milk to thin out the consistency.
  2. Ice and decorate the cupcakes by piping a ring of frosting onto each. With a toothpick or wooden pick, skewer a chicken nugget and waffle piece together, then slide the pick into the top of the cupcake. Drizzle the top with a bit of maple syrup.
Taryn Williford


  • Mingy

    August 29, 2011 11:05 am

    I think I love it & can’t wait to try it!

  • Sarah

    August 29, 2011 11:50 am

    that sounds freaking awesome. I’ll await my package of cupcakes. Or, maybe it’s worth a trip to Atlanta for some of these bad boys

      • Eliz

        August 29, 2011 5:57 pm

        A-mazing! I want I want

  • August 29, 2011 12:55 pm

    Oh me oh my!

    My husband will die when I show him these!

    I’m not sure my heart can take it!

  • August 29, 2011 7:16 pm

    I just came across your blog on Cupcakes Take the Cake, and I think I’m hooked based on this recipe. This looks amazing.

  • August 31, 2011 9:53 am

    can’t wait to try it … love maple syrup 🙂

  • August 31, 2011 9:54 pm

    You are brilliant. I would like one to try, please.

  • September 1, 2011 7:43 pm

    Syringe plus maple syrup… I’m in. Oh the cupcake too. I almost forgot.

  • September 2, 2011 1:25 am

    Well, I’ve never been east of the Rocky Mountains, but my mouth is still watering. Nice work!

  • Michael

    September 7, 2011 4:41 pm

    I am intrigued. I was hoping for bits of the chicken nuggets inside the cupcake, too.
    Perhaps that would be overkilled but I see it as DeathbyChck-filled-A Cupcakes! Can’t wait to get back to HOT-lanta for this one

  • September 15, 2011 9:30 am

    sERIOUSLY??? The most brilliant idea ever!

  • September 22, 2011 11:45 am

    These look INSANE. I’m not a born-and-bred southerner, but three years was plenty of time to fall in love with chicken and waffles. I am SO trying these!

  • September 26, 2011 10:59 pm

    This is unbelievable. Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffle is one of my favorite restaurants here in Los Angeles. I love this idea, and the portion control element is genius!

  • October 18, 2011 11:40 am

    OMG! Those look fantastic! I can’t wait to start adapting them to the gluten-free side of things … omnomnom!

  • MJ

    November 16, 2011 11:56 am

    I made these last week for a football tailgate (and brought some extra to work). I actually ended up with 3 dozen cupcakes, and thank goodness I did. These were gone instantly, and I’ve already got requests for more. I used Chick-fil-A nuggets and Waffle House waffles to save some time. The buttermilk cake is a great balance to the super sweet syrup and icing. I can’t wait to make these again!

  • Michael

    December 9, 2011 2:59 pm

    I won’t eat Chik-fil-A, but I’m down for using some other kind of fried chicken! These look amazing.

    • June 7, 2012 10:15 pm

      Come to think of it, you are right! Why would I eat Turkey on Thanksgiving when I can eat it most days of the week. This year, I am out on Thanksgiving Turkey. Instead I’ll just have a little more of etieyvhrng else. FYI…also new this year is the first annual Cold Turkey 5-K Fun Run!

  • Kathryn

    September 21, 2012 9:47 am

    Looks unbelievably delicious! Can’t wait to make these this weekend.

  • Sarah

    November 3, 2012 10:08 pm

    So tasty! Thet’re great with bacon on top as well! 😀

  • bpoe

    January 3, 2013 7:35 am

    I made these for a coworker’s Birthday yesterday and they were out of this world!!! I got 36 regular cupcakes out of this cake recipe…next time I’ll cut the recipe in half. Also, I needed to add 8 oz of cream cheese to the frosting, the butter/powdered sugar combo just wasn’t tasting right to me — the maple flavor still came through. Will definitely make again! Image the looks you’d get bringing in a 8″ or 9″ cake frosted with fried chicken pieces/strips on top a belgium waffle drizzled with syrup 😉

  • March 30, 2014 8:15 pm
  • Upset Cupcake

    May 5, 2014 11:07 am

    What is up with these measurements?? This made WAY more than 24… My batter filled like 43 cupcakes, almost double what it says

  • February 18, 2015 11:38 am
  • November 5, 2015 6:39 pm
  • CutieCakz

    November 17, 2015 9:04 pm

    Hi Taryn, thanks for the awesome recipe – it make a ton of cupcakes and a 6″ round but so friggin tasty. I’m thinking to use the recipe for a poundcake later this week. Photos are posted on my facebook page Cutie Cakz if you want to see my creation! Thanks for sharing! — Terri

  • June 30, 2016 2:56 pm

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